In My Kitchen: January-Detox Enchiladas

 

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The last few months, or rather the last third, of my 2015 was a mess.  I thrive on order and routine-it keeps my anxiety at bay, yet I disregarded every single schedule I had put in place in favor of taking lots of naps and watching way too many hours of TV.  And I LOVE TV, so that is really saying something.

The holidays are just one more reason to throw up your hands in defeat when you realize you’re in for days, if not weeks, of straight partying and there is no escape from the aftermath in the form of leftovers.  You can’t really fight it, so you just give in.

In my case, I had let go of all of the things and controls I instituted in my life that kept me feeling on-top-of-it.  Things I don’t really “like” doing, but I do because I like the way I feel once I’ve done them.  Things like exercising regularly and cooking healthy meals for myself. Even writing consistently in this here blog!  I was bloated, yet empty, yet full of excuses.  And no one likes to be bloated AND empty.  Not cool.

So I guess that’s why so many people press the reset button come January.  It may be possible clear your social calendar a little bit so you can actually focus on treating yourself right with the holiday celebrations and entertaining finally over.

Look, I know there is no magic date on the calendar that makes it the right time to “do better” at life.  I mean, ideally we’d be striving for our best selves with each new day, right? But with a new year it does feel kind of right to make a new start or at least resume doing the things you know are right for you, personally.  Plus, everyone else is doing it and that makes it easier.  Jump on that bandwagon if it helps.

Since December 28, 2015, I’ve been a very good girl.  I’ve been eating well and going to the gym three times a week.  I even finally took that boxing class I’d been dying to take!  P.S. Boxing is so much fun!  I’m incorporating it into my exercise regime as a regular thing.  Hitting stuff rocks!

But on the culinary side, one of the first big successes of 2016 has been these detox enchiladas.  I’m not quite sure what makes them “detox” as opposed to just a healthy alternative to the ridiculously fattening regular enchiladas we all know and love, but I gave them a try because they sounded good and I like the word “detox”.  Makes me feel good. Plus-KALE.  So much kale.  It can’t be bad.

Big success over here because, not only did I eat and enjoy them, but Max did, as well!

I grabbed this recipe from a website called Joanne Eats Well With Others, so I will direct you there if you’re going to be taking this on. I am giving her and her site full credit for adapting this recipe and writing it down, and I hope that satisfies her requirement that I do so 🙂

In essence, the recipe just takes the unhealthy components of your tradish enchiladas with a green goddess dressing and replaces them with healthier alternatives.  I always like this method of preparing dietetic food because I like those familiar tastes and experiences, but clearly don’t want all the fat, calories, and processed carbs.  So it is along the same lines as cauliflower bread recipes and zoodles.

The filling is chickpeas, onion, corn, and Ro-Tel, plus herbs and spices.  I, however, misread the recipe before going shopping and forgot to purchase Ro-Tel, so I just used leftover salsa I had in the house, and it totally worked, though I’m aware this accidental substitution did add sugar that I didn’t need.  I also added half a chicken breast chopped up into super small bits to sort of lull my husband into submission.  Half a chicken breast spread throughout a 9 x 13 casserole dish, does not a lot of chicken make, let me tell you, so it was really just about the fact that it was in there at all.  Once you cook all that together, you let it cool and then add in a little bit of low-fat cheese, so the inside looks melty when you bake it.  That’s it-easy filling.

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You wrap those up in corn tortillas, which sounds easier than it is if you want them to look pretty at all, and then pour the “green goddess dressing” over the top.

I’m not sure if there’s a trick to this, but I found the wrapping process frustrating, and I cursed at those tortillas like a foul-mouthed sailor. I curse quite a lot in the kitchen, actually. Maybe it’s just me. The problem was that, even though I heated the tortillas in the over as called for, they kept cracking or wanting to unwrap and spill their contents all over the baking dish. I was dismayed at how ugly and unprofessional they looked when they were sitting there dry, but there is a happy ending.  No worries.

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The mess I made of things while I was trying to get these babies wrapped and tucked in there! 

 

A quick note on Green Goddess dressing. It is a salad dressing, typically containing mayonnaise, sour cream, chervil, chives, anchovy, tarragon, lemon juice, and pepper, so it is green and creamy.  Appropriately, it is said to have originated at the Palace Hotel in San Francisco in the early 1920s. There are now all sorts of bottlings and variations, but they tend not to be healthy because there has to be something really creamy in there like mayonnaise, sour cream, or sometimes tahini.

This recipe is like the green juice equivalent of Green Goddess dressing, as it uses kale, green chiles, veggie stock, scallions, and low fat greek yogurt. All good things.

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That’s a VitaMix full of kale, people.

Add a light sprinkling of low-fat cheese you used in the filling to the top of your enchiladas now covered in the dressing and bake it. You’ll see that no matter how ugly and cracked your dry enchiladas looked, this dish is very visually forgiving because when the sauce permeates the tortillas it all sort of smooths out.

The result is a very attractive dish that fed my family of two for a few days.  The inside is creamy AND spicy from that greek yogurt and the salsa and chiles.

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If you’re looking to start that diet in the new year, consider this dish as it is one of those meals that feels much more decadent than it is, and it will help ween you off the delicious, rich holiday foods you’ve probably now gotten used to.  I know I did.

Happy New Year!

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