Chicken Enchiladas – Tahoe Meal Prep #1

This is our 3rd or 4th summer Tahoe trip and making most meals ahead of time is getting easier and easier. I’m (finally) preparing our food in aluminum cook-and-carry pans. The plan is to be able to toss them in the recycling bin before we return. Anything to make life easier and enjoy vacation even more. In keeping with that spirit, I found another way to cut a step of the process. A new product I found was shredded rotisserie chicken at Safeway.  I would like to say that I pop several chicken breasts or thighs in the instant pot and shred and freeze them, ready to have on hand. But I don’t. Don’t get me wrong, that’s a great idea, just not sure where or how to add it to my “To do” list. Truth be told, I don’t even want to!

When you’re craving enchiladas, give these a try! Let me know how it goes, what you would do different, any changes you make, or any shortcuts I might have missed. I’m always on the lookout for new ideas.  ¡Salud!

Shredded Chicken

Shredded Chicken

Ingredients:

1 lb cooked, diced chicken (or any diced meat of your choice, even black beans)
2 cups Quick and Easy Enchilada Sauce
½ tsp garlic powder
1 tsp McCormick® Perfect Pinch® Mexican blend seasoning
½ tsp black pepper
1 ½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
1 cup reduced-fat sour cream (or plain Greek yogurt)
10 Mi Rancho® organic corn tortillas
*Add some heat with a 4 oz can of green chile peppers

Preparation:

In large skillet, heat chicken through.  If using uncooked meat, cook over medium heat, breaking up while cooking.  Drain off any fat.

To a medium bowl, add meat, garlic powder, Mexican blend seasoning, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine.  Next add ½ cup of enchilada sauce, ½ cup sour cream, and 1 cup of cheese.  Mix well.

Preheat oven to 350° Warm tortillas in skillet and spoon meat mixture in center of tortilla. The amount depends on the size of your tortillas. Corn tortillas have a natural side that starts to curl when heated, this helps when rolling the enchiladas. Roll tightly and place seam side down in large baking dish lightly sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Combine the remaining enchilada sauce and ½ cup sour cream, spread over enchiladas.  Sprinkle remaining cheese over top and tent loosely with aluminum foil and bake until bubbly, about 30 minutes.  Remove from oven and garnish with your favorite toppings, such as lettuce, tomato, avocado, sour cream, or Huy Fong Sriracha Hot Chili Sauce®.

Beverage Suggestions:

Your favorite ice cold beer is a wonderful accompaniment. Mexican beers widely available in the U.S., such as Pacifico, Corona, or Modelo. If wine is more your style, try a merlot, blended red, or sauvignon blanc.

Serves 6

Prep time: 30 minutes; Cooking time: 30 minutes

Chicken Enchiladas

Chicken Enchiladas


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