Speedy Weeknight Enchiladas

This recipe has become a staple in my home. We all love Mexican food so I try to incorporate at least one Mexican inspired dish into the rotation each week. What’s even better is how quickly you can get these on the table. These enchiladas are my FAVORITE and soon they will be yours too!

Ingredients:
1lb chicken breast
1 large can enchilada sauce
1 pkg reduced sodium taco seasoning
3 tsp agave nectar or honey
Your favorite hot sauce (I use Tapatio or Valentina)
1 tbsp Mrs. Dash Spicy Southwest Chipotle Seasoning
1 small onion, thinly sliced
Corn tortillas
1 c shredded cheddar
Cilantro for garnish
Sour Cream if desired

To make this recipe simple, I start by cooking the chicken all day in a slow cooker. Not only does this save time when you are ready to finish off the dish (minimal prep & easy shredding), you get great texture and flavor through slow cooking. Start by adding the chicken, onions, taco seasoning and agave to your slow cooker and cook on low all day. Note: There is no need to add any additional liquid.

When you are ready to assemble the enchiladas, begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Next, shred the chicken with two forks and stir to make sure all the onions and juices are mixed in. This will be easy!

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Lightly oil a casserole dish. Mix the enchilada sauce, Mrs. Dash and desired amount of hot sauce in a bowl or large measuring cup. Sometimes I add in some taco sauce too.

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Assemble enchiladas by spooning the shredded chicken mixture into a corn tortilla and rolling to close. Place seam side down in the casserole dish. When you have filled your dish, pour the enchilada sauce evenly over the enchiladas and top with cheese.

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Bake for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Let cool a few minutes before serving.

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Top with sour cream and cilantro and you are ready to enjoy!

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Recipe Makeover – Chicken Fried Rice

If there is one success secret to sticking to a healthy eating plan, it’s being able to satisfy your food cravings. Try to figure out what it is you truly want and then create a healthier version of it. Can you cut some fat? Reduce or replace the sugar with Stevia? Can you sub in some whole grains or add more veggies? When you don’t feel deprived it is much easier to stay on track with healthy eating.

Today’s post is dedicated to recipe makeovers and one of my favorites is this chicken fried rice. I follow The Zone method of eating where each meal is a balance of carbs, protein and fat in a proportion that’s suitable for your gender and activity level. This is one of my favorite lunch meals. I usually make a big batch of this on thee weekends and portion it out to individual servings. Correct serving size is a huge component of healthy eating so please don’t skip that step!

To start, I make a big batch of brown rice. I buy dry uncooked brown rice in the bag. It takes longer to prepare but it’s also less than half the cost of instant rice. Whatever I don’t use in a recipe in my food prep for the week, I freeze to use later.

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Next I sautéed fresh or frozen peas and carrots with a bit of finely diced green onion. I prefer the frozen in this instance as it saves me prep time not dicing carrots and I don’t have to worry about extra sodium from something commercially canned. When done I set aside so I can measure out the correct portion I need for my serving.

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I also make roasted or grilled chicken breast in large batches on the weekends so I can quickly grab the amount I need for any recipe. It’s a great time saver.

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To complete the rice in my portion size, I add about a teaspoon of minced garlic, measure and add the correct portion of veggies (about 1/3 cup), measure and add the correct portion of brown rice (about 1/2 cup) and add 4oz of diced chicken. I sauté this for a few minutes until the rice has some browned edges, adding a teaspoon or so of lite soy sauce, a dash or two of rice wine vinegar as well as a teaspoon of a hot pepper oil I get from my favorite local Chinese restaurant. If I didn’t have this amazing spicy treat I would use sesame oil. If you like spice, throw in some crushed red pepper flakes too. Obviously you can double or triple this recipe but the important things to remember are 1. use the correct portions of ingredients and 2. measure the correct serving size.

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My family and I love this recipe and it definitely helps satisfy my Chinese food cravings. It’s balanced, delicious and I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

Until next week…