Slow Cooker Enchilada Soup

I just got to Seattle for Thanksgiving break, and I am surprised that it is way colder (and freezing) in Seattle than in Connecticut. I feel like winter is finally here and I can’t believe that I still have not shared one of the soups that has become a part of my regular weekly meals over the last year and a half. I love this soup because a) it’s made in a slow cooker – it literally takes 10 minutes of prep, and then you can leave it in the slow cooker to cook for 6-7 hours b) it consists of some of my favorite Mexican flavors c) it’s incredibly soothing yet filling during the New England winter.  Though I have been in love with the slow cooker ever since I have acquired one, this is truly one of those meals that you can prep before leaving home during the day, and come back to a find a fragrant, delicious meal waiting to be eaten!

Chicken enchilada soup

Recipe adapted from Gimme Some Oven

Ingredients

  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • 2 cups good-quality chicken stock
  • 1 1/4 cup (or 1 10-ounce can) red enchilada sauce (my personal favorite is Rick Bayless’ Frontera Red Chile Enchilada Sauce)
  • 2 (14-ounce) cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes, with juice
  • Half of a (15-ounce) can whole-kernel corn, drained
  • 1 (4-ounce) can diced green chiles
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt, or more/less to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Chopped fresh cilantro,
  • Diced avocado
  • Shredded cheese
  • Sour cream (optional)
  • Tortilla chips

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a slow cooker except for the cilantro, avocado, cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips, and stir to combine. Cook for 3-4 hours on high heat or 6-8 hours on low heat, until the chicken is cooked through and shreds easily. Use two forks to shred the chicken.
  2. Serve warm, with garnishes such as cilantro, avocado, cheese, and tortilla chips.
  3. You can also refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 5 days

Eggs and Avocados – Part II

The most popular post on my blog till date has been fried egg in an avocado – a simple and quick breakfast that involves baking or frying an egg in an avocado, using the avocado as a vessel, which can be topped with bacon for a salty and crunchy texture atop the nutritional mush that lies beneath. I have to admit that I am surprised that is the most popular recipe, but it got me thinking about the combination of eggs and avocados when I was trying to empty my refrigerator last week and whip up a meal without buying any new groceries. End result – a jalapeno-cheddar toast with a guacamole spread, topped with a fried egg with feta and cilantro.

The crunchiness and heat from the jalapeno-cheddar toast goes really well with the soft texture of the egg and the acidity of the guacamole. Topped off with some salty, crumbly feta and some fresh cilantro, this turned out to be a pretty filling meal. You can fry the egg to your personal preference – I personally like the yolk a little firm, but you can also choose to have the yolk ooze out on to the toast (though it may get soggy faster that way).

Eggs and Avocados

Ingredients

  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup guacamole
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • Cilantro, chopped
  • Salt, to season
  • Black pepper, to season
  • Jalapeno-Cheddar bread, sliced (This is my preferred choice of bread since it goes so well with the guacamole, but if you don’t have this, any kind of bread can be used)
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil

Directions

  • Heat olive oil in a pan. Crack two eggs in the pan and let them fry.
  • While the eggs are frying, toast the two slices of the bread.
  • Put some guacamole on the toasted slices.
  • When the eggs are fried, put them over the sliced bread and guacamole.
  • Add some crumbled feta and chopped cilantro over the fried eggs.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve immediately so that the toasted bread is still crisp and does not get soggy.

 

Avocado Cilantro Dip and Baked Pita Chips

Guacamole is one of my favorite dips and I was beginning to have it in dangerous amounts, from putting it in my grilled cheese to having some with pita chips while watching my favorite sitcoms. So I decided to look for a healthier alternative for munchies and I came across this great avocado dip made with Greek yogurt. It uses lesser avocado than guacamole (and you can lessen it even further than what is given in the recipe below), and it takes a lot less mashing, and can be just made in one bowl (though feel free to use a blender as you would get a dip with better consistency). I really like the freshness of the avocado, yogurt and lime juice, when combined with the sharp taste of cumin and cayenne pepper. I did not use any jalapenos, but I would do so the next time, just because I like that extra kick. To make things healthier, make your own pita chips at home and enjoy a guilt-free snack while watching your next movie!

avocadodip_opt

 

Recipe adapted from Two Peas and their Pod

INGREDIENTS

Avocado Cilantro Dip

  • 1 and 1/4 cups plain fat-free Greek yogurt (I used Chobani)
  • 3 ripe avocados, peeled and seeded
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped seeded jalapeño pepper (optional)
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

Pita Chips

  • 6 pita bread pockets
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • Salt, to taste

DIRECTIONS

  1. Place the yogurt, avocados, garlic, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, and cumin in a blender or food processor. Mix until smooth. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  2. For the pita chips, reheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
  3. Cut each pita bread into 8 triangles. Place triangles on lined cookie sheet.
  4. In a small bowl, combine the oil, pepper, salt, basil, pepper and oregano. Brush each triangle with oil mixture.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 7 minutes, or until lightly browned and crispy. Watch carefully, as they tend to burn easily! Take out and place on a wire rack until they cool down and are nice and crispy. If you like softer pita chips, put in the oven for a lesser time and no need to cool on the wire rack.

Pita chips baking in the oven

So what are you (relatively healthy) favorite snacks? And may I have the recipe? 🙂

 

 

Fried Egg in an Avocado

Looking for a quick, delicious and protein-filled breakfast? This is a fun dish to make, which adds a little bit of color to a normally drab egg dish. Serve with tomatoes and other veggies to make a breakfast burger!

Ingredients

  • 1 haas avocado
  • 4 eggs
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • Cheese, of choice (optional)

Directions

  1. Cut the avocado in half, lengthwise. Remove the seed. Cut an inch thick piece of avocado leaving the whole in tact. If the hole from the seed is smaller than an egg yoke, cut out a little bigger hole to make room for the egg. Keep the extra avocado and fry it when the egg is cooking.
  2. Heat a small frying pan to medium/high and drizzle with olive oil.
  3. Place the avocado slice in the pan.
  4. Crack an egg, leaving the yoke in the middle of the avocado’s hole, while pouring the egg white around the slice of avocado. Allow the egg to cook 2 minutes. If the egg white is not cooking as fast as it should, then sprinkle a little water in the pan and cover and cook. The steam will help cook the whites. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkle some cheese and serve!
Fried egg in an Avocado

Fried egg in an Avocado

 

Love the combination of eggs and avocados? Check this out for some more ideas!