Saturday, January 23, 2016

Weekend Round-Up

Some of the Week's Best 
Quinoa Enchilada  Casserole
Cook's notes: This recipe is an easy one pot meal. Healthy goodies like protein and fiber are added in by baking with quinoa instead of tortillas. This dish can also be served as healthy game day snack with low fat chips. 
The following links are helpful as they feature chip products that are healthy choices.

Quinoa Enchilada Casserole recipe adapted from
  • 3 cups cooked quinoa
  • 1 (10-ounce) can mild enchilada sauce
  • 1-(4 oz.) can chopped green chiles, drained and patted dry on a paper towel 
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup corn kernels, canned, roasted or frozen  
  • 2 TB. chopped fresh cilantro leaves or 1 tsp. dried cilantro
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/2 tsp.chili powder
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2-1/2 cups Shredded Four Cheeses Mexican Blend, divided
  • 3/4 cup diced grape tomatoes
  • 1 avocado, halved, seeded, peeled and diced
    • Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly oil an 8x8 or 2 quart baking dish or coat with nonstick spray.
    • In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, enchilada sauce, green chiles, corn, black beans, diced tomatoes, cilantro, cumin and chili powder; season with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in 1-1/4 cups cheese blend.
    • Spread quinoa mixture into the prepared baking dish. Top with remaining cheese. Place in oven and bake until bubbly and cheese has melted, about 20 minutes.
    • Serve immediately, garnish with diced avocados if desired. Serve with chips.
    Greek Chicken Salad Sandwiches 
    Recipe adapted from Cooking Class
    Cooking Tip: When a recipe calls for cold cooked chicken try this idea. Place chicken in a zip loc bag. Add to the bag 1-1/2 cups buttermilk. This step tenderizes  the meat.
    Refrigerate several hours or overnight. Drain chicken and place in a baking dish. Sprinkle with 1-1/2 tsp. herbes de Provence. Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes at 350 degrees. Let meat rest 10 minutes before cutting.   
    Cook's notes: This open faced sandwich is packed with yummy Greek flavors, texture and healthy ingredients. I made mine with a warmed flour tortilla but pita bread would be another good choice. I particularly liked the Tzatziki Sauce. Instead of mixing the sauce with salad ingredients I just added a dollop of sauce on top of the sandwich. Either way works.    

    • 2 large boneless skinless chicken breasts, cooked, chilled to cool and diced or 3 cups rotisserie chicken from  the deli
    • 1 cup diced mini Persian cucumbers, patted dry on a paper towel 
    • 3/4 cup sliced grape tomatoes (I sliced each into 3 slices) 
    • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled 
    • 1/3 cup chopped red onion 
    • 1/4 cup diced Kalamata olives (optional)
    • 3 Tbsp sliced almonds (optional) 
    Tzatziki Sauce/Dressing
    • 1/4 cup non-fat or low-fat plain Greek yogurt 
    • 1/4 cup sour cream 
    • 1 clove garlic, minced 
    • 1 TB. chopped fresh dill (or 1 tsp dried) 
    • 1 TB. chopped fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried) 
    • 1 TB. lemon juice, preferably fresh 
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
    Salad Directions
    • In a mixing bowl add, diced chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, feta cheese, red onion, Kalamata olives and sliced almonds. Add dressing and toss to evenly coat. Serve over bread, rolls, croissants, wraps, or in pita pockets. For best results serve within 3 hours of preparing (for best crunchiness of cucumbers and almonds), store in refrigerator. 
    Dressing Directions:
    • In a mixing bowl, whisk all of the dressing ingredients together to blend and season with salt and pepper to taste. 
    Poetry begins with a lump in the throat" - so said the late, great Robert Frost. While Frost was referring to the poet's writing process, the same can certainly be said of the ability poetry has to strike a chord - just a few beautifully composed lines can have more power and pull than whole reams of prose.

    Here some of the most poignant  lines of poetry ever written - the ones that, once read, stay with you for days, months and even years to follow.

    "And when wind and winter harden / All the loveless land, / It will whisper of the garden, / You will understand."
    To My Wife by Oscar Wilde

    "Between my finger and my thumb/ The squat pen rests; as snug as a gun."
    Digging, by Seamus Heaney

    "If you can fill the unforgiving minute / With sixty seconds' worth of distance run - / Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it, / And - which is more - you'll be a Man my son!"
    If by Rudyard Kipling

    O Captain! my Captain! our fearful trip is done; / The ship has weather’d every rack, the prize we sought is won;"
    O Captain! My Captain!, by Walt Whitman

    The caged bird sings with a fearful trill / Of things unknown but longed for still / And his tune is heard on the distant hill / For the caged bird sings of freedom."
    I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

    Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? / Thou art more lovely and more temperate"
    Sonnet 18, William Shakespeare

    Note: There are many more memorable lines in fact 50 total on this site to enjoy. Check it out 

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