Tuesday, January 29, 2013

It's an Enchichanga!

It's been awhile since I've made a real foodie posting therefore, it's past time. As I've stated before, I love to cook. It's probably my favorite form of artwork...and definitely the one I'm best at. If you've seen anything I've drawn or tried to paint, you'll see my point. My maternal Grandmother could draw an animal using only a pencil and you'd think it was a black and white photograph. That gene passed me by and never looked back. But cooking...I can pull off with pride. :)
Now this recipe was an experiment. Poor Jason knows what experiments mean...success brings about much happiness (Oh I'm so proud! Wow it looks beautiful! What an amazing flavor!) and failure brings about the four horsemen (It looks like barf on a plate! What the hell is that awful flavor? $&*#@!!). Lucky for me, my family, and this post, it was a successful one. I began with a Weight Watcher recipe that I liked the concept of...but the concept was about the only thing I liked about it. So I went to the pantry and found some things to jazz it up. It started as a Baked Chimichanga, but I used the flavors that I would normally put in enchiladas. And the Enchichanga was born! This is simple enough to throw together on a busy evening and you can serve it with so many different sides. This time, I paired it with SkinnyTaste's brilliant Cilantro Lime Rice  Find It Here, but you could do a side salad, black bean soup or whatever sounds yumilicious to you.

Baked Enchichangas
Makes 8 (WW 6 Points Plus each)

1 lb. Ground Turkey Breast
1\2 Medium Yellow Onion, chopped
1 medium tomato, diced
1 4.5 oz can Mild Green Chili Peppers
1 c canned Pinto Beans
1 c. Reduced Fat Cheddar Cheese (Mexican Blend would work too)
8 Whole Wheat Tortillas (I used the La Tortilla brand. They're delicious, soft, and only 2 points a piece)
1 10 oz can Enchilada Sauce
Salt, Pepper, Cumin, Garlic Powder to taste

Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a large skillet with cooking spray. Coat a 13x9x2-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Add turkey and onion to skillet and cook over medium-high heat until browned. Season meat with generous dashes of Cumin and Garlic Powder. Salt and Pepper to taste. Add beans and don't be afraid to smash them up a bit as you stir. Add the tomatoes and chili peppers and stir a minute or two. Add the can of enchilada sauce and mix well. Lower to  medium-low heat and allow to simmer about five minutes. Stir in the cheese and remove from the heat. 

Meanwhile, wrap tortillas in foil; warm in oven for 10 minutes. (You could also wrap them in damp paper towels and warm in the microwave if preferred.)
Divide the turkey mixture between the 8 tortillas. Fold in the sides, then roll them up. 
Place chimichangas, seam-side down, in prepared baking dish. Bake, uncovered, until tortillas are crisp and browned, about 20 minutes. 
You can serve these with reduced fat sour cream, or salsa for little to no extra points. 

Simple, tasty, quick, and kiddo approved.
Tastes great when you're having a Tex-Mex craving too...enjoy!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Lazy Saturday

So far this is a lazy Saturday. Well, Baby Jedi woke up before anyone else wanting to eat and play so there was that... And then breakfast, oh lord. Every morning I ask, "So what does everyone want for breakfast today?" and 99.999% of the time I hear the response "I dunno...what do we have?" (stop, sigh, count to ten) "The same things we always have, really, I shouldn't have to say this every morning, guys.." I start tossing some turkey bacon in the microwave because that's a staple regardless of what they decide on. I then find Bren in the pantry squirting yellow decorator gel all over the ends of the bag of potatoes. I haul Bren out of the kitchen, throw the gel away (can't find the cap now and it's probably expired anyhoo... How and where did he find that now that I think about it..) grab the potato bag and go for a pair of scissors to cut off the decorated part. No scissors in the drawer. Count to ten once more. Pull the first batch of bacon out of the microwave plop it on the plates. Hunt down scissors and remedy the glittery yellow potato bag situation...gingerly carry the gooey bits to the trash can. No trash bag in the can. Of course! Maybe count to twenty this time. Put  bits on the counter, toss in the second batch of bacon. Meanwhile, the toast has popped up and is now cold. Pop that back down for a few seconds so it'll warm enough for the butter to melt. Get out a trash bag to put in the can. Find the baby crawling into the kitchen now and getting dangerously underfoot. NOT get frustrated at baby because he gives me this:
This face could melt all hearts and bring about world peace...
Kiss baby's adorable epic cheeks while moving his chubby butt to the living room. Fuss at older boys who are starting a fight in aforementioned living room. Oh sh*t, the toast! Run and pop the toast out of the toaster and get it buttered putting the darker side plate-down. *sshhhh* Finally get the gel-covered potato bag in the trash can. Find Bren trying to dump a cup of water in the sink and get it all over the cabinet in the process... and so on and so forth, etc...

Well I haven't washed a dish or touched the washer, so that's lazy. Actually, I really, really need to sweep and mop the floor downstairs...it's bordering on horrific. And I'll probably have to do the dishes so that I can fill half of the sink with water for mopping...

Okay damn it, I'm still in my PJs. That's lazy, right?

More coffee, coming up...

Friday, January 25, 2013

TGIF...and for sushi

Friday is here! Woot! Yay! Huzzah! (if you're in a missing Ren Fest kind of mood) Hmm, suddenly I'm remembering that thing we did in elementary school where you circle one fist in the air next to your head and go "Hoo!Hoo!Hoo!" Wow. Weird times. I'm kinda glad that died out, to be honest...right along with yelling "Gnarly!" as an exclamation. Well, whatever your method of expressing celebration, the weekend is upon us and I'm thrilled. I'm actually in an extraordinary mood today. I went to hang out with my sister last night and we had a blast. I probably really, really needed the outing. My tensions seemed to have run high here lately. Big shock, I know...what could possibly be stressing me out? Can't be my five crazy monkeys bouncing off the walls and getting into god-knows-what day in and day out, right? Heh. Anyhoo, we went walking around an area of town that I've honestly never been to before. It. Was. Awesome. Old neighborhoods, new neighborhoods, old stores just oozing with charm and character and new stores with their clean lines and bright displays. We noshed on chicken yakitori and some amazing sushi. We saw pubs bustling with happy people starting their weekend early. Sounds of live bands at several of the restaurants filled the air as we passed by. To top it all off, we visited a candy store that I have seen featured on Food Network. My inner child just came out and danced. This happened for many reasons. I am a food geek and love the Food Network. The inside was a plethora of colors and smelled like the inside of your Halloween bag after a full night of trick or treating. There was just about every candy produced, including some that I hadn't seen since I was a little kid. Did I mention that they dip just about anything you can think of in chocolate? I've been in specialty chocolate stores before, but this really blew my mind. There wasn't just chocolate covered fresh strawberries, there were blackberries as well. In the mood for salty and sweet? How about chocolate covered Fritos or Pringles? There were cakes and pies and brownies and cookies... HOW have I never been to this place before? They even had people dancing to old school tunes in a part of the store like they were on Broadway or something, which just added to the eclectic feel of the evening.  Even little Luke, who was our tagalong for the evening, was entranced by the place. He just kept charming random people causing them to smile and jabber in baby-talk.

This is the face of inescapable cuteness...
We had so much fun! And we never stopped talking either (outside of the point where I was rendered speechless after walking into the candy store). It was a night of good food, good sights, and excellent company. The evening also made me realize though just how big Houston really is. I felt like I was well traveled and knowledgeable about the city, but apparently I'm not. If something this neat has escaped my notice for this long, what else is there to discover? It's an exciting thought, actually...

Well, better wrap this up for now. I was just poked in the shoulder by a handsome blonde midget who quoted a line of cartoon dialogue to me and then giggled hysterically to himself as he ran away....

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Food Fails and School Tales

This is the sad face of a salad fail. In fact, it borders on epic faildom. It was born of rushing and experimentation. Poor thing didn't have a chance. 

I had eaten a rather lackluster Lean Cuisine meal for lunch and was still hungry. A light salad sounded good so to the fridge I went. Starting with the usual bed of lettuce and diced tomatoes, I decided to get inventive. I looked for some kind of protein to throw in there and couldn't find much of anything. Ah! Salami! Why not? At only 1 point per two slices, I could finely chop it up and toss it in the salad. For dressing I reached for a bottle of fat free sun dried tomato vinaigrette figuring to myself "Sun dried tomatoes...should go well with the salami! I haven't tried it yet, but it should work out." HUGE mistake. The dressing was sweet. Extremely sweet. Where the hell was the vinegar in my vinaigrette? Everytime I got a bite with the salami on it I cringed. Although I am not a huge fan of mixing my sweets and savories, it can work from time to time. I dare you to pair salami with something sweet. (And no, Miracle Whip doesn't count.) Go ahead. I then dare you to say it's in any way, shape, or form tasty. Lesson learned here: ALWAYS taste your ingredients before throwing them willy-nilly into a recipe, concoction, or salad.

Life outside of making healthy salad fails has marched on as usual. My kiddos are in the throes of second quarter exams in school but I'm pleased to say, they're acing them. They are pwning those exams! Watching them learn something or even remember something they've learned before is amazing to me and very little makes me more proud. Of course, then you'll be calling out spelling words and hear something like this: "Between...like my butthole is between my buttcheeks!" and it'll all come crashing down around you. /facepalm Ah, the joys of boys. Now that one was said with devilish glee but sometimes they say things that make you wonder...what the hell?? Case in point, in Erik's workbook he was instructed to draw something heavier than a butterfly. He thought out loud, "Now what is heavier than a butterfly?" Aidan looks up from his workbook and, in all quiet seriousness, replies "A fat lady". Well...yes...that is correct, but holy crap... After recovering my jaw from the floor, I warned him that it sounded rude, that even a baby weighed more than a butterfly, blah, blah, blah... But that juvenile part inside of me was stifling back laughter so freaking hard... Maybe I was just meant to be a mom to crazy boys. ;)

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

I Hereby Rechristen This Blog...

This blog has been many things. It chronicled my journey into the South Beach Diet privately. It was where I documented my switch from South Beach to Weight Watchers. It was renamed "Expecting a Healthy Lifestyle" when I tried to be healthy and pregnant at the same time. (Pfft, yeah that worked out great. *rolls eyes*) It then became my "Journey to a Healthy Lifestyle" after I had the baby. Then life happened, yet again, and it lay dormant for quite awhile. I had always kept my blog focused on my diet\healthy living exploits at the time and while this was all well and good, it kept my posts cornered to a specific genre. My awesome (and quite sexy might I add) husband kept encouraging me to open it up from just a blog about loosing weight and getting healthy to a blog about....everything. This intrigued me. I could use a place to vent whatever was lurking up in my belfry in addition to posting about my cooking and recipe endeavors. So, challenge accepted! I hereby reopen this blog as "Clare's Chaotic Cacophony". God help the internet cause I'm back, beeotches. ;)