Cinco de Mayo

HOLA! You don’t need a holiday as an excuse to make this. I like “themes” whilst cooking so I decided to make my own celebration dinner versus going out and feeling like crap afterwards. On the menu: Guacamole & Chips, Chicken Enchiladas, Corn and Grapefruit Margaritas!

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WHOLE FOODS: Rudi’s Organic Spelt Tortillas $5.79, 365 Organic Refried Chili & Lime Beans $1.39, Garden of Eatin’ Organic Blue Corn Chips $3.69, 365 Organic Pepper Jack Cheese $4.99, 365 Organic Fire Roasted Corn (Freezer Section) $3.99, Bag of 4 Avocados $5.99, 3 Jalapeños $0.32,  Simply Grapefruit Juice $2.99, 1 Bunch of Cilantro $1.50, 1 Small Organic Squash $0.92, 3 Limes $2.67, Olive Bar (Pitted Kalamata Olives, .77 lbs) $7.69, 365 Organic Unsalted Butter, Organic Imagine Free Range Low Sodium Chicken Broth, Earth Friendly Products Fruit & Vegetable Wash $3.39,

TRADER JOES: Organic Free Range Chicken Breasts (Price Varies), Organic Garlic (2 Pack), Jumbo Red Onion $0.89, Organic Sour Cream $2.49

PUBLIX:  Organic Wrapped Zucchini $2.50, Organic Girl Spinach & Arugula Mix $4.29, Campari Tomato Pack $4.99, Spice Islands Cayenne Pepper

VITA COST: Rapunzel Organic Corn Starch $3.19

BI-LO: 2 Tomatillos $0.54

TOTAL WINE: Sauza Blue Agave Silver Tequila $14.99

First steps: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Get all vegetables and fruits together. Wash them all. Start by cutting your guacamole ingredients. Mix 2 mashed avocados (I use a fork), juice 1 lime, chop 2 cloves of garlic, add 1 tsp of cayenne pepper, chop 1 tsp of finely chopped jalapeño and a dash of salt and black pepper. Mix one more time and stick in the refrigerator. Tortilla filling consists of as much red onion, jalapeño as you like, squash in small cubes, zucchini in small cubes as you like, 1 tomatillo, and 3 cloves of garlic. Set Aside, 1 copped tomato, about 6 olives cut in half and as much cilantro as your desire.

Second Step: Heat up your pan to about a 4 or 5 with Olive or Avocado Oil. Add the two chicken breasts. Note, about halfway through I transfer to a different cutting board than my vegetables and slice very thin. Add back into the pan so that it cooks all the way through.

Third Step: While the chicken is cooking is when I put half the bag of organic corn in a pot on low. Just leave it and stir every now and then so it doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Then I make my sauce. To make the sauce melt 3 tablespoons of organic unsalted butter. Once melted add 2 tablespoons of organic corn starch, mix well. Then add 2 cups of the organic chicken broth and half a cup of the organic sour cream, continue to mix until it thickens. Do not let it boil. I ended up adding more chopped jalapeños and black pepper. Just keep it going and stir every now and then.

By this time your chicken should be finished cooking. I take my spelt tortilla wraps and smear the organic refried beans on it, place some spinach leaves on there, add my vegetable mixture and top with chicken. Roll it up and add a little more refried beans to help “seal” the wrap. I made 3, two for dinner and 1 for lunch. Your sauce has been cooking while you do this, now it should be ready. Pour the mixture over your enchiladas and grate 1 cup of the organic pepper jack cheese on top, add the olives you set aside earlier. Put in the oven and set timer for 30 minutes.

While the enchiladas are cooking I clean up my mess, set the table, get all my salsas, guacamole and chips out. Then it’s beverage concoction time.

1 cup of Simply Grapefruit Juice. This has a lot of sugar, but it’s all natural sugar. I called the company and asked because the label wasn’t clear enough.

2 Limes Juiced (save the leftover limes to rim the glasses)

Sea Salt on a Small Plate

1/2 cup of Sauza Tequila (from freezer)

1 cup of Ice

Rim two glasses with the leftover squeezed lime and dip in the salt. I had some pre-cut limes leftover for something to garnish with. Shake your liquid mixture all together and pour into your prepped glasses. This is a unique and refreshing drink and actually goes well with dinner. By this time the oven timer should be going off. Plate up your enchiladas, add corn, top with tomatoes and cilantro. Enjoy!

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Some grocery items on my list I already had at home. What I like is I didn’t use all of what I bought. I still have enough vegetables left for other meals and lunch tomorrow. Recipes tweaked from:

http://www.budgetsavvydiva.com/2012/02/chicken-enchiladas/

http://www.acupofmai.com/2012/03/pink-grapefruit-margaritas.html

 

 

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Watermelon Refresher

Something so simple and delicious. This drink is a nice twist to watermelon.

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TRADER JOES: 1 Watermelon

Wash and cut up the watermelon. Put in a blender, I use a magic bullet, and mix with crushed ice. Blend, and if need be add a little water. Serve and prepare to be refreshed!

Best. Tacos. Ever.

Taco Night, An Alden Family Tradition.

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TRADER JOES: 1 Bag of Organic Spinach, 1 Package of Organic Grass Fed Beef, 1 Red Onion, Garlic, 1-2 Limes, 1 Avocado, Salsa Verde, Organic Tomatillo & Roasted Yellow Chili Salsa, 1 Bag of Infinite Cilantro

WHOLE FOODS: 1 Organic Tomato, Organic Cheese of Your Choice, 365 Organic Corn Tortillas, Recycled Aluminum Foil

PUBLIX: 1 Package of 30% Reduced Sodium Taco Seasoning, Garden of Eatin Blue Organic Non GMO Tortilla Chips for Salsa Dipping, Jalapeño,  Publix Brand Kalamata Olives (not pictured),  Tofutti Better Than Sour Cream

Don’t get stressed that I listed 3 different stores. You could very well get the Publix items at either store. Trader Joe’s has organic blue corn chips, as well as their version of other items. I go to multiple stores because I know what stores have the best prices for each item, especially when it comes to organic.

While the oiled meat pan is heating up around 5, I start to prepare my topping plate by washing everything. That means even bagged items as run off from meat can contaminate greens. Go ahead and cut more red onion to add to your meat, push to the side. Depending on your cooktop, your meat may be ready to start slowly cooking. I let the meat cook a few minutes before slowly adding some Taco Seasoning. Be sure to add in small amounts throughout the cooking process. Once you add you can’t take it back out. Add the extra onions you cut. If you aren’t finished preparing your topping plate be sure to wash your hands before cutting again. A note for the olives. Make sure to rinse them before cutting, they come packaged in an insane amount of oil. Refrigerate your topping plate when completed.

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Once your meat has been cooking and you’ve added as much seasoning and oil as you desire (taste test), turn down the heat to low so the meat does not dry out while you prep and cook the corn tortillas. Start another oiled pan around 6-7, this will be for your tortillas. While my pan is heating up I set the table, get the salsa and “sour cream” out and aluminum foil. Stir your meat every so often. Your tortillas will cook fast, why I try to do everything else before so I can keep an eye on them. When both sides are cooked, but not too hard. You want them bendable, keep them warm by covering in aluminum foil. If you eat at a small table with limited space for all this goodness, transfer your meat from the pan to a small bowl. Cover with foil to keep it warm throughout your meal.

This meal is easy and fast, especially once you become a beast at chopping. Not to mention delicious!

 

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Colorado

BOULDER:

Frasca Food & Wine, 4 Course Menu French Selections from Vineyard Brands With Tommy Oldre

Pizzeria Locale, Margherita Pizza & La Insalate Vesuvius

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Luciles, Eggs Pontchartrain & Pain Perdu

FORT COLLINS:

Snooze, Pineapple Upside Down Pancake & Breakfast Burrito

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Restaurant 415, Lunchpail Hot Sandwich

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ESTES PARK:

Nepals, Samosas & Chicken Vindaloo

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DENVER:

Lola Mexican Fish Kitchen, Ceviche Appetizer, Sweet Potato Chorizo Hash with 1 Fried Egg, Side of Fruit & Lolaburguesa with Bacon

Sweet Action, Lil Man had Milk Chocolate in a Gluten-Free Cone, Ry had Margarita and I had Mascarpone Chile Blackberry

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Vegan Banana Cupcakes & Buttercream

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~VEGAN BANANA CUPCAKES~

TRADER JOE’S: 1/1/4 Organic All Purpose Flour, 1/2 of an Organic Ripe Banana, 1/4 Teaspoon of Baking Soda, 1/2 Cup of Raw Sugar or Organic Coconut Sugar, 2/3 Cup of Organic Almond Milk, 1 Teaspoon of Vanilla

PUBLIX: 1 Teaspoon of Baking Powder, 1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon, 1/2 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

WHOLE FOODS: 1/3 Cup of Organic Cold Pressed Canola Oil

Bake @ 350 Degrees for 18-20 Minutes

~VEGAN BANANA BUTTERCREAM~

TRADER JOE’S: 1/4 of an Organic Ripe Banana, 2 Cups of Organic Powdered Sugar

PUBLIX: 4 Tablespoons Vegan Butter (Organic Smart Balance Vegan Spread), 1/4 Teaspoon of Sea Salt

~THEN DEVOUR~