Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tuesday Food

Yesterday was a preschool day which meant breakfast needed to be quick and I had to pack lunch the night before.  Aaron had to work late, so dinner would end up being leftovers of something.  Not a very inspiring day in the food department, but it's our reality sometimes.

Breakfast for the kids included zucchini chocolate chip bread, oatmeal, and some fresh fruit from the farmers' markets.  I make the bread myself whenever I have some zucchini and/or summer squash around (often this time of year).  The chocolate chips were Aaron's suggestion and a mighty yummy one.  The oatmeal is a store-brand organic - cheap, quick and really tasty.  Fruit always tastes better from the farmers' market or from our CSA share.  

Caleb's lunch included leftover curried chickpeas and kale from last night's dinner, Veggie Rotini Spirals courtesy of Hodgson Mills, and some cut up nectarine.  I fully expected to see none of the pasta or fruit at the end of the day and all of the curry.  I was mostly wrong.  He ate every last bit of curry and fruit and didn't touch the pasta.  Weird, right?  What preschooler doesn't choose pasta over curry?  I'm not complaining!

Dinner was saved by some advanced planning.  A few weeks back, I made chicken enchiladas with summer squash, zucchini, and white eggplant.  I made enough to fill both a 13 x 9 and a 9 x 9 (or do I have 8 x 8's? I never remember).  I froze the 9 x 9 for one of those nights when I didn't feel like cooking.  Well, that was last night.  It took forever to heat up in the oven (should have stuck it in the fridge in the morning to thaw!), but it was yummy and enjoyed by all.

The enchiladas recipe is below.  It sounds complicated if you have never made enchiladas, but seriously it is really easy.  I don't do complicated - remember, my kids are 3.5 years old and 15 months old.  I don't have time for complicated! :)

Chicken Enchiladas w/in-season veggies - variation from The Enchanted Broccoli Forest Cookbook

Ingredients for enchiladas:
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups minced onion  (I used 1 rather large onion, chopped)
6 medium cloves garlic, minced (I used pre-minced garlic and guesstimate)
3/4 tsp. salt (I skip salt)
Veggies: I used 1 medium white eggplant, 1 medium summer squash, 1 medium zucchini.  You can use other combinations of veggies as well such as bell peppers with squash or you can add beans.

1 1/2 tsp. ground cumin (I probably used 2 – 2.5 tsp. when all was said and done)
1 Tbsp. dried basil
1 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
cayenne and black pepper to taste
1 1/3 cups (packed) grated jack cheese (I used at least this much IN the filling and it was a mozzarella and cheddar blend.  I put a bunch more on top)

Ingredients for sauce:
5 medium ripe tomatoes, diced (I use a 28oz can)
1 large red bell pepper, minced/chopped
1 tsp. salt (pretty sure I skipped it)
5 large cloves garlic, minced (see above – Iestimate)
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
Instructions for enchiladas:
1) Heat oil in a large, deep skillet.  Add onion, garlic and salt.  Saute over medium heat for 8-10 minutes or until the onion is quite soft.
2) Add chicken and seasonings.  Cook until chicken is done.  Add veggies and seasonings.  Stir and cook over medium heat another 5-8 minutes, or until the veggies are just tender.
3) Remove from heat and stir in the cheese.  Allow to cool for a few minutes before filling the tortillas.
Instructions for sauce:
1) Place all ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil.  Lower heat, partially cover, and simmer for about 15 minutes.
2) You can leave it chunky or puree in a food processor or blender.  For extra smooth sauce, pass the puree through a fine strainer or sieve.  I also have used a potato masher like I would do for applesauce.
3) Pour a small amount of sauce into a shallow baking dish (e.g., 13×9 pyrex).
Assemble the enchiladas by placing a few tablespoons of filling on one side of each tortillas and rolling up the tortilla.  Lay each enchilada seam side down in the baking dish.  Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas.  Add cheese on top if desired.  Cover with foil, and bake for about 30 minutes in a 325 oven.  Serve hot.

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