Tag Archives: quick

Post-Thanksgiving turkey enchiladas

27 Nov

Friday turkey enchiladas are a tradition in my family. I look forward to them almost as much as the Thanksgiving meal itself. This is a quick and easy way to use up your leftovers, and a change of pace from the classic holiday flavors. Of course, in Santa Maria, Mexican food is the classic taste all year ’round!

To start, thinly slice or shred your leftover turkey, white or dark meat, whichever you prefer. We use the breast meat for this.


In the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish, spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce. You can use corn or flour tortillas, but corn are traditional. My mom has found that warming the tortillas makes them more malleable; you can do this over an open flame or on a pre-warmed skillet, just until the edges soften.

olives, chilis, enchilada sauce(The most cans you will ever see assembled together on this blog. I promise.)

Then, pile turkey, sliced black olives, green chilies and Mexican blend shredded cheese in the center of each tortilla.

tortilla(Who didn’t grow up with Corel dishware?)

Be sure to leave yourself enough tortilla to roll it, and place the roll, seam-side down, into the sauced 9×13 pan. Continue rolling enchiladas and stacking them side-by-side until you have filled the pan. The corn tortillas are about 8″ in diameter, and we usually get about 12-14 enchiladas in the pan.


Cover each enchilada with sauce, making sure no tortilla is exposed. This advice comes from the experience of biting into tough, chewy tortilla that was not covered in sauce… so trust us on this one!


Then cover the entire pan with shredded cheese and bake at 350 degrees F for 30 minutes, or until cheese has melted. Served here with refried black beans, tortilla chips from the best Mexican restaurant in town, and quinoa.

post-Thanksgiving Mexican feast(I’m not posting this quinoa recipe because it wasn’t great. But try this one: Spanish-style quinoa. Add a little S&P. Yummy.)


Pumpkin Pudding

4 Oct

Recipe Source: Skinny in the City email newsletter, Top 6 Skinny Foods for 2010

This is a really simple, unusual, delicious breakfast for the Fall and it’s full of fiber and protein. It’s rich, creamy and very satiating. Chances are good you’ll be satisfied far longer with a bowl of this than a bowl of your normal breakfast cereal. It also makes a nice post-lunch dessert if you’re a slave to that sort of thing… *cough*

All you do is combine 6 ounces of nonfat vanilla yogurt with 1/2 cup of canned pumpkin puree and a few spices (I like 1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice). You can whisk it together or whip for a few seconds in the blender and voila! Pumpkin puddin’.

Rosemary Popcorn

31 Mar

It seems silly and embarrassing to say that “this little recipe was the start of so many things,” but in a way, it kind of was. It really introduced me to rosemary – I’m sure I knew it before, but it really made me appreciate it, and savor it, and recognize it. I’m growing my own plant now, for goodness sakes. And it introduced me to making my own popcorn.

Now, see? It sounds stupid. I know! Not so earth-shattering, popcorn, right? People are starving, wars are happening and whatnot. But in my little petty life, popcorn was a bit of an annoyance. I could never pop it in the microwave correctly. I have tried all different microwaves at all different times and powers. I have stood and absorbed the micro-waves, I have listened, I have counted between pops. I have put my faith in the ever-deceptive “popcorn button.” But the result was always the same: burnt popcorn in the middle, some decent popcorn around the edges, and a million unpopped kernels at the bottom of the bag. Then there was the burning myself on steam trying to open the bloody bag. And did I mention that it didn’t even taste very good? And what about the havoc it probably wreaked on my health? How much sodium, how many preservatives and other crazy chemicals are in there, anyway?

Well. Then Giada De Laurentiis came along with her little “Everyday Italian” cookbook and changed my popcorn-eating life forever.

So here’s what you do.

Take 1/2 cup of olive oil and 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary and heat them in a small saucepan over low heat for 5 minutes. If you have a thermometer, you’ll want the oil to reach 180 degrees F. Take it from me, you really need to do this on low – if you’re too ambitious with the flame, the rosemary will fry. Remove the rosemary and let the oil cool to room temperature before storing. I keep a lot of little glass jars around, from jams and mustards and whatnot, for just this sort of occasion.

Giada says “This is a staple in my kitchen; it’s a fantastic flavoring agent that I can use at a moment’s notice… it could also be used for dipping breads or vegetables, or as the base of a salad dressing.” Sounds good to me.

As for popcorn, I quickly learned that a little goes a long way. For a single serving, I use 1/4 cup of popcorn or less, and the second-biggest covered pot I have. To start, coat the popcorn in 1 tablespoon of plain vegetable or canola oil. Cover the pot and cook on a medium-high heat until the kernels no longer pop. (Most recipes will tell you to shake the pot halfway through popping, but I have gotten lazy and not noticed a difference.) Remove from heat, pour over 1 tablespoon of rosemary oil, salt liberally, cover again and toss to coat popcorn.

If you’re new to making your own popcorn, have fun with it. Buy some flavored oils. I really like spicy chili oils as well. It’s personal, tastier, and so much healthier this way. Trust me, you’ll never go back to the bag!

*One word to the wise, do not attempt to pop kernels in butter. You may drizzle melted butter over the popped corn, but only pop in oil. And if you do try the butter, don’t expect it to taste like movie popcorn, ‘cuz it won’t. I’m still working on a healthy solution to this catastrophic problem…

Roasted Tomato

22 Mar

A number of rare or newly experienced foods have been
claimed to be aphrodisiacs.
At one time this quality was even ascribed to the tomato.
Reflect on that when you are next preparing the family salad.
-Jane Grigson

This is a delicious snack that I should make much more often, but tend to forget about.

Some fun facts about tomatoes!
* They are considered a fruit, not a vegetable.
* They are high in vitamin C and also contain vitamin A, postassium and iron.
* Tomatoes improve eye health and prevent hypertension and urinary tract infections.
* The antioxidant lycopene, found in tomatoes, has been linked to the prevention of several types of cancers.
* Tomatoes contain more lycopene than any other fruit or vegetable.
* The redder the tomato, the higher the amounts of lycopene and betacarotene.
* Cooking tomatoes releases more nutrients than eating them raw.

Ain't she a beauty?

1 large tomato, such as hot house
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated parmesan
black pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Slice tomato in half width-wise. Mix garlic and olive oil, and spoon over each cut slice. Top with parmesan cheese and sprinkle with black pepper, to taste. Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and slightly browned.

You can also try substituting Italian seasonings for the black pepper, sprinkling on garlic powder instead of using the fresh cloves, or whatever else suits your taste!

Serves 2

Tuna Casserole

19 Mar

As a child my family’s menu consisted of two choices: take it or leave it.
-Buddy Hackett

This is a dish I ate allll the tiiiime growing up, and still make. I always keep these ingredients in my pantry. It’s quick, easy and filling. Just beware when serving – I always overestimate how much I can actually eat! This recipe is also great for leftovers as it reheats well. You can substitute albacore tuna for the chunk light, but the mushroom soup tones down the fishy taste enough that I say go for the cheap stuff 🙂

This is a basic recipe, so feel free to add any other ingredients that sound interesting. Like peas maybe… peas were banned from my house growing up as my mother hated them, but now I always have a bag in my freezer because they’re just so easy to throw into anything at the last minute.

1 (12 oz.) can chunk light tuna (water-packed), drained
1 (14.5 oz.) can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup milk (half of soup can)
2 cups white rice
Chow Mein noodles, to sprinkle

Prepare rice. Combine tuna, cream of mushroom soup and milk in a medium saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until milk reduces slightly and sauce turns gray, about 10 minutes. Pour sauce over rice and top with chow mein noodles.