Stacked Enchiladas

This is one of my go-to meals when I don’t feel like spending a lot of time in the kitchen. New Mexican-style stacked enchiladas are super easy, inexpensive (less than $5 for the whole meal), fast (20 minutes from start to finish), and delicious. I serve the enchiladas with black beans, which meshes really well with the enchilada sauce.

Stacked Enchiladas

3 tablespoons oil (I use canola)
3 tablespoons flour
3 tablespoons chili powder
1 1/2 cups water
8 ounce can tomato sauce
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)

oil
corn tortillas (3 or 4 per person)
shredded cheese (I used cheddar, Monterrey jack, or a Mexican blend)

To make the enchilada sauce:  Heat the oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and chili powder and cook for about 30 seconds. Add the ground cumin and garlic powder. Gradually whisk in the 1 1/2 cups of water. Continue to whisk as the sauce thickens. Add the can of tomato sauce and season with salt. Reduce the heat to low and keep the sauce hot, stirring occasionally, as you prepare to make the enchiladas.

To make the enchiladas:  Heat about an inch of oil in a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Briefly fry the corn tortillas until they are soft, but not crispy. Remove them from the oil and place them on a paper towel-lined plate.

To assemble the enchiladas:  Put a large spoonful (about 1/4 cup) of the hot enchilada sauce on a plate. Top with a softened corn tortilla. Top with another spoonful of hot enchilada sauce, making sure the whole tortilla is covered, and sprinkle with shredded cheese (about 2 tablespoons). Layer with another softened tortilla. Repeat the process….sauce, cheese, tortilla…..until you have a stack that contains 3 or 4 corn tortillas total. Finish the last tortilla/enchilada stack with more sauce and a little more cheese. Serve immediately.

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Sheet Pan Dinner: Panko-Crusted Chicken and Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan Sauce

This is a fairly quick meal that is sure to impress. I love the garlic-y roasted broccoli. I use the Very Hot Crushed Red Pepper from Penzeys and it definitely has a kick. The Parmesan Sauce makes this meal extra special. Serve it with a tossed salad.

Panko-Crusted Chicken and Roasted Broccoli with Parmesan Sauce

For the chicken:
2 chicken breasts
2 tablespoon butter, melted
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
salt and pepper
1/2 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

For the broccoli:
1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt and pepper

For the Parmesan Sauce:
2 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Line a baking sheet with foil.

Combine the melted butter and mustard in a shallow dish. In another shallow dish, combine the panko and grated Parmesan cheese. Season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Dip the chicken in the butter-mustard mixture and then dredge in the panko-Parmesan mixture. Make sure the chicken is evenly coated. Place on one half of the foil-lined baking sheet. Set aside while you prepare the broccoli.

Place the broccoli florets in a large bowl. Drizzle with the olive oil. Add the minced garlic and crushed red pepper flakes and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper and toss again. Place the seasoned broccoli on the other half of the baking sheet.

Place the baking sheet with the chicken and broccoli in the preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until the chicken and broccoli are browned. You want the chicken to be cooked through and the broccoli to be tender.

While the chicken and broccoli are in the oven, make the Parmesan sauce.  Melt the butter in a saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for about a minute. Whisk in the milk, a little at a time. Bring to a boil and cook, whisking constantly, until thickened. Whisk in the grated Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Keep warm until the chicken is ready.

Serve the chicken and broccoli with the Parmesan sauce.

 


Quick Broccoli and Cheese Soup

Quick Broccoli and Cheese Soup

So, Publix had 8 ounces packages of Kraft shredded cheeses on sale for $1.40 this past sales cycle. That’s the lowest price I have ever seen for them. I may have gone a little crazy and bought more shredded cheese than I needed. My cheese drawer is stuffed. I’m pretty sure my family thinks I have a problem.

This morning my plan was to come home after I dropped the kidlet off at school and work on an online class I need to finish before heading to work. Instead I made this Quick Broccoli & Cheddar Soup for breakfast. I used some of the cheese! Priorities.

Quick Broccoli and Cheese Soup

4 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
4 cups vegetable broth (chicken broth is fine too)
1 10 – 12 ounce package of frozen chopped broccoli (cuts & florets are fine too)
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese, plus a little more for garnishing (I like mild cheddar)
1 cup half & half or milk
salt and pepper, to taste

In a small soup pot over medium heat, melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and let cook for a minute. Whisk in the broth, a little at a time, until smooth. Add the frozen broccoli. If I am using frozen broccoli cuts or florets, I will run a knife through them to make the pieces smaller before adding them to the soup. Bring the soup to a gentle boil, stirring often. Whisk in the cheese and then add the half & half. Warm through and then turn off the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with additional shredded cheddar cheese for garnish.


Pinto Bean Burgers

I keep a well-stocked pantry. I almost always have a variety of canned beans on hand for quick meals. One can easily prepare bean burgers using canned beans in about 30 minutes. Bean burgers can be made with almost any type of beans (I’ve made them with black beans, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, black eyed peas, lentils, and pintos). By switching up the type of beans, condiments, spices, and additions, bean burger variations are limitless. You will never be bored with this vegetarian meal.

Pinto Bean Burgers

1 15.5 ounce can pinto beans, drained
1/2 small onion, minced
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
2 tablespoons BBQ sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
salt and black pepper, to taste
1 egg, beaten
1/2 to 3/4 cup bread crumbs

butter

hamburger buns
condiments and toppings of choice

In a bowl, coarsely mash the pinto beans with a fork or potato masher. Add the onion, jalapeno, BBQ sauce, spices, and beaten egg. Mix well. Add the bread crumbs, a little at a time, until the mixture can be shaped into a patty. You don’t want it to be too moist, but you don’t want it falling apart. Divide the mixture into 4 – 6 equal portions, depending on how hearty you want the pinto bean burger to be. Shape each portion into a patty (roll mixture into a ball and then press down gently with fingers, turning to ensure evenness, to flatten).

Melt some butter (about 2 tablespoons) in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the pinto bean burger patties and cook for about 3 – 4 minutes on each side. Melt a slice of cheese on the tops of the burgers, if you wish. Serve the burgers with toasted hamburger buns and condiments and toppings of your choice.


Crockpot Chicken and Vegetables

This isn’t an exciting meal, but it’s simple and easy. Sometimes you just need simple and easy. Served with a side salad, it’s perfect for a lazy Sunday dinner.

Crockpot Chicken and Vegetables

1 large sweet onion, chopped
1 pound small new potatoes, halved
1/2 pound baby carrots
1/2 pound fresh green beans
2 – 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
3/4 cup chicken broth
3 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon soy sauce

Layer the onions, new potatoes, carrots, green beans into the crockpot. Top with the chicken breasts. Drizzle the olive oil over the chicken and veggies. Season with salt and pepper.

Combine the chicken broth, cornstarch, and soy sauce. Pour over the chicken and veggies.

Cook on low for 6 to 8 hours or on high for 3 to 4 hours, or until the chicken is cooked through and the veggies (especially the potatoes) are tender. Stir this dish occasionally while it’s cooking.  If the sauce is getting too thick, add a little more chicken broth.


Savory Zucchini Pie

Savory Zucchini Pie

Savory Zucchini Pie is great for a light lunch or dinner. Since it is very quiche-like, it is also perfect for breakfast. No matter what meal you eat it for, it is sure to become a favorite. Jazz it up with the addition of herbs. Basil, cilantro, or oregano are all delicious additions to this pie.

Slice of Savory Zucchini Pie

Savory Zucchini Pie

1 prepared pie crust (I just use store-bought)
2 tablespoons butter
1 small onion, chopped
3 medium-sized zucchini, halved lengthwise and then thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
2 eggs, beaten
1 cup shredded cheese (I like a combo of cheddar and mozzarella, but feel free to use your favorite cheese)
salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat the oven to 375º F.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté until soft, stirring often. Add the sliced zucchini and continue to sauté until tender. Add the shredded carrot and season with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat. Combine the beaten eggs, cheese, and a little more salt and pepper together. Add the egg and cheese mixture to the zucchini mixture. Pour into the pie shell. Bake for 35 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the middle of the pie comes out clean.


Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Casserole

This is a great recipe when you are looking for something easy. It is comfort food.

I typically make enchilada sauce from scratch, but will grab a can of enchilada sauce from Aldi to make this recipe even easier. I was pleasantly surprised with the Pueblo Lindo Red Enchilada Sauce from Aldi. It’s pretty good for canned sauce. No shame.

Crockpot Chicken Enchilada Casserole

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
28 ounce can red enchilada sauce (or about 3 1/2 cups of homemade enchilada sauce)
1 teaspoon each:  garlic powder, ground cumin, and chili powder
1 tablespoon corn starch and enough water to make a slurry
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, Monterrey jack, or a Mexican cheese blend are great)
10 corn tortillas

Place the chicken breasts in the crockpot. Add the spices to the canned enchilada sauce and then pour over the chicken breasts. Cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or on high for 3 – 4 hours. Remove the chicken breasts from the sauce and let cool slightly. Once cool enough to handle, shred the chicken with two forks.

Stack the 10 corn tortillas. Cut into 4 strips and then turn a quarter turn and cut the strips into fourths to make bite-size pieces.

Stir the cornstarch slurry into the enchilada sauce. Add the cheese, shredded chicken, and corn tortilla pieces to the sauce. Mix well to combine and cook 30 minutes more or until the cheese is melted and the casserole is heated through.