Way-Too-Tasty Tomatillo Enchiladas

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This recipe has recently made its way to the top of my all-time-favorites list – congrats Rick Bayless, you are have done it AGAIN. For those of you who haven’t yet salivated to his show, Bayless is an American chef that specializes in Mexican cuisine, traveling through Mexico & making traditional dishes “one plate at a time“. I don’t know if it’s because we are both gringos obsessed with Hispanic culture (and food), but I love this guy. Obviously when I discovered that he was selling sauce packets for enchiladas, tacos, and fajitas at the grocery store I HAD to try them.

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After testing out all of the packets, no doubt the green chile tomatillo enchiladas are my favorite. The tacos are seriously amazing and the fajitas are great too, but the enchiladas were just out of this world — they are seriously better than what you’ll get at most restaurants. The packet comes with a recipe on the back which I am basically following with specific substitutions to lower caloric & fat content, you can cook with other brands than what I recommend but nutritional values will change.

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You’ll Need:

  • 1 packet Frontera Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
  • 4 La Tortilla Factory Green Chile Tortillas
  • 1/2 c. Weight Watchers Mexican blend cheese
  • 1/2 c. shredded chicken (if making yourself use lime, garlic & olive oil spray)

*MAKES 2 servings (2 enchiladas per person)

A serving of these will only cost you 365 calories & you could make that even lower that by putting less shredded cheese on top! Check out the nutrition facts here.

Start by cooking the chicken if you didn’t buy it pre-shredded. I like to season the chicken with salt, pepper, minced garlic, & lime zest and grill it on the George Forman with a squirt of lime! You can lightly spray the grill with olive oil spray, keeping fat to a minimum. Once the chicken is cooked, shred it into small pieces.

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Next, fill each tortilla with 1/8 c. shredded chicken and 1/8 c. cheese. Roll it up and place the “seam” of the tortilla face down. Continue this process until all four tortillas have been rolled up & try to fit them into a dish tightly.

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Now pour your little packet of deliciousness over the rolled enchiladas and top with 1/4 c. cheese! Pop the dish into the oven at 400 degrees for 15 minutes – this is gonna be GOOD.

While you whip up some healthy sides (pinto, black beans, or some guacamole) these enchiladas will be baking their way to perfection.

ImageI just ate and looking at this is making me hungry all over again – you’ve GOT to try it! This recipe is SUPER easy, fast, healthy and most of all DE-LISH! In the oven the tortillas soak up the flavor of the sauce, creating a gooey, warm, cheesy enchilada that melts in your mouth. This is a meal that could impress anyone (and it requires basically NO cooking skill!).

If you’re looking a recipe with a little more veggies, try out my Stacked Spinach Enchiladas & be sure to subscribe for more recipes! Happy cooking!

-SkinnyGirl

 

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Soup’s up: Tomato Basil Parmesan

Who doesn’t love soup in the wintertime? It’s the perfect meal to curl up to in a warm blanket and sip on while contemplating how happy you are to not be outside in the cold 😛

While consulting Pinterest one night on what to make for dinner I came across this delicious-looking Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup. I was hoping to find something to make for my boyfriend who had just had his wisdom teeth taken out and much like a baby, still couldn’t eat solid food. I thought this recipe looked perfect – comforting, delicious, and easy to make since it’s made in the crock pot! I love the convenience of crock pot cooking – for students or the working woman it’s great because you can pop your food into the slow cooker in the morning & when you come home dinner will be done!

Since my goal is to always make a recipe as healthy as possible without sacrificing taste, I did what I call a recipe redo, swapping out the unhealthier ingredients for better ones.

tomato basil parmesan soup

Here’s what you’ll need:

28 oz can muir glen fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 tsp dried oregano or 1 T fresh oregano
1 T dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
1 bay leaf
½ cup multigrain flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup olive oil
2 cups fat-free milk (you COULD try this with plain almond milk if you wanted to)
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper

*MAKES 8 servings

  1. Start by adding the tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker. I am obsessed with the Muir Glen fire-roasted tomatoes so I use them every chance I get.
  2. Next, cover your crock pot & cook it on low for about 5-7 hours, until the veggies have all become well acquainted with one other and there has been lots of mixing going on.
  3. About 30 minutes before dinnertime you’ll need to make a roux! It’s like you’re a French chef or something…the roux thickens up the soup & gives it a better texture. I kept my roux blonde, meaning that I cooked it for less time than other darker roux.  I swapped out butter for olive oil (yes, you can do that) since olive oil is a much healthier choice. Olive oil does have more calories and fat, but it does not have the sodium, cholesterol or the saturated fat that butter does (3x more saturated fat in fact). For those who don’t already know, saturated fat is the real villain when it comes to fat. According to the Mayo Clinic, “it raises total blood cholesterol levels which can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. Saturated fat may also increase your risk of type 2 diabetes” so try to avoid this stuff as much as possible!
  4. To start the roux, put the olive oil in a skillet over low heat & add in your favorite multi or whole-grain flourStir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes and slowly pour in about 1 cup hot soup at a time. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth.
  5. Put it all back in the slow cooker, give it a stir, and add the Parmesan cheese, fat free milk (preferably warmed), & salt and pepper. You can also add in extra herbs since they often get lost in the mix of things.
  6. Cover & cook on low for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve. Top it off with your favorite whole grain crackers & eat up!

Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup

Not only is this recipe “soup-er” comforting and delicious, it only has 266 calories a serving! Enjoy it while the weather’s still chilly & it will warm you right up! If you’re looking for another healthy soup to make, try out my recipe for Chicken Quinoa Soup! Happy eating & come back soon 🙂 Don’t forget to subscribe for more free recipes & healthy eating tips!

Click here for nutrition facts

Pearl Couscous

Herbed Pearl Couscous

It’s been a crazy back to school season and all I want to do is go back to summer. However, one of the upsides to school starting means that I’m back in my own apartment with more people to cook for, and my own little basil plant! I decided to make good use of it so I whipped up this pearl couscous salad and let me warn you – it’s highly addictive. If some of you have never cooked with pearl couscous before, it is essentially normal couscous on a much larger scale. It looks like little balls of pasta and it tastes like pasta – so even if you don’t like normal couscous you would probably like this.

Pearl Couscous

Pearl Couscous

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 c. whole wheat pearl couscous
  • 5 tsp. EVOO
  • handful of basil (about 15-20 leaves)
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • juice from one lemon
  • handful of chopped red onion (about 1/4 c.)
  • salt & pepper

YIELDS 2 side dishes or 1 main dish

Start by cooking the pearl couscous according to its instructions. Then put your lemon juice, garlic, basil, EVOO and rosemary into a food processor and blend!

Herb Mixture

Herb Mixture

Just stir the herb dressing over the couscous and add in chopped red onion. You’re done – easiest recipe ever.

Pearl Couscous

Pearl Couscous

Everything tastes so fresh and flavorful in this couscous salad, which is why I love it so much! Eat it up at 304 calories a serving! This would be a great side to pair with baked fish or grilled chicken!

Click here for nutrition facts

Chicken Soup for the Sick Person’s Soul

All of us have those days where all you feel like doing is laying in bed…all day. Unfortunately today was one of those days for me. I’m not sure if it was because I stayed up (basically all night) a few days ago or because I just have a virus of some sort, but either way I was definitely lacking in energy and well…the ability to function. In these times of trouble I find one solution…Chicken Noodle soup.

The more I’ve read and learned about diet, the more I’ve realized what an effect it has on how we feel. It happened to be my mother’s birthday this weekend so we went out to an italian restaurant for lunch today – even though the food was DELICIOUS I really have no intention of returning. The portions were enormous – only four of us were eating and they brought us about sixteen pieces of bread. The problem with this is that their garlic bread is extremely tasty and hard to resist…so I had about 3 and half slices. Not only is this bad calorically speaking (which I really wasn’t THAT concerned about) but I’ve noticed that after eating a lot of bread I just feel tired and weighed down. After this they brought us salad, thickly coated in dressing, and then my entree which was once again fantastic, but just too rich. It was chicken covered in a thick white wine cream sauce – I ordered it because it had vegetables: sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and mushrooms but it was just too much. I only ate half of my meal and I was about to burst. After this enormous lunch I proceeded to taking a 2 hour nap after which I woke up feeling very sick and exhausted. I’ve learned that if I want to feel good I need to understand portion control and pick foods that are less rich and more nutritional.

That said, for dinner I wanted something light and healthy that wasn’t very complicated to make. So I created my own version of “Chicken Noodle Soup”, to make it you’ll need:

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/4 organic white quinoa
  • 1/4 onion, chopped
  • 1/3 c. shredded carrot
  • 4 oz. chicken (baked, sauteed, broiled, grilled – however you prefer)
  • 3 oz. 2% milk cheddar cheese
  • 24 oz. chicken broth
  • 1/8 tsp. tumeric
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/16 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder

MAKES 2 servings

I started by cooking the quinoa. To give it extra flavor I cooked it in chicken broth instead of just plain water.

Trader Joe's White Quinoa

Trader Joe’s Organic White Quinoa

I LOVE the Pacific foods organic free range chicken broth, I think it tastes great and it’s usually not very expensive at the grocery store.

Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

Pacific Foods Organic Free Range Chicken Broth

I chose to use quinoa as opposed to a whole grain noodle in this soup because I wanted it to be lighter and grain-free since I had ODed earlier on bread. After the quinoa was done (around 10 minutes) I put it in a separate bowl & added the chopped onion and garlic to the saucepan.

chopped onion & garlic in the saucepan

chopped onion & garlic in the saucepan

I like to keep chopped onion in a airtight container in the fridge so that I can add it easily without having to chop it up all the time. The great thing about onion and garlic is that both are extremely healthy for you and are filled with antioxidants. Next I shredded the chicken which had been sauteed in olive oil with salt and pepper and was kept in the fridge (another great thing to have on hand). You could simply boil your chicken or grill it if you’re watching calories. Then, I poured enough chicken broth to cover the ingredients and added the carrots.

Chicken, onion, garlic and carrot slightly covered in chicken broth

Chicken, onion, garlic and carrot slightly covered in chicken broth

Next comes the spices: I added tumeric for flavor and that nice, yellow chicken-soup color. I love cayenne so I added it for spice and because its a wonderful metabolism booster – plus spicy food always opens up your sinuses when you’re feeling sick. The cinnamon was also for the same purpose – although it sounds odd to put cinnamon in a soup, you barely notice it but you still get its benefits. After adding the spices and cooking the ingredients for about 2 minutes I added the rest of the chicken broth. After everything was heated up, I added the quinoa, stirred the soup and topped it with shredded cheddar cheese! Delicious, easy and healthy – you can’t get better than that.

Chicken Soup

Chicken Soup

After a hearty bowl, I’m already feeling better 😉 Especially since one bowl will only cost you 342 calories

Chicken Soup Nutrition Facts

Chicken Soup Nutrition Facts

Enjoy & check back later for more recipes, promise I’ll update more often!

-SkinnyGirl