Thursday, March 10, 2011

Mexican Chicken Enchiladas

These enchiladas are muy deliciosas! You have everything you need wrapped up in a little bundle - the veggie, protein, starch...I love mexican food but I rather cook it at home to make it a little healthier than the restaurant dishes. The pico de gallo gives you a fresh and crisp flavor with a little kick. I usually serve these alone but you can add a small salad or some refried beans on the side. If you are pressed for time you can use store bought salsa and tortillas....sooo good!

2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 jar mild taco sauce
1 1/2 cups mexican cheese blend, shredded
1 cup sour cream
1 cup yogurt
1 recipe pico de gallo (from this site:under sauces)
1 cup frozen corn, thawed and drained
8 flour tortillas (store-bought or from this site: under baking and sweets)

1. Combine the yogurt and sour cream
2. In a medium bowl combine the chicken, 1/2 jar taco sauce, 1 cup cheese, 1 cup of the sour cream and yogurt mixture, 1/2 recipe of pico de gallo and corn
3. Place about 1/2 cup of the filling in the center of each tortilla and roll up
4. Place in an 8x8-inch greased baking dish
5. Continue with the remaining filling and tortillas
6. Mix the remaining taco sauce, cheese, sour cream- yogurt mixture and pico de gallo then pour over the enchiladas
8. Place in a pre-heated 375º oven for 35-45 minutes or until brown and bubbly

Servings 4

Monday, March 7, 2011

Homemade Flour Tortillas

I think you have probably already noticed I like to make things from scratch and not only because I think it is healthier (no added preservatives) but I can also adjust ingredients to make it just how I want. These tortillas freeze well but do not last more than a day or two so freeze any leftover tortillas quickly but I have a feeling they won't be around long. I eat a lot of carbs, and I don't buy into the whole zero-carb policy, we need carbs for energy. I remember a friend at work a few years ago that was overweight - she went on a NO CARB diet and lost a lot of weight then the diet ended she ate one grain of rice and gained it all back. I think when people go on a diet, any diet they try to move more adding exercise, that is how you lose weight it's not the fault of my poor, delicious carbs! On that note since these tortillas are so easy to make I usually have them for breakfast with a little butter and cinnamon sugar sprinkled on top _YUM everything in moderation! I will be posting a mexican chicken enchilada recipe soon that is to die for with these homemade tortillas.

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp vegetable oil
3/4 cups warm milk

1. Mix together flour, baking powder, salt and oil in a medium bowl
2. Slowly add warm milk, stir with a large wooden spoon until sticky
3. Knead for 2 minutes on a floured surface
4. Place in a bowl and cover with a damp cloth or plastic wrap for 25 minutes
5. Divide into 8 equal portions and roll into ball
6. Place on a plate and cover 10 minutes
7. Place 1 ball on floured surface, spread out to a 4-inch circle using the palm of your hand.
8. Then using a rolling pin, roll from center to make an 8-inch round; set aside and continue with remaining portions
9. In a greased skillet over high heat cook about 30 seconds per side or until done.

8 8-inch tortillas

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Excuse Me Sir Is That A Roach In My Rice???

I was in India in 2008 doing some volunteer work, let's just say I lost a lot of weight... a lot!!! Look at that black 'thing' below the spoon - is it or not? You can't see it too good because I tried to cover it up and you can't actually see the legs...ugh!

Excerpt from dinner in Dharamsala (

From my blog while I was there:
"Went to dinner with Ragu (an Indian from Bangalore) and had what he calls real Indian food, it turns out where I was going to take my Indian cooking classes - is not 'real' Indian food. He leaves on Friday and told me he would try to convince his mom to have a "cooking session" while he videotapes her.... ha,ha and then he'll send it to me.
Back to dinner, I ordered Veg Briyani and at some point I thought there was a roach in my rice (I had to struggle to swallow what was already in my mouth, not wanting to cause a scene) but after further dissection 'they' came to the conclusion it was just a chili pepper. I wasn't 100% convinced so dinner was too spicy anyways. I really do think it was a cockroach but I just 'buried' it with what was left....uuuggghhhhhh!
I later told Ragu if that was 'real' Indian food I might have second thoughts on getting his mom's recipes - he laughed and assured me it was a chili pepper yeah....... I have never seen a chilli pepper with legs, maybe it's a special Indian variety... I guess that was the last stage missing in my experience. What else can happen to my poor food? That's another place to check OFF my list, by the time I leave I hope to still have 1 or 2 places to go eat...."

I have mentioned that this blog would include the good and bad experiences with food.... clearly this was a bad one! Sorry to gross everyone out but I thought it was funny! Unfortunately after my few months in India I am no longer a huge fan of Indian food as I was before. I had one two many bad experiences and I don't miss it one bit! All in all I went to volunteer and not to eat but I never thought I would have such a hard time finding FOOD!!!!!! I renamed my blog soon after I arrived because it was apparent that my quest to find things to eat was part of the experience. It went from Just One Volunteer to an additional The Dharamsala Food Chronicles. On a good note I didn't get sick but if you would have seen the conditions of some of the kitchens I saw... that is truly a miracle!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Carrot Cake with Buttercream Frosting

This cake is moist and delicious! The buttercream frosting is sweet but not overpowering so it goes great with the cake. I went crazy this time and frosted the whole darn thing - top, sides, front and back - maybe a little much. I suggest just frosting the top :)

Ingredients for Cake
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3/4 tsp salt
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 large carrots, peeled and grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup chopped walnuts
1 tsp orange rind, grated
1 tsp lemon rind, grated

Directions for Cake
1. Preheat the oven to 350º. Grease and flour a 9-1/2" x 4" x 2-1/2" loaf pan
2. Place the sugar, eggs, and oil in a medium bowl and using an electric mixer, beat for 2 minutes
3. In a small bowl combine the salt, flour, baking soda and cinnamon; add to the sugar mixture and beaton slow for 1 minute
4. Fold in the carrots, walnuts, orange rind and lemon rind
5. Pour the batter into 2 loaf pans and bake for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean
6. Remove from the loaf pans and allow to cool on a wire rack.

Ingredients for Buttercream Frosting
3 TBSP butter, softened
2 cups confectioner's sugar
1 1/2 TBSP milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions for Buttercream Frosting
1. In a medium bowl, cream the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually beat in the sugar until well blended.
3. Beat in the milk and vanilla (if too thick add a few drops at a time of milk)

Servings 6

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Shells and Tuna Pasta Salad

This pasta salad is full of flavors - it is sweet, tangy, a little spicy and oh so good. It is great for picnics, pot lucks or just to take to work for lunch. If you are not a fan of capers you can substitute with pickles and depending on how spicy you can go, just adjust the curry by using mild, medium or the real hot stuff. I used mild because I am a wimp but it still adds a little kick.

1/2 lb small shell macaroni
1 can tuna in water, drained
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 small carrot, shredded
2 TBSP capers, roughly chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries or raisins, roughly chopped
For Dressing
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
1 cup yogurt, plain
2 TBSP curry powder
2 TBSP lemon juice
1 tsp dry mustard
1 TBSP poppy seeds
2 TBSP parsley or cilantro, minced

1. Cook the pasta according to package directions; set aside and let cool
2. For the dressing combine all the ingredients in a bowl
3. In a large bowl add the tuna and flake well
4. Add the celery, carrot, capers, cranberries and mix well
5. Add the pasta and the dressing and gently combine until well blended
6. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to blend.

Tip : If the pasta dries out too much add more yogurt until it is moist. Serve over a few romaine lettuce leaves.
(optional: Add a diced apple, peas, or broccoli florettes)

Servings 4