Pumpkin Enchiladas

veggies   pumpkin enchilada sauce   chicken, peppers & onions

Mexican food and Fall flavors got married, had a baby and this recipe was born! I found this recipe a few weeks ago and have made it twice already! It satisfies my need for spice, all-things-Fall and is super comforting.

pumpkin enchiladas

I was a little scared at first because when you taste the sauce before it bakes, it’s a little weird…or too pumpkin-y something…but nothing that roasting in the oven for half an hour doesn’t fix!

Besides a little cheese (which isn’t bad for you) these are super healthy. Pumpkin is super high in antioxidants, vitamin A and potassium. Then you also have the added veggie goodness from the onions – pepper – jalapenos  and garlic . Super tasty! You have to try these babies!

pumpkin enchiladas

Pumpkin Enchiladas

For enchilada sauce:

  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree ( I used canned organic pumpkin)
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • Âľ cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup low-sodium chicken stock

For the filling:

  • about 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs, diced into small chunks
  • 1 medium onion (such as vidalia), diced
  • 1 orange bell pepper, diced
  • 1-2 tablespoons EVOO
  • salt & pepper, to taste. Also add some of the chili powder, cumin and oregano that went into the sauce for extra flavor!

For assembly and serving:

  • 8 medium- sized corn tortillas (if you use the small size it may take 10-12)
  • 1 1/2 cups grated white cheddar cheese
  • sliced green onions or chives and chopped cilantro, for serving

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425. Add EVOO to a skillet over medium heat. Add onion, bell pepper, chicken, salt and pepper. SautĂ© until veggies are soft and chicken in done, about 10-12 minutes. About 2 minutes before its done add some of the chili powder, cumin and oregano that went into the sauce for extra flavor! Set aside.
  • Place chopped jalapeño and garlic in a food processor and pulse to mince fine. Add pumpkin puree, chili powder, cumin, oregano, Greek Yogurt, and chicken stock. Pulse to combine. (I used my Vitamix for this step)
  • Pour one cup of sauce in the bottom of an 8Ă—13 baking dish.
  • Heat tortillas in the microwave for 45 seconds, until they are warm and pliable. Spoon about ½ cup of chicken mixture onto each tortilla. Sprinkle with a little of the shredded cheddar. Roll up each tortilla and lay them in the pan, seam side down.
  • Pour remaining sauce over the tortillas. Top with grated cheddar, and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
  • Garnish with green onions and chopped cilantro.

Based on the recipe by How Crazy Cooks

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“Eat Your Greens” Asian Chicken Salad

"Eat your greens" Asian Chicken Salad

I used to write down recipes that I made and liked enough to think that I would make them again. I first made this salad back in 2008 and unfortunately when I copied it down I didn’t note where I had gotten it from but I did write down the date and put a smiley face beside it!

The recipe as I copied it called for green onions but I have tons of fresh spring chives so I decided to substitute them. A delicious choice!

“Eat Your Greens” Asian Chicken Salad

  • 1 small head napa cabbage, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 bag frozen edamame, cooked then rinsed with cold water
  • 1/2 cup cilantro leaves
  • 1/4 chopped chives
  • 1 small english cucumber, cut into julienne
  • 6-7 radishes, cut into julienne
  • 1 pound chicken (about 2 breasts)
  • 5 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh squeezed lime juice

Method

  • In a small bowl combine the soy sauce, peanut butter, garlic, ginger, honey and lime juice. Whisk to combine.
  • In a medium skillet add a bit of extra virgin olive oil, heat to medium or so and add the cubed chicken. Season with salt and pepper. Right before the chicken is done cooking add about a tablespoon of the dressing. Continue cooking until done, turn the burner off and let come to room temp while you prepare the rest of the salad.
  • In a large bowl add sliced napa cabbage, cilantro, chives, cucumber, edamame and radishes. Add dressing and toss to combine. Let the salad sit for about 10 minutes while the chicken is cooling…the dressing will wilt the cabbage a bit making it softer and helping the flavors to combine. Lastly, add the chicken, toss salad again and enjoy!

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Here’s a peek inside my kitchen to see what we ate on Friday night. Travis was working/playing in the garage, Devin was out of school for the week and I began my spring break (otherwise known as my-last-spring-break-ever-because-I-graduate-in-December!). Time for fun to eat Mexican-get-the-party-started-food!

When I originally found this recipe I loved the result so much that I shared it with my sister Zan. She has made them multiple times and so have I but this is the first time I’ve taken pics.

We also made fresh salsa in my new Vitamix!

Homemade salsa

These are so fun to eat and amazingly delicious that I need to remember to make them as a party food sometime. I think you could slice them in half on the diagonal and they would be even more bite size and party friendly.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Baked Chicken Taquitos

  • 3 ounces organic cream cheese, at room temp
  • 1/4 cup salsa verde
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (I used part of a rotisserie)
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 12-16 (6-inch) organic corn tortillas

Method

  • Preheat oven to 425 F.  Spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
  • In a large bowl, stir together the cream cheese, salsa, lime juice, chile powder, cumin, cayenne pepper, onion powder, garlic, parsley, scallions, and 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt.  Add the chicken and cheeses and stir until evenly distributed.  Season the mixture to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Place 2 tortillas at a time on a microwave safe plate and cover with a damp paper towel.  Microwave for 25 seconds, or until the tortillas are soft and pliable.  Spoon 2-3 tablespoons of the filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly.  Place seam side-down on the prepared baking sheet.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
  • Spray the taquitos with cooking spray and sprinkle with kosher salt.  Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden.  (I loved them served with sour cream!)

Adapted from Pink Parsley Blog

Tri Tip Tacos (Slow Cooker)

Rump roast

I finally made a roast that I love! Last summer I made a pork butt roast with my sister Zandria. It had tons of ingredients. It was too big for crock pot and we (well… she) had to cut the meat into chunks so it would fit. The end result was full of fat pieces that we had to pick out and the meat wasn’t excellent for all the work required.

This roast is a different story. Mix the spice rub. Sprinkle and pat it into the meat. Let the meat rest for a few minutes while you chop onions and garlic, open a can of tomatoes and measure a cup of beef broth.

Rump roast and pickled red onions

Devin ate his inside of warmed corn tortillas and piled up with good toppings. I tasted the meat with the tortillas but thought it was better by itself on a plate and topped with the avocado, jalapenos, cilantro, a drizzle of sour cream and the pickled red onions I made (thinly sliced red onion, Bragg apple cider vinegar, splash of water and salt and pepper…let it sit for 5 hours in the fridge). Basically the same stuff Devin put on his taco!

The meat pulled apart basically by itself. It’s juicy and flavorful. And most importantly is easy to make and has literally no fat in it at all!!

tacos

Tri Tip Tacos

  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 1/2 lbs tri-tip roast (our market had Hereford Rump Roast and the butcher said it was very similar to tri tip)
  • 14 ounces tomatoes and green chilies (I used Muir Glen fire roasted diced tomatoes with green chilies)
  • 1 yellow onion (I diced the onion)
  • 2 cloves garlic (I minced the garlic)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • tortillas as needed (I used corn)
  • toppings include: shredded cheese, salsa, pickled jalapenos, sour cream, lettuce, limes, cilantro, red onion, avocado

Method

  • In a small bowl, combine the salt, paprika, cumin, pepper, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper.
  • Liberally season the tri-tip roast with the spices and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Place the roast into your slow cooker and cover it with the diced tomatoes and chilies, onions, garlic cloves and beef stock.
  • Set your slow cooker to low and let it cook for 8-10 hours until the meat is easily shredded.
  • Remove the meat from the slow cooker and give it a rough chop and use as needed for tacos.

Recipe from What’s Gaby Cooking

Mexican Chicken Chili

After a couple of lunches and 2 dinners of Christmas leftovers I decided to change it up and make chili. I had plenty of homemade stock from the turkey and of course leftover turkey meat so I substituted those for the typical shredded chicken and chicken stock. Results? Very tasty!! Homemade stock is always better than the boxed stuff (though I do love that too)

Chicken/turkey chili

This recipe is a variation of the recipe that my sister Zandria used to make. I have tried to make it a bit healthier and to all organic ingredients. It was called White Chicken Chili but I decided since it wasn’t very “white” that it needed a new name 🙂

Mexican Chicken Chili

Mexican Chicken Chili

  • 1 rotisserie chicken, meat shredded
  • 3 (15 oz.) cans organic great northern beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (4.5 oz.) can green chiles
  • 1 (10 oz.) bag frozen organic white corn
  • 1 tablespoon (heaping) homemade taco seasoning
  • 1 container organic cream of celery soup
  • 1/2 cup light organic sour cream
  • Toppings: chopped green onion, chopped cilantro, shredded monterey jack cheese

Method

  • Place all ingredients in a crock pot and cook on low for 2 1/2 or 3 hours stirring occasionally. You can also cook this in a dutch oven or soup pot. Bring it to a simmer and turn it down low and cook for about 45 minutes.
  • Add toppings to individual bowls for serving.

Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas

We spent a couple days in Virginia Beach this week. Two days of boating, playing in the water and soaking up the sun. We ate brunch at our favorite-brunch-place-in-the-world, Citrus. Everytime we go to Virginia Beach we HAVE to eat there. It’s a great diner atmosphere with awesome brunch selections (and lunch but we always get breakfast). I had their Beach Benedict which has avocado, tomato and spinach in place of the typical ham in an eggs benedict. The rest of it is traditional with a crispy english muffin, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce….served with a side of yummy grits!!

One night we ate at another one of our favorite spots, Tautogs. They have amazing seafood and fun bartenders. We always eat at the bar when we go there.  One of the bartenders plays music just like Travis does so they had plenty to chat about. I was busy sipping on a pomegranate martini and eating up their Tau-Pho. The Pho had tons of veggies (baby bok choy, squash, zucchini, onions, jalapenos, peppers, cilantro) and had TONS of shrimp it in. It was like 95 degrees outside and I was eating hot soup and sweating but it was WORTH IT!!!

We got home yesterday afternoon and I enjoyed a little “me” time. I worked out, showered, got my nails done, went grocery shopping and after cooking dinner I went over to my friends Brian and Jes’ house.  They live in my neighborhood so I just had a walk around the corner (bonus)! They made samples of super-healthy smoothies with their Vitamix blender for us to try and we washed those down with glasses of wine. Super fun time!

I have made this recipe once before about a month ago for my brother and my Dad’s birthday (their birthdays are one day apart on the 24th and 25th of May). Due to the commotion of having guests over and cooking at the same time I didn’t take any pictures. The original recipe that I made from Sing for Your Supper blog made enough enchilada sauce and chicken filling to fill two 13×9 dishes (about 20-22  enchiladas). That was nice the first time I made these since I had 9 people to feed but I had to cut it down for just the 3 of us. This recipe makes enough enchiladas to fill one 13×9 dish.

Devin gave them his signature thumps up and Travis said they were really, really good. These enchiladas are a little spicy from the jalapeno and cayenne pepper, creamy from the sour cream and tangy from the salsa verde. I can’t wait to have leftovers for lunch today 🙂

Salsa Verde Sour Cream Enchiladas

Slightly Adapted From  Sing For Your Supper Blog

Ingredients

  • 2 chicken breasts, shredded (I used a rotisserie chicken and saved the legs and wings for the guys to snack on later)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeds removed, minced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 cup light sour cream
  • 1 cup (or half of a 16 ounce jar) of Medium Salsa Verde, I used Herdez
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons dried cilantro (I forgot to buy fresh)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup each sharp cheddar and monterey jack cheese
  • 10-12 flour tortillas

Method

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Heat large non-stick skillet and spray with non-stick olive oil spray, then add butter. When the pan heats and butter melts add the onion, garlic and jalapeno and saute until soft. Add flour and stir constantly for 2 minutes. Whisk in chicken stock until smooth and bubbly. Add cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper and cilantro and stir. Then add in salsa and sour cream. Let it come to a simmer and then turn down to low while you prepare the tortillas.
  • Spray a 13×9 baking dish with non-stick olive oil spray. Add 2 ladle-fulls of sauce to the bottom of the dish. Add some chicken and cheese to each tortilla and roll up. Place in the pan seam-side down. Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until bubbly and slightly browned. Serves 3-4 with leftovers.

White Chicken Chili

When I asked Devin what he would like for his last-day-of-the-9th-grade-eve dinner he thought White Chicken Chili would be good. He also informed me that it better taste like his Aunt Zan’s. He went to visit her in Washington, DC for a few days last summer right before school started and she made this for him… he has been talking about it ever since. This recipe is very similar to the one she makes but the recipe she shared with me called for a can of cream of chicken soup and an envelope of prepared taco seasoning. Zandria has cut out gluten and a lot of sugars and processed foods from her diet since last making the version she sent me so I’m sure she would like to know about this latest, greatest recipe I found.

I cooked everything in my dutch oven.

Devin announced that the chili was very, very good and gave it a thumbs up.

White Chicken Chili

Adapted from Fearless Homemaker

Ingredients

  • 2 cans cannellini beans, drained
  • 1 can hominy, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large white onion, chopped
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stick unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth (I doubled the broth that her recipe called for because I like a soupier chili)
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste (her recipe called for white pepper but I didn’t have any)
  • 2 – 4 ounce cans of chopped, mild green chilies
  • 1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • sour cream, for serving

Method

  • Start by dicing up the raw chicken breasts into the size chunks that you prefer. Heat a dutch oven to a medium heat and add the oil. When heated, add the chicken breasts chunks and salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring occasionally until done. Remove chicken and place in a medium bowl.
  • Add onions and garlic. Cook for about 8 minutes until soft. Add the butter and when it is melted sprinkle the flour over everything and stir constantly for 3-4 minutes. Slowly add in the chicken stock, then the half and half. Turn heat down to medium-low. Bring mixture to a simmer (watch the heat and stir frequently so that the pan doesn’t scorch). Add chicken, beans, chilies and spices. Cook for about 30 minutes with the lid on stirring occasionally. Right before serving stir in the shredded cheese. Serve with a dallop of sour cream if desired. Devin ate his with some crushed tortilla chips.