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I have found my calling.

Aside from writing, I have gotten back into cooking and baking.

Last week I created a delectable chicken lasagna that lasted me the whole week at work. Yes, I work in an office and sandwiches get dull. I tried the Arnold Palmer sandwich – that lasted about two or three weeks, and then I didn’t want another sandwich again. I had another kind of sandwich more recently: three pieces of toast, deli chicken, lettuce, cheese, a dab of mayo, and some tomato.

That lasted a while but—again—I got bored. I ended up eating out a handful of times, and as tasty as that was, I always felt ill for hours. I can’t explain it, but when I eat out, I always feel like a lazy slob for the rest of the day.

Home-cooked meals (my own) always sit well with me. I never feel sick. I always have energy, and I don’t get sluggish.

I perused Pinterest this week for recipes. If you know anything about my relationship with Pinterest, you know that I renounced Pinterest a few months ago. I pinned a lot of funny things, a bunch of quotes, some clothes, and then a thousand and ten recipes that I never made (okay, I made three of them).

There was no reason for me to keep pinning. Sure, I have a bucket list, but don’t we all? I didn’t have a wedding board or a child board or anything. What’s the point?

The point is food. If it tastes good, if it’s healthy, and if it’s on Pinterest, you can bet I’ll make it.

First up:

Salsa Verde Honey Lime Pepper Jack Chicken Enchiladas.

I’m going to be upfront about one thing: there is no lime in this.

Serves: 5

Ingredients:

3 chicken breasts (garlic herb, frozen from Target)
1 tbsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
1 16oz bottle salsa verde
6 tortillas
3 cups pepper jack cheese
2 cups Monterey jack cheese
2 avocados
1 tomato
½ cup of honey

The recipe actually calls for you to marinate the chicken yourself, but I hate touching slimy chicken breasts. The frozen is really the only option for me (until I capture a live-in slave that does everything I say—namely: marinating chicken to Pinterest’s demands). If you want to be bold and marinate the chicken, be my guest. I’ll put the link to the website at the end. Personally, I love Target’s frozen and marinated line. I’ve always been fond of their sea salt and olive oil, but the garlic herb (which I got specifically for this) is delicious (ate it from the pan: bah!!). The recipe also calls for 4 breasts, but too much meat in a dish ruins it for me. I can only eat so much chicken (maybe three bites) before I’d like something else.

 

  1. Defrost your chicken, then cook in a skillet on medium-high heat for about 20 minute (please make sure it’s cooked, I completely forget how long I had mine in for). Here’s the thing, if you can, cut up the chicken into pieces before you cook them. If you’re like me and don’t want to touch that slime, throw them in the skillet, hope for the best, keep flipping them, and then after about 15 minutes, you’re going to have to cut them In The Pan. The centers will be pink and slimy (naaaasssty), but it has to be cooked, so do it.
  2. Let the chicken sit for ten minutes or so. Apparently, it should’ve been in the salsa (whoops), but I just used a small amount of oil. Hey, you can’t be great until you’ve failed, right?
  3. Toast your tortillas individually (how? Plop it in a skillet on low heat for about 2 minutes on each side.
  4. Coat your pan with salsa. It doesn’t say to shake it on the bottle, but you should. Otherwise, it’s a bit too watery (for my liking anyway).
  5. Start making your enchiladas. Take the tortilla, add some chicken, sprinkle your two types of cheeses, add tomato, some salsa, a drop or two of honey, and some avocado. Wrap your tortilla and place it in the pan.
  6. Repeat with all of your tortillas.
  7. Cover the top of the enchiladas in cheese and salsa. I added avocado to the top, too.
  8. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes (or 25, I did 25).
  9. Enjoy with fresh avocado and sour cream or as is.

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The honey is used to balance out the spice of the salsa verde. I didn’t realize that the salsa was a bit spicy, but the honey changes the game. I was skeptical, but it’s perfect.

In the future, I may try to marinate it. I’ll probably feel even more accomplished, but for now, I’ll take my small triumph.

Next:

Baked Blueberry Pecan Pie

Serves: 1 (Me)

Ingredients:
2 cups rolled oats
1 cup pecans (toasted)
1/3 cup maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp ground cinnamon
2 ¼ cups vanilla soy milk
1 large egg
2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)

  1. Whisk together maple syrup, milk, and large egg.
  2. In a separate mixing area, compile oats, baking powder and cinnamon
  3. Toast your pecans. You bake them for seven minutes at 350. It’s worth it to toast them, because their natural (amazing) taste comes out with heat.
  4. Take half of your dry mixture and coat the bottom of your pan.
  5. Add half of your blueberries and pecans
  6. Add your wet mixture (carefully)
  7. Add the remainder of your dry mixture
  8. Add the remainder of your blueberries and pecans
  9. Bake at 375 for 35 minutes.

 

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The recipe called for whole milk, and for the 35 minutes it baked, I feared I screwed up, but I didn’t. So, you can rest assured that soy milk is fine (as is almond milk—someone said that worked well).

There are a few tweaks that I think could make this even better. For starters, apples could easily be substituted. I love blueberries (and all of their great powers) as much as the next girl, but warm apple pie makes my heart melt, too. Secondly, I wonder if honey could substitute the maple syrup. I don’t see a reason that it wouldn’t, but I’ll test that.

Similarly, you can’t go wrong with extra cinnamon. I think in October, I will use pumpkin, nutmeg, and cinnamon.

This is supposed to be a breakfast food, but I can see it as a dessert, too. Don’t get me wrong, this is my breakfast for the next few days, but I’ll dog-ear this as a go-to dessert.

With a nice cold glass of soy milk, I think I found my favorite dessert (again, in the apple variety).

 

http://www.carlsbadcravings.com/salsa-verde-honey-lime-pepper-jack-chicken-enchiladas/

http://joannagoddard.blogspot.com/2014/03/baked-blueberry-oatmeal.html

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