Thursday, March 8, 2012

good eats

I've been splitting my time recently between sewing, good eats, and working on the Lenten list. Since I'm fresh out of Farmer's Wife blocks to share, here are a few recipe reviews from good eats we've enjoyed lately.

Last week, we bought a whole chicken at a good price from the grocery store. The bird was a little larger than Mark and I need for two meals (one meal plus one meal of leftovers), so we maximized both our time and our product. We cooked the entire chicken in our crock-pot over night.  While it was strange to wake up to the smell of roasted chicken, it was awesome not to have to be home with the hot oven going for several hours. We literally cooked that chicken in our sleep! All I did was rinse the chicken down, pat dry and liberally salt and pepper. I put a bag of Trader Joe's carrots rustica (just cut orange and yellow carrots) at the bottom of the crock-pot, then the chicken on top. Nothing else. Cooked it all night on low and it cooked up in its own juices-- not dry at all. We had a fantastic chicken dinner with the dark meat that night, with sides of cooked carrots, roasted green beans with bacon and roasted smashed garlic small potatoes. Mmm. That's the way to get your veggies in!

With all the leftover white meat, we made the following dish later in the week. I had been craving enchiladas for awhile, and really doubting 1) the availability of good Mexican or Tex-Mex in the area (no Texan would believe the run around I got from grocery store employees when asking about buying corn tortillas) and 2) the nutrition of said Mexican or Tex-Mex.  So, we made our own, based on Gina of Skinnytaste's recipe.

Because I am not fond of the labor involved in wrapping enchiladas (we were hungry) and also because I like my enchiladas to be saucy, we turned ours into a casserole.  We did little else to alter her recipe, except using corn tortillas and more cheddar cheese and chicken. This was SO. GOOD. And a decent portion for a decent points plus value (ours ended up being 9 points plus).  We simply alternated layering the sauce, filling, and cut-up corn tortillas (in fourths).  Topped with cheese and baked awhile.  I definitely also had this for breakfast the next morning. I'm not ashamed!

Sorry about the photo. It's from my phone- we ate them so fast I couldn't even get my camera out in time!

Another recipe we tried last week was Gina's version of a fruit crisp. We had some strawberries in the refrigerator that were less appealing towards the end of the week than they were at the grocery store and I didn't want them to go to waste. I mixed sliced strawberries up with sliced pears, and a handful of blueberries-- really I think I'd make this recipe with whatever fruit was on hand. I think it's perfect for the end of the week and whatever mixed fruit you have that you don't think you'll get a chance to eat before it turns. The topping seems to be a very universal cobbler/crisp topping: oatmeal, brown sugar, butter, a little flour, and cinnamon. I think the cinnamon is what wins in the topping - the smell while this is baking is incredible.

The fruit itself is mixed with lemon juice and agave nectar, making this a recipe that could easily be sugar free (just substitute sun crystals or other sugar substitute for brown sugar in the topping). The first time around, I felt like we could use less topping, but the second time around (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries), I used more fruit filling so I did not change the amount of the topping.  This is AWESOME with 1/4c (half a serving) of low fat vanilla frozen yogurt! 

Berry Cobbler - our new favorite dessert... also a phone photo. Sorry!

Despite all the food around these parts, I'm down now over 20 pounds, and I'm nearing my 10% milestone (10% of my original weight, lost). I think the effort we've been exerting trying to get in more fruits and vegetables is paying off, and I'm delighted to know that cooked/baked fruits and veggies are not only a good way for me to get them in (since I am not really fond of most raw vegetables), but make a mean, satisfying meal/dessert.


  1. It's difficult for me to imagine that corn tortillas are just not available on your grocery shelf!! Did you eventually find them or did you end up using tortilla chips? I think I'll have to send you a bag of masa harina to make your own!?!

  2. Mom, after three stores- I finally found them. Trader Joe's sells them but was out the day that I went, but the Giant employees I asked told me that they were 'hard to find'! Luckily the third store had them so we did use them.