Zucchini Chicken Enchiladas

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I made this recipe last night for dinner for the first time. I LOVED it! It made quite a bit too. I think I got about 15-17 pieces. I found this recipe on Facebook Zucchini Enchiladas. I of course changed it up a bit to what I found worked better for me.

One of the toughest parts of the recipe was slicing the zucchini into the thin slices needed. I had a small Y-shaped peeler but it was too small. So I improvised and used my Pampered Chef cheese slicer and it worked great! Though I have to say it was tedious. Original recipe called for 4 large zucchini, I had 3 and it worked fine. I also didn’t have quite enough enchilada sauce so I took a small can of green chilis and added it to the amount of sauce I was supposed to add to the top of the enchiladas and pureed it. Worked just fine and tasted great.

I thought this was a great change from the carb-loaded tortillas. Don’t get me wrong, I love my tortillas but this was a nice variation. I have lots left over for lunch and I froze the rest for another day.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped (I used a sweet onion)
  • kosher salt
  • 2-4 cloves garlic, minced (yes I used 4 of course)
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • small can green chilis
  • 3 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used 3 large boneless breasts)
  • 1 1/3 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 3-4 large zucchini, halved lengthwise
  • 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • sour cream for topping
  • fresh cilantro for garnish

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and season with salt. Cook for about 5 minutes or until soft.
  3. Add the garlic, cumin and chili powder and stir until all combined.
  4. Add the chicken and 1 cup of the enchilada sauce, mixing until well combined. It should be a little saucy.
  5. Puree the small can of green chilis with the remaining enchilada sauce and set aside.
  6. On a cutting board use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler if you have one wide enough for the zucchini. Slice very thin.
  7. Lay out 3 slices, overlapping slightly and add a spoonful of the chicken mixture (about 1/4-1/3 cup) at the top. Carefully roll and place into a casserole dish, seam side down. Repeat till finished. (I used two casserole dishes)
  8. Spoon the green chili/enchilada sauce mixture over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the cheese.
  9. Bake until cheese is melted, about 20-30 minutes.
  10. Garnish with fresh cilantro and sour cream. Careful they are very hot because of the water content in the zucchini.
  11. ENJOY!

Slow Cooker Cheesy Enchilada Soup

I keep talking the talk about my slow cooker but I hardly use it. So this past weekend I finally did.

Though I have to remember to start it early in the day, not at the end of the day. Either way, we had this soup twice during the week. It was delicious! So simple too.

I got the recipe from a fellow blogger Reeni. She has a great blog and I make quite a few of her recipes. Check out the original recipe at Cinnamon Spice and Everything Nice.  I changed a few things but it still came out awesome.

I can’t wait to make it again when the weather here in Florida finally cools down for more than a day. Don’t be afraid of your slow cooker. I honestly use to only use it to warm wine for Mulled Wine!  But I’m experimenting more and plan on using it more and more. And this recipe is pretty healthy for you as well! Lots of fiber and protein! 

Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Soup

INGREDIENTS:

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large sweet or Vidalia onion, diced

1-2 jalapeño peppers, seeded and chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 can (11 ounce) Rotel diced tomatoes & green chiles

4 cups low-sodium/low-fat chicken broth

1 ¼ pounds boneless chicken breasts

2 cups corn (15-16 ounce can is good)

1 can black beans (15 ounces or so)

1 tablespoon chile powder

1 teaspoon cumin

½ teaspoon oregano

2 cups shredded cheese of choice (I used Great Value’s Fiesta Mix)

1 cup light sour cream, plus more for serving

sliced avocado for garnish (this is delicious by the way, I was skeptical at first but happy with the results!)

Tortilla chips for serving if desired.

Coarse salt and pepper 

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a medium skillet heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers and garlic. Season with salt/pepper. Cook this until everything is softened, about 10-15 minutes.

2. While that is softening add to the crock-pot the Rotel tomatoes, chicken broth, chicken, corn, black beans, chile powder, cumin, oregano and 1 teaspoon coarse salt (kosher is good) and about ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

3. When the onions, garlic and peppers are softened add to the crock-pot and mix it all up thoroughly. Cook on high for 3-4 hours (this is what I did because I started late in the day) or 5-6 on low. Remove the chicken breasts to a cutting board and shred or cut into small pieces. I shredded mine. Add the sour cream and cheese to the pot and mix well. Add the chicken back to the pot. Cook 1 more hour on low heat.

4. Serve same day or next day. We had it the next night and it really gave the flavors time to grow. Garnish with more cheese, sour cream and avocado, or chips. 

Leftovers are even better! Love this soup!

Baked Chicken Salad Egg Rolls!

This recipe I just came up with tonight. Remember I’m obsessed with wonton wrappers and these are the big ones, the egg roll wrappers. Well I decided to make use of the leftover chicken breast I had in the fridge and came up with these gems. So easy to make. Baked not fried.

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The ingredients included: 1 chicken breast that had been roasted on the bone, removed and chopped up. About 2 cups chopped chicken. Julienned carrots, chopped celery (1 stem), 1 tablespoon minced red onion, garlic powder to taste, ¾ cup light sour cream and 2 blue cheese Laughing Cow wedges (softened). Also added about 3 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese to the mixture.

Mix all together. The recipe made 10 egg rolls. I buy the egg roll wrappers in the produce department of my supermarket. Walmart also sells them in their produce department. Look in the Asian food section. I laid a few carrots sliver in the center and then put about ½ cup of the chicken salad on top. Wet the edges of the wrapper and fold sides over, then bring bottom over the top and roll. Seal the edges with a bit of water.

I sprayed them with cooking spray and placed on a baking sheet. Baked for about 20-30 minutes at 400º, turning after 10 minutes till golden brown! That’s it!!

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The sauce I served with it was just light sour cream and Tabasco Buffalo sauce and a teaspoon of agave for sweetness.  Everything was delicious. I thought there would be leftovers. Nope! All gone!

Saucy Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

Well it has been much longer than I had anticipated for posting a new recipe. But as we all know, life can get pretty busy sometimes. But it’s no excuse. I have so many recipes I need to post so I’m starting with the one I made just last night. I posted the photo on Facebook and had a few requests for the recipe so here it is.

This recipe started out with me making my Buttery Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings. Then I thought maybe I should try something slightly different. I had a bit of marinara sauce in the fridge, really it was only about 2 ounces, but I figured it would come in handy and it did. I added it to my recipe and tweaked it a bit and came up with a new flavor. They were delicious. No leftovers here!

Quick note about the chicken wings I use. In the past I have bought Tyson uncooked wings or Perdue. But they can be very pricey. Then I switched to Great Value (Walmart). Not bad. But now I am using only the wings I have purchased at a store we just discovered, Save-a-lot. A 4 lb bag costs about $6.00! And the wings are huge! Most of the other brands were have the size for more money! And they are delicious! 

Ingredients

20-24 chicken wings, frozen or thawed (flats/drumsticks)

4 tablespoons butter or butter substitute (I use I Can’t Believe it’s Not Butter)

8-10 cloves garlic

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (more or less depending on how spicy you like it)

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon dried basil

2 ounces marinara sauce or whatever red sauce you may have around. Plain tomato sauce is good too.

¼ cup grated parmesan cheese (we use Locatelli Romano)

Directions:

  1. Heat oven to 400ºF. (I have a convection option on my oven and I use convection roast)
  2. On a large cookie sheet or shallow roasting pan lay out the wings. They can touch and crowd each other because they do shrink a little.
  3. Place in oven and bake for 30-45 minutes for frozen. Flip every 10-15 minutes or so. If using thawed, reduce cook time. Bake to desired crispness.
  4. Meanwhile in a food processor place garlic, olive oil, basil and oregano. Pulse until garlic is finely minced.
  5. Add butter to small saucepan and melt on low heat (careful not to burn). When melted add the garlic mixture and red pepper flakes and cook till heated.
  6. When wings are done remove from pan and place in a large mixing bowl. (You can blot up some of the chicken grease with paper towels if you like also)
  7. Add the cheese to the garlic mixture and add to the wings in bowl. Mix thoroughly.
  8. Return wings to pan, sauce and all and bake another 5-10 minutes but keep an eye on it. You don’t want all the sauce to dry up.
  9. Return to bowl you mixed them in and serve. Or if you want a pretty presentation put on a platter.

Serve with bleu cheese and celery/carrot sticks!

Buttery Garlic Parmesan Chicken Wings

I think just about everyone loves chicken wings. But after a while they can get a little boring. Same thing all the time…We have a favorite wings place here in Florida called Hurricane Wings. (They’re on Long Island in NY now too!) They have lots of different flavors along with the usual hot stuff. So the other night I remembered I had a bag of frozen wings and wanted to make up a batch. Well as most of you know, I love garlic. Can never have too much if you ask me. I also love butter and parmesan cheese. So why not combine them all with the chicken wings! Wonderful idea. What I liked most about this is that I didn’t have to defrost the wings first. I just followed the directions on the bag. Baked them for 45 minutes at 400ºF. My oven also has a convection option so I used the convection roast setting. I also turned them over a couple of times during the cooking. We love crispy wings and if you do them this way you won’t have all the extra fat from deep-frying. I am happy to say they came out awesome! We also served them with the usual blue cheese dressing. I also didn’t have any celery so I cut a cucumber into long slices and that worked just fine.

I’m thinking of making up another batch for tonight! 

INGREDIENTS:

2-4 lbs. uncooked chicken wings (frozen or unfrozen)

6-8 cloves garlic minced (cut back if you don’t like a lot of garlic)

6-8 tablespoons butter, melted

½ cup of grated parmesan cheese of choice

½ teaspoon each dried basil and oregano

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Follow cooking directions on bag of chicken. Different cooking times for frozen or thawed. Place the chicken wings on a cookie sheet or roasting pan and cook as directed. This will take 30-45 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile in a medium bowl combine the melted butter, garlic, basil and oregano. Add ¼ cup of the parmesan cheese. Mix well.

  3. When the wings are done to your liking, we like them crispy, remove from cookie sheet and put them in a large bowl. Add the butter, garlic mixture to the wings and mix well.

  4. Put the wings back onto the cookie sheet, making sure you get all the mixture on them. Sprinkle with the remaining ¼ cup of parmesan cheese.

  5. Broil for about 5 minutes about 3-4 inches from the broiler element. Keep an eye on them so the cheese doesn’t burn.

  6. Remove from oven and transfer to a platter and dig in!

Honey-Glazed Chicken

I used to make this recipe quite a bit many years ago. For some reason I haven’t made it for a while. I don’t know why. It’s delicious and very easy to make. The recipe calls for a broiler/fryer chicken cut up but when I make it I like to use chicken thighs. Love chicken thighs. It also works with any chicken parts you want. I will also swap the honey for agave nectar and brown sugar for Splenda brown sugar substitute. But that’s just me. Feel free to use regular honey and sugar.

This is a great meal for family dinners and even to serve to company. I will definitely be making it again very soon. I will have to be planning my dinner menus out now so this will be one of the first ones I add to the menu. It will be a hit. I also like to serve this with my recipe for Spiced Carrot Strips. (Recipe will be posted tomorrow!)

INGREDIENTS:

½ cup all-purpose flour (or soy flour)

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 broiler/fryer chicken or parts (about 3 pounds), cut up

½ cup butter or margarine, melted, divided

¼ cup packed brown sugar (or brown sugar substitute)

¼ cup lemon juice

¼ cup honey or agave nectar

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1½ teaspoons curry powder

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a bowl or bag, combine flour, salt and cayenne pepper; add the chicken pieces and dredge or shake to coat.

2. Pour 4 tablespoons butter into a 13″x9″x2″ baking pan; place chicken in pan, turning pieces once to coat.

3. Bake, uncovered, at 350ºF for 30 minutes. Combine the brown sugar, honey/agave, lemon juice, soy sauce, curry powder and remaining butter; pour over chicken.

4. Bake 45 minutes more or until chicken is tender, basting several times with pan drippings.

Makes 4-6 servings

Chicken and Sausage Gumbo

First let me say that I have not actually made this recipe yet. But I will, soon. My husband loves gumbo. Me, I could take it or leave it. Mainly because there are peppers in it. Remember, I am the one Italian who doesn’t like sweet peppers. I know, weird. But I am willing to give this a try and I will make sure I chop the pepper very small so I can’t pick them out! You should see me at restaurants! Anyway, I got this recipe in my email today from Cooking Light. It’s actually from their November 2002 issue! So it’s been around a long time. I have changed a few things of course (though I am leaving the peppers in!). The recipe calls for boil-in-bag rice. Not happening in this house. I will use jasmine brown rice. I always make a huge batch and freeze it in small packages, for occasions just like this! And it also called for turkey kielbasa. I will use chicken sausages of some kind. The recipe originally called for bottled minced garlic. Again, not in my house! I will use fresh garlic and probably double it!

What is also really great about this recipe is that most of it uses frozen vegetables. This will save time if you’re making it last-minute. But if it’s last-minute you might not have the ingredients on hand so think ahead anyway. And if you do not like to use frozen vegetables like onion, peppers, okra etc. use fresh. But remember the frozen ones are already all cut up for you and cook faster! Another way to make this a little different is to add some shrimp to the last step also. Probably about a half pound or so of uncooked. It will cook fast so be careful.

Illustration courtesy of Cooking Light magazine

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups cooked rice of choice (I prefer jasmine brown rice)

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 cup frozen chopped onion

1 cup frozen chopped green bell pepper

1 cup frozen cut okra

1 cup chopped celery

2 teaspoons minced garlic

½ teaspoon dried thyme

¼ teaspoon ground red pepper

2 cups chopped roasted skinless, boneless chicken breasts (about 2 breasts)

8 ounces chicken sausage of your choice, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 (14½ ounce) can diced tomatoes with peppers and onion

1 (14½ ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

DIRECTIONS:

1. If you are cooking rice now make the gumbo while it is cooking.

2. Combine the flour and oil in a Dutch oven or large soup pot. Saute over medium-high heat for about 3 minutes. Add the onion, green pepper, okra, celery, garlic, thyme, and ground red pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.

3. Stir in the chicken, sausage, tomatoes, and broth, cook 6 minutes or until thoroughly heated. Serve over rice.

Makes 4 servings (1½ cups gumbo and ½ cup rice)