Monday, April 29, 2013

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Taquitos are not health food.  A traditional taquito is made of shredded meat, wrapped in a corn tortilla and then fried to crispy perfection.  I really avoid frying anything at home.  I figure if we are going to indulge in fried food, we will go out to eat.  We really only eat out once a week and try to keep things somewhat healthy or at least healthier at home.

I have been wanting to try a baked chicken taquito.  When I was making this Mexican Chicken Casserole (EF, GF) last month, I kept thinking this chicken mixture would make a great taquito filling.  So, after some changes, I adapted it as such.  I also used flour tortillas as they roll easier.  You generally have heat the corn tortillas in oil to get them to roll without cracking or breaking.  These still aren't super healthy, but they are much better for you than what you would eat out and they would make a great party food to share!!  How about a Cinco De Mayo party?!

Baked Chicken Taquitos
Filling inspired by MexicanChicken Casserole Cooking Light DECEMBER 1998

1 pound cooked chicken, shredded
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
2 (4.5-ounce) cans whole green chilies, diced
1 cup evaporated skim milk
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 cup (2 ounces) tub-style light cream cheese
1 (10-ounce) can enchilada sauce
20-30 fajita size flour tortillas*

Preheat oven to 425° and line a cookie sheet with foil.  Spray foil with cooking spray and set aside.  Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until soft.  Stir in garlic and green chilies.  Add milk, Monterrey Jack, cream cheese, and enchilada sauce; stir well. Stir in shredded chicken.  Cook on medium-high heat or until boiling.  Cook down some of the liquid for about 5 minutes, stirring constantly.  Remove from heat.  Place 2-3 tablespoons of filling in each tortilla. Roll the tortilla closed and place seam side down on prepared pan. Spray tops of taquitos with cooking spray. Bake the taquitos for about 15 minutes or until edges are golden brown.  Serve with guacamole, salsa and/or sour cream.

*I made 20 of these but towards the end they were getting kind of fat because I saw I had too much filling left.  I even had some leftover.  Next time, I plan to make 30.  I liked the ones rolled a little tighter best.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Brownies {Egg-free, Dairy-free}

Every month my blog gets more and more activity.  Yay!  I hope that means, families with food allergies are getting more and more ideas on what to cook and eat!  I have decided to re-post one recipe each month from year one of my blog that seem to be viewed less than I would have expected as compared to other recipes.  This months re-post is my recipe for Brownies!  Who doesn't love gooey chocolatey goodness?!  Upon revisiting the recipe for this post, I really think it could easily be made dairy-free, as well as egg-free.  So, I have now labeled it as such.  Maybe now it will attract a larger audience.  Sometime, I need to figure out some good variations for this recipe.  This is just your basic brownie.  I bet I can find some ways to fancy it up a bit!

Brownies (EF, DF) - Please link to my original post.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Squares {Egg-free}

There are numerous recipes going around the internet for Cream Cheese Squares.  I decided to try the one from first.  It turned out really good but I thought it turned out a little gooey on top.  Upon researching other recipes, I found that most use half the butter or margarine.  The recipe on only uses three tablespoons compared to the eight tablespoons used in the allrecipes version.  The recipe also used more sugar in the topping.  I think that would also help absorb the butter or margarine.  Both of these two recipes use one teaspoon of cinnamon.  We were recently at a function where this was served made with one tablespoon of cinnamon.  We liked the stronger cinnamon taste.  I also found another recipe on Old Town Home blog that used reduced-fat crescent rolls and light cream cheese.  This one also used more cinnamon, including in the cream cheese.  I don't think I will put cinnamon in the cream cheese but I do plan to use the lower-fat versions of the ingredients. So, I will reprint the recipe below, as I plan to make it next time.  Regardless of the version you use, I really don't think you can go wrong with this simple, egg-free sweet treat great for dessert or brunch!

If you like this recipe, you may also want to try Cinnamon Crescents (EF).

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Squares
Multiple Sources:  see links above

2 8 oz tubes reduced-fat refrigerated crescent rolls
2 8 oz blocks of light cream cheese, softened
1 t vanilla extract
1 1/2 c granulated sugar, divided
3 T margarine, melted
1T ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350o.  Lightly grease a 13x9 baking pan.  Unroll one tube of crescent rolls and press into the bottom of the pan, sealing the seams (or you can use the seamless crescent dough).  In mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract, until smooth.  Spread cream cheese mixture over dough.  Unroll second crescent roll dough over cream cheese mixture but do not press down.  Brush top layer of crescent dough with melted butter.  Combine cinnamon and remaining sugar and sprinkle on top.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until top is crisp and golden.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Shells

Split chicken breasts were on special at my grocery store this past week.  So, I bought two large packages.  I cooked them according to my recipe for {Slow-cooker}Shredded Chicken (EF, DF, GF).  Then I had enough chicken in my freezer for four meals!  The next question . . . What do cook with all of this chicken?  The solution for one of the packages became this recipe.  It was inspired by my own recipe for Easy Cheesy Manicotti (EF).  I was excited when my family gobbled it up!  We will be having this recipe again!! 

Chicken and Cheese Stuffed Shells

12 oz package of jumbo shells
1 lb cooked shredded chicken
16 oz part-skim ricotta
½ c grated parmesan cheese
2 c part-skim Italian blend cheese, finely shredded
½ t freshly ground pepper
1 T dried parsley
1 24 oz jar pasta sauce

Preheat oven to 350o.  Cook pasta according to package directions.  Once the pasta is cooked, rinse in cool water to stop the pasta from cooking further.  While pasta is boiling, mix chicken, pepper, parsley and all three cheeses.  Put one cup of the pasta sauce in the bottom of a large glass baking dish.  Fill cooked pasta shells with about two tablespoons of the chicken and cheese mixture and place in a glass baking dish.  Once all of the shells are filled, spoon remaining sauce over the top, cover with foil and bake for about 30 minutes. 

Serves 6-8

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Banana Nut Bread {Egg-free, Dairy-free}

I found this egg-free, dairy-free banana bread recipe and thought I would give it a try.  Some of the reviews, said it was good but lacking a little.  So, I added vanilla and pecans to mine.  We really enjoyed it.  It has a little less fat and sugar than most, so you can feel a little less guilty eating it!

If you like this recipe, also try the most popular recipe on my blog for Banana Muffins (EF, DF).  You may also like Cream Cheese Banana Bread (EF).

Banana Nut Bread

2/3 c sugar
1/3 cup shortening
2 c flour
2 t baking powder
1/4 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1 t vanilla
1 c mashed ripe bananas, about two medium
½ c chopped pecans

Beat sugar and shortening for about 5 minutes until combined.  Slowly mix in flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.  Mix in bananas and vanilla.  The batter will be thick.  Stir in pecans.  Spoon into a greased 9-in. x 5-in. loaf pan. Bake at 350° for about 45 minutes or until bread tests done with a toothpick. Cool in pan for 10 minutes before removing to a wire rack.