Monday, February 20, 2012

Healthy Shrimp Enchiladas Verde

I was craving enchiladas, which is funny because it's normally not something I eat. Specifically, I wanted shrimp enchiladas with verde sauce instead of red sauce, and surprisingly when I did a google search (including the word "healthy" of course) no recipes with those specifications came up. But enchiladas are relatively easy to make, so I gathered up info from various recipes (one in particular, but now I can't find it haha), and created my own healthy version:

Healthy Shrimp Enchiladas Verde
*Note: I used all organic ingredients (except sauce I think), which I highly recommend!

1 lb raw medium shrimp, peeled/deveined
1 large red bell pepper
1 large zucchini
4 large green onions (the ones with big bulbs)
1/2 cup greek yogurt
1 lime
~1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
~1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp oregano
salt & pepper (eyeballed)
10 corn tortillas -- splurge on quality/non-GMO/organic for best results
16 oz. green enchilada sauce, here's what I used: Frontera's
olive oil
optional: roasted pasilla chiles, avocado

*Scroll down for pic-by-pic process
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and prep a 11 x 7 Pyrex/baking dish with a light amount of olive oil.

Chop all your veggies and shrimp (each shrimp = 3 pieces). Heat pan with olive oil and saute red bell pepper and all the white parts of the onions and only ~1/2 of the green stems. After a minute, add the chopped zucchini. Saute for 4-5 minutes total then add shrimp and juice of 1 lime and saute for another minute only. Remove from heat and add Greek yogurt, seasonings and most of the cilantro (make sure it's coarsely chopped). Let all that sit for ~5 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat another pan with or without a bit of olive oil and heat your tortillas. Pre-heating tortillas prevents them from breaking apart, but if you have quality corn tortillas (i.e. organic, non-GMO which should be a given) then they probably won't break apart anyways.

The next part works best if you have two people: spoon some of the shrimp/veggie mix onto each tortilla, wrap each tortilla and place them seam down on the baking dish. You should be able to fit ~10 tortillas total, and you might have leftover shrimp mix which I saved for another day :)

Once tortillas are all stuffed and in the baking dish then pour on the green enchilada sauce, spread the cheese on (use as little or as much as you want here), and top with the remainder of the chopped greens of the green onions.

Bake in oven for 25 minutes at 350.

Serve with extra fresh cilantro, avocado/guacamole and even a roasted pasilla chile for a little more spice!

Some notes:
*I was going to make homemade corn tortillas but ran out of time so I bought some from Whole Foods. I am not a fan of corn or corn products, but occasionally I like corn tortillas or tortilla chips and I will always look for an organic/non-GMO brand because anything else quite frankly scares me. I also read that the crappier the tortilla is in terms of the corn used, the more likely it is to break apart, which makes sense why so many corn tortillas always break because they're probably from cheap GMO corn. Yuck.

*Be careful with the enchilada sauce you choose. For one, try to avoid canned kinds. There are health risks associated with tomatoes sitting in cans, not to mention you're more likely to have crap ingredients in canned products (i.e. high fructose corn syrup, corn starch, gluten, preservatives). I would have like to have made my own, but no time. Frontera's was delicious and a very decent ingredient list! Only 10 calories for 2 Tbsp too!

*I bought some pasilla chiles at the farmer's market and wanted to put them in the mix, but I had never had them plain and wanted to get a taste for them on their own, so I served them on the side. Next time I'll definitely put them IN the enchiladas because they have a great, no too intense spice that was delicious. I covered mine in olive oil and roasted them in the oven for ~20 on low heat.

*These make excellent leftovers!

Pictures of the enchiladas in the making:

Friday, February 3, 2012

Best Homemade Hummus Recipe Ever

I don't know why I didn't start making my own hummus sooner. I can make five times as much for a fraction of the price of what you'd pay in stores. Plus I don't get any weird additives/preservatives that are icky. It's a no brainer.

This hummus recipe is one I found in a [health] magazine during the holidays and we've been loving it ever since. I slightly modified it based on the ingredients I have (namely more almond butter, less tahini). I'm a pumpkin addict, and I love hummus so this is a match made in heaven.

You have to try it. You're seriously missing out if you don't.

Pumpkin Orange Hummus with Cranberries

1 15 oz. can garbanzo beans (organic preferably)
1 15 oz. can organic pureed pumpkin
1/4 c fresh squeezed orange juice
2 tsp fresh orange zest
1 Tbs. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. tahini (or one of those individual packets, which is what I used)
1.5 Tbs. almond butter (2 T. is ok too)*
1 Tbs. seasame seeds*
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 c dried cranberries OR 1 tsp sweetener of choice

Directions: Put all ingredients in a food processor EXCEPT cranberries (important). It's best to throw in garbanzo beans and pumpkin first then add the rest. Blend until smooth, scraping sides of food processor periodically. Then gently fold in cranberries and serve or just eat it straight up ;)

*You can use 3 Tbs. of tahini and no almond butter/sesame seeds as well (what the original recipe called for). I didn't have a jar of tahini so got creative with what I had.

Note: I noticed it really starts to taste the best the second or third day once the juices of the cranberries have soaked into the hummus. This most recent time, I omitted cranberries and tried a bit of sweetener and it's very delicious that way too--with a little less sugar.

PS - I'd love to give the magazine credit for the recipe, but I cut it out and don't know. So guess it's my creation now?! ;)

Do you have any awesome hummus recipes to share?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

I'm in Love...

...with mountain biking!

Wednesday we conquered the climb up Saddleback Mountain after our failed attempt last Friday. I'm not going to lie, those wind conditions were so gnarly that it left me a tad nervous going into Wednesday's ride. Would I be able to make it to the top without blowing? Well lucky for us there was no (or, at least, very little) wind, and that made a world of a difference. We got in a 2-mile WU ride then hit the trail.

For the next 9 miles it was all uphill climbing, ~3,250 feet ascent, according to the garmin, with only two mini breaks of "downhill" that totaled 160ft of decent over those 9mi. I've never done anything like that in my life. And let me say, I loved every second!

A simple yet beastly ride profile:
Reality of that peak from the car drive there:

Without wind the climb was a gagillion times easier. I mean, it wasn't easy, but it was doable, and enjoyable not scary... not to mention I didn't fall off the bike this time :) It took a whopping 95 minutes to complete the 9-mile climb, and that was at a relatively easy, comfortable pace because for me it was such an "unknown" of what to expect from body and the trail. Now I know. Next time I'll go harder.

Pictures from the top. In the first pic you can just barely see Catalina in the horizon, then mom & me, and in the third pic I believe that's Mt. Baldy where Tour de California goes...

It wasn't just the tough climb that made me fall in love with mountain biking more than ever yesterday... it was the solitude/quietness of the trail, the intense concentration I felt, the lack of ANYONE else around except my mom (who was behind me after the first few miles, so I felt alone for most the ride), the lack or cars and traffic, and the beautiful surroundings. After taking in the sights from the top it was hammer time: a 40+minute decent (a fabulous reward). And gotta give my mom props -- I beat her on the uphill, but she kicked my booty on the decent! She's just got so much more experience and confidence with downhill riding. I'll get there.

Don't get me wrong, I love where I live (see below pic), I love road riding, love being on my tri bike and love the great riding partners I have, but I hate the traffic. So, I think MTB has found a permanent place in my routine again.... it's been a while since I've done it consistently (like years) and now I don't know why I stopped. It's so nice to get away from the hustle and bustle of a highly populated area that's full of red lights and bad drivers.