We spent that last amazingly sunny, hot weekend in September at a beach house with our close friends and their families. It was perfect, lots of kids to keep each other busy (whether that was playing or fighting), lazy days at the beach and long, relaxing, adult dinners once the kids were in bed. We decided that each family had a night to cook. Works out great. The usual dinners for large groups are lasagna, spaghetti, meat on the grill with some sides. I decided I wanted something that could mostly be prepared ahead of time, therefore vacation time maximized.
I quickly choose chicken and black bean enchiladas with Mexican rice. As I have mentioned here before I love Mexican food. I usually buy canned enchilada sauce in the States. I knew I could make it, but had been too lazy to until I ran out. Now was the time!
Red Enchilada Sauce
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 cup salsa
1 (6 ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups water
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the onion, oregano, chili powder, basil, ground black pepper, cumin, salsa and tomato sauce. Mix together and then stir in the water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes. More simmering makes it taste better!
Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Ingredients: 1 tsp olive oil
1 green and red pepper diced
1 fresh tomato diced
1 onion chopped (the rest of the onion not used in the sauce)
10 whole wheat tortillas
2 diced chicken breast
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup low fat sour cream
1 cup grated light cheddar cheese
red chili flakes to taste
1/2 cup grated light cheddar cheese to top
Heat oil in a large frying pan, add chicken and cook until almost done. Add onion, tomato and peppers, sauté until onions appear translucent. Transfer into a large bowl, add the remaining ingredients and stir. Pour enough enchilada sauce to cover bottom of a 9x13 glass baking dish. Fill each tortilla with about 1/2 to 2/3 of a cup of filling. Roll up, tucking in the ends. Arrange in dish. Pour remaining sauce evenly over enchiladas and top with cheese. Cover with tin foil and bake for 30 min, remove foil and bake for another 10 min. Adapted from here.
1 cup brown rice rice
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1/2 onion, finely chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, finely chopped
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped (optional)
1 tomato, seeded and chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 clove garlic, halved
In a medium sauce pan, cook rice in oil over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Pour in chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Stir in onion, green pepper, jalapeno, and diced tomato. Season cumin, cilantro, and garlic. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook for 40 minutes. Adapted from here.
It was a hit, fewf. This meal is low in fat and high in fiber because I used beans, whole grain rice , whole wheat tortillas and quite a bit of veg. I made the enchiladas the day before and saved the baking step for the day of. Next time I would double the sauce recipe and freeze the other half for another day. For sure this makes a lot of food. If you are only feeding your family then divide into two pans and freeze one for a quick and easy dinner for another busy night.
All the meals we had were delicious, but the company was truly superb. Until next summer...
Tiffany McFadden, RD