Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Lemon Chicken Enchiladas (with modifications)

Oh dear.  I cannot believe it has been over a year since I last wrote a blog post.  I suppose that's a good indication that it has been a busy year, and indeed it has.  Sometimes I think about writing and I decide that I haven't got anything to write about.  Now, as I sit here typing, I am thinking of about 100 things I could probably write about, but haven't.  I'm not even sure why today seemed to be the day that I should write a post, but it is.

Perhaps one reason I thought I'd write a post is because I decided to try a recipe posted by a friend of mine from Iowa.  I try to keep up with her blog even though I don't have a lot of time for blog reading these days.  In part, that's because she always has cute goat pictures, and I can't resist a cute goat!  I wanted to show how well this recipe turned out, even though I took it for a walk that was a bit off the beaten path.  So, although I should probably write about a lot of other things, today I'm writing about supper.

Over on the Eden Hills blog, you can see the original recipe that I used as the basis for tonight's creation - Lemon Chicken Enchiladas.  I learned that the recipe made 5 large enchiladas, and I wanted to make either 6 or 8, depending on how many I could fit in the pan, so I thought I should add some extra ingredients to it.

The original recipe starts with sautéeing 1/2 a cup of onion and 1/2 a cup of peppers.  The peppers were crazy expensive in the grocery store (like everything here in Canada these days, due to the poor Canadian dollar value when it comes to US imports).  So, instead I sautéed 2 small sweet onions with about 1.5 cups of diced frozen butternut squash and about a cup of frozen chopped kale.  The amounts are approximate - use your own judgment based on how many you want to make, and what vegetables you prefer!

I then added about half a can of black beans, and about 2 cups of chopped cooked broccoli.  I'm always looking for ways to add more vegetables to our diet, so this seemed like a recipe that would allow for lots of modification.

I love the freezer bags of chopped kale - I can easily add some to casseroles, soups, stir-fry dishes, and other types of recipes without any trouble.  It also means I don't end up with sad, wilted looking fresh kale in my fridge because I forget it's there or I don't have time to wash, de-rib, and chop it all. Frozen veggies are a life saver some days!  I used the PC Blue Menu black beans (available in Canada) and the broccoli was from Costco - frozen in the microwave baggies.

After the veggie and bean mix was thoroughly heated, I added 1 tub of PC Blue Menu low fat ricotta (available in Canada).  Use whatever brand you have available.

The original recipe called for 2 sliced chicken breasts, but boneless chicken thighs were on sale this week, so I used those instead.  I sauteed them in a bit of EVOO and then chopped them into bite-sized pieces.  If you prefer, use a chicken substitute, or any other meat or protein source you enjoy!

When the chicken was cooked, I deglazed the pan with the soy sauce and lemon juice called for in the original recipe.  That recipe called for 3 tablespoons of each, but I used 6, for good measure!  It made a nice rich sauce.

I added the deglazing sauce and chopped chicken to the veggie mix, and then began the process of making the enchiladas.

Each one was made by scooping a couple of large spoonfuls of the mixture into a large size whole wheat tortilla (Casa Mendoza brand), and rolling it up.  I managed to get 6 of them into a 9 x 13" glass pan.  As you can see, I had quite a lot of the filling mixture left over.  I'll probably make some more later this week, or maybe do something else with the filling mixture.  For now, it's in the fridge. I covered the enchiladas with a jar of Classico Tomato and Basil pasta sauce.  The original recipe has a lovely separate recipe for the enchilada sauce, but I was a bit pressed for time, so using the Classico sauce helped me get these done quickly.  One could add any number of spices to the sauce, as recommended in the original recipe.  I tend to like things fairly mild, so I didn't add any chili or other hot spices to the mix.  It would have been easy to add some straight into the jar of sauce and shake it up before pouring onto the enchiladas.

After that, I covered the top with grated 3-cheddar blend.  At this point, I re-checked the original recipe and saw that I was supposed to bake them before adding the cheese.  Oops.  I put foil over the top before putting them in the oven so the cheese wouldn't burn.  I also sprinkled on some ground mixed Italian herbs before popping it in the oven.

It came out looking like this!

This dish baked for about 45 minutes at 375F, and then I took the dish out and let it stand for about 10 minutes before trying to extricate the enchiladas from the pan.  This worked relatively well, although it certainly helps if you have a long spatula or other utensil for sliding under the length of the tortilla before transferring it to the plate.

Both Marc and I really enjoyed them and it will make 3 meals for us, since we had plenty by having 1 enchilada each for supper.  There are 5 veggies in this recipe (kale, broccoli, squash, onion and tomato) as well as lots of protein from the chicken and black beans, not to mention the cheese, and we had our starch from the whole wheat tortilla, so I felt it was a well balanced meal.  I would definitely do this again and would vary the meat and veggies to suit what I have on hand.  I have to admit that the lemon flavour wasn't particularly noticeable, but that's probably because I used a wider range of ingredients than the original recipe, so it diluted the flavour of the lemon.  Give it a whirl!


Michelle said...

Well, that was a surprising post to break your blogging fast, but I'll take it! Would love to hear about all that is keeping you so busy, but I'm thinking you are happy and that's wonderful.

porkpal said...

Welcome back to blogging! I am not a cook, but I always enjoy reading your entries. Please keep it up!