Roasted Poblano Salsa Chicken Enchiladas

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First of all, Happy St. Patrick’s Day! I have a very non-Irish dinner idea for tonight.

One thing my husband will readily tell you is that I’ve never been the cleanest cook. There’s a reason the dogs in this house hang around in the kitchen if I’m working in there. Nonetheless, please tell me I am not the only person who gets cilantro EVERYWHERE whenever I try to use it in my kitchen. Chopping it is the worst. I swear I’ll find it for days after I thought I had cleaned it up. I thought I would be smart making the salsa for these enchiladas and just add it to my blender straight off the bunch. I was going to blend it anyway, right? No, there was still cilantro on the floor and somehow on the opposite kitchen counter…

This becomes a real problem for me as Mexican/southwest flavors are some of my favorite things for dinner.

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Enter these enchiladas from Iowa Girl Eats. I wish you could even just smell this salsa over the blog world. So. Good. I warmed up a leftover enchilada for lunch this week, and all of my coworkers were wondering what smelled so good!

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The entirety of this dish does take a little bit to put together. First, you make the salsa, then cook the chicken, grate the cheese (ugh, but worth it), assemble, and bake. I really think the salsa is what makes this dish. I almost can’t wait to make this again this summer with some garden tomatoes as it was great with mid-March grocery store tomatoes. Don’t substitute traditional enchilada sauce here. It isn’t hard and is worth the time. Find a day/weekend where you can set aside time to make it. I promise you won’t regret it!

I’m sure you could make these quicker by making the salsa and chicken ahead of time. IGE recommends that it can be made up to 3 days in advance, but I’m finding myself wondering if it would be freezable as that would make the time commitment for this next to nothing (probably almost a 30 minute meal).

Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Roasted Poblano Salsa Chicken Enchiladas
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

Ingredients:
For the Roasted Poblano Salsa:
1-2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
4 vine-ripened tomatoes
1 poblano pepper
1 small red onion, peeled and halved
1 head garlic, top 1/4-inch sliced off to reveal cloves
1/4 cup packed cilantro
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbsp. salt
1-2 tsp. black pepper

For the Enchiladas:
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/2 – 1 tsp. garlic salt
1/2 – 1 tsp. black pepper
8-10 fajita-sized whole wheat tortillas
8oz freshly shredded Queso Quesadilla (by refrigerated tortillas at the store)

For the Cucumber Pico de Gallo:
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 jalapeño, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, minced
1 lime, juiced
salt and pepper to taste

For the salsa, preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick spray. Add tomatoes, poblano pepper, and onion to the baking sheet then brush with extra virgin olive oil to coat. Place the head of garlic in the middle of a smaller piece of foil and drizzle generously with olive oil. Seal the garlic into a pouch of foil and place on the baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, flipping everything but the garlic halfway through. Decrease the heat on the oven to 350 degrees.

Once cool enough to handle, transfer the tomatoes and onion to a food processor or blender. Cut the top off the poblano pepper and remove any seeds and membranes. Add to the blender. Squeeze all of the garlic cloves out into the blender (they should be soft). Add cilantro, lime juice, 1 Tbsp. salt, and 1 tsp. black pepper. Process until smooth then taste and add more salt and/or pepper if desired.

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, onions, garlic salt, and black pepper and sauté until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside.

Spray a baking dish with non-stick spray. Spread 1/4 to 1/2 cup of the prepared salsa into the bottom of the dish. Wrap each tortilla with a scoop of the chicken, 1-2 Tbsp. of salsa, and 1-2 Tbsp. shredded cheese. Place seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat until all the ingredients have been used. Cover the enchiladas with salsa; you may have some salsa leftover. Top the enchiladas with the remaining cheese and eat the remaining salsa with chips if desired.

Spray a large piece of foil with non-stick spray and cover the baking dish (with spray-side down). Bake for 20 minutes. Switch oven to broil, remove the foil, and cook 2-3 minutes longer or until the cheese begins to brown. Remove from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes after baking.

While the enchiladas are baking, add the remaining chopped tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeño, onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt, and pepper to a small bowl. Toss to combine. Top each enchilada serving with a scoop of pico de gallo.

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Meal Plan – Week 1

Well, hello there blog world! It’s been quite awhile!

Life has gone on a little since I last regularly updated this little blog. I’ve moved. Across several states. Twice. Completed two half-Ironman distance triathlons and one full Ironman. With the new Ironman tattoo to prove it. The first of these lead to the ultimate demise of my blog. Turns out when you’re working full time and training 8-10 hours (or 14-16 for the full Ironman) a week you end up hungry. Really, really hungry. And you don’t really care what the food you’re eating looks like (definitely not photo ready) or how “original” the recipe was. If it’s food, you eat it!

In all honesty, I’m lucky I remembered the password to this darn thing… But here I am. I’m hoping to get back in the swing of things with a few recipes a week as well as a few non-recipe pieces including our weekly menu ideas. So without further ado, the food 🙂

A bit about our meal plan philosophy. The hubbs and I meal plan to an extent, however we are not rigid about it. We typically will pick out 4-5 recipes per week which and make whichever recipe happens to sound good that day. The other days are supplemented by leftovers, about 1 dinner out per week, and standard staples we keep around the house. We often turn to these staple meals on the days where we’re either too busy and/or too tired (read: triathlete on the verge of hangry if I’m not fed now nights). Most of these things aren’t really “blog worthy”, but I can elaborate as they come up.

On our list for this week:

Grilled steaks with grilled asparagus

Roasted Poblano Salsa Chicken Enchiladas -The Iowa Girl Eats
(recipe and photo credit to IGE)

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BBQ chicken and veggie pizza – The Cookin’ Chemist original (Although not yet posted. This is slightly different that the other BBQ chicken pizza I have referenced)

Greek pitas – Also The Cookin’ Chemist original, although this isn’t much of a recipe

Unstuffed Pepper Skillet – The Garlic Diaries
(recipe and photo credit to The Garlic Diaries)

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Cheers to getting back in this game!

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas

chicken and spinach taquitos topped

Hello all! It’s been awhile. Sorry about that!

Here’s a snapshot of our lives recently: I was in a car accident on the freeway and totaled my Beetle. Thankfully, everyone was fine, with the exception of some wicked burns on my arm from the airbags (The nurses at work dressed my arm as soon as they saw it. Love them!). Car shopping. Definitely not my favorite, although I am happy to report that we finally found one! Eating. Always eating. We never forget that. Preparing for my first triathlon. I completed a sprint, the hubbs an Olympic, and I am proud to say we did pretty well. Now if someone can teach us how to swim faster, we’ll be set. We can both manage the distance, but swim so SLOW!

So back to the  blog. I have some fun things in tow this week. Several Mexican themed recipes. We love Mexican/Southwestern flavors, so giving me an excuse to cook this way only results in us having tacos/burritos/enchiladas/quesadillas almost every night. Hey, no one here is complaining yet. Also in tow is the next chocolate chip cookie bake-off. Should be a good week! 🙂

chicken and spinach taquitos from the side

chicken and spinach taquitos

This recipe from Healthy. Delicious. is actually one that has appeared in my kitchen more than once. The spices. The flavors. These babies just work. The chicken here is simmered in beer before being shredded and mixed with the seasonings. This isn’t the first time I’ve mixed beer with my Mexican dishes. I swear. It makes the best meat! I even swapped out the chicken thighs for chicken breast and it still works. Even if you don’t like to drink beer. Do it. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas
From Healthy. Delicious.

Ingredients:
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
16 oz. beer (or chicken broth, but use the beer!)
2 cups water
1 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 jalapeno pepper, minced
3 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
6-8 large whole wheat tortillas (may need fewer or more depending on the size)
6 oz. Mexican-blend or Pepper-Jack cheese, shredded
cooking spray
Salsa, non-fat plain Greek yogurt for serving (or sour cream).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Spray a large baking sheet with non-stick spray. Set aside.

Place the chicken in a deep sided saute pan and cover with beer and water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for around 10 minutes or until the chicken is cooked through. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred, but keep the cooking liquid. In a separate small bowl, mix together the seasonings (paprika through chili powder). Mix with the shredded chicken.

Pour out all but 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the jalapeno and spinach. Cook over low heat for about 2-3 minutes or until the spinach has wilted.

Using whole tortillas, spoon a small amount of chicken closer to one side of the tortilla (1/3 of the way across). Top with spinach and cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place seem-side down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining filling. Spray the other sides of the rolled flautas with nonstick spray.

Bake for 8-10 minutes, turn and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until crispy. Watch them closely as they’ll go from baked to burning quickly depending on your tortillas and oven. Serve with salsa and non-fat plain Greek yogurt (or sour cream).

Roasted Sweet Potato, Pinto Bean, and Swiss Chard Tacos

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Let’s talk about sweet potatoes for a second. So sometime within the last year or so, I have came to realize that the vegetable that most of us consider a “sweet potato” is actually a yam. Yes, the huge orange root vegetable that we often develop into casseroles around Thanksgiving and is popping up everywhere (even Sonic?) in fry and tot form is a yam. Apparently, there is a vegetable that is really a sweet potato, although I had never actually consumed it until this week. Sweet potatoes by the correct name are actually a pale yellow, cream color.

All of this back information aside, I was hoping to make roasted sweet potato tacos (sweet potatoes as in the yam variety) this week. The hubbs was headed to the store, so 1-1/2 lbs. of sweet potatoes went down on the list. So what did he came home with? Of course, this week of all weeks was the time the store actually carried real sweet potatoes and had them labeled as such. Guess I really got true sweet potatoes!

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Grocery store stories aside. These tacos are some of the best vegetarian tacos I have made. Roasted sweet potatoes mixed with taco seasoning combined with pinto beans and sauteed Swiss chard. Quick. Filling. Healthy. Love it. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Roasted Sweet Potato, Pinto Bean, and Swiss Chard Tacos
Adapted from Joanne Bruno’s recipe on Marcus Samuelsson’s Blog

Ingredients:
1-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes
1 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning
juice 1 lemon
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 can pinto beans, rinsed
1 large bunch Swiss chard, stems removed and roughly chopped
1 tsp. paprika
salt and pepper
Cojita cheese, crumbled
corn tortillas

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Peel the potatoes and chop them into 1/2-inch pieces. Place in a medium bowl and mix with 1 tablespoon olive oil, lemon juice, and taco seasoning. Roast for 18-20 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and starting to brown on the edges.

Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the Swiss chard and cook until wilted, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the paprika and season with salt and pepper. Mix in the beans. Cook another 1 to 2 minutes or until heated through.

Top the tortillas with the potatoes and then the Swiss chard mixture. Sprinkle Cojita cheese over the top. Enjoy.

Barbacoa Beef (Chipotle Copycat)

barbacoa beef in a bowl2

Back when my husband and I were undergrads, we actually had a pretty standard date night. Chipotle burritos + Cold Stone as dessert. Guess I was a relatively cheap date?!? How I was able to ingest that much food at one time, I am not sure. Oh to be young and on a sports team again! 🙂

These days, we still occasionally end up at Chipotle, although I’ve switched my preference to the burrito bowls (more room for toppings!). The thing that has not changed is my love for the barbacoa beef. It is SO GOOD! A couple of weeks ago, my husband was in charge of groceries for the week and came across a recipe from the Food Network that claimed to be a copycat of Chipotle’s barbacoa.  I have not done a side-by-side comparison with Chipotle’s barbacoa, but I can tell you that this recipe is awesome.

The recipe is your basic crockpot recipe and could not be easier. You brown the meat on each side and throw it in the crockpot with some Southwestern seasonings. I promise your house will smell incredible while this is cooking. One note about the chipotle peppers. I find that the heat level of the dish can get out of hand rather quickly with chipotle peppers. If you know you’re not in it for spice, you may want to add fewer peppers. Taking out the seeds also helps. Shred the meat once it is cooked, and you’re ready for dinner. I served ours like my favorite chipotle order – burrito bowl style with brown cilantro lime rice, black beans, sauteed veggies (to the crisp-tender stage), a bit of cheese, and some plain Greek yogurt. I had to take the pictures before I loaded on all my toppings because after I got everything in the bowl,  you couldn’t really see the meat. 🙂 That said, a burrito bowl is just our method, and this meat could be used in a million ways! Tacos, enchiladas, tostadas, burritos. Don’t even get me started on possible toppings. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Barbacoa Beef (Chipotle Copycat)
Adapted from The Food Network

Ingredients:
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
3 Tbsp. lime juice
3-4 chipotle peppers in adobo
4-5 garlic cloves, minced
4 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. ground black pepper
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
2 tsp. canola oil
3/4 cup low-sodium chicken broth
3 bay leaves
4-5 lbs. chuck roast

To make the adobo sauce, combine the vinegar, lime juice, chipotle chiles, garlic cumin, oregano, black pepper, salt, and cloves in a blender on high speed until smooth. Set aside.

Warm the canola oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Trim any large pieces of fat from the roast. Cut the roast into 4-6 large pieces. Brown the meat on each side and place in the crockpot. Pour the adobo sauce over the meat. Add the chicken broth and bay leaves. Cook on high for 6 hours or all day on low. The meat will fall apart when cooked through.

When the meat is finished cooking, shred with two forks. Return the meat to the adobo sauce remaining in the crockpot. Serve or use as desired.

Chicken Tamale Pie

chicken tamale pie whole

3.14. It’s Pi Day!

I am so excited to share this recipe with you. First of all, it is comfort food in its finest. Comfort food that will not break your diet. What’s not to love? Second, I actually have a “pi” for Pi Day! It is rare that I am aware of a foodie holiday early enough that I can have a recipe prepared in time to post. I know this makes me a little bit of a nerd (and my husband would definitely agree), but I promised myself I would find something to share for Pi Day. Mine may not be of the sweet variety, but I would definitely say it counts!

As I eluded to above, this meal is definitely warm, filling, and satisfying. First, you prepare a “cornbread” crust and layer that with enchilada sauce, shredded chicken, and cheese. While it sounds like a diet bust, as long as you control the amount of cheese, none of the ingredients are too unhealthy. Served with a green salad or other veggie on the side, it makes a pretty balanced meal.

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chicken tamale pie serving

The recipe is originally from Pinch of Yum. I updated it a little for us, mostly making the cornbread crust from scratch. I tend not to keep baking mixes in my pantry, and I promise you probably already have most of the individual ingredients to make the cornbread on hand anyway. One thing to note, don’t expect the crust to be of the same texture as normal cornbread by itself. With the creamed corn and being baked underneath the chicken mixture, the cornbread crust comes out “wetter” than it were if it were cornbread alone. Different, but still delicious in my opinion.

If you’re still looking for dinner plans, join me in celebrating Pi Day and try this out. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Chicken Tamale Pie
Adapted from Pinch of Yum

Ingredients:
1/3 cup fat free milk (I used almond milk. It’s all I had)
1 egg
1-1/2 Tbsp. homemade taco seasoning (or a packet, but try making it at home), divided
1/4 tsp. dried red pepper flakes
1 (14.75 oz) can cream-style corn
2/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow cornmeal
3 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. canola oil
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chiles
1 (10 oz) can red enchilada sauce
2 cups shredded cooked chicken breast
3/4 cup shredded cheese (Mexican blend, Monterey Jack, cheddar, or whatever you have)
cilantro, chopped for topping

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray. Set aside.

Combine the first 12 ingredients (milk through the green chiles) in a medium sized mixing bowl, using only 1/2 tablespoon of the taco seasoning. Stir only until just barely combined. Some pieces of flour/cornmeal may remain. Transfer the mixture to the prepared pie plate. Bake for 20-30 minutes or until set, starting to brown on the edges, and a toothpick inserted just comes out clean. Do not let it bake too long, as it will continue to bake once topped with the chicken mixture.

While the cornbread is baking, combine the chicken with the remaining 1 tablespoon of taco seasoning. When the cornbread is finished baking, pierce all over the surface with a fork. Pour the enchilada sauce over the cornbread. Top with the chicken and the cheese. Bake for about 15 minutes or until the cheese melts and the dish is bubbly. Remove from the oven and let stand for 5 minutes. Top with cilantro if desired.

Black Bean and Tomato Soup

black bean and tomato soup with bread

I feel like I have to share a quick little story that precedes this cookbook. Back in October, I ran a half-marathon with a couple of my college girlfriends, and we all stayed at one of the girl’s apartment (it was kind of like the old time sleepovers, lots of fun!). Anyway, the girl we were staying with end up giving me a cookbook she had laying around (this Skinny Bitch cookbook) stating that she never uses it anyway. Awesome! I was pretty excited about checking out the new recipes and ended up paging through it in the airport on the way home. Given the title, I tried to keep the book covered up pretty well but apparently did not do it well enough as one of the ladies sitting beside me at the terminal commented on the “language” of my book. Oops…

“Language” aside, this is a really interesting book. While I do not follow a vegan or vegetarian diet, we do eat meals that fall into each of those categories with some regularity. In fact, I knew as soon as I paged through the soups that this section alone would be reason enough to own this book. When I got home, I actually gave it to my husband to page through and pick out a recipe. He actually dove right into the soup section as well, so we must have been on the same page! Black bean and tomato soup is was.

black bean and tomato soup

The beauty of this soup is it’s simplicity. It is not my first black bean-related soup on this blog, but has it’s own advantages. The first is that this is absolutely weeknight friendly. It comes together really quick, and allows you to prep anything else you may be doing during that 15 minute simmer time. One of the others is that the 2 cans of beans in here actually give this soup some staying power. I love soup, but I hate it when I’ve brought a vegetable-based soup for lunch at work and I end up hungry 2 hours later. As far as the recipe goes, I followed it almost exactly, swapping only small things that I had in my kitchen. The soup itself is absolutely something we will make again, so thanks for the new cookbook Kelcey! I’ll try to keep the title a little more conspicuous next time 🙂 Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Black Bean and Tomato Soup
Adapted slightly from Skinny Bitch: Ultimate Everyday Cookbook

Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
2 (15 oz) cans low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 (28 oz) can stewed tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
3 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 cup water
1 tsp. dried oregano
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
juice of 1/2 lime (1-2 tablespoons)
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. green onions, chopped
1 Tbsp. cilantro, chopped

Heat the oil in a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until it starts to soften. Add the garlic and red bell pepper and saute another 30 seconds. Add the chili powder and cumin and stir to combine. Add the black beans, tomatoes, corn, broth, water, oregano, red pepper flakes, and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and continue to simmer for about 15 minutes.

Transfer half the soup to a blender or food processor, let cool slightly. Blend until smooth. Add this back to the remaining soup in the stockpot. Alternately, you can use an immersion blender in the stockpot (with all the soup in the pot) and blend until about 1/2 of the vegetable pieces have been pureed. With the soup back in the stockpot, add the lime juice and sale. Stir and simmer for about 5 more minutes. Garnish with the green onion and cilantro.

Green Goddess Enchiladas

green goddess enchiladas baked

Meals like this are something I turn to when I feel like I need a detox. This past weekend? Well, we’ll just say there may or may not have been some fried macaroni & cheese balls consumed. And while they were absolutely worth every bite, it’s just something I just can’t do every day. Bring on the fresh, wholesome food!

This recipe comes from Joanne at Eats Well with Others. Truthfully, the first time I made these I had some reservations about how the sauce would end up. There really was no reason to be worried, and it’s a recipe that has been repeated more than once around here. Even if it’s not so photogenic, these have become one of our favorite types of enchiladas. Rather than a traditional enchilada sauce, the tortillas are topped with a mixture of blended broth, kale, Greek yogurt, green chiles, and scallions. I promise you really won’t taste “greens” in the final dish. As a note, the mixture will be thin after you first blend it, but it condenses well in the oven to form almost a second layer over the tortillas.

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I usually stay pretty true to Joanne’s recipe when I make these, subbing only canned beans for the dried to aid in the preparation time and upping the amount of chopped green chiles. It is a pretty simple process, and most of the time spent is actually bake time. One thing I can tell you about this dish is that it is totally a stick-to-your-ribs meal! Leftovers for lunch are great because if I eat this at noon, I’ll actually make it to a respectable dinner time before I’m ravenous (I mean really, anyone else always get hungry at 3:00pm?). Healthy + filling. Do I really need to convince you any more? Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Green Goddess Enchiladas
From Eats Well with Others (originally adapted from Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice)

Ingredients:
1 cup canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), can used dried beans that have been soaked and cooked until tender
1 small onion, diced
1 (10 oz) can diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained
1 cup frozen corn
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese (Cabot brand is what I like)
10-12 corn tortillas
1-3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
1 cup nonfat Greek yogurt
1 bunch kale, tough stems removed
1 (7 oz) can chopped green chiles, drained
2 scallions, chopped

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9×13-inch baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Saute chickpeas, onion, corn, chopped tomatoes with green chiles, oregano, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon black pepper for 5-6 minutes or until all the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated, stirring often. Remove the mixture from the heat. Stir in 1/2 of of the grated cheese and set aside.

In a blender or food processor, add the vegetable broth, yogurt, kale, green chiles, and scallions. Lightly cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with about 1/2 cup of the sauce.

Cover the corn tortillas with a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds to warm. Fill each tortilla with a scant 1/2 cup of filling and roll tightly. Place in the baking dish seam-side down. If any filling remains, layer on top of the rolled tortillas or set aside for another use. Pour the remaining kale sauce evenly over the tortillas. Top with the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until the sauce is thickened and bubbly. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.

SRC: Pork Carnitas

pork carnitas in shells

After a break to allow everyone to enjoy December with their families, The Secret Recipe Club is back! Being in Group A, it’s been almost 2 months since I’ve posted with the group. Bring on 2013!

My blogger this month was Anne from Authentic Simplicity. Anne has a lot of ideas for a wide variety of recipes. I have made things from her site before, so I was excited to scope out a new recipe for SRC. Truthfully, it didn’t take me long. I couldn’t get past this pork carnitas recipe. How can you pass up a recipe the author states she makes almost every time she buys a pork roast? There are only bonus points for the fact that it’s a dump and cook recipe for the crockpot!

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I stayed pretty true to the recipe, although I bought a relatively lean pork roast at the store, trimming off any large sections of fat at home before I cooked it. The only other thing I added was a pinch or so of red pepper flakes for just a bit of heat. I can tell you that this smelled SO GOOD when it was cooking. My husband even came in and asked what I was up to in the kitchen. For me, what really makes this meat is the cinnamon. A spice that I never would have added into this mix on my own. It is so good on this meat. We enjoyed the meat layered in baked taco shells, and I can tell you we will be making this again. Thanks Anne for a keeper recipe at this house!

(Printable Recipe)

Pork Carnitas
Adapted slightly from Authentic Simplicity

Ingredients:
3-4 lb. lean pork roast, large pieces of fat trimmed
1/2 onion, chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. dried cilantro
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. paprika
pinch red pepper flakes
2-4 bay leaves (I used 3)
2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

Place the roast in the slow cooker. Pour the broth over the meat. Add the onion, garlic, and spices. Mix a little to combine. Cook on high for about 4-6 hours depending on the size of the roast. When the meat is done, it will shred easily with a fork. Shred the whole roast adding just a little cooking liquid back into the meat to keep it moist. Serve as desired. The meat can be used for nachos, enchiladas, tacos, tostadas, etc.

Chicken and Avocado Enichiladas

Hope you all had a great Thanksgiving weekend. I missed the Friday Favorites last week due to my parents being in town, but I’ll be back on schedule this week. I worked Thanksgiving Day, so we just had a smaller meal consisting of soup, homemade bread, and definitely desserts! It was kind of nice to have Thanksgiving on a smaller scale, but I am missing those turkey leftovers. I think the leftovers may be my favorite part of the Thanksgiving meal!

If you are lucky enough to have leftovers, I’m sure you could swap the chicken in these for some of that leftover turkey. In fact, if you have turkey, I would be more than willing to take some of it so I can make these again! Avocado, cilantro, peppers, and Monterey Jack cheese. That list should speak for itself. These are good. Definitely in the running for favorite enchilada dish around here!

The recipe for these comes from Gimmie Some Oven, and I made them largely as written. My only swaps were small – plain Greek yogurt in place of sour cream and whole wheat tortillas. My other addition was to add a little shredded cheese on top of the dish. If you do this, be careful with the foil. In fact, you may want to spray the bottom of it with nonstick spray or much of your melty cheese may stick to the foil. Not that I would know… 🙂

Chicken or turkey. Greek yogurt or sour cream. You won’t regret making these. Enjoy!

(Printable Recipe)

Chicken Avocado Enchiladas
Adapted slightly from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients:
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
2 poblano peppers, seeded and stemmed, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and stemmed, diced
8-10 (I had a little filling left) whole wheat tortillas
4 cups shredded cooked chicken (or turkey)
2-3 cups Shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

Avocado Cream Sauce:
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (or stock)
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 avocados, peeled and pitted
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
juice of 1 lime

For the avocado cream sauce, melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat. Add flour, whisking until golden brown and bubbly, about 2-3 minutes. Slowly whisk the broth into the flour mixture. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the Greek yogurt, cumin, salt, garlic powder, and pepper. Whisk as necessary to remove any lumps. Remove from the heat and transfer the mixture to a heat-safe bowl. Add avocado, cilantro, and lime juice. Blend using an immersion blender until smooth. Alternately, you can let the mixture cool slightly and then blend in a traditional blender.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9×13 inch pan. In another skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, and jalapeno, and saute for 5-6 minutes until the onions become translucent. Remove from heat. Mix in the shredded chicken. 

Spread a little avocado sauce over the bottom of the prepared pan. To assemble the enchiladas, place a tortilla on a flat surface. Spread some avocado sauce on the top 1/3 of the tortilla. Top with the chicken mixture and shredded cheese. Repeat until the pan is full or you have used all the filling. Spread the remaining avocado sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Top with remaining shredded cheese. Spray a piece of foil with nonstick spray and cover the pan with the spray-side down. Bake for 20 minutes or until the dish is heated through and the tortillas being to harden. Serve and enjoy.