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

 

Metabolism-Boosting Morning Smoothie

smoothie

If you ask me what the most important meal of the day is – I’m going to tell you breakfast. No matter how much you hate eating in the mornings, waking up early, or breakfast food in general, you still need to eat! So many people don’t realize that skipping breakfast actually makes you gain weight instead of losing it. Feed yourself something that will boost your metabolism & energize you all day long! With this goal in mind, I came up with this tasty smoothie that will kick your morning metabolism into gear! Plus, since all you need is a blender, even the sleepiest of morning zombies can’t mess this recipe up 😉

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 grapefruit, skin removed
  • 1 banana (preferably ripened & frozen)
  • 1 stalk celery, cut into pieces
  • 2 tsp. instant coffee
  • 2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 c. unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 packet perfect fit protein (optional)
  • 4 ice cubes
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • stevia or honey to taste

MAKES 1 large smoothie or 2 small ones

Click to view nutrition facts (protein powder & sweeteners not included)

Blend together all the ingredients & you’re done! I sprinkle the cinnamon on top, but you can also blend it along with everything else. If you’re not adding protein powder, I would recommend adding stevia or honey to sweeten it up.

Here’s why this smoothie is a lean, clean, metabolism-burning machine:

perfect fit

I’ve never really been into the idea of protein powder because I always associated it with lots of unnatural chemicals that were being used to bulk up the body. However, perfect fit is made with USDA organic brown rice protein & stevia. There’s nothing unnatural about it and it tastes pretty darn good as far as protein powders go. Protein is so important because it doesn’t just aid in muscle repair, but lean protein has been shown to help with weight loss – so don’t shy away from it!

Try out this metabolism booster for yourself & let me know what you think! Thanks for visiting & be sure to subscribe for more healthy lifestyle tips if you haven’t already!

-SkinnyGirl

skinnygirlwithabigappetite

Friday Food Find: Flour With Power

This Friday I’m introducing you to an awesome new whole grain flour that I recently came across at the grocery store. I’m constantly looking for substitutions to make baked goods a little healthier & this is THE PERFECT way to do so.

Ultragrain Flour

Meet Ultragrain. Here’s why it’s got the power:

  • it’s a blend of white & ultragrain flours, meaning it has the taste of a white flour with the health benefits of a whole wheat blend
  • 9 g of whole grain per serving
  • 2x the fiber of other all-purpose flour
  • lower starch content
  • increased essential minerals + vitamins
  • increased antioxidants
  • it’s NOT expensive!!

I was amazed by the taste of this stuff. You really cannot tell a difference between this & white flour in baking – I will never go back! Also, unlike other health-friendly flours, Ultragrain isn’t ridiculously expensive. When I tried some brown rice whole wheat flour for a recipe it was about $8 for a little tiny bag! I’m pretty sure that I only paid around $2.50 for this one.

In my opinion, this is the kind of health-conscience change that EVERYONE can & should make. There’s no difference in taste & a very minimal difference in price. Now you can feel a little less guilty about baking those cupcakes you’ve been craving 😉

As always, the nutrition facts – if interested you can also take a peek at the nutrition facts for another all-purpose flour to compare. Put Ultragrain to the test in your own kitchen & let me know what you think in the comments below! If you have another go-to flour I’d love to hear about it! Thanks for stopping by & be sure to subscribe for more tips if you haven’t already! Happy baking!

-SkinnyGirl

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

zesty quinoa

Zesty Quinoa Salad

With the new year officially in tow (Happy 2014!) I’m sure many of you are looking to check a few resolutions off the list – some of which might include adopting a new healthier diet or dropping a few post-holiday pounds. In my opinion quinoa brings you the best of both worlds – it is a superfood packed with nutrients that stays low in calories and as a bonus is super tasty! It is a complete protein (supplying you with all 9 essential amino acids) AND is cholesterol & gluten-free! No wonder it was called “the gold of the Incas” 😉

Zesty Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad won’t disappoint. It’s full of color and flavor that packs a punch. Fresh ginger and garlic add a spicy note while golden raisins add a touch of sweetness for the perfect combination. Get excited – your path to this deliciousness begins now.

Ingredients

  • 1/2 c. quinoa
  • 2 tsp.  ground cayenne
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, chopped
  • 1/2 large red bell pepper, diced
  • 1/2 lemon, juiced
  • 1 TBSP Extra-Virgen Olive Oil
  • 3 scallions, sliced
  • 3/4 c. (1/2 can) chickpeas
  • 1/4 c. diced red onion
  • 1/4 c. (handful) cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
  • 1/4 c. (handful) golden raisins
  • salt & pepper

MAKES 2 SCRUMPTOUS SERVINGS

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Start by cooking the quinoa – preferably in broth of some sort for added flavor. Next, chop up the fresh ginger, garlic, red onion, bell pepper, tomatoes and scallions. Once the quinoa is fully cooked, combine it with the veggies (except the scallions) in a large bowl. Add in the EVOO, lemon juice and ground cayenne. Pour in half a can of chickpeas, mix it all up, and top it off with scallions, raisins and a touch of salt & pepper! Delish and super easy to make – eat up and enjoy 🙂

Click here to see the nutrition facts

Don’t forget to subscribe for more healthy recipes & comment below if you try this one out! For another way to enjoy this tasty superfood, take a trip to the Caribbean with my Pineapple Quinoa Salad!

xo SkinnyGirl

Holiday Hot Cocoa

Ho Ho Holiday Cocoa

With Christmas coming ever near (in 4 more days!) it’s time to bust out the holiday sweet & treats! This hot chocolate will warm you up in the cold weather & can easily be made in a big batch for family gatherings! Made with 0 sugar and very little fat it’s a treat you can enjoy without the worry of weight gain…nobody here will be turning into Santa Claus 😛  This is truly a guiltless treat – I shocked myself when I counted up the calories & realized that each serving is only 38 calories! So curl up by the fireplace with a mug of this stuff and enjoy the holiday season – Merry Christmas from me to you 😉

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Ingredients:

  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/4 c. cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 c. stevia
  • 2 c. almond milk (unsweetened – don’t use the coconut blend)
  • 1 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • *optional candy cane for garnish

MAKES 3 SERVINGS

Start by combining the water, stevia, cocoa powder, salt and maple syrup in a saucepan. Cook on medium while stirring regularly until all ingredients are combined. Gradually pour in the almond milk (1/2 cup at a time) and stir. Simmer on medium for another 5-10 minutes until cocoa is hot. Add the remaining teaspoon of vanilla, stir, and enjoy! Top it off with a candy cane for an extra holiday treat! Alternatively, you could add a teaspoon of peppermint extract to get that delicious candy cane flavor! If you like your cocoa extra creamy you could substitute the water in the recipe for almond milk or add more (1/4 c.) so that there is not so much of a cocoa flavor. Drink up & enjoy!

Click here for nutrition facts

Skinny Stacked Enchilada Casserole

Like any other true Texan, there’s nothing I love quite like some cheesy chicken enchiladas. However, if there’s one thing Tex-Mex isn’t, that’s healthy. Restaurants like to slather on the oil and cheese in a horribly delicious pile of unnecessary calories. I decided to put my creativity to the test and try to come up with a nutrient-dense, low-calorie (and still delicious) recipe for chicken enchiladas.

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I was surprisingly happy with the way this recipe turned out. Not only does it taste AMAZING, but it’s only 295 calories per serving! It would be a great meal to serve with pinto or black beans – when I made it I was so hungry I couldn’t spare even a minute to make a side… I mean, look at my plate.

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This recipe requires a few special ingredients, which of course you can substitute, but the caloric values won’t stay the same.

You’ll need:

  • 5 green chile La Tortilla Factory tortillas (whole grain & corn blend); if you can’t find the La Tortilla Factory brand I also like The Mission brand (Artisan Corn & Whole Wheat blend)
  • 8 slices of weight watchers pepper jack cheese
  • 1 serrano pepper (or a jalapeño if you don’t like spice)
  • 8 c. baby spinach
  • 1 tsp EVOO
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • cooked chicken 6 oz, shredded or in small pieces

*YIELDS 4 servings

First start by cooking your chicken in EVOO with salt and pepper or use your own pre-cooked chicken. Next sauté the onions in EVOO and once they begin to caramelize add the spinach and garlic. After the spinach has wilted down, you can start stacking the enchiladas. Start the bottom layer of a 9×9 casserole dish with 2 and a half tortillas, split them up so the bottom of the dish is covered. Next, spoon half of the veggies and half of the chicken on top. Cover this layer with 4 slices of the pepper jack cheese. Now repeat the process! After adding the second layer of cheese, add your serrano or jalapeño to top it all off! Now bake the casserole at 350 for 15-20 minutes!

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Look at all that cheesy goodness! What’s not to love?