Chicken & Spinach Chimichangas with Spanish Quinoa

Yes yes.. it is another Quinoa dish! But that isn’t the highlight here ;) Ok, well maybe one of the highlights as I absolutely love this combination. I love Mexican food, better yet, I love those chimichangas that are way too big for one person and covered in lots of cheese ;)

But alas, I had to find a healthier version, and when done, I actually preferred this one!

You will need: (Adjust to how many you are feeding)

Chimi’s

  • Chicken Breast
  • Sweet red peppers
  • Onion, sliced
  • Fresh Spinach
  • black olives (optional)
  • Tortilla shells * I prefer flour* You can use low-carb or low fat, but they don’t hold up as well – still perfectly good to use though!
  • Monterrey Jack cheese

Chilled Avocado/Sour cream sauce

  • 1 avocado
  • Sour cream to taste – about 1/4 cup
  • Fresh squeezed lime juice (I only used half a lime, use to taste)
  • dash of salt and pepper.. I always use a pepper mill, love the cracked pepper taste!

Spanish Quinoa

  • 1-2 cups of quinoa (follow directions on your box)
  • olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Chives
  • Grape tomatoes (or cherry)

Lets start throwing this together shall we? :)

First things first, make your sour cream/avocado topping/sauce, simply mash the ripe avocado, add the rest of the ingredients.. if you like.. add a dash of cumin to give that more authentic Mexican taste.. please in fridge – tightly covered!!!

Pan sear your chicken, grill it, bake it, just cook it however you like! I personally pan seared mine because I wanted to use the same pan to cook my sweet red peppers and onions in just as the chicken was starting to finish up.  As you can see in one of the photographs, I like to keep my ingredients separate as I finish them then “build” the finale ! So we have our pan seared chicken, sweet red pepper, onion, .. ahh! Toss a BIG handful of fresh baby spinach in and saute until just starting to cook down.. it will continue to “wilt” after you remove it from the heat.

Here is where it gets tricky ;)  I’m just kidding, grab another pan, big enough to fry your chimichanga  and toss about 2 T of olive oil in, does not take much, these are not deep fried like our good friends at the local yummy Mexican restaurant !

In the mean time, toss your quinoa, chives (or green onions), about a teaspoon of cumin, handful of grape tomatoes cut in half and about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil in the pan that you had just cooked your chicken in. Toss every once in a while and let the flavors blend together while you wrap your chimchanga’s

Simple take your flower tortilla, place a bit of chicken, some spinach.. peppers.. onions.. jack cheese.. be careful, you still have to fold this completely! You will want the sides tucked in and begin roll as you would a burrito, with both ends closed.. make sure your oil is hot, about medium high and place seam side down.. while you wait 2 minutes, toss your  quinoa around .. flip the chimichanga over.. browning both sides.. Turn heat off the quinoa and move to a cool burner or serving dish.   Plate your chimi, quinoa, toss a few olives on the side and don’t forget your cool avocado/sourcream/lime sauce!

Enjoy! Tamra <3

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Stuffed Mushrooms

I made these goodies with my kiddo Sydney! Finally.. someone that lovessss mushrooms as much as I do. It was hard to keep our hands out of the filling! These have no real rhyme or reason, we just new we wanted crab meat in them!

Preheat the oven to 350, they will bake about 20-30 min

We grabbed 8 oz of mushrooms, I would have used portebellas, but they just didn’t have any that looked good! Mix together the follow

  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 can of lump crab meat, or you can use the imitation.. or basically whatever your taste and availability are.
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • garlic, salt, pepper to taste

Brush your mushrooms with melted butter and place them in a shallow baking dish or pan (I use a dish because they tend to slide ;) Fill each mushroom, heck OVER FILL IT!! I topped them off with a little more bread crumbs and bit of melted butter.  Put them in the oven and let the wait begin! About 20-30 minutes..

Here is where I admit what I did wrong and would have changed it ;) The stuffing looked like it had too much cream cheese.. I kept adding bread crumbs.. don’t do this!! haha!! Follow the recipe as is.. and add whatever you fancy :)

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Shrimp Tacos, Spanish Rice, Unfried Ice-Cream

This was one of those dishes that made you go mmmmmmmmmmm after every bite. And I do mean every. single. bite.

I have to admit up front, I am not great with the grill, I get a little freaked out at things catching on fire.. but I put on my big girl chef hat and turned that gas on and grilled me some shrimp and corn! It was a very proud moment ;)

And that was the start of our wonderful meal of Grilled Shrimp Tacos, Spanish Rice, and “Unfried” Ice Cream.  Lets start backwards, prepare your desert first because if you do it last it doesn’t have time to firm up and look pretty :) However, get your grill going and start your corn while you work on these.. It’s ok, I felt like I was running a triathlon too!

Un-Fried Ice Cream

  • 5-6 flour tortillas, cut into strips
  • Cinnamon Sugar – I started with about 1 1/2 cups of sugar and just kept adding cinnamon to taste, I would say a couple of tablespoons
  • Enough oil to deep fry the tortillas strips (never said this was healthy!!)
  • 1 pint vanilla ice cream
  • Butterscotch topping (traditionally, honey is used in fried ice cream)
  • Whipped cream – I found a cool new cinnamon flavored cool whip!!!

Toss your tortilla strips in the heated oil till golden brown, remove to a towel and drain. While still hot, place them in your bowl of cinnamon sugar till well coated then transfer to another bowl.  You will be “milling” or crushing them in this bowl so make it a good size :)

This is the tricky party, you must work fast! Scoop your desired amount of ice cream into your hand.. yes your hand! I used about a baseball size. Form it as quickly as possible into a round ball and roll in the crushed cinnamon sugar tortillas and place in the serving bowl or on a parchment paper lined panned and quickly place in the freezer, repeat until you have enough servings.  At serving time, place in desired bowl, toss a bit more of the cinnamon sugar mix on top, drizzle with desired sauce, garnish with whipped cream and serve.. *so good*  Now, lets get back to our main dish!

Spanish Rice – Adapted from http://allrecipes.com/recipe/mexican-rice-ii/

  • 1 Cup uncooked long grain rice
  • 3 Tb. olive oil or cooking oil
  • 1/4 Cup diced onion
  • 1/2 Cup Tomato Sauce
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 tsp cumin

Heat oil in a large skillet, add rice and stir constantly until golden brown and slightly puffy, add cumin and onion while cooking rice in oil. When browned, add sauce and chicken broth, bring to boil, turn to simmer, cover and cook about 25 min. Fluff with a fork when done!

Shrimp Tacos – I originally saw this post on pinterest, this recipe is adapted from http://cleananddelicious.com/2011/01/22/shrimp_tacos-2/

  • 1  lb of shrimp (I grilled mine, you can use any kind you like)
  • 6 oz of sour cream
  • 1/4 cup of fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp of fresh ground pepper
  • 2 Tb. of fresh lime juice
  • 2 Ears of fresh corn, grilled and cut from the cob
  • 1 cup of black beans
  • 8  corn or flour tortillas, your taste

Mix sour cream, cilantro, ground pepper, and lime juice together, set aside (in fridge) and let the flavors mingle :)

Mix your grilled corn and black beans together or keep them separate in case someone doesn’t like one or the other.  Heat the tortillas, grab your shrimp off the grill and you are done, so simple but full of wonderful flavor. I will say.. that the original recipe asked for cabbage.. I had it.. in the fridge.. and forgot to use it! You are to slice thinly and heat in oil to soften it slightly and use as a condiment. Don’t forget your un-fried ice cream in the freezer!

<3 Tamra

 

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