Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Enchiladas

I’m always looking for ways to eat Mexican food in a healthier way. The flavors of Mexican cuisine are so yummy but eating out at Mexican restaurants usually isn’t the best for you. I find making it at home is a lot easier to control what ingredients you are using so you can still get the delicious flavors but without any unnecessary fat and extra calories. Plus, you can be sure that the ingredients you are using are less processed and much cleaner.

When I set out to make these enchiladas, I wanted to make chicken, but I was out. I, mean, who runs out of chicken?! Me, I guess. I always try to have frozen chicken breasts on hand in the freezer so I can always make something for dinner, even if it is just a pantry meal (chicken with whatever veggies we have on hand). Unfortunately, I wasn’t paying attention and I ran out without realizing it.

I almost just threw in the towel, but then I saw that we had some frozen veggie patties on hand. I’ve really been enjoying the Morning Star Farms Chipotle Black Bean Veggie Burgers. I wondered if I could chop those up and throw them in? I warmed them up so they were thawed enough to break apart and added the “burger” crumbles to the corn and black bean mix. 


Most of the ingredients in the patties were pretty much the same as what I had going on anyway, so it totally worked! They made for some really delicious enchiladas. You would never realize they were vegetarian. I will say, though, that because the patties had some of the flavors I was going for already in them, I did NOT include the can of diced green chiles mentioned in the recipe below. If I had just used regular chicken, I would have included that ingredient.

Chicken, Corn, and Black Bean Enchiladas

1 15 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

½ bag of frozen corn

½ onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cooked chicken breasts, shredded

½ tablespoon cumin

1 small can diced green chiles

Salt to taste

1 bottle enchilada sauce (or homemade)

6 corn tortillas (I used a corn/wheat blend tortilla I found at Trader Joe’s. low fat, low cal, and high in whole grains per serving. 

Low-fat shredded Mexican blend cheese

In a skillet with a little olive oil, sauté onions and garlic until soft. Add the corn and black beans and cook until the corn is softened.


Add the chicken, cumin, green chiles, and some salt. Continue cooking until warmed through. Sprinkle in about ½ cup of the shredded cheese and stir to combine.

 

Pour a little bit of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Fill each tortilla and roll up carefully (corn tends to break easily. You can heat them up in a microwave with a wet paper towel to help with this.). Place each enchilada seam side down in the baking dish. Top with more enchilada sauce and cheese (however much or little you want).



Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly.


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Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

So the hubby and I were recently on our second trip to New Orleans. We had such a great time last year that we just had to go back for our vacation this year. When we went the first time, we hadn’t yet started our journey to getting fit and eating healthier, so the food was just enjoyed and we came home and continued on with our lives.

Well, this time was different. We have been eating so well, so clean, that when we were there, our bodies weren’t used to the heavy and rich foods of New Orleans. Don’t get me wrong; the food was still delicious! And we ate and drank plenty, but now that we are back, we have to get back on track.  We decided to try a sort of “soup cleanse.” I know there are official programs you can follow, but I just went to Sprouts and stocked up on a ton of veggies. The idea is to put my Vitamix to use and blend up some yummy soups to get all our veggies in. We will definitely be eating our colors!!

So I’ve made homemade tomato soup before but I have to say, this one is WAY better! No offense to Tiffani Thiessen. Making tomato soup is actually really easy and when you read the side of a soup can and realize that you can barely pronounce the ingredients on it, you just may become a DIY tomato soup person as well.

Roasted Tomato and Red Pepper Soup

3 pounds roma tomatoes (that was about 12 for me), cut in half lengthwise
2 medium red bell peppers, cut into quarters lengthwise
4 sprigs fresh thyme

1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
Handful of fresh basil, torn
1 teaspoon honey
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the tomatoes and bell peppers cut side up in a single layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place 4 sprigs of fresh thyme on top. Roast in the oven for 1 hour.


Meanwhile, in a skillet over medium heat, add some olive oil and saute your onions and garlic until soft. Add a pinch of salt while sauteeing. Set aside.

When the tomatoes are done, discard the thyme stems. At this poing you can easily remove the skin of the tomatoes. Let them cool just a bit so you don’t burn yourself. I flipped them over with some tongs and just grabbed the loose skin with the tongs and it will pull right off.  You can also leave the skin on, but I like the smoother texture I get with the skin off.

Add the onion/garlic mixture, the torn basil, and the honey* to the blender. Then add the bell pepper, and peeled tomatoes. The tomatoes will let out a lot of juice, so make sure that gets in the blender as well. Mine gave off so much juice, I didn’t even have to use any stock, broth, or water.


Blend everything until smooth.  If it’s too thick, you can add more liquid. Mine was perfect as-is. Using a high power blender like a Vitamix will produce a very creamy texture without having to actually use any milk or cream, which is great!

*Quick note: this can be made vegan if you agave syrup instead of honey.


We ate ours as-is, but feel free to add any toppings you like or even serve it with grilled cheese, which is one of the greatest food combos of ALL TIME.


I wasn’t sure how this was going to turn out, but I gotta say, I loved it! The taste was just phenomenal. My husband was more or less speechless. Hopefully the rest of our “soup cleanse” recipes are just as successful!

 

Healthy, Multipurpose Turkey Meat Sauce

OK, so this is my adaptation of a recipe I found a while ago (I can’t remember where). I do remember, though, that the original recipe called this little concoction sloppy joes. I could easily see how this would work perfectly for sloppy joes. The first time I made it, I actually served it over a baked potato and that was pretty delicious. The leftovers have been eaten over pasta and even on their own as-is. That’s why I consider this a “Multipurpose” sauce.

No matter how you decide to eat this, you can know that it will be really yummy and healthy, which is the most you can ask for in a meal.

2 tablespoons olive oil 

1 small onion, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 carrot, chopped small

3 cloves garlic, minced

1-1/2 pounds ground turkey

1 tablespoon garlic powder

1 tablespoon onion powder

½ cup ketchup (preferably organic. Easily found at trader joe’s)

1 8oz can tomato sauce (no added sugar or sodium, preferably)

Water

salt and pepper to taste

In a skillet over medium heat, saute the onions, bell pepper, and carrot in olive oil until softened. Add the garlic and continue cooking until all the veggies are soft and fragrant.

Add the ground turkey to the skillet with a heavy pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook until no longer pink.  

I forgot to take a picture so pretend there isn’t tomato sauce in the skillet already. 🙂


 

Mix in the garlic and onion powders, ketchup, and tomato sauce. Fill up the tomato sauce can with some water and add that.

Bring the mixture to a boil for a minute or so, then cover and let simmer for 10-15 minutes.

Serve in whatever way makes your taste buds dance with joy!