Monday, January 30, 2012

Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Growing up one of my favorite dishes that my mom made me was an Enchilada Casserole. I absolutely love this dish now because you really can make it as healthy as you want or as unhealthy as you want by how much sauce and cheese you choose to put on it. Here is the recipe.

- Green Enchilada sauce
- corn tortillas
- shredded chicken
- canned green chilis
- chopped yellow onion
- shredded cheese

Use a deep baking pan. Start by putting a little bit of sauce on the bottom of the pan, then layer the ingredients in order; chicken, then green chilis, chopped yellow onion, and shredded cheese. Top the shredded cheese with some more sauce and then continue the same process all over again until you reach the height that you want. Always finish with a little bit of sauce on the top. Bake at 350 degrees. Everything in the dish is already cooked so baking is purely just to heat everything up until the cheese is bubbling on top.

*You can also make beef enchiladas as well. My family always used green enchilada sauce for the chicken enchiladas and red enchilada sauce for beef enchiladas.

*Make this dish quick and easy by buying pre-chopped onions and pre-shredded cheese. Also, boil down your chicken and shred it the night before in order to make it easy to complete the dish.

Hope you all like it! one of my very favorites. Have a great day!

Monday, January 23, 2012

4 ways to BOOST the FLAVOR in your healthy dishes

It is often said that healthy dishes are bland and flavorless. However, that does not always have to be the case. Here are 4 ways that you can boost the flavor of your dish without sacrificing the health benefits to it.

1. Rock the guac.
Guacamole is filled with flavor and is a great way to add a little extra kick to a dish. Sure, guacamole has got fat, but the source of fat is the heart healthy monounsaturated fat that comes from the avocados. Avocados are filled with nearly 20 vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients that are important to include in our diet.

2. Up the mustard
Mustard is not just for hot dogs! You can add mustard to your tuna salad which brings a puckery pop and enables you to use less mayo. Mustard mixed with a few other things can make a great addition to your dish to enhance the flavor, here are some ideas. A quick marinade for beef or pork: mix 1 tablespoon each sugar, mustard, and olive oil with 2 tablespoons each cider vinegar and soy sauce. Or for some steamed shrimp: instead of butter or tartar, boost the flavor with a tangy sauce made from swirling together 1 tablespoon each mustard and olive oil, 2 tablespoons rice vinegar, and a touch of honey.

3. Use fresh herbs
The flavor of your dish can be enhanced simply by using fresh herbs rather than dried herbs. For example, fresh rosemary on your potatoes is very tasty.

4. Do the salsa
Salsa is a great flavor booster and in addition, just 1/2 cup serving counts for a serving of fruit or vegetables. You can use salsa to add flavor to your egg dishes, toss it in a green salad, or you can substitute the pizza sauce on your homemade pizza with drained salsa combined with 2% cheese, black beans and corn on top of a whole wheat crust.

Dont be afraid to experiment with these four flavor boosters. You never know, you may find something that you fall in love with!! Have a great week.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Corn, Bacon, Potato Chowder

Here is an easy soup recipe packed with veggies!  It calls for Canadian bacon, but would also be tasty with shredded chicken (rotisserie chicken would be really easy) or ham.  You can also buy pre cut veggies to save some extra time; however chopping your own will save you money.

Here is what you will need:

1 medium sized baking potato
1 large shallot, diced (1/2 large onion would work too)
1-2 stalks of celery, diced (I only used one because I am not a huge fan, but you couldn't taste it)
1 red bell pepper, diced
4 oz (about 4 slices) uncooked Canadian bacon
2 cups of frozen corn (the original recipe called for corn shucked off the cob - I'm far too lazy for that)
Olive oil
2 cups skim milk

Start by poking some holes in your potato and place in the microwave for about 8 minutes.  Meanwhile, get everything chopped.



Bell Pepper...

Canadian bacon...

Once potato is done, remove from the microwave, cool enough to touch it, remove skin and mash with a fork.

In a large sauce pan, combine shallots, celery, bell pepper and corn.  Saute for about 5 minutes or so in olive oil.

Add bacon and milk.

Add mashed potato and mix well.  Season with pepper to taste.  The original recipe also called for hot pepper sauce, something like tabasco I am assuming, but since I don't do spicy I left it out!

Cover and simmer for 10 minutes or so.  Make sure it doesn't boil - don't want to burn the milk - it won't be pleasant!