Friday, January 13, 2017

Healthy Friday with a Serving of Good Bones

Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Style
Cook's notes: An easy, one-skillet recipe with the flavor of chicken enchiladas complete with juicy shredded chicken, onions, red peppers, corn, black beans, and plenty of melted cheese paired with quinoa. Not only is it a time saver not to have to roll enchiladas but quinoa is healthier than carb-heavy flour tortillas. Trust me you won't miss the traditional enchiladas. This casserole is delicious!
Recipe serves six and was adapted from and
  • 2-1/2 - 3 cups shredded chicken (use about half of one store bought rotisserie chicken to save time; or roast or cook your own)
  • 3 TB. olive oil 
  • 1 cup sweet Vidalia or yellow onion, peeled and diced small 
  • 3/4 cup red bell pepper, trimmed, seeded, and diced small; reserve a few pieces for garnishing
  • 1 cup quinoa (I used white)
  • 1-1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup corn (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/4 tsp. chili powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. smoked paprika (regular paprika may be substituted)
  • pepper and salt to taste 
  • 2 cups shredded Mexican cheese blend-low fat
  • 1 cup diced Roma tomatoes
  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, peeled, seeded, and diced small, optional for garnishing
  • 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, finely minced, optional for garnishing
  • In a large skillet or saucepan, add the olive oil, onions, and sauté over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until onions begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  • Add the red pepper and sauté over medium-high heat for about 3 to 5 minutes, or until peppers begin to soften. Stir intermittently.
  • Add the quinoa, stir it into the vegetables, and let it toast for about 30 seconds.
  • Add the water, reduce the heat to low, cover pan, and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes, or until all liquid has been absorbed.
  • Add the shredded chicken, enchilada sauce, corn, black beans, cumin, smoked paprika, pepper, salt and pepper. Combine thoroughly and cook uncovered over medium heat until all ingredients are warmed through, about 8-10 minutes. Stir intermittently. Taste and check for seasoning balance. Add more salt, pepper, or spices if desired.
  • Reduce heat to low, evenly sprinkle in the cheese and add tomatoes. Cover pan and cook until cheese has melted, about 4 minutes.
  • Evenly sprinkle with avocado, cilantro, reserved red pepper for garnishing, and serve immediately. Recipe is best served fresh but will keep airtight in the fridge.

Good Bones
by Maggie Smith
Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.

"Good Bones" from Waxwing. Copyright © 2016 by Maggie Smith. Reprinted by permission of Waxwing magazine

There is history behind this poem that has captured our turbulent times. I was mesmerized reading the back story of this simple heartfelt work that grapples with pain, injustice with unfairness and disillusionment. It has surged in popularity. Three days after a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Smith’s poem, “Good Bones,” was published in the literary journal "Waxwing". A reader moved by the poem’s message posted a screenshot on Facebook, where a Brooklyn-based musician read it and passed it along on Twitter. As the poem traveled across the Web, its celebrity endorsements got bigger. Articles about the poem in the Guardian, Slate and elsewhere  helped propel its spread. So, too, did shocking news: “Good Bones” spiked when British politician Jo Cox was murdered and again in the days following the presidential election.
It’s impossible to know how many people have read the poem, though one estimate in August put the number at nearly  a million. The poem has been interpreted into dance by a troupe in India, turned into a musical score for the voice and harp and been translated into Spanish, Italian, French, Korean, Hindi, Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. Closer to home, Smith says that she has gotten many requests for the work to appear in church bulletins and for her to read it aloud. “It’s my ‘Freebird,’ ” she jokes.
The evolution of her poem plus some back story was written up in the Star Tribune January 12, 2017. Take some time to check this story out.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that's one powerful poem.

    And that recipe, I must try. We are trying to cut out carbs. I've never eaten quinoa.