Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Vegetarian Enchiladas for Girl's Night

Our church has an annual fathers and sons campout every year.  So, while the boys are gone, my daughter and I do a girl's night.  

Girl's night for my daughter includes painting our nails, watching Phantom of the Opera, eating food the boys don't like, and going shopping.  I just realized this picture we took of our nails make my hand look really small.  I was holding it low and taking the picture with my other hand.  I really have normal sized hands. 

This year we added hair treatments and facials.  We rubbed coconut oil in our hair and then washed it out.

Here's my daughter's hair after we washed out the coconut oil.  It took several washes.  It was pretty fun to slather oil in each other's hair and I have noticed that my hair is softer than usual. 

We also put the coconut oil on our faces.  I didn't mix it with anything.  (That would take some serious planning.) I didn't notice a difference, but it was fun anyway.  I hear that coconut oil naturally kills acne.  Neither of us have acne so I can't verify that.

Then for dinner we had Vegetarian Enchiladas.


I had a lot of onions, peppers, and tomatoes from my garden.  I put four small tomatoes, two medium onions, and four peppers in the food processor with two hand-fulls of spinach and processed until chunky. By using your own peppers, you can control the spicy levels. Most of my peppers are a sweet variety.

I neglected to get a picture of the beans.  I used pinto beans but it doesn't really matter.  I'm going to try black beans next time.  I avoid canned beans because of the sodium so I used dry beans.  If you can, soak them over night.  If you forget, then put them in your slow cooker first thing in the morning and set it on high. Let them cook until you're ready to prepare the enchiladas.  Drain and rinse the beans (this helps avoid gassy side effects.) Measure out 2-4 cups of beans, depending on how full you want to stuff your enchiladas. Cook the beans in a saucepan with 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1 Tablespoon vinegar, 1 can tomato sauce, and salsa mixture on a medium low heat.  Let simmer for 30 min. (I used tomato sauce because my daughter doesn't like the taste of fresh tomatoes.  You can skip or use tomato paste.)

The reason I wanted to try making vegetarian enchiladas is because of the cholesterol in the meat. Sour cream and cheese also have cholesterol.  I found this fat free sour cream and guess what? No cholesterol. (Woot!) The sour cream is what really makes these enchiladas divine.  Spread half your sour cream along the bottom of the pan.  Then stuff your shells with the bean mixture. Leave some of the juices. Once your pan is full, cover them in sour cream. Pour the leftover juice over the top and top with a fiesta cheese mix.  The cheese is the only source of cholesterol in the entire dish.  The mix I buy has 25mg of cholesterol per serving.  

 We served them with grapes, mixed vegetables and almond milk.  Mmmm.

My daughter liked the vegetarian enchiladas but she said she prefers the meat kind.  If you like some meat, then slow cook chicken or pork with the brown sugar and vinegar.  I've also done a half meat, half bean combo and it was really tasty.

Vegetarian Enchiladas
2-4 cups reconstituted beans (depending on how full you want your shells.)
2 large or 4 small tomatoes
4 peppers of desired heat
2 medium onions
2 large handfuls of spinach (or more if you really like spinach.)
1 c. brown sugar
1 T vinegar
Fat free sour cream
Tortilla shells
Fiesta blend of shredded cheese

Chop tomatoes, onion, peppers, and spinach in food processor.  Combine with beans with brown sugar, vinegar and salsa mixture.  Allow to simmer for at least 30 min.

Spread half sour cream on bottom of pan.  Stuff tortillas with bean mixture.  Top with sour cream, extra bean juices, and cheese.  Bake @350 for 20 min or until cheese is melted.

After doing our spa treatments, eating dinner, and watching Phantom of the Opera, it was time to go to bed.  My daughter was disappointed we didn't have time to go shopping.  She really wanted to go first thing in the morning before the boys came home.

How could I say no to a face like that?  (This is actually right after she had her eyes dilated at the eye doctor a few months ago, but it's still pretty accurate of the face she gave me.)

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Hey look! I'm blogging!

It's been a while since I've blogged.  My cat is not pleased. (Actually, he is never pleased.)

I thought I'd post a couple yummy recipes. They're even healthy.

Here's the first one: Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing. Mmmm.  The dressing doesn't have any cholesterol, unlike my favorite ranch dressing. It also contains olive oil, which is a source of the good kind of fat.

I got this recipe from here

The salad is lettuce from my garden (Spinach works well too), strawberries from my garden, sugared pecans, and the dressing.  I've tried both sugared pecans and sugared almonds (the original recipe used sugared almonds). I like the pecans better than the almonds.  I put all the ingredients in separate containers when I serve it.  It stores better that way and my kids like to build their own salads. (Actually, my kids will take one lettuce leaf and choke it down with much complaining.)

Sugared Pecans
Put about a cup of pecans in frying pan. (I make lots so we have extras for snacking.)
Add 1/4 cup sugar.
Add 1/4 cup water.
Stir on med heat until water has evaporated.

Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
3 T. red wine vinegar
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. mustard seed (the original recipe called for ground mustard. I didn't have any of that. The mustard seed works fine.  Just don't skip this.  I didn't use it the last time I made the dressing and it turned into a strange gelatinous mess.)
1/2 c. olive oil (the original recipe called for canola oil.  I like olive oil better.)
3/4 c. sliced strawberries
3/4 t. poppy seeds

Mix vinegar, sugar, salt, and mustard seed in blender.  Slowly drizzle in oil until mixture is creamy.  Add strawberries.  Process until smooth.  Add poppy seeds and pulse until well mixed.  Store in tight container in refrigerator. 

Here's the next recipe: Quinoa Stir Fry 

I'm not big on measuring so, since this is my own recipe, I didn't measure anything other than the quinoa.  Sometimes you have to cook by taste, rather than by the rules.

1/4 c. uncooked quinoa per serving
black beans (soak dry beans overnight. Then slow cook for about 2 hours ahead of time.  I like to make an entire bag and store the cooked beans in my fridge. Canned beans have a lot of sodium added.)
olive oil
(abt 1 T) red wine vinegar and brown sugar (to taste) or your favorite BBQ sauce

You could also add meat and whatever other vegetables but this is filling enough that you don't need meat.

Prepare quinoa in rice cooker or according to directions.  Coat bottom of pan with olive oil.  Saute onion.  Add vegetables, vinegar, beans, and brown sugar.  Add cooked quinoa (and water if it's too dry).  I like my vegetables a little crunchy so I let it cook long enough for the flavor of the vinegar and brown sugar to penetrate the quinoa.  Five minutes is long enough. Cook longer if you like your vegetables softer.