Wednesday, May 18, 2011

My Favorite New Treat (that won’t make me sick)

raw chocolate shake

I don’t eat a lot of dairy.  I can’t eat it.  It makes me quite sick. 

Not many years ago I had no such problem, and enjoyed a daily (oh yeah) bowl of ice cream.  I miss my daily bowl of ice cream. 

Last week I was perusing my friend’s raw food blog and came across her recipe for a dessert chocolate shake.   I had all of the ingredients so I thought I’d try it out.  (Well, I didn’t have the raw cocoa powder so I subbed in the regular stuff.)  I have to admit that I was a bit skeptical so I only made a half-recipe at first.  It was delicious!  Amazingly creamy.  I’m a big fan now and since last week I’ve made four or five more.  It’s hard to share, but I do – and everyone else loves this shake too.

Angela recently gave a mini class about raw food.  Here’s a link to some notes from her presentation.  She also brought yummy samples for Raw Milk Chocolate Fudge and a creamy Apple Salad.  Really, really good.

Want to know more about eating raw?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cheesy Enchilada Stack

My local grocery store has started doing something which I think is akin to brilliance.  Each week they feature two recipes, and in a certain section of the store they have stacked everything you need to create the recipe – including a paper bag w/ handles to tote it all away in. 

Just today as I was bagging some onions, I saw two shoppers stop and grab that brown bag and a copy of the recipe.  Now, the recipes they feature are often not much my style, but I think the idea is a great one, and a much-needed one.  Even when I am on my A-game with meal planning  I still have days – maybe once each month - when I have to make a quick dash to the store to get something for dinner.  And of course there are always those that wander the aisles of the grocery store searching for some inspiration as to what to make for dinner all week. 

enchilada stacker 1

This recipe was one that was featured a couple of weeks ago.  When I saw it I thought my kids would like it, but that I probably wouldn’t.  Some dinners are like that you know.  Anyway…  I loved it.  Kids loved it.  Grandparents loved it.  I made it once more the next week, tweaking a few things and we liked it even more. 

What I loved:  It’s a quick meal using things I usually have around the house.  It’s a great substitute for taco-night (which my toddler is NOT a fan of.)  The leftovers are great the next day for lunch.  It’s flexible ( try subbing in red enchilada sauce, use ground turkey or shredded chicken, add in some diced green peppers & tomatoes, swap the refried beans for some mashed up black beans….) 

There’s a version here and here

Here’s the original recipe that I used

This is MY favorite version:

Cheesy Enchilada Stack

1 lb lean ground beef (as lean as I can find)
1 (10 oz) can green enchilada sauce
6 (10-inch) flour tortillas
8 oz shredded Monterrey Jack cheese (cheddar is fine if that’s what you have)
1 (16 oz) can refried beans
1 (4 oz) can chopped green chiles (mild)

preheat oven to 400 degrees

Brown ground beef in a skillet.  Remove from heat and drain off any fat.  Add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the ground beef and stir.  Set aside. 

Layer 1:  Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray.  Place one tortilla on baking sheet.  Top with 1/3 of the beef mixture and 1/4 cup of the cheese. 

Layer 2:  add a tortilla to the stack and spread with half of the refried beans, half of the diced green chiles, 1/4 cup of cheese about 3 Tablespoons of enchilada sauce.  Spread evenly.

Layer 3:  add a tortilla, 1/3 of the beef mixture and 1/4 cup of cheese.

Layer 4:  add a tortilla and spread with remaining refried beans, remaining green chiles, 1/4 cup cheese and 3 –4  Tablespoons enchilada sauce.  Spread evenly.

Layer 5:  add a tortilla, remaining beef mixture and 1/4 cup cheese. 

Top with last tortilla.

Cover entire stack with foil.  Bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until filling is hot.  Remove foil.  Top with 3-4 Tablespoons enchilada sauce and remaining cheese.  Bake for another 5 minutes until cheese is melted.

To serve, cut the stack into wedges.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Baked Lemon Chicken with New Potatoes and Vegetables

lemon chicken 2

This recipe is one of our family’s newest Sunday favorites:  Baked Lemon Chicken with New Potatoes and Vegetables.  For me, it is a perfect Sunday dinner.  It’s easy, it is flexible AND it’s delicious (the kids love it!)  Good combo. 

Even if you’re not a big fan of lemon, there’s a good chance you’ll like this one.  It’s not overly-lemony.  In fact, you are in control of just how lemony this meal will be.  I prefer to include every.  last.  bit.  of the lemon/olive oil mixture  - once everything is in the pan I pour the remaining sauce over the top.  This last time I also added some fresh thyme right as it came out of the oven.  Delightful!

lemon chicken 1

The recipe calls for new potatoes, carrots and green beans.  Don’t have new potatoes?  You can substitute whatever you have.  The red skins on the new potatoes are lovely in the finished dish, but don’t make a special trip to the grocery store just for cute little red-skinned potatoes.  I also don’t usually have baby carrots on hand.  No biggie – cut up regular carrots.  This last week I also didn’t have green beans, so instead we opted for a spinach salad and roasted asparagus on the side. 

spinach salad

The asparagus was a quick add-on….  rinse and trim the asparagus.  put a square of foil on a baking sheet.  Add asparagus, add 2 tsp or so of olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt and pepper and toss to coat.  Put the asparagus in the oven right along with the Lemon Chicken – just for the last 8-10 minutes or so.  Set the table, make the spinach salad, pull everything from the oven and voila!  Dinner is served.

asparagus 1