Stacked Beef Enchiladas

I love enchiladas but the task itself can be a little tedious, especially with the rolling of the tortillas. So, when I came across this stacked chicken enchilada recipe, I fell in love! It’s like making enchiladas but in lasagna form because you just stack all the ingredients on top. Super easy and incredibly delicious! I followed this recipe almost to a T, except that I used beef, instead of chicken, and seasoned it with garlic salt, pepper, and cumin. I’ve made this dish with chicken before, too; it just depends on what meat I have available at the moment. I also used just 1 can of black beans and 1/2 can of corn.

This recipe is incredibly versatile, so feel free to switch it up! You don’t have to stick with beans and corn if you don’t like corn and beans. Add Spanish rice if you want. Be creative. Have fun with it! Part of the fun of cooking is just going with what feels right and not sticking so much by the book.

At the end, I topped mine with sour cream, avocado, green onions, and cilantro. This dish is definitely in my top 10 of favorites!

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Gluten-Free Greek Chicken Pasta Salad

This recipe was inspired by two different sources, which you can find here and here. I fused the two recipes together to my liking and made a gluten-free version. This salad is tasty and tangy. It’s the perfect dish to prepare on a weeknight after work when you don’t want a lot of fuss but want a ton of flavor. It’s great to take to work the next day for lunch as leftovers, and it would probably be the first dish to be finished at a potluck because who doesn’t like pasta? So, without further ado, let’s jump right into it.

Ingredients:

Salad

  • 2 chicken breasts, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 8 oz gluten-free pasta, which equated to 3 cups uncooked for me (I used this one and found it at Costco for half the price)
  • 2 handfuls of colorful mini bell peppers, chopped
  • 1 cup of grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 large cucumber or 1 small cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 can pitted black olives
  • A handful of fresh parsley, chopped
  • Feta cheese (to your liking), crumbled
  • Salt (I used this Himalayan Pink Salt from Costco)
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1 tablespoon lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

Dressing

  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar (I used pomegranate red wine vinegar)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard
  • Salt
  • Freshly cracked pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey

Preparation:

In a nonstick pan, heat olive oil and add the chicken over medium heat. Cook the chicken until browned. Add lemon pepper seasoning and salt.

While the chicken is cooking, boil salted water in a pot. Once the water comes to a boil, add your pasta. The back of my package indicated to boil the pasta for 6-8 minutes but I boiled mine closer to 13. When I tasted a piece after even 10 minutes, it was crunchy and not the least bit appetizing! I’ve found that you have to boil gluten-free pastas a bit longer than regular pastas.

Remove chicken from heat.

Remove the boiled pasta from heat. Drain the pasta and rinse with cold water.

Now comes the fun part! Chop and slice your vegetables. In a large bowl, mix the cooled pasta, chicken, mini bell peppers, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, olives, parsley, and feta cheese.

In a container, combine your ingredients for the dressing (extra virgin olive oil, red wine vinegar, garlic, dried oregano, dried basil, yellow mustard, salt, pepper, and honey. The honey here is crucial, as it will take away the bitterness and give the dressing a subtly sweet touch.)  Give it a few really good shakes until all the ingredients are combined nicely. Pour the dressing over the pasta salad and toss gently.

GF Pasta Salad

Enjoy!

Grilled Cuban Carne Asada

Happy New Year! As we advance into 2015, I know many of us have the goal to eat healthier and lose weight. The recipe I’m about to share with you today will help you on your weight loss journey and not impede your progress. I actually got it out of one of those Costco cookbooks they pass out for free in December during the holidays. I modified the recipe a bit (the original called for flank steak and I changed a few other ingredients here and there) and I have to say that the end result was amazing! Let’s get started.

Ingredients

Cuban Dry Rub:

  • 1 tablespoon cumin powder
  • 1 tablespoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt

Cilantro Chimichurri sauce:

  • 1/4 cup lemon juice or juice of one lemon
  • 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed
  • 1 dash crushed red pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar (I used one that had Pomegranate flavoring)
  • 1 tablespoon water

Carne asada:

  • 1 pound carne asada
  • 1/2 white onion, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch cilantro sprigs
  • A few splashes of lemon juice or freshly squeezed lemon
  • Salt and pepper

Preparation:

Cuban dry rub: in a small bowl, stir together all the ingredients. Set aside.

Cilantro chimichurri sauce: place all ingredients in blender and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Carne asada: using the Cuban dry rub, rub the pieces of carne asada on both side. Place the carne asada in the refrigerator while prepping the onions. Brush the sliced onions with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place the rubbed carne asada on the grill and cook to the desired internal temperature. I used a George Foreman grill and grilled mine until well done for 9 minutes.

Remove from grill and let rest, tented with foil. Add the sliced seasoned onions in the grill. When the onions are tender, place in a mixing bowl. Add a few splashes of lemon juice (or squeeze some fresh lemon on top) to the onions, season with salt and pepper, and add some sprigs of cilantro; toss gently and set aside.

To serve, arrange the carne asada on a platter, scatter the warm grilled onions on top, drizzle with the cilantro chimichurri sauce, and garnish with some cilantro sprigs. I served mine with green beans on the side that I sauteed in a dab of butter, garlic, and salt. Yum!

Enjoy!

carne asada 1 Carne Asada 2

Chicken Cauliflower Fried Rice

Last night I was craving something healthy (I never thought the day would come in my pregnancy when I would say that!), so I decided to spruce up an old classic. I took my original Cauliflower Fried Rice recipe, added some chicken to it, and tweaked some of the ingredients. Let’s get started!

Ingredients:

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lbs. lean chicken breasts, chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce (omit for Specific Carbohydrate Diet)
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (omit for Specific Carbohydrate Diet)
  • Salt, to taste (I like using Himalayan Pink Salt that you can freshly grind yourself; I feel it tastes more mild than other salts)
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

Preparation:

For this part, you can refer to my original post, as I pretty much prepared it in the same way, except this time, I sautéed the garlic last. So, after cooking your red onions, add your green onions, then add your garlic. Since garlic burns quickly, I felt it would be best to hold off on cooking it until the end.

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I also sautéed the chicken in a separate pan for about 15 minutes until it turned golden brown. Then, I added the chicken and eggs to the cauliflower fried rice last, after I had added the final two ingredients of soy and Worcestershire sauces.

Here is the finished product!

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The end result was a delicious, satisfying, and completely guiltless meal. The chicken was a nice touch, as the protein helped keep me full longer than usual. And, I have to add that even if you don’t like cauliflower, you will like this dish because once you sauté the cauliflower, there is no real cauliflower taste. The cauliflower  acts as a nice substitution for rice without the calories.

Bon appétit!

Cauliflower Tortillas

Bread is probably one of the top things I miss the most since starting the SCD. Luckily, there are a ton of SCD legal recipes online for pretty much anything I might be craving. A few weeks ago, I was in the mood for some soft tacos and so, I went on the hunt to find a good tortilla recipe. That’s when I came across this recipe for cauliflower tortillas. I also watched a separate YouTube video on it, which I found extremely helpful. For those of you who are more visual learners, the video will come in handy! Can we say genius?! I’ve experimented with cauliflower fried rice, cauliflower mash, and cauliflower crust pizza, all of which were a hit, and each time, I found it crazy how this vegetable can mirror the perfect substitute for bread and starchy carbs. So, when I found the recipe for cauliflower tortillas, I had no doubt the tortillas would taste fantastic.

One head of cauliflower made 5-6 tortillas. The only downside is that I felt it took quite a bit of time to prepare it all for so few tortillas. The plus side is that the tortillas tasted absolutely amazing, so amazing that no one would ever be able to know they were made out of cauliflower. They kind of tasted like corn tortillas but more flavorful. I should also mention that I spruced up the original recipe by adding oregano and thyme to it. You can feel free to add your favorite herbs to add as much flavor as you want. Also, word of advice: at the end when you’re browning your tortillas, make sure not to add any oil or cooking spray to the pan. The tortillas are already delicate, so I experienced adding any oil just made them more fragile. Just press them down lightly with a spatula to give them a nice golden color.

Here are how mine turned out:

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The ones topped with feta cheese are my husband’s. I garnished each taco with cilantro and some chopped green onions. My husband’s exact words were that I outdid myself and that this meal is now one of his new favorites.

Happy eating! Enjoy!

Baked Pesto & Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Brussels Sprouts

Two posts in one day?! Yes! I owe it to you guys and gals for taking so long to post a new recipe on here. So, I made baked pesto and cheese stuffed chicken breasts for dinner tonight, along with a side of Brussels sprouts. My husband raved about it and said this is up there as one of my all-time top dishes! SCORE!

Thanks to Pinterest for another recipe, which can be found here. I made some modifications, mostly because I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand and because I thought it would taste good either way.

Ingredients:

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tbsp Pesto
  • One slice of your favorite cheese (I used Tillamook’s medium cheddar)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 4 tbsp almond meal
  • Sea salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Preparation:

First, put your chicken breasts in a Ziploc bag and pound them. If you have a meat mallet that’s great but unfortunately, all I had to work with was a potato masher, which ended up doing the trick. Then, get your pesto and spread it on your chicken breasts. Cut a slice of cheese in quarters and put two quarters on each chicken breast on top of the pesto. Roll your chicken and secure with toothpicks (I needed 3 for each.)

In a bowl, beat your egg. Fill another bowl with your almond meal. Dip each chicken breast into the egg and coat with almond meal. Place in a 8 x 8 casserole dish that’s been coated with cooking spray. Drizzle olive oil on top of the chicken breasts. Place in a 375 degree heated oven and bake for 35 minutes.

Chicken 1

Follow the recipe for the Brussels sprouts here. I assure you that they will be the best darn Brussels sprouts you’ve ever had, even if you’re not a Brussels sprouts fan. The sprouts turn out crispy, salty, and delicious! Remember to season generously with sea salt.

And, voila! Here’s the finished product:

Chicken 2 Chicken 3

Both the chicken and the sprouts were made in an hour. I love easy dinners that look like they took so much longer to make.

Enjoy!

Baked Frittata

Call me silly but I never knew, until recently, what a frittata was. Turns out it’s an open-faced Italian style omelette. It makes a great breakfast, is perfect for brunch or even lunch! The best part is that you can use whatever veggies you have in your fridge and just throw everything together.

I found the recipe here. I love that there’s an instructional video there, too, because it takes out the guess work. Here’s how mine turned out:

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I used zucchini and rosemary from our garden, sun dried tomatoes, onions, and garlic for my frittata. The end result was delicious and I even had leftovers to take to work for breakfast the next morning. I think this would have tasted even more wonderful with some turkey bacon and cherry tomatoes.

Enjoy!