#FoodieExtravaganza: Enchiladas

foodieextravaganza-300April is here and with it another Foodie Extravaganza! This month Camilla from Culinary Adventures with Camilla told us to make some enchiladas. 

It has been 13 months since I’ve participated with this group but I couldn’t turn down enchiladas! I mean, how could I!? My husband and I had a fun culinary routine of Mexican Mondays which held strong for at least 5 years. And to this day, when I do put Mexican cuisine on our weekly menu, I let it fall on a Monday. Mexican Monday allows way more versatility than Taco Tuesday.

My Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas are a family favorite, and my go-to dish for bringing to friends after having a baby or a deployment. I had to come up with something different for today’s post and somehow my mind wandered to one of our favorite Mexican places in Ohio, Abuelo’s. We didn’t realize it at the time, but Abuelo’s is evidently a chain restaurant, but we still liked it! My favorite dish were their Spinach Enchiladas, so that’s what I have for you today. My husband couldn’t stop raving about them and has declared them a strong competitor to the previously mentioned Honey Lime Chicken Enchiladas.

Spinach Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 10 oz bag frozen spinach
  • 2 strips center cut bacon, diced
  • 1 1/2 C diced mushrooms
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • 1/4 bell pepper, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/2 tsp diced chipotle peppers in adobo
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4 oz Velveeta cheese, cubed
  • 3 oz cream cheese
  • 1 C frozen corn
  • 6 taco sized flour tortillas
  • 1 10 oz can green enchilada sauce
  • 3 handfuls shredded Mexican blend cheese

Steps:

  1. Microwave the spinach according to package instructions.
  2. In a large skillet cook the bacon until crispy. Add in the mushrooms, onion, pepper, garlic, and chipotle peppers and cook until tender. Season with S+P.
  3. Add the cheeses and cook until melted. Stir in the corn and cooked spinach.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a casserole dish.
  5. Divide the spinach mixture onto the tortillas, rolling them up and placing them seam-side down in the prepared casserole dish. Top with the enchilada sauce and the cheese. Bake 25-30 minutes until bubbly and the cheese is melted.

This recipe is modified from mollypaul at http://www.geniuskitchen.com/recipe/abuelos-spinach-casserole-112480*

Spinach Enchiladas for #FoodieExtravaganza from Sew You Think You Can Cook

Be sure to check out these other creative enchilada recipes:

If you are a blogger and would like to join our group and blog along with us, come join our Facebook page Foodie Extravaganza. We would love to have you! If you’re a spectator looking for delicious tid-bits check out our Foodie Extravaganza Pinterest Board! Looking for our previous parties? Check them out HERE.

CIC: Black Beans & Mayonnaise

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Today’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge is to combine black beans and mayonnaise. To be honest, I voted for both of these ingredients, but that didn’t mean I had an idea.

And then I forgot about it. Taking two vacations back-to-back will do that to you.

When I always have black beans in my pantry and mayonnaise in my fridge it would have been a little inexcusable to skip this event.

Surprisingly, I was able to come up with an idea and make my dish on Sunday! I had game day food on my mind, and even though it was just the boys and me, I still made a perfect dip for watching football from the couch. I took inspiration from a warm spinach dip and added some black beans and southwest spices.

Firecracker was napping (gasp!) while I got the dip in the oven and he woke up just in time to take it out. Turned out the be the perfect distraction mechanism for his post-nap fussiness. He said it looked good and said he wanted to eat it. Of course, I had to take a picture first! Literally, one. I told him it was still hot and he informed me that it was cool now. So, out of the ramekin and into a different bowl to spend a few minutes in the fridge. I think he ate 2 bites; the smart kid really just wanted the chips within his reach. I loved the dip, and will definitely make it again for company. I’m looking forward to my afternoon salty snack this week, now!

This recipe will serve 2-3 people.

Black Bean and Spinach Dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 3/4 C shredded Mexican blend cheese
  • 2 C packed baby spinach
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp chili powder
  • 1/8 tsp cumin

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine all the ingredient until incorporated.
  3. Divide dip between two 16 oz ramekins. Bake 30-35 minutes, until dip is bubbly and the top is slightly golden.
  4. Serve warm with tortilla chips.

Black Bean and Spinach Dip for Crazy Ingredient Challenge from Sew You Think You Can Cook | http://sewyouthinkyoucancook.com

To see the other bloggers who participated in this month’s Crazy Ingredient Challenge click on the link below.

Pork Ramen with Mushrooms and Spinach

Would you believe me if I told you I’d never had ramen before making the recipe I’m sharing with you today? Well, it’s true! Even on a college dime I never tried it. I’ve always been a macaroni and cheese kind of girl, ever since I was a wee one. The kind in the blue box that’s 98 cents. Or if I’m feeling fancy, the liquid gold kind for 2 dollars a box. A guilty pleasure that I haven’t indulged in since we moved into our new place.

When we moved we decided that we’d go ahead and alter our diet a little bit. I don’t care much for a strict diet – there isn’t any gluten-free, paleo, or vegan-style eating in my house. What we discussed doing to eat a more healthy and balanced diet is to start cutting out processed foods. It’s a slow transition that’s taking place in my grocery shopping and until I feel completely settled in, it won’t be in full force. But, I haven’t bought those childhood favorites of mine. And I’m not buying those canned cinnamon rolls that we require every Sunday morning, either!

I feel like there are a lot of changes taking place and definitely a lot of “firsts.”

img_1624I just spent my first week “home alone” with the two boys while my husband was in Denver for work. To say I was scared would be an understatement. I’m happy to report that the three of us did survive, and with very minimal scarring. Treat decided it was high time to learn to stand the day Stuart left. At six months old! I expected the second child to do things more quickly to be able to keep up with the older sibling, but I was not prepared for things to happen this fast! He seems to only half master a skill before careening head first into the next milestone. At the age of 6 months he started to sit, started to army crawl, started to hands-and-knees crawl, mastered the army crawl, mastered sitting, pulled himself up, and started to scoot along the couch. If you ask me, that’s way too many things to discover in 4 short weeks. He needs to stop trying to be a toddler and just be a baby!

Among the “firsts” is my first taste of ramen noodles (not including the flavoring packet, just the noodles) and my first usage of miso in my own kitchen. Due to the enormous size container of miso, you’ll be seeing a bit more of the Japanese product on the blog in the future.Pork Ramen (components)

I loved the flavors of the roast pork tenderloin, sweet from the honey with the warm spiciness (not heat) from the Chinese 5 spice powder. It paired nicely with the subtly salty broth. I even actually ate the mushrooms in the soup – gasp! As for the ramen, I don’t think I’ve met a noodle I don’t like. For 12 cents and a 3 minute cook time, I’ll be looking to the Chinese noodle more often.

Pork Ramen with Mushrooms and Spinach

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb pork tenderloin
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
  • 4 tbsp soy sauce, divided use
  • 1 tbsp sherry
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 portabella mushroom cap, thinly sliced
  • 7 C chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 6 C baby spinach
  • 3 pkgs (3 oz) ramen noodles, soup mix discarded
  • sliced scallions, for garnish

Steps:

  1. Put the pork in a large bowl and sprinkle with sugar, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt. Pour 2 tbsp of the soy sauce and the sherry over the pork as well. Let marinate at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  3. Place pork on a foil lined rimmed baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Flip and roast another 15 minutes, or until an internal temperature of 145 degrees F is reached. Brush the pork with the honey and roast about 5 minutes, until pork is 155 degrees F. Set aside.
  4. Heat oil in a dutch oven over medium-high heat. Cook the onions until tender, about 10 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook another 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock, remaining 2 tbsp soy sauce, and the miso. Bring soup to a boil, reduce to simmer, and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the spinach to the soup until wilted.
  5. Cook ramen according to package instructions.
  6. Assemble: Divide the ramen among 4 shallow bowls, ladle soup over the noodles, and top with sliced pork. Garnish with scallions.

*This recipe is adapted from CookFresh Spring 2016*

Pork Ramen with Mushrooms and Spinach  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Triple Berry Spinach Smoothie

We have been in a “picky eating” stage of toddler-hood for a few months now and it’s been a little less than frustrating on a daily basis. Baby food jars and pouches seemed to be the only way to get him to eat his vegetables and I’m happy to report that version of feeding is definitely on its way out. (Though squeeze applesauces are still a great snack.) The only downfall of not spending oodles of money on baby food is that I can’t figure out how to give Firecracker his veggies!

One of my best friends met this battle, too, when her son was this age and their solution was smoothies. It took a little more time, but then a miracle happened and smoothies definitely were the answer. He gets a great hit of protein from Greek yogurt and milk as well as a generous handful or two of spinach or kale. I’m definitely open to trying more veggie-fied smoothie recipes, maybe some with carrot? (Speaking of, I’m about to make a batch of muffins with carrots in them after naptime! You’ll see them in next month’s #MuffinMonday assuming they’re a success.) If you have any great healthy smoothie recipes to share, leave me a comment below!

Triple Berry Spinach Smoothie (toddler)  Sew You Think You Can Cook

I’m not an expert in smoothie making and always struggle to get the perfect consistency, but making 2-3 smoothies a week has definitely improved my game! I decided to write down my proportions and this smoothie was a hit enough to create a post from it!

I used an individual serving size container of blueberry Greek yogurt that Firecracker tricked me into wanting to eat. Added frozen fruit, spinach,  and finished it with some milk. You’d never know there was spinach in it and with no added sugar it’s definitely a healthy smoothie.

This recipe makes 1 serving.

An Original Recipe

Triple Berry Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 container (5.3 oz) blueberry Greek yogurt
  • 4 frozen whole strawberries
  • 20 frozen raspberries
  • 1/2 C baby spinach
  • 1/2 C milk

Steps:

  1. Put all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth. Add 1-2 tbsp more milk if needed.

Triple Berry Spinach Smoothie  Sew You Think You Can Cook

Roasted Garlic Spinach Pizza with Chicken

I love pizza, of almost any variety. Red sauce, barbecue, white sauce, or buffalo are all good in my book. There are a couple of fun pizza places near us that do highly creative flavors using bean spreads in lieu of sauce, too. Still delicious!

The pizza I’m sharing with you today is a white sauce based pizza topped with spinach and chicken. Feel free to omit the chicken for a deliciously satisfying vegetarian option.

The ricotta mixture that creates the white sauce is flavored with freshly roasted garlic and has a little touch of sweetness from honey. If you’re feeding this to an under-one-year-old then feel free to substitute agave, sugar, or even omit it entirely. This mixture would be heavenly as a ravioli filling or even as an extra flavor booster to lasagna. Seriously, yum!IMG_5279 (2)

I was surprised that my then almost 13 month old scarfed down this pizza. If I put it in front of him today I don’t think it’d be met with the same enthusiasm. Apparently almost 15 months yields a picky-eating, food-refusal stage?

Roasted Garlic Spinach Pizza with Chicken

Ingredients:

  • 1 head garlic
  • olive oil
  • 1 pizza crust (I used a refrigerated whole wheat crust)
  • 1 C ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp fresh basil (I used Gourmet Garden stir-in basil paste)
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 chicken breast, cooked and chopped
  • 2 C shredded mozzarella cheese

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Cut off the top of the head of garlic, drizzle with olive oil and salt, wrap in foil and roast 30-40 minutes until tender and golden. Let cool.
  3. Mash the cooled garlic cloves and stir into the ricotta, basil, honey, and oregano. Season to taste with S+P.
  4. Follow the directions on the pizza dough (prebake if necessary); top pizza crust with ricotta mixture, spinach, chicken, and mozzarella. Bake according to package directions (for me, 17 minutes at 400degF).

*This recipe is adapted from Kare at http://www.kitchentreaty.com/roasted-garlic-spinach-white-pizza-with-optional-chicken/*

Roasted Garlic Spinach Pizza | Sew You Think You Can Cook

Turkey Lasagna

Fun fact: It’s National Lasagna Day!

It’s quite baffling to realize that I have had this blog for over two years now and have yet to share my lasagna recipe! I played off of it for a fancier version with lasagna roll ups last February.

Lasagna - Sew You Think You Can CookNo-boil noodles are the secret to making this dish easy to whip up. They don’t have that wavy shape of traditional lasagna noodles, but they make spreading ricotta on them as simple as spreading butter on toast. I like to sneak in extra veggies, too; bell pepper and onion join the ground turkey and I mix chopped fresh spinach in with the ricotta cheese. A double helping of cheese (mozzarella in every layer with the ricotta) doesn’t hurt anything either!

When I would have to travel for work I liked to prepare a lasagna the night before I left so my husband would have something to eat in my absence. (It’s also a great option to take to someone’s house in the event of a new baby’s arrival!) I most recently made this particular lasagna (read: this [poorly] photographed lasagna) the night before I took the little man to Florida for a friend’s wedding.

IMG_4253 (2)I’m happy to report that even my little man loved my lasagna! I was astounded by how much he devoured. I do think it was my favorite lasagna to date! I have a couple of theories as to why this one tasted better: whole milk ricotta cheese and Parmesan Romano marinara sauce – both of which are Kroger brands.

Turkey Lasagna

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 lb ground turkey (you could increase this up to 2 lb if you like a meatier lasagna)
  • 1/2 C chopped baby spinach
  • 1 container (15 oz) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • no boil lasagna noodles
  • 3 C shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 jar (24 oz) marinara sauce

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat saute onion and bell pepper in olive oil. When onion is translucent add the garlic and cook 60 seconds. Add the turkey to the pan and cook through, breaking up as you go. Seasoning with S+P.
  3. In a bowl, combine the spinach and ricotta. Season to taste with S+P.
  4. Layer the lasagna: Put a thin layer of sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish. Spread some of the ricotta mixture on the noodles and place in the dish (break up noodles as needed to fit your dish – I used a total of 7) ricotta side up. Top with half of the turkey mixture, half of the remaining sauce, and half of the mozzarella. Repeat with a second layer.
  5. Cover with foil and bake 30 minutes. Uncover and cook another 5-10, or until bubbly and golden. (Note: If you prepare the lasagna ahead of time, remove from fridge while oven is preheating and add an extra 5-10 minutes to the covered bake time.) Allow lasagna to cool for 5 minutes before cutting or it will fall apart.

Turkey Lasagna | Sew You Think You Can Cook

SRC: Spinach Artichoke Dip

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It’s Secret Recipe Club Reveal Day! In the Secret Recipe Club, each participating blogger is assigned a blog from another participating blogger and secretly searches their site for something to recreate. The accompanying blog post then goes live on reveal day! So while I was immersed in my assigned blog, someone else was picking through mine! I’m so excited to be part of this group, to see what on my blog peaks other’s interests and to stumble upon new blogs and new recipes.

This month I was assigned the blog Hapa-tite written by Nicole. “Hapa” in Hawaiian means “half” and is a slang term used for people of mixed heritage. A term Nicole uses proudly; she is culturally Hawaiian and ethnically  Chi­nese, Chero­kee, Ger­man, and Amer­i­can! Nicole lives in D.C. and explores many great restaurants. She posts reviews on her site, so if you’re in the area be sure to stop by her page!

I saved a few recipe contenders from Nicole’s site including double chocolate espresso cookies, citrus corn muffin scones, and healthy spinach artichoke dip. It wasn’t until after I made the latter and started typing up this post that I saw her newest blog entry for cardamom pear muffins. That’s what I get for not procrastinating this month!

I had to make some changes to the dip based on Nicole’s substitution recommendations: instead of aioli garlic mustard sauce I replaced half of the mayonnaise with Dijon mustard (If you’re sensitive to mustard I’d adjust the ratio to use more mayo, however that bite from the mustard is, in my opinion, what made this dip addicting.); I chose to include the Greek yogurt because I prefer creamier dips (I might even add more!); and I had to use a marbled cheddar instead of white due to product availability.

Spinach Artichoke Dip

Ingredients:

  • 1 can (14 oz) artichoke hearts, drained and rough chopped
  • 1 box (9 oz) frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 C shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 C shredded cheddar (white recommended)
  • 1/8 C mayonnaise
  • 1/8 C Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients until combined. Season to taste with S+P.
  3. Pour dip into a lightly greased oven safe dish (I used a pie dish).
  4. Bake 20 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, pita, bread, or veggies. Reheat in microwave 1-2 minutes as needed.

*This recipe is adapted from Nicole at http://hapatite.com/healthy-spinach-artichoke-dip/*

Spinach Artichoke Dip for SRC from Sew You Think You Can Cook

To see the other bloggers who participated in the Secret Recipe Club this month click here: