Monday, June 25, 2012

Creamy Poblano Enchiladas

Recently I saw a recipe floating around Pinterest for creamy chicken enchiladas.  It looked fairly good, but I knew I could make it better!  I made it a little healthier & more flavorful, and found a way to incorporate one of my new favorite foods- poblano peppers.  These large peppers are very tasty and not too spicy.  Did you know that the larger a pepper is, the less spicy it is?  So those tiny habanero & serrano peppers will burn your mouth, but these poblanos aren't bad at all.  They sometimes go by the name of pasilla peppers.  These are the star ingredient in this sauce!
For the salsa that I use in the sauce, I use this Easy Blender Salsa.  I always have a batch in my fridge!  I'm sure you could make adjustments to this recipe, based on what you have & what your preferences are, but this is the version that my family LOVES!  I hope you like it!

My first step was to make homemade tortillas.  This was the first time I made these, and we loved them!  It was this recipe, which I cut in half, used half
wheat/half white flour, and made into 8 tortillas.

Dice the poblano pepper & onions into medium-sized pieces; they don't need to be really small since you're pureeing them anyway.

I love these Pampered Chef Salad Choppers for shredding chicken!  I've never used them for salad, but I'm in love with using them to shred meat!

The finished dish!  This made the perfect amount for my family of 5.  I don't think they even need any more toppings, since there is already salsa and sour cream in them!

 Creamy Poblano Enchiladas
Printable version here

Sauce ingredients
2 tbsp. butter
1/2 of a large poblano pepper, seeded & diced
1/2 of a medium onion, diced
2 tbsp. flour
1 cup chicken broth
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. coriander
1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup salsa
1/3 cup sour cream

Enchilada ingredients
1 lb. chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
6-8 tortillas (depending on their size)
1 cup grated cheese, such as Monterrey Jack or cheddar

1. To make sauce: Melt butter in a 2 quart saucepan over medium heat.  Next add poblano pepper & onion, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Add flour, stir, and cook for 1 minute.  Slowly whisk in chicken broth, stirring constantly until all the liquid is incorporated.  Add cumin, coriander (you may sub extra cumin if you don't have this ingredient), and salt.  Bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to med-low and cook a few minutes until sauce starts to thicken.  Carefully pour sauce into a blender.  Add salsa and sour cream, then puree until smooth.  (Note- while pureeing the sauce, keep the small center cap off your blender to let steam escape, and instead cover that hole with a napkin)

2. Pour a little bit of the sauce in a glass 9x13 pan, and spread it around so the bottom is mostly covered.  Place the shredded chicken in a bowl and stir in some of the sauce (just enough to moisten the chicken).  Assemble enchiladas by adding a scoop of chicken and a sprinkle of cheese to each one, rolling it, and putting it in the dish.  Pour remaining sauce evenly over the top of the enchiladas, then sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

3. Bake in a preheated 375º oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes or until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.  Enjoy!

Why I love it?  The sauce is TO DIE FOR!  As it, I could just eat it straight off a spoon! It's creamy (but not too rich or unhealthy), not spicy, just so flavorful!  The poblano pepper & onion, plus the other seasonings, give so much depth to the sauce.  It is so fresh and unlike anything you can get from a can!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Trail Mix Muffins (Mix in a Jar)

Just like my last post, here is a "Mix in a Jar" recipe.  I made both these and the oatmeal chip cookie mixes to give away as gifts to my MOPS group.  I got to keep one of these jars for myself, and I so enjoyed making it this morning- I wasn't even fully awake yet, but this was so easy I could get these going for the kids!

These muffins are pretty much what the name sounds like- full of goodies like what you would find in trail mix. (The only thing missing, according to my 5 year old, is M&M's!)  They have dried fruit, coconut, nuts, and some good whole grains.  But even with all that, they're still pretty light & fluffy.

Trail Mix Muffins (Mix in a Jar)
Printable version: Recipe
Printable version: Sheet of 6 gift tag instructions

Jar ingredients
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup old fashioned (or quick) oats
1/3 cup raisins (or other dried fruit)
1/2 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup wheat germ*
1/2 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup lightly packed brown sugar
1 1/2 cups flour (I use 1 cup all purpose & 1/2 cup wheat)
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt

Additional ingredients
1/4 cup oil
1/4 cup applesauce (or you can substitute an additional 1/4 cup oil)
1/2 cup water
2 eggs

1. In a 1-quart glass jar, layer the sugar, oats, raisins, coconut, wheat germ, nuts, and brown sugar, packing well between each layer.  Then in a small bowl combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt, and add this to the jar.  Press down to fit. Cover and store in a cool dry place.  Yield: 12 muffins

2. To prepare muffins- Empty jar into a large mixing bowl, blend dry ingredients thoroughly.  Add oil, applesauce, water and eggs, and mix until just blended.  Fill 12 standard size muffin cups (use liners or nonstick spray).  Bake at 350º for 21 minutes.  Cool on wire rack.

* I get wheat germ at any store with a bulk food section.  Here is an article that lists other substitutes for wheat germ, if you don't have (or can't find) it.

Why I love it? Well I like the fact that it fits in a jar, and it's a pretty tasty muffin.  It has a lot of different flavors & textures.  Plus, it's much healthier than muffins you can buy!  I actually feel good about feeding this to my kids for breakfast.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Oatmeal Chip Cookie (Mix in a Jar)

Recently I looked up recipes that would work to give as gifts in a canning jar, as I had several end-of-the-school-year gifts to give.  I tried two (this one and a trail mix muffin recipe), and really liked them both!  This one is a chewy oatmeal cookie, with coconut, white chocolate, and milk chocolate chips.

This fit perfectly in a quart canning jar (use wide mouth for easiest filling), and the batch makes 3 dozen cookies.  You could also put the dry mix in any container just to have on hand, or you could just make these cookies without making the mix.  It's a delicious cookie recipe, the fact that it fits in a jar is just a bonus! :)

Oatmeal Chip Cookie Mix
Printable version here: Recipe
Printable version here: Set of 6 gift tag instructions

Jar ingredients
1 1/4 cups quick cooking oats
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup milk chocolate chips
1/3 cup white chips
1/4 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup white sugar

Additional ingredients
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract

1. Place oats in a food processor (or blender); cover and pulse until fine; set aside.  In a bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  In a 1-quart glass jar, layer the oats, flour mixture, chips, coconut, brown sugar, then sugar, packing well between each layer.  Cover and store in a cool dry place for up to 6 months.  Yield: 3 dozen cookies

2. To prepare cookies: In a large mixing bowl, cream butter.  Beat in egg and vanilla. (I mixed mine by hand, and the butter mixture wasn't evenly mixed, but it still worked fine) Add cookie mix and mix well (mixture will be dry- I found it best to mix it with my hands at the end).  Drop by rounded tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.  Bake at 375º for 10 minutes, or until cookies are just starting to brown.  They will still be soft, so cool on the sheet for a few minutes before removing to wire racks.

Recipe source:

Why I love it? Not only does it work well as a gift idea, but the cookies are delicious!  They're soft & chewy, and with the coconut and 2 types of chips (white & chocolate), they have the perfect amount of taste and texture.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup

This recipe is based on one I found on  I liked the idea of it, but it was way too unhealthy for an everyday dinner- it called for a stick of butter and 2 cups of heavy cream!  My version of it is much lighter, but still creamy & delicious.  I use whatever kind of milk I have on-hand, which is typically nonfat. 

I've only ever made it with this kind of rice mix, which I've been able to find in several grocery stores:

Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup
Printable version here

1 6-oz. box long grain & wild rice mix (Uncle Ben's)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded cooked chicken

1. Cook rice as directed in 2 quart pan.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a 3 quart saucepan on medium heat.  Whisk in flour and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently, until bubbly.  Slowly whisk in milk and broth.  Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until mixture has thickened slightly. 

3. Add the cooked rice and chicken to the broth, and heat through.  Add salt & pepper to taste.  Serves: 4-6

Why I love it?  It's relatively quick to throw together, and we all like it.  It's really healthy for being a creamy soup!