First up, breakfast, since it is breakfast time right now after all. I made this amazing omelet this morning and it is sure to stay in my repertoire for years to come! I started with this recipe from simplylivinghealthy.org - didn't tweak much. I made Matt's with almond butter, but I'm having an almond aversion, so I put peanut butter on mine. We only had about 3 salvageable strawberries, so that was the topping (it ended up being plenty for both omelets!) and I only had packets of stevia in the raw, so I used half a packet in each omelet in place of the liquid stevia, and we left out the whipped cream (I've never been a fan). You could certainly, as the original post says, substitute whatever you want in the fillings/toppings. If you can't do bananas, I'm sure berries would be great with the nutbutter or sunbutter of your choice inside. Or mix it up tropical style and add some mango mixed with coconut nectar on the top, and fill with berries and unsweetened flaked coconut on the inside. Your imagination is the limit!
Of course after breakfast comes
This was super easy and delicious (both times!) - the salad is just a bagged spring mix, topped with cucumbers, green beans, carrots and fresh red bell peppers, drizzled with a little olive oil. The meaty goodness in the middle is a Spring Leek and Lemon Chicken Patty from healthfulpursuit.com - so tasty! I only modified two-ish things in this recipe: 1) I used 2 whole large eggs instead of 1 egg + 1/4c egg whites - I was too lazy to separate them, even with the cool trick I posted a while back. It worked out perfectly. 2) I rarely measure spices in cooking - my husband taught me that you can't really mess up cooking like you can baking, so being super exact doesn't matter. That said I zested an entire lemon (and a little bit of one finger - oops!), and just threw in something that looked good to me for the other spices. That recipe yielded me 7 patties, which lasted us through several days. It was a huge hit all around, including as leftovers - I definitely recommend trying this (and anything else Leanne posts at Healthful Pursuit - she's a genius)!
And now for my most creative endeavor since last we met - Chicken Enchiladas!!
My parents were in Aruba last week, so my sister and I split dog-sitting duties for the westies. I went down to have dinner with my sister & brother-in-law on Wednesday night and we
abused borrowed my mom's kitchen to cook these Mexican dreams, which were a special request from my brother-in-law, since the siblings' kitchen is currently being massively renovated. Although we probably should have planned better (I didn't arrive to start cooking until 730pm, and we didn't eat until 9, even with my sister's help!), these babies were well worth the wait, especially for my sister, who added dairy back into her diet (she's been slowly adding potentially allergenic/sensitive foods back in since her elimination diet started earlier this year) just for the occasion.
This was a HUGE experiment on a variety of levels, so I was glad it turned out so well. I'll start with the recipe and then give you my thoughts on the first attempt, with suggestions for how to learn from my mistakes :)
- 1/4 lb queso blanco, cubed *see anecdote!
- 1-2 cups half & half
- 4 oz cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup salsa (I used Green Mountain Gringo, medium, but I'm sure freshly made would be awesome) *see note
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 2 cups chopped cooked chicken (I was lazy and bought mine at the prepared foods bar at Whole Foods!)
- 1 cup shredded mexican cheese blend
- 7 brown rice tortillas (I used Food for Life brand)
- 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
- Preheat oven to 350* and lightly grease a 9x13 baking pan (I used olive oil).
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine queso blanco and half & half, stirring frequently, until queso is melted and well mixed.
- In another saucepan over medium heat, combine cream cheese, sour cream & salsa. Cook, stirring until melted and well mixed. Stir in chicken and mexican cheese and set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat 1tbsp oil and cook each tortilla about 20 seconds on each side, until pliable. Add remaining oil if it gets too depleted.
- Spread half of queso mixture on the bottom of the greased pan. Fill each tortilla with a portion of the chicken mixture and roll up. Place on top of queso in pan. Top tortillas with remaining queso mixture. Bake for 15 minutes, or until tortillas just begin to lightly brown. Serve immediately, preferably with guacamole.
*anecdote: I had never used queso blanco before. I tried to find a "dip" version of this pre-made because it was already so late when I was shopping, but every brand I looked at had something in it my sister and/or I couldn't eat. So I bought a pound of queso blanco in the ethnic aisle at Wegmans and figured I'd make my own. I cubed it to help it melt more easily (ha!) and it still took almost 90 minutes to melt enough to work! If you try queso blanco, which is a solid cheese but delicious, I would definitely shred it finely first rather than just cubing. You might want to sub shredded monterey jack or crumbled queso fresco (which is softer) instead, though, since I still don't know how long it would take to melt the shredded queso blanco, and I'd hate to see you wait 90 minutes for your cheese to melt!
*note: My sister has not yet added tomatoes back into her diet, so I actually took a third of the ingredients and made her her own pot of filling without the salsa. We just added garlic and some red onion to hers with a little cumin, which she loved. I also used a little half and half in hers to thin it out like the watery salsa did to ours.
Those are my sister's enchiladas - the BIL's and mine were a little pinker inside from the salsa. Everyone loved them, and they were SO filling!! We only made about 7 enchiladas, which I worried wouldn't be enough, but we even had leftovers for the next day! I had a little extra filling of my sister's variety, so I made her a quesadilla (brown rice tortilla filled with chicken mixture, folded in half and baked at 350* for 10 minutes) to save for the next day's lunch, since she couldn't have the leftover enchiladas with salsa. I am happy to report that my sister's dairy-trial-by-fire was a rousing success - no bad reaction whatsoever! Hooray for her health!
My sister made the guac, and I can't remember exactly what she put in it, so I can't give you the recipe right now, but for my version, I usually use 1 avocado, juice of 1/2 a lime, cumin, 1-2 crushed garlic cloves, salt & pepper. I know my sister used some red onion, which was a nice addition - surprising to me, because I normally hate red onion. Maybe it's the pregnancy taste buds... If I can find out her basic recipe, I'll post it later.
(Thanks to my sister, too, for the photos of the enchiladas! She took them with her actual camera, as opposed to me using my phone + Instagram to make things look remotely presentable.)
The husband and I made quesadillas (no queso sauce!) later that week with the leftover ingredients. It was WAY faster, and just as tasty. Feel free to adapt to whatever you like/suits your time frame.
There you have it, friends. I hope that makes up for the dreadful span of time I left you all hanging! Happy healthy eating! :)