Formerly Trendy Pasta

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This pasta is delicious. I mean its FREAKING good. Just believe me. I call it ‘Formerly Trendy’ pasta since its got all the major food trends that struck it hot for a short time recently: kale, bacon, butternut squash – all things that made it into a lot of new dishes and on many restaurant menus in the past two years. But…trendy or not, these ingredients are some of my favorite (minus kale which I can only eat cooked or chopped into tiny bits – I think it tastes like tree leaves might taste).

The pasta is sweet, savory, smokey, creamy, and has a tiny bit of spice from the red pepper flakes. It is one of my favorites. It reheats SO well. This recipe makes about 8 healthy portions. My mother was in town helping me with the new baby as I head back to work part-time…and we nibbled on it for lunch and dinner for a couple of days. No-one ever was tired of the pasta – which means its pretty damn good. 🙂 Enjoy!

INGREDIENTS:

  • 5 cups (1/2-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 package uncooked ziti (short tube-shaped pasta)or other short tubed pasta of your preference
  • 4 cups chopped kale
  • 8 bacon slices
  • 1 large yellow onion chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, divided in half
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 400°.

2. Combine squash and 1 tbps olive oil in a large bowl  or in a Ziploc bag with 1/2 tsp salt and the 1 tbsp black pepper; toss well. Arrange squash mixture in a single layer on a baking sheet coated with tin foil (or can use cooking spray). Bake at 400° for 30 minutes or until squash is tender.

3. On another baking sheet with foil, lay the bacon flat and cook for 20-30 minutes (cooking times will vary greatly based on the thickness of the bacon). Flip the bacon every 5 minutes to ensure its fully cooked and not burnt.

4. While the butternut squash and bacon are in the oven cooking, place the chopped onion in a saute pan on the stovetop. When the bacon is done cooking, pour off about 2 tbsp of the bacon drippings into the pan with the onion.

5. Cook pasta 7 minutes or until almost al dente. Add kale to pot of pasta (with water) during last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain pasta mixture into colander and then pour into large mixing bowl.

6. Pull butternut squash from oven and place into bowl with pasta mixture.

7. Pull bacon from the pan and place onto paper towels to dry and crisp. Once crispy and dried – chop into small 1/2 inch pieces and place into bowl with butternut squash and pasta.

8. Turn the onion/bacon drippings (grease) pan to medium heat. Add garlic and red pepper flakes. Cook until onion is translucent. When completely cooked, pour into bowl with pasta/kale/butternut squash/bacon.

9. Combine 1/4 cup broth and flour in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk. Bring the remaining 1 3/4 cups of the chicken broth to a boil in a small saucepan. Add flour/broth mixture to the boiling broth. Then add the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt to the broth. Cook and whisk 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat; stir/whisk in 1 cup of light sour cream. Then stir in 1 cup of the cheese – continue to stir until melted.

10. Combine squash, bacon, pasta/kale mixture, cooked onion mixture, and cream/cheese sauce in a large bowl; toss gently. Coat a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish with cooking spray; then pour in the pasta. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the pasta. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned.

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Chopping kale – keeping the stems out of the chopped mixture

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Butternut squash in oven to roast

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Raw bacon entering oven to cook

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Cooked butternut squash

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Cooked pasta & chopped kale mixture

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Cooked mixture of pasta/kale in big mixing bowl

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Added butternut squash to pasta mix in large mixing bowl

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Cooking onion in bacon drippings

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Final cooked onion/bacon drippings/red pepper flakes added to large mixing bowl

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Cooked bacon resting on paper towels

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Chopped bacon added to mixing bowl

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Cooking the cheese sauce

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Final mixture of all elements: kale/pasta, bacon, squash, onion, cheese/cream sauce

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Pasta dish entering oven

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Final product – YUMMO!

 

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

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This soup is so comforting and delish. As new parents we are ALL about meal prep…IE: what can we make a lot of and toss in the freezer for quick meals on week nights? Soup is an amazing option for lunches, dinners, period. Its my new favorite food!

Before my husband heads to work he pulls a mason jar of soup out of the freezer and places in the fridge. When home – pour it into a pot on the stove, heat it up and eat. Voila! Its much better for you and comes with much less guilt than ordering a pizza or hitting the BK drive-thru when exhausted after a long day and sleepless night before. We also made it over the Christmas holiday with my family and it was a big hit.

This soup is SO easy to make and I know you’ll love it.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 3/4 cup uncooked wild rice blend
  • 1 cup chopped yellow or white onion
  • 1 cup diced carrots
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1 stick of butter, cut into 1 tbsp chunks
  • 2 clove minced garlic
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp of each dried thyme, marjoram, sage and rosemary
  • 1 rotisserie chicken – shredded (or you can shred chicken breasts or chicken thighs on your own)
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Prepare rice according to directions listed on package.
  2. As the is rice cooking, in a large pot, melt 2 Tbsp butter over medium heat. Add onion, carrots and celery and sauté until slightly tender, about 5 minutes
  3. Add in garlic and sauté another minute or so
  4. Add chicken broth, thyme, marjoram, sage, rosemary and season with salt and black pepper to taste.
  5. Meanwhile reduce heat to low and add cooked rice.
  6. Add shredded chicken to soup. Keep on low temperature.
  7. In a separate medium saucepan (you can just rinse/wipe the rice pan), you will start the roux by melting the remaining 6 Tbsp butter over medium heat.
  8. Whisk in flour and cook 1 1/2 minutes, whisking constantly. Then, while whisking vigorously, slowly pour milk into butter/flour mixture.
  9. Stir this roux constantly until it thickens. Add the roux/milk mixture to soup/broth mixture in pot and cook about 5 minutes longer, or until soup is thickened (you can simmer the soup for a longer period of time if you want the rice to soften more, just cover with lid first and stir occasionally. **I don’t use all the roux every time, pour in as much as you like or don’t like to satisfy the texture you prefer — up to you!
  10. Stir in heavy cream and serve warm.
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Carrots, celery, & onion chopped

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The wild rice blend we used

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Rotisserie chicken shredded

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Cooked wild rice

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Broth poured into cooked vegetable mix

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butter and flour – ready for roux

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roux (milk mixture)

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Soup mix after roux is added

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Final product once all ingredients included

EASY Pesto Bruschetta Chicken

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YUMMO!

This chicken is so easy. Like SO easy and really yummy. I can’t really say much else. I cooked this with roasted cauliflower and balsamic glaze – which you can make yourself by reducing balsamic vinegar, but I buy it in bulk since I use it so often. You can buy it at most grocery stores already ‘glazed’ up with all the work done for you!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two chicken breasts
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup pesto sauce (purchased or made from scratch. Here is my pesto sauce recipe.)
  • 1/2 cup sliced tomatoes (I used grape tomatoes b/c that’s what was in my pantry)
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground pepper
  • Balsamic glaze
  • Your choice of vegetable side

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Cut any excess fat off of chicken
  3. Cover each chicken breast with plastic wrap and pound until they are thin and the same thickness.
  4. Sprinkle salt and pepper lightly on both sides of the chicken breast
  5. Heat olive oil to medium heat
  6. Place chicken breast in the pan and sear for about 2 minutes on each side.
  7. Remove from heat
  8. Spray a small glass or metal baking dish with non-stick spray or oil
  9. In the pan, place both chicken breasts.
  10. Top each chicken breast with 1/2 cup of pesto. Spread out across the breast evenly.
  11. Cover with foil and place in oven for 25 minutes
  12. Uncover and bake for another 5 minutes
  13. Check temperature of chicken, it should be at 165 when using a thermometer.
  14. When complete, pull from oven. Sprinkle each chicken breast with half of the cheese.
  15. Uncover. Place back in oven on low broil for about 1-2 minutes until cheese is brown and melted. Keep your eye on the chicken as you don’t want to broil too long and dry out the chicken.
  16. Pull from oven and let rest for a few minutes.
  17. Plate and top with tomatoes, then drizzle with balsamic glaze.
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Chicken searing in pan

 

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Chicken in pan, covered in pesto

 

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Chicken baked in pesto for 25 minutes

 

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Chicken post-cheese broil

 

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Final product – served with roasted cauliflower

 

 

Crispy Honey Chipotle Chicken Tacos

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I saw this recipe online…and for all the recipes I find, I always do a bit of tweaking to make them my own, suit my flavor preferences, and just doing it exactly the same as someone else is cheating! 🙂 Changing them is much more fun anyways. This is a really delicious recipe, and the chicken itself would be great just for a meal or an appetizer. This is also a great way to fry chicken breasts without dropping into frying oil. I know this isn’t qualified as ‘health food’ but its better than a deep fryer, that is fo’ sho’. These tacos will appeal to everyone, no matter their taste bud likes. I think you could easily turn this into a salad if you removed the tortilla. Lots of fun ideas for this super crispy, sweet & spicy chicken. Hope you love these as much as we did.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two boneless chicken breasts
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup regular breadcrumbs (no seasoning)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 2 eggs – whisked
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 4 tablespoons ketchup
  • 1/4 cayenne pepper
  • 2 chipotles in adobo sauce – pull two small peppers from can and puree in a food processor
  • 1 tbsp siracha or your preference of hot sauce
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1.5 tbsp corn starch
  • 1/2 cup butter melted (unsalted butter)
  • non-stick spray
  • corn tortillas
  • ranch dressing
  • avocado slices
  • chopped cilantro – about 2 tbsp
  • 1 lime cut into 4 wedges
  • extra salt & pepper on the side

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Heat oven to 450 degrees
  2. Prepare a baking sheet by spraying it with non-stick spray
  3. Cut each breast into three long strips. Then cut those strips in half. You should end up with about 12 total strips give/take.
  4. Sprinkle the chicken strips lightly with salt and pepper.
  5. Find three shallow bowls. In #1: combine both bread crumbs. In #2: pour in eggs. In #3 pour in flour, measured salt & black pepper and cayenne pepper
  6. Starting with your right hand, pick up a chicken tender and drop into the flour. Turn around to coat well. Drop into the egg bowl but do not touch the eggs w/ your right hand.
  7. Now with your left hand, turn the strip around in the egg until coated well. Continuing to use your left hand, remove from the egg and drop into the bread crumb bowl. Using your left hand still, coat the strip in the breadcrumbs pressing down to ensure they stick. Remove from bowl and place on baking sheet.
  8. Continue with right hand/left hand process to keep your hands from getting totally sticky with all the ingredients. Keep lining the baking sheet w/ chicken strips leaving space in between them.
  9. Once all strips are breaded and on the pan, wash hands and you are now done with the bowls.
  10. Take melted butter and pour all around the chicken strips, directly onto the baking sheet.
  11. Put in oven and set timer for 10 minutes.
  12. In a sauce pot on the stove top, add the following ingredients: honey, ketchup, chipotle puree, garlic, hot sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, onion powder and a pinch of salt and pepper. (A ‘pinch’ is how much you can pick up between your thumb and pointer finger – its about 1/8 teaspoon)
  13. Turn heat to medium-high and whisk until ingredients are combined well.
  14. In a small bowl whisk together corn starch and water. Set aside for now.
  15. When timer goes off, using tongs, flip the chicken onto the other side and set timer for 8 minutes.
  16. When sauce is bubbly and thick, add in the starch mixture. Continue whisking as the sauce becomes thick.
  17. Add in chicken broth and turn heat to low.
  18. When chicken is done, remove pan from oven and turn oven off. Allow chicken to cool for about 5 minutes so the crust sets up.
  19. Heat tortillas in cooling oven or in microwave. (I usually wrap in damp cloths in microwave or oven to keep them moist)
  20. Using tongs, drop fried chicken strips one by one into the sauce. Moving around until they are covered – about 10 seconds. Pull from sauce and set on a plate.
  21. Continue until all chicken strips are ‘dipped’ and on the side plate.
  22. Pull tortillas from microwave or oven.
  23. Put 2-3 strips on each tortilla (sometimes I doubled up the tortillas if they were too thin)
  24. Top with avocado, ranch dressing and cilantro. Squeeze a bit of lime juice onto the top and serve on the side too.
  25. Enjoy!

HELPFUL NOTE: You will have sauce leftover, so I put it in a small mason jar to freeze so I can do this again with sauce that is already done! (I’m a smart cookie sometimes).

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This is gross…but fun

 

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Breading the chicken

 

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Chicken breading assembly line

 

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Chicken after its breaded…ready for oven

 

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Sauce ingredients – before cooking

 

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Chicken done cooking

 

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Dipping chicken in sauce

 

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Chicken post-dipping

 

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Final product!

 

Restaurant/Retailer Redo: IKEA Swedish Meatballs

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Sweeeedish Meatballs

 

My mother-in-law’s family hails from Sweden. My husband talks often of her Swedish meatballs and I can attest that they are delish! The only other time I’ve had Swedish meatballs is at IKEA. I know there are mixed reviews, but the ones I had at the Orange County IKEA were quite yummy. So, in an effort to remind my husband of his mother’s home-made meatballs, and to try something new…I give you my version of Swedish meatballs. I have to say, I am quite proud on how they turned out and how good they were as leftovers!

INGREDIENTS FOR MEATBALLS:

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil – divided into two parts
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground allspice
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp fresh minced garlic

INGREDIENTS FOR GRAVY:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 2/3 cup flour
  • 8 cups beef broth
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp onion powder

DIRECTIONS

  1. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large frying pan/skillet – medium heat
  2. Add chopped onions to the pan and stir until translucent
  3. Add in minced garlic and stir for about 2 minutes more until onions are beginning to carmelize just a bit
  4. Turn off heat & remove onions from pan. Put cooked onions/garlic in a large mixing bowl
  5. To the large bowl add all other ingredients for meatballs: egg yolks, panko, both proteins, nutmeg, allspice, salt & pepper
  6. Mix well until all combined thoroughly
  7. Place in fridge for about 15 minutes until chilled a bit. This allows for easy rolling later
  8. Pull from fridge and roll the meat into small 1 to 1.5 inch balls. As you complete the balls add back to the pan (which should be cooled by now). I actually needed a 2nd pan for all those meatballs. Since I needed a 2nd pan, I also needed an additional tbsp of olive oil for cooking.
  9. Once your pan(s) are loaded with meatballs, pour olive oil around the meatballs directly onto the pan. Turn to medium heat and start  to cook.
  10. Set up two plates lined with paper towels next to the cook top
  11. Cook the meatballs about 4-5 minutes on one side, then 4-5 minutes on the other. Keep cooking, rolling balls to cook all over for about another 4-5 minutes. The sides should be brown and crispy, but no pink showing.
  12. Once cooked all the way on the outside, remove them from the pan and place on paper towels to cool
  13. In a microwave or stove top, heat the beef broth until hot, but not boiling.
  14. Turn the pan to medium heat, add the butter to begin the gravy
  15. Once butter is melted,whisk in the flour until thick and bubbly.
  16. Cup by cup, slowly pour in the beef broth and whisk until thick. Continue until all broth is integrated smoothly.
  17. To the gravy, add 1/2 cup of sour cream and whisk until combined. Stir in other half and whisk again until all sour cream is melted and integrated.
  18. Add onion powder. Stir again until all is combined. Taste to add salt or pepper as you feel its needed. I always end up adding more pepper. 🙂
  19. Ensure heat is still at medium/bubbly and add in the meatballs one at a time as to not splash the sauce.
  20. Stir sauce to cover meatballs and cover for about 10 minutes.
  21. Pull one meatball to test. Cut in half to ensure its cooked all the way through, no pink. If it’s still pink, add the halved meatball back to the sauce. Cook for another 5 minutes and test another meatball for done-ness.
  22. Once meatballs are cooked, sprinkle them with parsley.  You can serve over rice, egg noodles, or just on their own in gravy. I like them with just a side of fresh bread. My husband likes them over egg noodles. Since these aren’t 100% health food, I also serve with steamed broccoli or roasted cauliflower to get those veggies.

NOTE: I doubled the required recipe for the gravy since my husband likes them over noodles so we need extra sauce!

HELPFUL TIP: When you refrigerate leftovers, the gravy becomes thick and jelly-like. Reheat in a pan over the stove. Whisk in about 1/4 -1/2 cup milk to the gravy as it heats to ensure the consistency isn’t too thick and gelatinous.

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Onions cooking in pan with olive oil and garlic.

 

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Meatballs mixture

 

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Meatball mixture ready for rolling

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Meatballs rolled and ready to cook

 

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Meatballs cooking in olive oil

 

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Parsley chopped and ready for garnish

 

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Meatballs placed into gravy

 

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Final product! Take that IKEA!

 

Sour Cream & Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

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Mmmmm cheesy chicken gooeyness

Chicken Enchiladas are my jam. Yes, I am 34, hip and so cool that I can use phrases like ‘my jam’.These enchiladas are SO good. Honestly, the best part about chicken enchiladas is how they taste on DAY #2! Wait for it…they get better. So if you aren’t a leftover person, you are missing out my friends. I have been making these for a very long time, but just changed up my approach to the chicken and it is so much better!

Now, I wouldn’t lie to ya’ – these should not be filed in the ‘healthy’ recipe section. I’ve just gotten back into my major gym routine and I barely eat all day due to my crazy work routine, so my dinners can be calorie bombs and I deserve it! 🙂  By making these choices you can decrease the fat/calorie content: use corn tortillas, not flour. use low fat cheese and reduce the overall quantity of cheese. You can remove the cheese within the tortillas and it won’t taste that much different. Use light sour cream (never use fat free, that tastes like children’s craft paste). User buttermilk instead of heavy whipping cream.

This recipe makes 10 large enchiladas. I usually make one pan to serve that night, then I freeze a batch for later. If you do freeze a batch, you shouldn’t cook them first, just wrap tightly, freeze, thaw and THEN bake. Keeps them from getting mushy.

I have two options for how to cook your chicken so be sure to read through the instructions first to see how you want to attack the chicken. So, now that I’ve built this up…vamos! Lets make enchiladas!

INGREDIENTS

    • 4 medium sized chicken breasts
    • 1.5 cup chicken broth
    • 10  tortillas – small
    • 1 large onion diced
    • 4 small cans green chiles – chopped
    • 1 whole jalapeño – remove seeds and finely chop
    • 4 gloves of garlic finely chopped
    • 1 teaspoon paprika
    • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
    • 3 tbsp butter
    • 3 tbsp flour
    • 1 1/4 cup light sour cream
    • 1 cup Monterey jack cheese
    • 1 cup pepper jack cheese
    • salt and pepper to taste
    • Your favorite salsa (optional garnish/side)
    • chopped cilantro for garnish (about 3 tbsp)

Marinade for chicken breasts

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • Grated zest from 2 limes
  • Juice from 2 limes, about 1/3 cup
  • 1 cup of your favorite salsa
  • 3 Tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Mix marinade ingredients
  2. Poke fork holes in the chicken breasts
  3. Place chicken breasts and marinade in Ziploc bag or container with tight fitting lid.
  4. Turn/toss bag to coat chicken and let marinate for at least 3 hours, no more than 24 hours. If you don’t have time, just start marinading when you start cooking and that will just have to do.
  5. Heat grill to medium heat.
  6. Cook chicken until heated 165 degrees through. Takes about 7-10 minutes. Ensure its cooked through but not dry. Check often to ensure its not overcooked!
  7. Another option for cooking chicken if you don’t grill:
    • Simmer the non-marinated (plain) breasts in hot water on the stove-top. Pull from hot water when cooked. (You can pull the breasts out and cut them to see if they are done cooking, if not just toss back in the water until cooked – aka: no pink).
  8. Pull from grill (or hot water) and immediately shred. Using two dinner forks, pull and shred apart the chicken discarding any cartilage or fatty parts. (If you did the boil method, add in all the marinade ingredients to the shredded chicken). Set the shredded chicken aside.
  9. Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat
  10. Toss the onions, garlic and jalapeño and 2 cans of chiles in the skillet and cook for 4-5 minutes until onions and jalapeños are soft. Don’t burn the garlic!
  11. Remove 1/2 of the vegetables and place in a small bowl. You will use these in step 16.
  12. Add in chicken into the pan with the remaining 1/2 of veggies, and toss until all is mixed well. About 1 or 2 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside in another bowl.
  13. In same pan, melt the butter (medium heat). Sprinkle in flour and whisk until smooth.
  14. Slowly add in heavy cream, then 1 cup chicken broth and 1/2 tsp paprika.
  15. Add in the other 2 cans of green chiles and the rest of the paprika (1/2 tsp)
  16. Add in the cooked vegetables from step 12.
  17. Add in sour cream
  18. Add in 1/2 cup Monterey jack cheese
  19. If the sauce is too thick, pour in the remaining chicken broth and continue to stir until the sauce is a thick consistency.
  20. Stir until thick, melted and slightly bubbly.
  21. Toss in about 2 pinches of salt and about 1-2 tsp of pepper. (this is how I like it so you can add s&p for yourself and adjust as needed)
  22. Turn off heat and stir occasionally to prevent ‘milk film’ on top and to ensure it doesn’t stick to the bottom.
  23. Stack the 10 tortillas, wrap in damp paper towels and microwave for 30-45 seconds until heated through. Leave in microwave.

Assembly & baking of the enchiladas:

  1. Heat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Lightly oil the bottom of two baking pans, I used 9×13 glass
  3. Pull the tortillas from the microwave
  4. in the center of the tortilla place a small amount of cheese
  5. Top with the shredded chicken mixture
  6. Roll tightly and place seam side down in the baking dish
  7. Continue until all enchiladas are rolled
  8. Pour sauce over the enchiladas – be sure to slowly drizzle to cover all areas. You may have to lift one end of the pan and then the other to spread sauce around evenly if you missed a spot.
  9. Top each pan with the remaining cheese and place in oven
  10. Cook for 30 minutes
  11. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes
  12. Sprinkle chopped cilantro over enchiladas
  13. Serve with your favorite salsa on top!
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Grilling the chicken!

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Shredding the chicken

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Shredded chicken

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Cooking onion, jalapeño, and garlic

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Adding chicken and green chiles to the pan

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All chicken mix ingredients

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Cooking the sauce – butter and flour mix

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Adding chiles and paprika to the sauce

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Cheese on tortilla

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Adding chicken mix on top of cheese

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Enchiladas rolled, cheese covered, and baking

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Final product w/ cilantro on top!

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Final produce with a fresh grilled veggie salad

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Leftovers on Day #2. Reheated enchiladas with a fresh tomato on top!

Cedar Salmon w/ Apricot/Jalapeño/Mustard Glaze

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This is one of the first dishes I taught myself to make. It’s actually a recipe from Guy Fieri which I saw up on a TV show loooong ago. Yes. I am serious. Guy Fieri. That absurd host of Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives. His hair, his mannerisms, his personality are all off-the-charts ridiculous (“that’s a bitchin’ burrito bro”), BUT this recipe is very good so I guess underneath all of that craziness, he really does know what he’s talking about in the kitchen.

There was another first with this dish, as it was the first time I also cooked for my husband and of course the fish was WAY undercooked. Oopsie! I’ve improved my technique after some practice and am now sharing this delicious recipe with you. I use cedar planks in the oven which can cause some smoking – but I love the smell and cook with the doors open so that is ok with me. If you aren’t that interested in this plan, use an outdoor grill or you can skip the cedar planks.

INGREDIENTS:

  • Two salmon filets 5-6 ounces (skinned and boned)
  • 3/4 cup apricot preserves (you can also use sugar-free)
  • 2 tbsp whole grain mustard
  • 1 jalapeño sliced into rings
  • 1/2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • lemon zest
  • 2 small sprigs of rosemary
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cedar plank for every 2 filets of salmon

DIRECTIONS:

  • Cedar planks are optional – but if you chose to use them – soak them in your sink until ready to use
  • Heat oil in saute pan over medium heat
  • Begin to saute jalapeños until they become brown and caramelized – about 5 minutes
  • Add garlic and stir quickly – about 15 to 30 seconds – be sure not to let it brown
  • Add in white wine to deglaze the pan (deglazing removes caramelized bits/the “browned” bits from the bottom of your pan or skillet after cooking meats or vegetables.)
  • Stir for about 30 seconds to scrape up the bits
  • Add mustard and apricot preserves
  • Continue to stir and turn heat to medium/low. Continue to simmer the sauce for about 15 minutes
  • While mixture is simmering, prepare the cedar planks and heat your oven to 400 degrees. Place parchment paper on cedar plank and cut to fit. If not using cedar planks, line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Place salmon filets on the parchment paper – offset and end to end.
  • Top each salmon filet with a sprig of rosemary
  • After the mixture has finished simmering, top each salmon liberally with the sauce.
  • Cook for approximately 12 minutes or until internal temperature reads 135 to 140 degrees
  • Remove from oven and let rest for about 3 minutes
  • Pull off rosemary sprig and garnish w/ lemon zest. Serve immediately

I serve over mixed wild rice that is tossed with sautéed mushrooms, roasted chopped pecans and a bit of chopped rosemary. It’s a great way to ‘fancy up’ your regular rice. I also serve with a steamed veg to add in some vitamins. Enjoy!

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Sliced jalapeño and rosemary sprigs

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Salmon filets – topped with salt and peppe

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Jalapeño slices sautéing in pan

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Apricot jam and mustard added to deglazed jalapeño mixture.

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Apricot/mustard/jalapeño sauce simmering

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Salmon topped w/ rosemary sprig

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Salmon topped with the apricot sauce

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Final product!