Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chicken-Green Enchilda Casserole

This is one of my family's favorite meals. One of our go to recipes no matter the season. We have made it for new mothers, for friends that have come over for dinner, and in a dinner swap adapted to be gluten and dairy free. It really is a wonderful meal. It can be frozen and it is good left over.

The original recipe that I have in my recipe binder, that S lovingly made for me, was torn from a Cooking Light magazine many years ago. It was originally a recipe featured in their "inspired vegetarian" section. I am going to include the original vegetarian recipe, and then my family's adaptation.

Chicken-Green Chile Enchilada Casserole
The "chicken" strips add 8.3 grams of soy protein and 3 grams of fiber to each serving without any fat.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
2 (6-ounce) packages meatless fat-free chicken strips (such as Lightlife Smart Menu), chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 (10-ounce) cans green chile enchilada sauce
Cooking spray
14 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into quarters
1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) pre-shredded reduced fat Mexican blend cheese, divided 
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chiles; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chopped chicken strips.

3. Combine cumin, chili powder, and enchilada sauce in a separate container. Pour 1/3 of sauce mixture into a 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. 

Arrange 1/2 of tortilla quarters over sauce mixture. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup Mexican blend cheese; top with 1/3  of sauce mixture. 

Top with remaining tortillas and sauce mixture. Bake at 375 deg. for 15 minutes. 

Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese, bake an additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. 
Yields 8 servings.

For my family, we use boneless, skinless chicken breast. I use 2 and cut them into one inch cubes. I then gently cook them in some oil for about 5-10 minutes until they are cooked just through. Sometimes I shred the chicken with 2 forks and sometimes I just add it in cubed  to the the garlic/onion/pepper mixture once it is cooked.

The other thing  I do differently is to reduce the chili powder to 1/4 teaspoon. This way I know my children will eat it. They can admittedly be a little wimpy when it comes to spices!

We usually serve it with sour cream and chips and salsa. Occasionally we will add a side of fruit or a simple salad.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Pork-Based Diet

I have a couple friends who eat "Plant-Based Diets." I think it means vegan-ish. As in, "I'm pretty much a vegan but I'm not too obnoxious about it." (Don't get your feathers in a ruffle. I'm sure You are not an obnoxious vegan. Further, I have loved most vegans I've met and known.) Whenever I think of the term plant-based, my head always turns it into pork-based. I daydream about meeting someone at a party and, when they tell me they eat a plant-based diet, my eyes light up and I tell them that I totally relate because I eat a pork-based diet.

 Not that I really like pork. It doesn't have a good taste to me. I like my pork heavily salted (Bacon!) or I've recently discovered I can eat some pork loin if it has strong flavors. This recipe below is one my family really likes. And I tolerate.

1. Crock Pot Pulled Pork
1 pork shoulder cut (butt or picnic), weighing 3-4 pounds
1-2 tablespoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon of black pepper
1-2 tablespoons of granulated garlic or garlic powder
6 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
The juice of one lime
1 onion, sliced or chopped
1 bay leaf

Mix together salt, cumin, black pepper and granulated garlic. Juice the lime over the seasonings and rub the mixture all over the pork. Use a knife to slice six thin cuts in the pork and push each fresh garlic clove securely inside each cut. Place the onion and bay leaf in the bottom of the crock pot and pork on top. Cook on low for about 8 hours. (Great one to put on before work, and then it’s ready for you when you get home!)

Thursday, May 9, 2013


Look on the internet and you will find lots of recipes for kombucha. Rachel, from Small Notebook, has the clearest directions for homemaking kombucha that I have found. It really is a lot of fun if you haven't tried it. Before I began making my own kombucha, I saved up my G.T.'s kombucha bottles. I use those to store my individual batches of kombucha. It would be fun to buy the home-brewing bottles that Rachel uses though. Maybe one day.

How to Make your Own Kombucha.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Meatloaf from Paleo Musings

Tonight I made this meatloaf for the second time. It has been a huge hit both times I've served it to my family. The recipe comes from the 3/11/12 post on Paleo Musings titled Heavenly Paleo Meatloaf. The first time I made it, I used only pork. Tonight I used one pound of pork and three pounds of beef.

Monday, May 6, 2013

Quinoa Cakes from The Whole Foods Diner

Tonight I made Quinoa Cakes. I thought they were delicious. I'd say my children were about half in agreement to liking them. In my opinion, that isn't bad for a first time offering.

The recipe comes from The Whole Foods Diner, their 4/15/13 post titled Meatless Mondays : Quinoa Cakes. I left out the onions because I didn't want my children to be afraid; I think onions would have made these great cakes even better.


I hope to use this blog as an organizational tool to help me better meal plan and feed my family. Still hoping to use minimal sugar and gluten, this will be an everyday-type, all-encompassing menu blog. Therefore, I will be using categories to try to keep things organized : Season, meal, focus, and possibly even main ingredients.

Some of the categories I am going to start out with are:
gluten free
refined sugar free
dairy free