Monday, March 17, 2014

Make-ahead Quinoa and Bulgar Wheat Breakfast Porridge

Not my finest food blog photo moment. I was at work, using my camera phone,
and it was a Monday morning....what do you want? :)
I've been having yogurt and fruit for breakfast every day for approximately the last three years, so I decided it was time to change it up a bit. Also I was out of fruit. I need something filling to keep me going through teaching reading and math to a bunch of 11-year olds and this yummy "porridge" did the trick! I'm totally not a morning person and this is perfectly fine to make the night before and just top and heat up in the morning! Also, quinoa and bulgar wheat are both super good for you-it's a great way to start the day.

What you need-ingredients
2 Servings

  • 1/2 C dry quinoa, rinsed in a seive
  • 1/2 C bulgar wheat
  • 1 cup of water and 1 cup of whole milk is what I used because I had it on hand. You could also use 2 cups of skim milk, or, even better, almond milk. I love almond milk. Paraguay has never heard of almond milk.
  • toppings: I used about a tablespoon of brown sugar, a sprinkle of cinnamon, golden raisins, and a few almonds. I also topped it with a little more milk when I heated it up.
What do do-Directions
  • Add the first three ingredients to a pot and bring to a boil, then turn down heat. Simmer for about 15 minutes or until the quinoa "pops." If you are doing this the night before, put into single-serving bowls and refrigerate until ready to eat.
  • If eating immediately, add toppings, stir, and enjoy! If not, heat up, then add toppings and eat. Tasty!

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Chicken Red Lentil Enchiladas

This recipe was mostly born due to ingredients I had in the fridge and wanted to use up. I know, I've been on a major Mexican kick lately! But I guess that's why I had homemade enchilada sauce just waiting to be used up. This comes together pretty quickly, especially if you have leftover chicken. Even if not, you could boil or grill some up while the lentils are cooking.

What you need/ Ingredients:

  • About 30 ounces of homemade or premade red enchilada sauce (3 cans)
  • 1 cup water
  • 2/3 cup dry red lentils, rinsed
  • 1/4 onion, chopped

  • 1.5-2 cups of cooked, chopped chicken
  • optional: chopped up bell pepper and/or grated carrot
  • 6 flour tortillas
  • grated cheddar or other cheese (1.5-2 cups)
  • garnishes: sour cream, black olives, and/or chopped cilantro

What to do/ Directions

  • In a medium pan, over medium low heat, stir one can (10 ounces) or enchilada sauce with one cup of water, and bring to a simmer.
  • Preheat oven to 375.
  • Add the lentils and onion and let cook on low, stirring often, for about 15 minutes or until lentils are soft.
  • Add cooked chicken and veggies, stir until heated through.

  • Spread one can or about 10 ounces into the bottom of a casserole dish, sprayed with non-stick spray.
  • Put lentil mixture into tortillas, roll, and add into pan.
  • Spread remaining sauce over enchiladas and top with grated cheese.
  • Cook for 15 minutes or until bubbly.
  • Garnish and enjoy!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Tamale Chicken Casserole

I found this recipe for Chicken Tamale Pie on Pinch of Yum. And it looked really, really good. But small problem, about 8 of the 10 ingredients are not locally available here in Paraguay. So this is my adaptation. It seemed like it took half the day to make! But now I have leftover homemade enchilada sauce. If you already have chicken or use a rotisserie chicken, that will save time too. But this will tell you how to do all of those things, somewhat simultaneously. If you have a lot of the ingredients in Lindsey's original recipe, you can definitely whip it out faster. If not, I'd save it for a weekend meal and enjoy the leftovers all week!

Tamale Chicken Casserole
Inspired by Pinch of Yum
Serves 8 (or less if you have good)

What you need (ingredients):
For the enchilada sauce: I used this recipe from Alaska from Scratch. I made it exactly as specified except I can't get fresh jalepenos, so I had to use a couple out of a can. All the other ingredients were easy to find. I had a little bigger container of tomato sauce as well-and after tasting it (spicy!!) I added the extra in to tame it a bit. But here are all the ingredients, so you can add them to your shopping list a little bit easier.

For the enchilada sauce
  • 2 teaspoons neutral-flavored oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeƱo, seeds removed and chopped (or 1-2 canned jalapenos, chopped)
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce (I used 520 grams which is more like 18 ounces. It was fine!
  • 1-2 cups water (I used 1 cup)
For the casserole: 
  • 1/3 C milk
  • 1 egg
  • 2 T taco seasoning (divided)
  • a dash of cayenne pepper
  • 1 can of corn or creamed corn. I couldn't find creamed but guess what-put it in the blender and it turns that way! I creamed about half (with a little bit of the water from the can) and left about half of the can whole. Nice mix.
  • 1 8.5 oz. box of corn muffin mix such as Jiffy. I was preparing to make this, too, and surprisingly found a box in the gluten free section. But pretty easy to find a recipe online if you don't have access to such things!
  • original recipe calls for a 4 oz. can of chopped green chilis. In my dreams. In my real life, I found some canned serrano peppers and chopped them up a bit in the blender.
  • 10 oz. of red enchilada sauce-see above. The above recipe will have leftovers too!
  • 2 shredded chicken breasts or equivalent of any chicken parts
  • grated cheese
  • sour cream and cilantro for garnish
What to do (Instructions):

  • If you don't already have cooked chicken, cook some up quick. Any kind works; I use chicken breasts because I like white meat. I grilled them up in a frying pan with some oil, salt, and pepper. When I flipped them I added a little chicken broth an covered them up, and cooked for about 6-7 more minutes. I let it cool while I started everything else, and then shredded with a fork.
  • Next, start on the enchilada sauce if you're making your own. 
  • When that's underway, mix the first 7 ingredients for the casserole (through the peppers) in a bowl until ingredients are combined. *only put 1 T of chili powder in this mixture.* Once combined, spray non-stick spray into a baking dish and evenly spread mixture in the bottom. I only had a 9 by 13 inch dish, but you could use a square dish or pie plate as well.
  • Bake at 400 degrees (205 C) for about 25 minutes, or until browned.
  • Poke lots of holes into the crust, and pour about 10 ounces of enchilada sauce on. Then mix the shredded chicken with the other tablespoon of chili powder with the chicken, and spread evenly. 
  • Top with cheese and bake for about another 15 minutes. 
  • Take it out of the oven, garnish with cilantro and sour cream. Enjoy with a green salad.

    Verdict: Delicious! Even with all the modifications, I was thrilled with how this came out!