Cheese Enchiladas with Spanish Rice – ★★★★★

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Perry has been asking me to make enchiladas for a few weeks now so when he told me a few of his band mates were coming over for dinner I had to make them for him. I’ve made chicken enchiladas before, but I personally hate the way chicken tastes when it reheats. I used the excuse of having a vegetarian coming for dinner as a reason to skip the chicken and go right to cheese. I’m SO glad I did because these came out amazing. Everyone enjoyed them which not only makes me happy but also proves I made the right decision going 100% bean and cheese. These bad boys were filled with creamy deliciousness and covered with a cheesy tomato sauce. I’m not going to lie, I surprised myself with this one 🙂 The rice was just your typical Spanish rice. Nothing too special but it really complimented the enchiladas perfectly. Perry gave five stars and this is why:

“When I rate a recipe 5 stars it is because I keep going back for more. If I go to the stove and start scooping out of the pan after I’ve already cleaned my plate you know it is a five star recipe. I have wanted enchiladas for weeks now and Kels really nailed my craving with this dinner. The sauce itself could be an appetizer with chips. I’m hungry just thinking about it. The rice was a nice side for the enchiladas because it wasn’t anything over the top. Five stars!”

Serves: 6-8      Calories: 364/2 enchiladas   157/half cup         Time: 35 minutes for Enchiladas    30 minutes for Rice

Ingredients for Enchiladas:

  • 12 small corn tortillas
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese + 1/2 lb grated cheddar cheese , divided
  • 2 (11 oz) cans of red enchilada sauce
  • 1 (15 oz) can of pinto beans
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp pepper
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 4 tbsp canned green chilies

Directions for Enchiladas:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 
  2. Over Medium heat add pinto beans to a large pan. Mash the beans a little bit then add butter and water. Simmer for 5 minutes
  3. Add salt, pepper and onions. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes
  4. Add green chilies and 1/2 lb of grated cheese. Mix well. 
  5. Spray a 9X13 baking dish with cooking spray and pour one can of enchilada sauce in bottom of pan. 
  6. Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup of cheese mixture. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down in pan
  7. Pour remaining can of sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top 
  8. Bake for 20 minutes
  9. Enjoy!

Ingredients for Spanish Rice:

  • 1 (15oz) can of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups of reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1.25 cups of rice
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp oregano 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • 1 tsp cumin

Directions for Spanish Rice:

  1. In a saucepan, combine all the ingredients.
  2. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to simmer. 
  3. Cover and simmer for 25 minutes or until rice is done.
  4. Enjoy!

*Both original recipes can be found at http://www.food.com

**Photo is an original belonging to me

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Three Bean Vegetarian Chili – ★★★★★

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After being on vacation for 10 days it is now time to get back into healthy cooking/eating mode. We went all vegetarian this week and I have to admit I’m feeling pretty good about it. Perry requested that I try to make something that isn’t just vegetables on a plate, and what better way to do that then a veggie chili. The base of this recipe came from Betty Crocker, but I really built on her original recipe. I’m sure her chili is great but this recipe is better 🙂 We’ve packed this chili with three different kinds of beans to not only give an awesome taste and texture but to also increase our protein and fiber intake. To add a smokey flavor to our chili we used fire roasted diced tomatoes and it was absolutely delectable! Perry gave five stars and here is why:

My mother-in-law is a fantastic cook. I could eat seconds and thirds of everything she makes, but that comes at a cost. After staying with my in-laws for over a week the notches on my belt buckle started to get more and more loose. It is a new year so I wanted Kels to make meals less rich and more nutritious. She nailed this one on the head. My favorite thing about this chili is the garbanzo beans. They are a pleasant camouflaged surprise, and honestly they are not a bean I would expect to find in chili. The broth was nice and thick and the veggies were cooked to perfection. All the flavors and spices blended extremely well and I’m half tempted to have a bowl for breakfast. Five stars for flavor, nutrition, and garbanzo beans.”

Serves: 6+     Calories: 387 per 3/4 cup serving     Time: 60 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large green bell pepper
  • 1 large yellow bell pepper
  • 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapeño peppers, finely chopped (if you like spice leave in the seeds.. Also Betty Crocker suggests serrano chiles if you do not like jalapeño peppers.)
  • 1 (15 oz) can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can of kidney beans (I used dark red), drained and rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans of fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1.5 cups of water
  • 1.5 tbsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • .5 tsp kosher salt (+more to taste)
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • If you want to have a thick broth have some flour on hand, or even better masa flour 🙂
  • Optional: Greek yogurt and fresh cilantro to top

Directions:

  1. In a large saucepan heat vegetable oil over medium heat. Add onion, bell peppers, garlic and jalapeños. Cook for 5-7 minutes until veggies are tender. Stir frequently as to not burn.
  2. Stir in beans, tomatoes +juice, water, chili powder, cumin, and salt. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to simmer and cover. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Cut in frozen corn and bring back to a boil. Once boiling, reduce heat to a simmer once more and cook uncovered for 5 minutes
  4. OPTIONAL: If your broth is too watery for your liking you’ll want to follow this step.  Scoop about a cup of broth from the saucepan. To that cup of broth add 1-2 tbsp of flour and mix until combined. Once combined add the broth back to the saucepan and mix it into the chili. Repeat this process until you find the texture you like. I had some masa flour on hand, which in case you are unaware is the flour used to make tamales. I used this instead of regular flour and it added an even more earthy corn taste that was perfect for this chili! Add additional salt to taste.
  5. Top with you favorite extras and enjoy!

*Photo is an original belonging to me

*Betty Crocker inspired the base and the recipe for her chili can be found at http://www.bettycrocker.com/

Coconut Rice with Curried Summer Veggies – ★★★★✩

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My mom is one of the best cooks I’ve known but that also means I eat seconds and thirds of anything she makes when I go home. We went back to PA for what we call “second Christmas” and I definitely packed on the pounds this trip. This week we will be cooking light which isn’t a bad thing with it being the New Year and all 🙂 The rice is rich and the veggies have a nice spice. There is no meat in this recipe but I was full after my first serving. Definitely a great recipe to start off a New Year’s Diet! Original recipe found at http://www.fitnessrecipe.com   Perry gave this recipe ★★★★✩

“I’m sick and even though I can hardly breathe this dinner gets four stars. Today at lunch I ate a piece of chocolate and did not taste anything. I actually read the label to make sure I was eating chocolate. When I got home after riding my motorcycle in the cold I was not expecting to taste and enjoy dinner at all. I was amazed how much flavor I was able to taste with stuffed sinuses. I cannot wait to try this when I’m not sick because I bet the flavors are even better.” 

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

– 1 cup basmati or jasmine rice (I used brown basmati)

– 1 & 3/4 tsp. salt

– 1- 15oz. can of light coconut milk 

– 1 tbsp. canola or olive oil 

– 1 scallion, chopped

– 1 tbsp. ginger, peeled and finely chopped

– 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped

– 1 & 1/2 tbsp. curry powder 

– 1 cup of vegetable stock

– 1 medium yellow bell pepper, seeded and sliced into 1/4-inch strips

– 1 baby eggplant, cut into 1/4-inch chunks

– 1/4 lb. green beans, trimmed

– 1 yellow summer squash, cut into 1/4-inch chunks

– 1 medium zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch chunks 

– 1/2 tsp. ground black pepper 

– 1/2 tsp. finely grated lime zest (I used a little more because I love lime)

– Freshly squeezed lime juice to taste

– 2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro (optional and since I couldn’t find it at the store I used dried)

Directions:

1.) Combine the rice, 1-2/3 cups water, 1 teaspoon of the salt and 3/4 cup of the coconut milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, about 20 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed and rice is almost tender.

2.) Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the scallion, ginger, and garlic; cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Stir in the curry powder and cook 1 minute.

3.) Pour vegetable stock, remaining coconut milk and the bell pepper and eggplant into pan; stir to combine. Cover and cook 5 minutes. Add remaining vegetables and salt and the black pepper. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Stir in the lime zest and lime juice.

4.) Spoon rice onto serving plates and top with curried vegetables. Garnish with cilantro if desired.

*Photo is original taken by me

**Recipe found at fitnessmagazine.com