Meatless “Enchiladas”

Ok, I put enchiladas in quotes because these really aren’t enchiladas. They are burritos with sauce. A true enchilada is made with corn tortillas. (Aren’t pet peeves weird?) Now that we’ve got that out of the way,this dish needs to be renamed “I’m SO good I should be an Enchilada!” The way I stuffed them, though, make them more of a burrito. While I was crushed for time and didn’t do it, these would go well with some Spanish rice and a Cesar salad. I’d love to mix up the filling, too. Add shrimp. Maybe some grilled steak. Or, add some sweet red bell pepper. Grab a margarita, get comfortable, and let’s go do this!

Ingredients

Sauce:

1 Tbs olive oil
1 6-oz can tomato paste
2 cups (up to 3) vegetable stock (you want a soup consistency)
¼ cup flour
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp chili powder (optional, I omit)
2 tsp ground cumin
Salt and pepper to taste

Enchiladas:

1 Tbs olive oil
1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed & drained
2 cups frozen corn, thawed
¼ cup cilantro (optional, I omit)
2 tsp ground cumin
12+/- fresh tortillas
3 cups Colby-Jack cheese (or cheddar)
Sour Cream for topping

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Preparation

Sauce:

In a saucepan, heat oil on medium. Add tomato paste, spices, and flour. Stir and cook 1 minute. Whisk in broth / stock and cook 8 minutes.

Enchiladas:

Preheat oven to 350°. Warm olive oil in pan. Sautee spinach& onions until spinach wilts slightly. In a large bowl, combine 2 cups cheese, beans, corn, cumin, and spinach mixture. Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of 9×13 pan. Cook tortillas. Dividing evenly, add mixture to tortillas and roll up. Pour sauce over enchiladas, and finish with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, until bubbly, about 20 minutes.

Top with sour cream, olives, tomatoes, lettuce. Whatever sounds good to you!

Serves: 10 – 12
Total time: 45 minutes

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*Derived from ButterWithAStickOfBread

Quick Chicken Pasta Dinner

I like to keep things around that I’m going to use a lot of.  I don’t want to, nor do I have the time to, run to the store before making dinner, lunch, or really, any meal.  Some people love going to the store before each meal.  I have a good friend that won’t plan the meals ahead because she doesn’t know what she’ll want for dinner on, say, Thursday.  I’m just the opposite.  I thrive on order.  Schedules are bliss to me.  Don’t get me wrong, I love spontaneity, but a last-minute trip wine tasting, not to Safeway.  So, I purchased a ginormous bag of Tyson Grilled and Ready, Frozen Grilled Chicken Breast Strips.  It’s great for last-minute enchiladas, pastas, taquitos, etc.  The problem came about, well, I don’t actually know how I got myself into this mess of chicken.  I think we were getting close to the end of the first bag, so our next trip to Sam’s Club, I grabbed another.  And on our next trip, yet another.  Even though we hadn’t 1) finished the first bag or 2) even opened the second bag.  For some reason I was all frenzied that we were going to somehow run out of the grilled chicken that I, quite frankly, kept forgetting I had so didn’t use it as much as I thought. This meal was planned several days ago (Sunday, to be exact) with that exact chicken in mind.  Because I know you are wondering, this pasta was made with the final portion of the first bag.  Yes, I still have TWO bags in the freezer.  Chicken anyone?? 

Ingredients:

1 Tbs olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups marinara sauce
2 cups water
1 pckg (9 oz) refrigerated fettuccine
1 bag (12 oz) frozen cut green beans, thawed.  You could really sub any vegetable here.  I’d love to try zucchini, summer squash, mushrooms.
2 cups cubed, cooked chicken
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation:

in large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add garlic; cooking about 30 seconds, until softened.  Stir in marinara sauce and water.  Cover, heat to boiling.  Add fettuccine, green beans; stir to separate fettuccine.  Return to boiling, cover and boil 3 to 5 minutes, or until beans are tender.

Stir in chicken, Cook 3 to 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, until chicken is heated.

Remove from heat.  Sprinkle with cheese.  Cover; let stand for about 2 minutes to melt cheese.

Wine Pairing Suggestions:

Fume Blanc
Sauvignon Blanc
Chinon, Loire
Cabernet Franc
Loire Valley, Red

Serves 6
Prep time: 20 Min; Total time: 25 min

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*Derived from Pillsbury

Slow Cooker Chicken with Cashews

Sometimes I think the slow cooker is a working family’s best friend. Or, almost like a built-in chef. You just have to do the prep work. What I like to do is get everything prepped the night before and put in zip lock bags in the refrigerator. Then, the next morning before I leave for work or the gym, I just have to put it all in the slow cooker and set the timer. There is nothing better than coming home and your house smells like dinner! It’s also nice if no one knows you are making dinner in the slow cooker, beat them home, and hide the slow cooker evidence. Everyone is so thrilled with all of the hard work that went into this wonderful meal that YOU get to put your feet up with a glass of wine while they do the dishes! But that’s our little secret

Cashew Chicken - Serving Bowl

Ingredients:

1 lb skinless boneless breasts, cut into 1″ pieces (I used thighs, it was what was in the freezer)
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth (I also replaced the water in the rice cooker with chicken broth, it added some creaminess to the flavor)
2 cups peeled baby carrots
4 Tbs ginger-flavored soy sauce (or reduced sodium soy sauce)*
8 oz snow peas, trimmed
2 (8 oz) cans pineapple tidbits, drained, with 2 Tbs juice reserved
1 red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
3 Tbs cornstarch
1/2 cup roasted cashews
3 cups hot cooked rice (optional)

Preparation:

In a 4-5 quart slow cooker, combine chicken, carrots, broth, and 2 Tbs of the soy sauce. Cover and cook on high for 3 hours or low for 5 hours. Stir in snow peas, pineapple, and bell pepper. Cover and cook for additional 20 minutes

During that last 20 minutes, in a small bowl combine remaining 2 Tbs soy sauce, the reserved pineapple juice, and the cornstarch. Stir into slow cooker. Stir in cashews, Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until liquid is thickened. If serving with rice, this is the perfect time to get the rice cooker going.

*Try to get the ginger-flavored if you can, it is really worth it and adds a wonderful dimension to the dish

Serves 6

Prep time: 15 minutes, Slow Cooker time: 3 1/2 – 5 1/2 hours

Cashew Chicken - Served

*From Family Circle via Recipe.com magazine