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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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Zucchini Quiche

Now before you think this is just another boring Quiche, think again! This recipe is one of the most incredibly moist, creamy and delicious Quiche recipes I’ve ever made. It was originally a Weight Watchers recipe that I changed a bit. My version came out incredible. My husband loved it and I can’t wait to make it again. The wonderful thing about it is that there is no cream, no milk, no half-and-half at all in this recipe! It is pretty low-calorie and yet tastes so decadent that you’d never believe it good for you! Well it is. A great recipe to make ahead and freeze too! The original recipe was for ‘mini Quiche’. It was supposed to make 48 little tiny Quiche type bites. Great for a brunch or breakfast. I chose not to do that and we had it for dinner. And breakfast, and lunch. You will not miss the crust. Who needs all those extra useless calories! Crust just covers up the taste and creaminess of the Quiche! The Quiche was so fluffy I was amazed. Usually when I make something like this it falls and flattens when it cools a bit. Not this recipe! 

A side note, I have also gone back to Weight Watchers for what seems like the 20th time. I had to make a change. Couldn’t go on just eating everything in sight and expecting the weight to stay off. So I am back on track. In three weeks I have already shed 5.2 lbs and I’m not stopping till I get where I want to be. It’s a good thing all around. But don’t worry, my recipes won’t all be Weight Watcher recipes or “diet” recipes. But they will be leaning toward the healthier and leaner type stuff. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not giving up my cocktails either, so when I find another great one, I will share! Now if I could just figure out a way to exercise while blogging…hmmm…

Ok here is the recipe!

INGREDIENTS:

cooking spray

2 medium uncooked zucchini, peeled and shredded

3 shallots finely chopped (or one small onion chopped)

3-4 cloves garlic chopped

1 cup shredded or grated parmesan cheese

6 large eggs

½ cup all-purpose flour

¼ cup basil, fresh, finely chopped

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon sugar or sugar substitute

1 teaspoon kosher salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

OMG So incredibly creamy and delicious!

DIRECTIONS:

  • Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a glass or non-stick Quiche pan or round casserole dish with cooking spray.
  • Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and pour into prepared dish.
  • Bake until bottom is golden brown and Quiche is cooked through. (I cooked it 30-45 minutes. Check after 30 minutes. Make sure it’s not too loose and watery.)
  • Remove from oven and let cool for a few minutes before serving. The Quiche will continue to set up.

Makes 6-8 servings.

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Cheesy Zucchini Soup

Last night I made a wonderful delicious soup for the first time. I want to thank fellow blogger Reeni for the inspiration. She posted the original recipe on her blog Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice and I just had to make it myself. I did change it a bit because I didn’t have the exact ingredients on hand. It still came out incredibly delicious. I was sweating like crazy making this last night, it is Florida and still 80 degrees or so right now, but I kept at it. The recipe is pretty easy, but it does take time cutting up all the stuff. Oh how I wish I had a sous chef of my own to do all that for me!

The original recipe I had called for vegetable broth. I had chicken broth and beef broth. I used chicken broth. It also called for a carrot. Didn’t have any, so didn’t use it. The recipe also called for ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese OR 1 cup of shredded cheddar, swiss or pepper jack. I couldn’t decide so I used ½ cup Parmesan cheese and ½ cup shredded cheddar! Same thing with the herbs. It originally called for 1 teaspoon dried thyme or basil. I used ½ teaspoon of each. And the one final change or should I say suggestion that I left out was adding ½ cup of half-and-half or heavy cream. The soup didn’t need it and I didn’t need the extra calories! I’d say the recipe makes about 6 nice servings. I had two bowls and my husband had three! There is even enough for another bowl left over! So it’s a keeper! Please check out the original recipe on Reeni’s blog at  Cinnamon Spice & Everything Nice! Mangia!

INGREDIENTS:

Olive Oil, about 3 tablespoons

1 large Vidalia or yellow onion, diced (I used Vidalia)

1 large carrot, diced

1 stalk celery, diced

4-6 cloves garlic, (I used at least 6

½ teaspoon dried basil

½ teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

2 large zucchini (I used 1 large and 2 small)

3 cups vegetable or chicken broth

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup shredded cheddar, swiss, pepper jack or any other cheese of your choice

½ cup half-and-half or heavy cream, optional

DIRECTIONS:

  1. In a large saucepan heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, carrot and celery, sauté until tender, about 5-10 minutes. (I cooked it for 10 minutes) Stir often. Add the garlic and sauté until you smell its wonderful aroma.

  2. Add the thyme and basil. Season well with salt and pepper.

  3. Meanwhile peel and dice 1½ of the zucchini (I used 2½). It should be about 5 coups. Shred the rest of the zucchini on the large holes of a grater and set aside.

  4. Add the diced zucchini to the pan and mix well, cooking for about 3-4 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a simmer for 15 minutes.

  5. Turn off the heat and purée the soup using an immersion blender. Careful of hot splatters with this! If you don’t have one carefully transfer the soup in batches to a blender and purée in batches. Return to pan if you used this method.

  6. Once the soup is pureed add the shredded zucchini and the cheese. (You can add the half-and-half here if you wish) Stir well.

  7. Simmer for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Makes 4-6 servings

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Delicious Creole Gumbo

On May 4, 2009 the world became a lot less funny. Comedic genius and actor Dom DeLuise passed away at the age of 75. I don’t know of anyone who can’t name at least one favorite Dom  DeLuise movie. One of my faves is “Fatso”. The food in this movie was incredible and you got hungry just watching it. Especially the scene with the huge pot of sauce and meatballs. He dunks a little Italian bread into to taste it and it’s all down hill from there. Funny. He was one of my favorite actors and you always smiled when you watched him. Smiled or laughed hysterically.

Dom was not a skinny man by any means but over the years he realized he had to do something. I bought his first cookbook “Eat This…It’ll Make You Feel Better!” back in 1988. It was full of funny and wonderful stories of his family and friends. It was and still is an awesome cookbook. When I got married my father wouldn’t let me leave the house with the copy I had so I had to go and buy another one to take with me! The book is full of his mother’s Italian home cooking as well as recipes from his family and friends. It’s actually my “go to” Italian cookbook.  As the years went on and Dom got larger and larger he decided to start eating better and came out with a second book in 1997. Another hit. This one is called “Eat This Too!”. It’s a low-fat cookbook of all his favorites along with more pics and stories of his family and friends. I will never part with either cookbook. All of the recipes are delicious.

Dom & Julia on Good Morning America in 1984

Today’s recipe is from “Eat This Too!” Gumbo can be very fattening but his version is loaded with vegetables and a seafood. Serve it over brown rice instead of the usual white rice.  Don’t be afraid of the long list of ingredients either. It’s not too scary, really! It will take longer to cut up and prep all of the veggies (where’s that private sous chef when you need one?) than to cook so be brave! You won’t be disappointed!

INGREDIENTS:

2 pounds shrimp/scallops, lobster, or other seafood, shelled, cleaned

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 carrot, sliced

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 28-oz can tomatoes

1 6-oz can tomato paste

1 red pepper and 1 green pepper, coarsely chopped

½ teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon parsley

1 teaspoon paprika

10 mushrooms, sliced

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon oregano

1 teaspoon thyme

½ teaspoon Tabasco sauce

12 fresh okra, sliced

2 zucchini, sliced

1 stalk celery, chopped

3 tablespoons flour mixed with ½ cup cold water

DIRECTIONS:

1. In a large pot sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil, until golden brown. Add the remaining ingredients except the seafood.

2. Cook over medium-low heat until flavors intermingle, about 30 minutes. Add the shrimp/scallops or other seafood. Cook just a few minutes until seafood is just done. Serve while still tender.

Serves 8-12

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Zucchini Pancakes Lite

This is an easy, healthy and light side dish or meatless entrée for the hot summer. I really like zucchini pancakes but they are usually full of fillers and other things that boost the calories and fat. This recipe uses my newest favorite food item, House Tofu Shirataki Noodles and egg substitute. The Tofu Shirataki Noodles are great. I will not lie and say they taste just like regular pasta, they don’t. But they are very good in their own right. Their benefits are:

  • LOW CARB – only 3g of carbs per serving
  • LOW CALORIE – 20 calories per 4 oz serving
  • NO CHOLESTEROL
  • NO SUGAR
  • GLUTEN-FREE
  • DAIRY-FREE
  • CONTAINS 10% CALCIUM
  • VEGAN
  • GUILT-FREE

They can be found in the organic section of the produce department in most supermarkets and come in a pouch with water. They must be kept refrigerated and not frozen. They come in Fettuccine, Angel Hair and Spaghetti shapes. I always have at least 2 bags on hand in my refrigerator.  Even my husband likes them! I adapted this recipe to make it lower in calories and fat but if you do not like egg substitutes please use 2 eggs in its place.

INGREDIENTS:


1 -8 ounce package House Tofu Shirataki Noodles (Spaghetti Shape)

½ cup egg substitute (or 2 large eggs)

½ cup biscuit mix (your choice)

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup scallions, chopped

2 cups zucchini, shredded

2 tablespoons butter or olive oil

DIRECTIONS:

1. Prepare noodles according to package directions. Cut into 2-3″ lengths.

2. Combine eggs, biscuit mix and seasoning in a bowl. Stir in the noodles, scallions and zucchini.

3. Heat a flat skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon butter. When it’s hot, scoop 1/3 cup of the mixture at a time onto the skillet, like making pancakes.

4. Cook until the bottom is golden brown. Flip and cook the other side until golden brown.

5. When finished place on a platter and keep warm. Make remaining pancakes until finished.

Makes about six 4″ pancakes.

Each pancake has about 95 calories and 5 grams of fat. With the regular eggs it will be about 110 calories and 7 grams of fat.

You can also add a little soy sauce to the finished pancakes for some added flavor.

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