The Whole Enchilada

Yes, I actually made the enchiladas in the picture! I’m not sure why I haven’t made homemade enchilada sauce in the past, but now that I have I am hooked. The sauce recipe I found and tweaked has a deep rich flavor that is tomatoey and spicy and definitely has an authentic feel to it.

It takes a little longer than most of the recipes I recommend, deseeding took me quite a while, but certainly worth the extra effort.  Try and make sure to deseed with the windows open and gloves on as the fierce pepper dust smell overtook my eyes and nostrils.

Searching online for recipes, I came across a lot made with “chili powder.” Some were light in color and didn’t have that dark red color or deep rich flavor. That just didn’t feel authentic to me, so I kept searching to find one made with actual chili’s. Chili’s by the way are spelled with an “e” in the Mexican culture, meaning it’s a pepper.

The word Enchiladas means – seasoned with peppers or chilies. The sauce usually consists of chilies, tomatoes and spices. The green chilies pack more heat than the red ones. Like a lot of Mexican cuisine, they are made by wrapping a tortilla around food. In the case of enchiladas it’s a corn tortilla wrapped around a myriad of ingredients including; beans, corn, spinach, squash, onions, broccoli, possibly meat and a sprinkle of cheese.

The difference between an enchilada and a burrito is that enchiladas require baking as part of their preparation and they are slimmer than burritos. In New Mexico because they often use blue corn tortillas and they are harder to roll, their enchiladas are stacked. They are layered with food in-between each layer which almost gives them a lasagna-like look and feel.

Enchiladas, especially those loaded with cheese are loaded with fat and calories, especially saturated fat.  One enchilada may contain as much as 55% of the daily recommended amount of saturated fat and a bucket-load of salt.

If you’re celebrating Cinco de Mayo this weekend (May 5th), think about serving some enchiladas too – it’s National Enchilada Day!

Authentic Enchilada Sauce – Spicier

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 3 cups water
  • 2 ounces dried guajillo chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 ounce dried hatch or Anaheim chilies, stemmed and seeded
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup chopped yellow onion
  • 1 medium tomato, deseeded and chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon unrefined sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon oregano
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin

Directions: 

  1. Add water, chile peppers and cinnamon to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until chile peppers are tender.
  2. Drain the chile peppers in a colander held over a bowl in order to preserve the cooking liquid.
  3. Sprinkle a medium sauté pan with olive oil and warm on medium heat. Reduce to low and add the onions. Cook until softened (about 5 minutes).
  4. Add the tomato, garlic and spices to the mixture and continue cooking over low heat for about 5 minutes longer.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a blender and add the peppers and most of the water. Puree until smooth. If desired, add the remaining water and/or additional water along the way to thin the mixture.
  6. Add more olive oil to the sauté pan and then the blended mixture. Cook on high heat until mixture comes to a simmer, then reduce to low and cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat and add to favorite enchilada recipe.

Adopted from: Foodiecrush – https://www.foodiecrush.com/how-to-make-authentic-enchilada-sauce/

Veggie Bean Enchiladas

Serves: 4

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups homemade enchilada sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 stalk of broccoli, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 bag frozen spinach, slightly thawed
  • 1 ½ cups cooked black beans or 1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
  • Sprinkle of Monterey Jack or vegan cheese
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 whole corn tortillas
  • Cilantro for garnish

Directions: 

  1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Lightly grease a shallow baking pan with olive oil.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and a pinch of salt.
  3. Reduce to medium low and cook onions until they are soft (around 7-10 minutes).
  4. Add the broccoli and bell pepper and cook covered for 8-9 minutes until broccoli starts to soften.
  5. Mix in the cumin and cinnamon and cook for about 30 seconds.
  6. Add the spinach and cook until warm and no longer clumped together.
  7. Transfer the contents to a medium size bowl. Add the beans, a sprinkle of cheese and about 2 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Assemble the enchiladas: Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of the baking pan.
  9. Heat tortilla over low heat in a sauté pan or warm in a tortilla warmer.
  10. Place on a flat surface and add about ½ cup filling to the center of the tortilla.  Fold right side over tightly, and then repeat for left side. Fold both ends. Place seam side down in your baking pan.
  11. Repeat process with remaining tortillas.
  12. Drizzle the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas and then sprinkle a small amount of cheese on top.
  13. Bake for 20-30 minutes until tortilla looks golden.
  14. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes.
  15. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve.
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2018 Food and Nutrition Trends Clean Meat

Now here’s a very interesting food trend – Clean meat.  When we saw this, we thought – we have to find out more! CM is made from the cells of animals, eliminates the need for animal slaughter and supposedly tastes like the “real” thing.

How are they made? They take a tiny bit of muscle fiber from an animal, isolate the cells that are the precursor to skeletal muscle and start culturing them in a lab. The cells keep dividing and growing until you have an actual muscle that is “meat” ready to eat.

What products are being tested right now? So far, they have made ground meat, chicken nuggets, hot dogs and hamburgers.

Why are they doing this? The speculation is that these foods will be better for the environment, reduce animal suffering, eliminate antibiotic use and can be mass-produced.

Companies that have already jumped on the bandwagon: Hampton Creek, the makers of “Just Mayo” (the vegan mayo), have said they will have a product to market by 2018 while MosaMeat, a ground out of the Netherlands predicts they will have something to market by 2021.

“An inspirational look into a future where the cellular agricultural revolution helps lower rates of foodborne illness, greatly improves environmental sustainability, and allows us to continue to enjoy the food we love.”

 Kathleen Sebelius – former U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services

Source: https://cleanmeat.com/praise/

We’d love to hear what you think about this new trend.  Feel free to share you thoughts below or on our facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/AnOunceofNutrition/.

“Vegilicious” Soup

SOUP is the ultimate winter comfort food. Curling up with a bowl of hot soup and a slice of hot bread is like heaven on a cold day.  And it’s nutritious too!

When I make soup, I love to start with a base of veggie broth and then throw in whatever vegetables are in my refrigerator. It’s fun and you can discover some incredible flavor combinations you’ve never experienced before by making it this way.

Soup’s History: It’s hard to say exactly how soup came to be because it’s been around for so long, but I suspect it was most likely for economic reasons. When food was scarce, you could certainly stretch it a lot further by making a broth and then adding pieces of chopped up food vs. having an entire meal to yourself. Plus, it was more filling to eat it this way too.

I think this kind of sums up the value of it:

In one form or another, soup has been around since 20,000 B.C. and it’s easy to see why. A handful of ingredients on their own will only feed a handful of people, but if you were to cook them with herbs and spices in water, soup can feed a whole community. https://www.gloriousfoods.co.uk/inspiration/a-brief-history-of-soup

“Nutritalicous” Veggie Soup: The recipe below has all of the ingredients you need to make a healthy, nutritious meal.  It has vegetables, protein (beans) and grains (pasta).  You can even sub out whole grain pasta for the gluten-free kind.

And here’s what I love about it!

  • It’s naturally low in calories, fat and saturated fat.
  • It’s an excellent source of fiber!
  • It’s high in protein.
  • It’s also an excellent source of iron and potassium. Two nutrients that Americans can’t ever seem to get enough of.

Most of the protein in this recipe comes from the beans. If you’ve ever heard me speak, chances are I’ve talked about how beans are the most “perfect” food.  They are naturally low in calories, fat and saturated fat and extremely high in fiber! For example, the white beans in this recipe can have up to 19 grams of fiber in a cup and the kidney beans – 16 grams.  Even if you only ate ¼ cup of each of these types of beans in your meal, you would still consume around 9 grams of fiber – still an excellent source!  Beans are also a great source of protein, iron, magnesium, calcium, folate and B6. And not to mention all of the phytonutrients or antioxidants they contain. Very healthy stuff!

This recipe not only has a savory flavor, but also has an added sweetness from the tomatoes that sneaks up on you at the end. I even added an ugly carrot to enhance the sweetness.

Vegetable Soup

Paula’s “Vegilicious” Soup

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 4-5 cloves of minced garlic
  • 5 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 zucchini – diced
  • 1 cup frozen Italian green beans
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) cannelloni (white kidney beans) – drained and rinsed
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) red kidney beans – drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 4 ounces cooked pasta – small shells (about 1 cup)
  • Sprinkle of salt
  • Sprinkle of pepper

Instructions

  • Heat oil in large sauce pan over med heat. Add onion and cook stirring occasional for 5 mins. Add garlic and cook 1 min.
  • Stir in broth, zucchini, corn, green beans and seasonings. Bring to boil and reduce to low, cover and simmer 10 mins until veggies are tender.
  • Stir in tomatoes with juice and drained beans. Simmer for 30 mins.
  • Add pasta to bowl and add soup on top with basil and seasonings and serve. I enjoyed this with a slice of avocado toast.  Ummm, ummm good!

A special thank you to Paula Schmelter Koszarek @wagthedogmedia for sharing this incredibly delicious vegetable soup recipe with us.

***If you have a recipe you would like to share with our teachers and students, please send it our way and if we can, we will highlight it, along with its nutritional value on one of our blog posts.

HEALTHY Halloween – Veggie Skeleton

Are your student’s diets ghoulish?
Have them make a “scary as they want” skeleton using fresh fruits and/or veggies.
Add a healthy ranch dressing dip with:
 Ingredients:
• 1/3 cup Greek Yogurt
• 1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
• 3 tablespoons mayonnaise
• 1 ½ teaspoons lemon juice
• ½ teaspoon onion powder
• ½ teaspoon granulated garlic
• 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives
• Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Directions:
In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix until well-blended. Serve with veggies from the skeleton.
This revamped ranch dressing vs. a traditional bottled ranch dressing has:
  • Less calories: 70% less calories in 2 tablespoons in this recipe
  • Less fat: 8 grams  in this one vs. 14 grams of fat in the bottled ones
  • Less saturated fat: .6 grams in this recipe vs. 2.5 grams in the bottled one
  • Less salt: 70% less salt in this one