Sunday, February 19, 2012

Cheesy Chicken Enchiladas

Recently back from a little wintermission in Mexico we were in the mood for a bit of a theme dinner :)

As we descended the escalator into the contained wilderness that is the North Avenue Whole Foods, Geof suggested enchiladas.  Hmmm, now there's something I've never made before.  "Let's do it!"

I pulled up a recipe that sounded good and set about tweaking it, Dunmore style :)  It was another success! Here's how it went down:


  • 2 cups chopped (or cubed) cooked chicken (I used Trader Joe's pre-cooked chicken)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 4 cups shredded three cheese Mexican blend
  • 1 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 6 (8-inch) flour tortillas (Trader Joe's has the BEST flour 'tillas!)
  • Trader Joe's Enchilada Sauce (I used about half the bottle total)
  • 1/2 cup sliced black olives 


Preheat the oven to 350.  Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish.

In a medium bowl, mix the chicken, onion, 1 cup of the cheese, and 3/4 cup of the sour cream.  If you want some extra kick, add a 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper to the mix :)  Fill each of the tortillas evenly with the mix and roll tightly.  Arrange in a single layer in the baking dish.

In a saucepan over low heat, melt together the remaining cheese and sour cream, and add enchilada sauce as desired (I probably poured 1/4 cup into the saucepan).  Pour mixture over the enchiladas in the baking dish, and then top with the olives.  Pour light layer of enchilada sauce on top.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20-30 minutes, or until hot and bubbling slightly.

It was a very tasty dish!  As I mentioned, some cayenne pepper would add some spicy goodness as these are fairly mild.  The cheese sauce was really, really good, and the edges of the tortillas were awesomely crispy.

We ended up having two left over so we reheated them for lunch today and they were just as delicious!


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Ultra Oatmeal

Here's a little somethin' somethin' for those oatmeal lovers out there. 

If you're looking for a change, or have yet to include it in your daily (or somewhat daily) intake, then I recommend giving this oaty delight a whirl.

The cool thing about oatmeal is how versatile it is.  I eat it in desserts, smoothies, plain, in yogurt or just prettied up with some good stuff for breakfast.  Ditch the stuff that comes in a know, the prepackaged stuff with flavors already built into it.  It's processed and full of sugar.  But, I suppse even that is better than a lot of other things... :) 

I was snacking on a lot of walnuts and almonds between meals of late and I decided I needed to reduce the amount of fat I'm getting from those things, and instead fill up on something that will stay with me for longer and help out my aging ticker ;) 

Duh, oatmeal! 

I used to eat it every single day.  My cholesterol dropped almost 100 points in 2010 because of the stuff, but, in 2011, I replaced my daily oats with a daily green smoothie (which is completely amazing and benefits me in a lot more ways).  Heading in for my yearly physical/bloodwork for the health of it recently was a good impetus to revamp an old favorite.  There are so many amazing benefits to eating daily oatmeal, but I won't bore you with all that stuff.  That's what Google is for :) 

In case you were curious, after a year of zero oatmeal, but a TON of greens, veggies, fruits, nuts and seeds, fish and beef, my cholesterol only went up 10 points (but is still considered quite low; hiphiphooray!).  So, oatmeal is not the only way to keep your heart happy, but it sure is one of many tasty ways to do so :)

In any event, here's something I've taken to over the last month or so.  I like to start with plain old fashioned oats (quick oats are fine too, or really whatever kind of raw oats you like).  And this is what I usually come up with:

Approximate recipe:
  • 3/4 - 1 cup old fashioned oats
  • Handful chopped walnuts
  • 1 Tbs. organic raw honey
  • 1/4 tsp. turmeric
  • Dash of ground cinnamon
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • Vanilla soymilk (enough to lightly saturate oats)
Heat and enjoy!  It's a small serving, and I eat it out of a small Tupperware doodad (pictured), but it's more than enough to keep away post-run hunger.

This week I've played around with my "recipe" and have added the following:
  • 1 Tbs. raw almond butter (no salt)
  • 1/2 sliced banana
It's delicious and extremely filling.  I enjoy mine mid-morning, at work.  Keeps the ol' noggin fresh and alert, and helps stave off my excessive post-morning run stomach growling (which can be sort of awkward when it pops up during a quiet meeting...and you know no one believes you when you say you're just hungry...) :)

Play around with that and try out different things; don't be afraid!  And let me know if you try something totally amazing.  Oatmeal can handle a lot of different flavors!  I think fresh ground ginger could be a real winner (great for fighting off inflammation!), and adding some fresh or frozen berries is never a bad idea either.