Saturday, September 28, 2013

Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Enchiladas

Let's face it. Enchiladas really aren't that pretty.

At least, once they come out of the pan.

I think they look adorable all wrapped up and squished together in a pan, covered in sauce and sprinkled with cheese, but after?

Ugh. At least the avocado is pretty.

If you know a good way to get an enchilada out of the pan, intact and looking gorgeous, let me know.

Somehow Sara over at Sprouted Kitchen managed to make them look amazing, but, yeah.

I don't think I have that gift.

That being said, pretty or not, these veggie enchiladas are so delicious. Squishy, gooey, falling apart comfort food usually is. No exception here!

I've recently discovered goat cheese and am loving it! I think, to me, it looks like feta, but tastes like cream cheese. Except saltier. Either way it's pretty amazing. Surprising you with these yummy pockets of ooey gooey creaminess.


Glad we're having leftovers tonight because I'm really craving one now.

Roasted Zucchini, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Enchiladas
adapted from Sprouted Kitchen
makes about 10 enchiladas

3 large zucchini, diced into 1/4 in. pieces
3 1/2 tsp olive oil, divided
1 1/4 tsp lemon pepper
1/2 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
3.5 oz. crumbled goat cheese
1/3 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
10 soft taco size flour tortillas (or substitute corn)
1 15 oz. can red enchilada sauce
2 avocados, chopped

Preheat oven to 425. Place the zucchini on a rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 tsp of the olive oil and sprinkle with lemon pepper. Toss to coat. Spread over 2 sheets if needed to make one even layer without crowding. Roast about 30 min. or until edges are slightly brown. Remove to cool. Turn oven down to 375.
Meanwhile, heat skillet to med-high heat and add 1/2 tsp of olive oil. Add onion, saute 3-4 min. Add garlic and saute 1 min. more. 
In a large mixing bowl, combine the onion mixture, black beans, mozzarella, and all but a few TB of the goat cheese. Add the zucchini and toss gently to combine.
Lightly grease a 9x13 baking dish and pour about 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce in the bottom to coat. Working with one tortilla at a time, distribute filling evenly into tortillas, rolling each one and placing them seam side down in the dish, squeezing them in tight.
Brush the tops with remaining olive oil and pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top. Sprinkle with remaining goat cheese.
Bake 20-25 min. or until tops are just crisp and sauce is bubbly. Cool 5 min., then serve, topped with chopped avocado.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

ONE- It's officially been fall now for what? 5 days? Our September weather is certainly cooperating. The photo above shows the beautiful dark clouds we've been seeing a lot of lately. I don't think we've had a sunny day this week and the high temps have been under 60 for several of them! I finally broke down and turned on the heat just a wee bit in the house and I'm wearing my slippers & bathrobe again. I am in no hurry to lose our summer sunshine, but I have to admit there's something I just can't resist about blankets, jeans, soup, tea, cozy sweaters and cuddling with my hubby. Maybe fall isn't so bad. ;)

TWO- I took a cooking class on Monday! Hubby gave me a certificate to take a cooking class as a birthday gift almost a year ago and I finally registered for not one but two! The first was a local class that cost me only $10 and not only did I come away with some great knowledge, we even got to take home our very own sourdough starter! We made farmstead sourdough sliders and rolls (which were AMAZING by the way) and learned a lot about the scientific process that is sourdough. One cool fact: yeast takes on a different flavor in different regions, so sourdough bread is a true art- nobody's tastes the same! I have been feeding my starter and hope to be able to use it soon. We got to take home a few recipes, one of which is a mouthwatering sourdough pancake recipe!! I'll be taking the second class (croissants- can't wait!) in Spokane next week.

THREE- I get to see my brother twice this week! He's in Spokane doing some training for his new position as Treasury Solutions Analyst with Bank of America; we got to have dinner with him Monday night at the Onion (had me a yummy chicken, brie & apple sandwich!) and we're hoping to have dinner with him again tomorrow night! I wish my sis-in-love and the kids could have come too, but it sure is a treat to see my brother's face! If he were closer I'd fix him up some good home cooking so he didn't have to eat out every night, but oh, well.

FOUR- Next week we start Awana, the kid's program at our church, and I usually teach the Cubbies class (preschool). However, as it stand right now I have no Cubbies! If none show up, I'm planning on helping Hubby with his class, which is 3-6 grade. It may turn out to be a very different year for me! I'm excited and a little nervous. I haven't worked with the older age groups in a long time.

FIVE- I'm doing this photo challenge thing with my sister and it's actually pretty fun! She found a random list online and each day for a month we're challenged to take a picture of something different. For instance, today was "something that makes you sad" and I posted a pic of my hummingbird feeder- full, but with no birds on it. I'm so sad that the hummers seem to have migrated already! Their constant presence at my feeder in the summer is incredibly entertaining! Anyway, we post our pics to Instagram and it's fun to see what she comes up with too! We're halfway through the list, but if you want to join us, let me know and I'll send it to you! My Instagram name is joybell1029- feel free to follow!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

{Skinny} Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

So you know how I've been gone for awhile? I know, I'm sorry about that. Several factors caused the absence...

1)We've been very busy! It started with the county fair and it's not over yet. It's shaping up to be a very full fall/winter what with weddings, vacays, speaking engagements, and the usual fall church schedule! And being busy means I haven't had time to try out very many new recipes.

2) I'm on a sort of a diet. I've been using the MyFitnessPal app and by counting calories and working out more I've lost almost 15 lb. since May! I feel great and I think I'm starting to look better too. I'd still like to lose another 10-15 though. That being said, I'm eating and cooking a little differently. Not all of the recipes I've tried have turned out very well.

3) It's been summer. I'm lazy. There, I said it. Too lazy to take photos, too lazy to write.

So, now that we've got the excuses logged, allow me to introduce you to one of my new favorite "skinny" dinners! Hubby and I just love the freshness of this easy dish! The flavors of the sauce are fantastic and you just can't get over the satisfying crunch of crisp lettuce, cabbage, carrots and smoky toasted almonds. Four of these wraps filled me up and still came in under 400 calories! Serve with brown rice and you've got a light, healthy, satisfying meal that won't add to your waistline!

Skinny Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps
adapted from SkinnyMom
makes approx. 12 wraps (serves 3-4)

12 small lettuce leaves or 6 large, halved (we like to use romaine)

1 1/2 to 2 cups chopped or shredded chicken breast (I like to cook mine in the crockpot with a few TB of teriyaki or soy sauce, then shred)
2 cups shredded cabbage & carrots (dry coleslaw mix works perfectly!)
1 bunch green onions, chopped
1/2 cup chopped or slivered almonds, toasted

1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 TB grated fresh ginger
1 TB toasted sesame oil
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

Mix up sauce ingredients until thoroughly combined. To assemble wraps, distribute filling ingredients evenly among lettuce leaves. Drizzle with sauce and roll.
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