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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!
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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!

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One Year Anniversary of Blogging! (Avgolemono Spinach Chicken Soup)

Well today is one year since I started my blog. It’s been a long year full of new experiences and new friends. I originally started this to give me something to do while searching for a job and it’s been wonderful. I am now working full-time again but it is a seasonal job till August. Since going back to work I haven’t been able to blog as much as I did before and I miss it. I am trying desperately to get back to posting every day again but it’s been a challenge. But in honor of my first recipe posting I am going to repeat the recipe today. It’s Avgolemono Spinach Chicken Soup.

I have made many new blogging friends and love the community. I have gotten many new recipes myself and learned a great deal about people. So enjoy this ‘flashback’ and I promise to increase the posts as much as possible. I am hoping to be able to find a job working at home again, enabling me to post more often! Happy eating!

(REPOST FROM MARCH 8, 2010)

This is an awesome hearty soup. My husband loves it and would have it every week if I made it! I got the basics from a Weight Watchers recipe and made it my own. Anyone who has eaten at a Greek restaurant has probably had one form of this. It’s easy to make and delicious!


Ingredients:

4 C reduced-sodium chicken broth or chicken stock (I use reduced sodium/fat-free)

1/2 lb. skinless boneless chicken breast (about 1 large breast or 2 small)

2 large eggs

1/2 C lemon juice (use 1/4C if you don’t like too much lemon)

10 oz. frozen chopped spinach

2 C hot cooked rice (I used jasmine brown rice but you can use any kind you like)

Parmesan cheese, for finished soup


Directions:
1: In a large saucepan or Dutch oven, bring the broth/stock and chicken to a boil; reduce the heat and simmer until the chicken is cooked through, 5-7 minutes. Remove the chicken and, when cool enough to handle, shred into bite-size pieces.

2: In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs and lemon juice until frothy; gradually whisk in 1 Cup of the hot stock.

3: Add the spinach to the stock in the saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low; stir in the rice. Slowly add the egg-stock mixture, whisking constantly to avoid curdling; continue whisking until a little thickened, 3 minutes (do not boil). Stir in the chicken and heat to serving temperature. Season with pepper and serve at once.

Serves 4

Per Serving: (1/4 of soup): 261 cal, 7g fat, 2g sat fat, 0g trans fat, 140mg cholesterol, 163mg sodium, 28g carbs, 2g fiber, 22g protein, 141mg calcium.
I used fat-free chicken broth so the fat content will be lower!

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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

2 Comments »

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)

4 Comments »

Italian Chicken Chili Alfredo

Boy that’s a mouthful! I was trying to come up with a simple title but couldn’t. Originally when I made this I was going for a regular chili with chicken instead of ground beef. As I went along I kept changing my mind. I had also  just bought a jar of Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce and thought it would make a tasty addition. The sauce is a new product for the Classico line of sauces. It only has 60 calories and 5 grams of fat in ¼ cup. Compared to over 110 calories and 10 grams of fat for the same amount. It was really good and I didn’t feel bad about eating it!

I also added two kinds of beans to this recipe, white canellini beans and black beans. Another item I always have on hand in my freezer are those pre-cooked chicken sausages. They are really very good and lower in calories and fat. I usually have the Italian style which is what I used in this recipe. The chicken breast I used was the Perdue portion sized boneless breasts. They come in those individually wrapped packages. They were on sale and I had a coupon! I used the white wine and garlic seasoned ones but you can use any kind you want.

This was a great protein, fiber-filled meal. My husband really liked it and I can make it again so it’s a winner! Great for the fall or when you want an easy dinner. Leftovers are even better! If you want you can even add rice or pasta to the dish to stretch it even more. It’s up to you!

INGREDIENTS:

2 small onions (or 1 large), chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped (use less if you don’t like a lot of garlic)

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound or so), cut into bite size pieces

2 Italian Style Chicken Sausages (precooked kind)

1 can (15-16 oz.) white cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 can (15-16 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped

1 small-medium tomato, chopped small

½ cup mushrooms, chopped

1 jar (15 oz.) Classico Light Creamy Alfredo Sauce

2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

Parmesan Cheese for topping (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pan heat olive oil on medium heat and sauté the chicken pieces. Remove from pan and set aside when browned and mostly cooked, about 5 minutes.

2. In the same pan add the onion and garlic and sauté, on medium heat, till soft, about 5 minutes. Careful not to burn the garlic.

3. Add the mushrooms, sausage, basil, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for another 5 minutes. Stirring occasionally.

4. Add the tomatoes and stir in. Add the beans and continue to stir and cook for another 3 minutes or so until beans are heated through.

5. Add the alfredo sauce and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Stir occasionally. Add fresh parsley and serve.

Makes 6 servings

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Back of the Fridge Chicken Soup

Ever have one of those days when you just want to clean everything out of your fridge but you can’t throw it away because it’s still ok to eat? I did that last week. I had a bunch of little containers with leftover veggies, leftover rotisserie chicken from the supermarket and a freezer full of turkey stock I made from the my Thanksgiving in July dinner. You can use whatever you have left in your fridge or freezer and it will be delicious! I had some frozen mushrooms also that I threw in. It was very tasty! We actually had it two nights in a row.

INGREDIENTS:

4 cups chicken or turkey broth or stock

1 8oz. package Tofu Shirataki Noodles, prepared according to package

4 cups mixed veggies of your choice (I used a mix of frozen chopped spinach, broccoli rabe w/chicken sausage, mushrooms, peas, green beans, onion and garlic), chopped into bite sized pieces

1-2 cups chopped leftover chicken, whatever you have is good

1 15-16oz. can cannellini beans drained and rinsed.

½ cup chopped parsley

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

1. Saute the chopped onion and garlic in the olive oil. When soft pour in broth and rest of the ingredients except for the beans, parsley and noodles.

2. Bring to a boil and then lower heat and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until everything is heated through.

3. Add the beans and noodles and continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so until the beans are heated through. Add the parsley and serve.

4. Serve with parmesan cheese if you like!

Makes 4-6 servings.

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Mock Fried Rice (revisited)

Hi everyone! This is a repost of a recipe that I had pretty much forgotten was sooo incredibly awesome. I made it again the other night and had it leftover for lunch two days in a row. And yes I know some of you are going, ewww… cauliflower. Stop it! Give this recipe a try. Honestly it tastes nothing like cauliflower and it certainly doesn’t look like it. That is the first step. Your brain sees fried rice so it convinces you it’s fried rice. But it is so much healthier for you! I made it this past week with chopped up chicken sausage. So it was sort of like pork fried rice, but with chicken sausage. Either way it was delicious. I had been making smashed cauliflower alot and was tired of it. I also grated the cauliflower by hand this time with a hand box grater. No more. Next time it’s back to the food processor. I managed to grate my finger as well. Not fun. I had the cauliflower in the fridge for about a week or more and I figured I’d better make it soon. So when I went to cut it up it started to crumble a bit so this recipe was perfect. And of course once again, I left out the green pepper. I hate green peppers.  So try it this weekend, this week, soon! It’s a great meal or side dish. 

**

Ok everyone who loves fried rice stand up! Stay standing if you love or even like cauliflower! And stay standing if you hate cauliflower! This recipe will make you question your taste buds! I am not joking. I found this recipe in George Stella’s “Livin’ Low Carb” cookbook. I of course tweaked it to my liking. He calls for diced green bell peppers in it but for all of you who know me, I hate bell peppers of any color! I know, I know, what kind of Italian doesn’t like bell peppers? Me! Anyway, this recipe is incredible. We make it quite a bit now too. If you weren’t told what it was you would think it was fried rice for sure. I also add either chopped shrimp, chicken or pork to it to make it even better. Usually about  ½ cup of whichever you choose is great. Cooked shrimp, cooked chicken or cooked pork. I am actually making it tonight and I have to improvise again. There are scallions in the recipe and I’m out of them! Which never happens because John loves scallions. But I do have red onion which he also loves so I am going to try that with it today. We shall see what happens. Also the recipe calls for you to grate the cauliflower. Use a food processor with a grating blade if you have one. This makes it soooo easy. I tried it the first time with a hand grater on the largest holes and needless to say I was sorry! It’s so hard to grasp the cauliflower when it gets smaller. Use a food processor or be careful with the grater!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups raw cauliflower

2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil

2 tablespoons finely diced green bell peppers (ewww….)

4 tablespoons thinly sliced scallions (green and white parts)

½ cup cooked chopped shrimp, chicken or pork (or leave it out if you want to go vegetarian)

¼ teaspoon minced fresh garlic

3 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

3 large eggs, beaten (I have used 2 and it seems fine also)

salt to taste if needed

DIRECTIONS:

1. Grate the cauliflower using a food processor!!! Use the grating blade. Take my word for it!

2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pepper and 3 tablespoons of the green onions and cook for 1 minute.

3. Add the cauliflower, shrimp, chicken or pork, and garlic and cook, stirring constantly for 4-5 minutes, until the cauliflower is tender

4. Add the soy sauce and stir. (Looking more like fried rice now isn’t it!) Add the eggs to one corner of the pan but don’t stir for 1 minute. This allows the eggs to cook for a bit, which will prevent them from completely breaking up and disappearing into the mix.

5. As soon as the eggs are soft-cooked, remove the skillet from the heat and gently fold the eggs into the mixture. Add salt or more soy sauce to taste. Garnish with the remaining 1 tablespoon scallions and serve.

Makes 4 servings

6 Comments »

Grilled Lemon Dill Chicken

I am always looking for quick and delicious meals for dinner. Also meals that are a better choice for us as well. Chicken is usually one of those meals. Full of protein and when cooked the right way not loaded with calories. This recipe is basically for the grill. I actually made it on my little George Foreman grill. It took half the time and I didn’t have to start the grill for a few chicken breasts! I served it with mixed veggies and we had a meal in minutes! Actually the whole meal took less than 10 minutes to cook. Prep work is minimal. (I used mixed frozen vegetables)

INGREDIENTS:

4 boneless skinless chicken breast halves (1-1¼ lbs total)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons lemon juice

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill (about ½ teaspoon dried)

¼ teaspoon salt

DIRECTIONS:

1 Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. (Or if using an indoor electric grill I set mine to medium)

2. In a small bowl, combine the oil, lemon juice, garlic, dill and salt.

3. Place the chicken in a medium bowl and pour wet ingredients over and mix it all up, making sure it’s covered with coating all over. Grill for 6-7 minutes per side if using outdoor grill. I grilled mine for 5 minutes total on my George Foreman grill. Juices will run clear when done.

Serve with any side dish you prefer!

Serves 4

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Chicken Egg Foo Young

Egg Foo Young is a really good chinese dish. But I know how high in calories it can be so I usually stay away from it. My husband loves it too and usually gets the pork variety. This recipe can be made with pork, chicken, ham, or shrimp. Pretty much any protein you want to put in will work just fine. I took parts of this recipe from a Rachael Ray recipe as well as another recipe I had found. I left out what I didn’t like (yes, peppers! Eww…) and added my own touch. Another high calorie part of this recipe can be the sauce. Not in this recipe. There are a lot of ingredients and it does look daunting but give it a try. It’s not difficult and it will taste incredible! And it looks so good doesn’t it! If there are any leftovers they make a great breakfast too!

INGREDIENTS:

2 cups of egg substitute (I use the plain but you can substitute a flavored one if you like. )

1 cup chopped cooked chicken (leftover chicken is great for this)

1 cup fresh bean sprouts (A few big handfuls is good)

½ cup shredded carrots

¼ pound shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and thinly sliced (I used canned because the fresh were too expensive)

1 cup baby bok choy, shredded

1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, drained and finely chopped

1 bunch scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced on an angle

1 inch fresh ginger root, peeled and grated, plus 2 thin slices

2 large cloves garlic, grated or minced

salt and pepper

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup fat-free chicken stock or broth

¼ cup tamari (aged soy sauce, use regular low-sodium if you can’t find)

1 teaspoon hot sauce (more if you like a spicier sauce)


DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat a griddle pan over medium heat and brush it with some olive oil.

2. In a large mixing bowl pour in the egg beaters, chicken, bean sprouts, carrots, mushrooms, bok choy, water chestnuts, scallions, grated ginger and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and mix until completely combined.

3. Using a large mixing spoon, drop about ½ cup of the mixture onto the preheated and oiled griddle. Cook the pancakes about 2-3 minutes on each side,until golden. (Careful flipping them, it’s a little tricky. Well it was for me anyway!)

4. In the meantime, combine the cornstarch with a splash of chicken broth/stock to dissolve it. Place the rest of the stock/broth, tamari, cornstarch, hot sauce and sliced ginger in a small pot. Bring to a boil and stir until thickened for about 3 minutes or until you can coat a spoon with it. Remove the sliced ginger and remove from heat.

5. Serve 2 pancakes per person with gravy poured over the top.

Serves 4

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