Dutch Oven · recipe

Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowl

Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowls
Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowls

Hi fellow Weight Watchers!

I’m back again with another yummy and “WW friendly” Mexican-style main dish.  This one is an old favorite that I plugged into the WW App and only modified slightly to produce a 6 point large entree to die for!  Soooo yummy for the tummy!

I like to prepare this one in a Dutch Oven, because of its even heating, but it can also be prepared in a regular pot, too!  My 12 year old son–MO–loves this one and he’s not even a Weight Watcher!

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, any color, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 cups canned/boxed chicken broth
  • 2 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes and green chilies (I use Rotel)
  • 1 large (or 2 small) cans/jars of enchilada sauce
  • 1 cup frozen yellow corn kernals
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed

 

Instructions:

  1. Add oil to your Dutch Oven and heat for a minute or so.  Toss in onion, garlic and bell pepper and cook for a minute or two.  Add chicken chunks and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes until vegetables are soft and chicken is no longer pink.
  2. Add the rice and stir to combine.  Cook for 3-4 minutes or until rice and chicken is light golden brown.
  3. Add chicken broth, canned tomatoes and chilies, enchilada sauce, corn, chili powder and cumin.  Stir to combine.  Bring to a boil.
  4. Reduce heat to simmer and cover.  Cook covered until the rice has absorbed all of the liquid or for approximately 20 minutes.
  5. Remove pot from heat and add the black beans.  Stir to combine.  Cover and let rest for a few minutes.
  6. Makes 6 *very generous* servings, which equal to about of only 6 Weight Watcher points, as prepared.  Note: If you serve it with a low-fat sour cream and/or a sprinkling of low-fat Mexican cheese you need to consult your app and add for the additional toppings. 
Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowls
Skinny Chicken Enchilada Rice Bowls sprinkled with optional low-fat Mexican cheese (don’t forget to add points for the cheese!)

 

recipe

Skinny Black Bean Burritos

Fresh Veggies for Black Bean Burritos
Fresh Veggies for Black Bean Burritos!

In honor of the upcoming Cinco de Mayo holiday, here is an amazingly delicious and fresh Skinny Black Bean Burrito recipe!

They are easy to prepare and so satisfying!

Ingredients:

  • One yellow, orange or red Bell Pepper, coarsely chopped
  • One medium or half large sweet onion (such as Vidalia onion), coarsely chopped
  • One medium jalapeño pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • Handful of grape or cherry tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • Handful of fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic, pressed (feel free to use minced!)
  • Pan spray
  • Adobo seasoning
  • 15 oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup fat free Greek-style yogurt
  • Shredded low-fat Mexican style cheese
  • Salsa for garnish
  • Low-carb wraps, such as Tumaro’s “Skip the Sandwich” Wraps

Instructions:

  1. Spray a medium non-stick frying pan with cooking spray and set over medium-high heat.
  2. Toss in Bell pepper, onion, jalapeno pepper, tomatoes, garlic and cilantro and fry until softened and onion is translucent.
  3. Season with salt and pepper or Adobo seasoning.
  4. Fold in black beans and cook for an additional minute or two until beans are warmed.
  5. Remove pan from heat and mix in yogurt.  Do NOT do this while the pan is still on the heat or it will curdle! You can also use low-fat cream cheese, but I found the Greek yogurt gave a “fresher” taste and also had less WW points.
  6. Spoon the mixture into preheated tortillas.  Sprinkle with a bit of Mexican style cheese and top with salsa, if desired.

This recipe makes 4-6 fully stuffed burritos and–if prepared as above with fat free yogurt and low-carb wraps–they are only 2 Weight Watcher points!!

Black Bean Burritos
Black Bean Burritos

Simply delicious!!

recipe

Pasta Puttanesca

pasta puttanesca
Pasta Puttanesca: a pantry pasta sauce

There are all kinds of stories related to the name of this dish.  If you know a little bit of Italian (or other Romantic language), you can probably figure out why.  Puttana translates into prostitute and it’s been theorized that this is a dish women “of the night” would use to lure men.

Because most everything in this dish can be kept in the pantry, I like to think of it as a quick dish when you have little fresh food on hand.  And, well, that can go along with the story line, too.  It’s something that can be whipped up and eaten in bed when you’re too tired to make a whole meal.

Either way, it’s delicious and worth a try!

Pasta Puttanesca
Your Dutch Oven is great for making sauces like this one!

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3-4 fresh garlic cloves, chopped (or equivalent minced)
  • 1 can of anchovies
  • 3 heaping tablespoons capers
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, roughly chopped
  • 3-4 cans (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes with juice
  • salt and pepper
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 lb. linguine

Instructions:

  1. Heat olive oil in your Dutch Oven and add the chopped onion, cooking until translucent
  2. Add garlic and anchovies and cook for a few more minutes
  3. Add capers, olives, tomatoes, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for about 15 minutes or while you prepare the linguine
  4. Toss some of the liquid with the linguine to avoid sticking
  5. Heap a portion of linguine in a pasta dish and top with a generous portion of sauce
  6. Top with shaved Parmesan, if desired
New England · recipe

Calzone and my Julia Child Moment

Ricotta Calzone
No sauce, no meat…just cheese, baby!

Last week I shared my pizza dough recipe with the idea that I was going to follow up immediately with some great calzone recipes.  Little did I know I would experience a supreme Julia Child Moment as well.

Things don’t always go as planned, do they?  Alas!  Here is my failed Spinach Ricotta Calzone, which practically flew out of my hands and plopped on the open oven door:

Far from perfect Spinach Cheese Calzone
Far from perfect Spinach Cheese Calzone

 

Here it is!  In all its hideousness.

You might be wondering why I would post such a dramatic failure on my blog.

I felt compelled to let you know that sometimes you just fail.  Sometimes–no matter how hard you try or how badly you want it–you fail.

The Internet has become–in large part–a place of perpetual perfection, hasn’t it?  Nothing to see but Instagram-worthy pictures of perfect lives filled with sunshine, butterflies and flowers!  On the Internet, no one fails.  No one makes a mistake.  Everything is perfect. Always.

So instead of introducing you to the history of calzone or maybe even the backstory of my Ricotta Calzone recipe, I wanted to show you my glorious failure!  My Julia Child Moment!

Let me start by explaining what a Julia Child Moment is first.

You might recall, from my recent post on French Onion Soup (Julia Child’s French Onion Soup Gratinee I am a huge Julia Child fan.  I cut my cooking teeth on her Boston-based PBS program “The French Chef” and I own all of her cookbooks.

I always admired the way Julia was able to simply explain the finer points of French haute cuisine without making you feel like you were simple.  Julia knew good food was for everyone and she shared that message wherever she went, even if things didn’t go as planned.

One of the most amazing things about Julia was her ability to “roll with the punches” and make a failure into a triumph.

How could I forget when she first tried to flip an oversized potato pancake…only to chock her failure up to not having the “courage of conviction”?

Or when she tried to teach Dave Letterman to make a gourmet hamburger on Late Night, but ended up getting him to eat raw ground beef and calling it Steak Tartare?

Nothing phased Julia Child and no failure was ever a true failure with her.  Julia believed failing was a learning opportunity and a way to adjust your perspective.

In watching The French Chef all those years, I developed many life skills.  But the most important lesson I learned was that no one is perfect.

No one is perfect, BUT we must always do the best we can with what we have.  Despite our imperfection, we should always “press on” in an effort to always be trying to improve our skills.

And that’s not just a cooking lesson to learn.

And that, my faithful reader, is a Julia Child Moment!

Courage and onward to our calzone!

 



Calzone

To make the calzone, you will need one batch of my pizza dough, which you can find here: Making Your Own Pizza Dough

Each batch of dough will make two medium sized calzones.  Keep your dough covered while you prepare the filling.

Ingredients for Ricotta Cheese Calzone:

  • 1 batch Pizza Dough
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup or so shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup or so shredded romano or parmesan or a mixture of both
  • garlic salt and black pepper
  • cornmeal for sprinkling
  • olive oil or egg wash for brushing the outside of the crust

Ingredients for Spinach & Ricotta Calzone:

  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach defrosted and dried in a towel to remove liquid
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup total shredded mozzarella and parmesan cheeses
  • salt and pepper
  • cornmeal for sprinkling
  • olive oil or egg wash for brushing the outside of the crust

 


Directions for Making Calzone:

  1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees.  If you are using a pizza stone, put it in before preheating the oven.
  2. Separate the dough into two equal balls.  Cover the one you aren’t working with.
  3. Flatten your dough ball on a lightly floured surface being careful to form a flat circle shape
  4. Roll the dough out from all directions to maintain the circular shape until it is about the size of a medium pizza.  Try not to roll the dough so thin that it could create holes in the dough. If you accidentally make a hole, carefully pinch the dough back together, making sure it is closed up.  Holes are bad.
  5. Since the dough is pretty elastic and will be heavy when filled, it may help you to transfer the dough to a pizza peel lined with a piece of cornmeal-sprinkled parchment paper.
  6. Spoon the filling on the right half of the dough circle and spread it out.  Keep a good inch of dough around the edge, but spread the filling out within the entire right half of the circle.
  7. Carefully lift up the empty half of the dough and drape it gently over the filled side, lining up the edges of the dough to make the classic half-moon shape of a calzone.
  8. Using water if necessary, pinch and crimp the edges where the dough overlaps.  Be certain that you’ve properly closed your seam…remember holes are bad.
  9. Lightly brush the calzone with oil or egg wash (I used olive oil).
  10. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove with the pizza peel and allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing, because contents will be extremely hot, extremely gooey and exceptionally delicious!

 

I do hope you try making your own calzone at home!  If this is your first time making a rolled dough remember your Julia Moment and press on!  Courage!