What’s for dinner?  Cool Weather Inspired Dishes

As the weather starts to slowly cool off a bit, I’ve been on a Tex-Mex kick.
Eats for this Week:
Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies
Chicken Enchilada Soup
Seriously awesome BBQ Sauce on Pork Loin with Red Skinned Potatoes Gratin
Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas with Chili Sauce

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Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies – so simple! Put it together, throw it in a 425 degree oven & leave it. An hour and a half later, the house will be full of gourmet smells and dinner will be on the table. (Bonus: make more than one, shred the second and freeze it or use it later in the week)
Gather:
Roasting chicken
Extra virgin olive oil
2 Tablespoon herb de Provence
2 Tablespoons kosher salt
1 Tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
Root veggies of choice, cubed

To Make:
Preheat oven to 425. Mix together dried herbs, salt and pepper in a small dish. Set aside. Cover a baking sheet in foil (way less work cleaning up). Place bird breast side down on baking sheet, drizzle outside of bird with olive oil, and sprinkle liberally with herb seasoning (don’t forget inside of cavity). Quaternary lemon and place inside cavity of the bird. Tie up the legs. Roast at 425 for an hour and a half. When I roast more than one bird, I lower the oven to 400 and cook a little longer. When here is 45 minutes left, toss cubed veggies in olive oil and the herb seasoning and add to the baking sheet with the chicken to roast.

Chicken Enchilada Soup – a few steps, but totally worth it. Plus, leftovers!
Serves 6-8

Gather:
3 Tablespoons butter
1 sweet bell pepper, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 rib celery, chopped
2 carrots, peeled & chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Salt and pepper
4 cups chicken stock or low sodium chicken broth
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
1 lime, juiced
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon garlic powder
1 Tablespoon cumin
2 teaspoons Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons salt
¼ – ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
8 corn tortillas, cut into think (1/4”) strips, divided
2 cups diced cooked chicken
½ teaspoon baking powder
4 oz cream cheese
4 oz American cheese or quesoblanco (good melting cheese)
1 to 1 ½ cups half and half (can substitute cream, Mexican crema, or sour cream)
4 oz can green chilies
*can substitute 2-3 Tablespoons of non-msg taco seasoning for chili powder, garlic powder, cayenne, cumin and salt.

To Make:
Melt butter over medium heat and sweat pepper, onion, celery, and carrots until softened. Stir in seasonings, stock, tomatoes and 4 tortillas.
Bring to a boil, reduce and simmer 15 minutes. Puree and return to pot.
While soup simmers, bake remaining tortilla strips at 375 degrees until crispy.
Add baking soda, and when bubbling calms, add cheeses, chilies, half and half, and chicken. Simmer over low heat 30 minutes longer, stirring occasionally to prevent scalding.
Garnish with: crispy tortilla strips, sour cream, pico de gallo, avocado, cilantro, grated cheddar

Seriously awesome BBQ Sauce on Pork Loin with Red Skinned Potatoes Gratin
Feeds: 4-6 people
Gather:
Approximately 1 1/2 -3 pound pork loin roast
2 Tablespoons salt
1 Tablespoon fresh cracked pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder

Rub pork with salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Allow to rest at room temperature approximately 20 minutes before cooking. Sear in pan over medium high heat and roast in oven at 375 for 90-120 minutes or until pork reaches 145 on meat thermometer. Baste with BBQ sauce last half hour of cooking. Allow meat to stand about ten minutes before slicing to serve.

Red skinned potatoes gratin
3-4 red skinned potatoes, thinly sliced and cut into half moons
1/2 onion
1/2 green bell pepper
1 jalapeño pepper
1 clove garlic
3 T flour
2 T butter
1 cup cream
1/4 cup sour cream
3/4 cup milk
8oz bar sharp cheddar cheese, grated

From the Freezer: Tex-Mex Beef Enchiladas with Chili Sauce

Favorite from the pantry:
Williams-Sonoma herbs de Provence – of the little crock isn’t cute enough, the herb blend will win you over

Related Posts:
Borrow my Meals
Breakfasts for the Week
Eats for the Week: Spicy Teriyaki Chicken
Eats for the Week: Tex Spiced Chicken
Eats for the Week: Mediterranean Inspired Chicken
10# of Ground Beef, 8 Meals

What’s for Dinner? Borrow My Meals

Feel bored, overwhelmed, or just too busy to worry about what to eat this week?  No worries.  I hope you find some inspiration here.  When all else fails, borrow my meals.  Each week I will be posting What’s for Dinner? 

Everyday Granola 
As in, “I could eat this granola Every. Single. Day”.  The base recipe comes from My Gluten Free Kitchen.  I took Michelle’s advice and customize each batch depending on my mood.  I added toasted unsweetened flaked coconut to this month’s and served it with vanilla yogurt and fruit from our co-op basket.

Banana Bread Mini-Loaves adapted from 8 Weeks to a Better You Recipes

Stewed Cabbage & Tomatoes with Smoked Sausage
I had some stewed cabbage leftover from making cabbage rolls.  I added a little salt and pepper and reheated it over medium-high to high heat until the liquid evaporated.  Then I cubed smoked sausage (which I browned in another pan) and added it to the cabbage.  Serve it spooned over leftover rice, and that’s lunch in a hurry. Both boys commented they liked these little German bowls even better than the cabbage rolls.

Grilled Pork Chops with Grilled Spicy Garlic Bok Choy & Ginger Rainbow Carrots
For the bok choy and chicken teriyaki, I use tamari because it is gluten free and the brand I found is non-gmo.

Grilled Spicy Garlic Bok Choy
Gather:
5 heads baby bok choy
2 Tablespoons chili oil
2 Tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
2 Tablespoons honey
2 cloves garlic, minced
To Prepare:
Heat grill to medium to low heat (400-350).  Combine tamari, chili oil, honey, and garlic in bowl.  Slice bok choy in half length-wise, place on a rimmed platter, and brush with chili-tamari mixture.  Wrap tops of bok choy with foil.
Grill bok choy until slightly softened and charred (5 minutes or so on each side).  Remove foil and arrange on serving tray.  Brush with remaining chili-tamari mixture while hot.

Grilled Ginger Rainbow Carrots
Gather:
1 bunch rainbow carrots
½ X ½ inch cube of crystallized ginger
Salt, pepper, drizzle of olive oil
To prepare:
Clean carrots and cut lengthwise and crosswise once.  On a square of heavy duty foil, toss olive oil, salt, pepper, and ginger with carrots.  Fold to seal foil tightly.  Grill over medium to high (375-400) heat for approximately fifteen minutes or until desired tenderness.

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Tex-Mex Sweet Potato Skins
These may be my new favorite dish. Could you pack more good for you into four bites? Thank you! Thank you Tieghan at Half Baked Harvest for the inspiration! They are works of art.
Gather:
4 small organic yams or sweet potatoes, baked at 375 for one hour, halved lengthwise and cooled about ten minutes then hollowed out to make a potato skin
1 cup black beans
1 chicken breast, small dice or shredded
1 cup cooked or frozen spinach
1 cup Monterrey Jack cheese, divided
2 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lime juice
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Mexican oregano
2 teaspoons chili powder

To make:
Combine oil, lime juice, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and oregano to make a seasoned oil. In a separate bowl, combine chicken, beans, spinach, and half a cup of cheese to make the stuffing. Brush skins with seasoned oil, place on asking stone or lined baker, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10 minutes or until they begin to crisp. I added the remaining seasoned oil to the stuffing. Stuff the potatoes, top with remaining cheese, and bake for an additional ten minutes. Serve & listen to everyone rejoice at how yummy they are (including resident sweet potato hater). Decide Tieghan might be your new favorite food blogger.

Juice
Giada’s Rise & Shine Juice
If I make it again, I will add an apple because on the show the apples she demonstrated with were large and the ones in my co-op basket were very small and I will not add the carrot.

Cucumber Melon Juice
1 handful spinach leaves
4 cups watermelon
1 large cucumber, peeled

Smoothie Add-in:
Frozen honeydew melon

Snacky, Snacky:
Roasted salted almonds & pretzels
Plums, peaches, melon

Cook Once, Eats for the Week: Tex Spiced Chicken

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This is a lovely spice rub I have used for all kinds of chicken….whole to cubed. I have put it in quesadillas, stuffed tacos with it, grilled it on a salad, made killer nachos, and used it to prep chicken for countless casseroles and rice dishes. My favorite is in this version of Chicken Georgia.

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Tex Spice Rub
1 roasting chicken, 4-5 thighs or 4 breasts
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon paprika

Chicken Georgia via Texas
Gather:
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 onion
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
1 tablespoon butter
1 green bell pepper
1/2 container of cremini mushrooms
1 clove of garlic
4-6 slices of Monterrey jack or mozzarella cheese

To make:
Rub chicken with Tex Spice Rub and heat grill.
In sauté pan melt butter with onions over medium heat, adding bell peppers, mushrooms, garlic, agave, and spices once onions begin to soften. Continue cooking until onions and peppers caramelize, stirring now and then while you grill the chicken.
To serve, top hot chicken with sauté mixture and slice of jack or mozzarella cheese.
Serve With: Tex-Mex potatoes, Cilantro Lime Rice, Sour Cream Corn or Grilled Zucchini

Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce
This is my version of a PIn I found from Joyful Momma’s Kitchen. It has quickly become a favorite
Gather:
10 corn tortillas
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken (rotisserie or tex roasted)
3 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese (you could even do pepper jack)
3 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons flour
1 1/2 cups low sodium chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
2 (4 oz) can diced green chillies
Splash of pickled jalapeño juice
Optional: pickled jalapeños to layer on top of cheese upon removing from oven
To Make:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a 8×8 pan.
In a bowl, mix chicken, 1 can green chilies, and 1 cup of Jack cheese. Spoon tablespoonfuls of chicken mixture into tortillas, roll up, and place in pan. In a sauté pan over medium heat, make a roux with melted butter and flour. Cook at least one-two minutes. Add broth, jalapeño juice (for a kick), 1 cup of Jack cheese, and second can of green chilies. Whisk until smooth. Continue cooking over medium heat until thick and bubbly. Reduce heat to low, and stir in sour cream. Do not boil. Pour over enchiladas and top with remaining cheese. Bake covered 30 minutes until bubbly. Remove foil and broil 2-3 minutes to brown the cheese. Do not walk away.

Be super lazy (or genius) and layer sauce, tortillas, and chicken mixture to create a sour cream enchilada lasagna!

I do use Lexi’s tips- her blog is awesome.

You can make this ahead and keep it in the fridge up to 24 hours. Just put it in the oven and increase the time a bit. You will want to make sure they are heated through.
**This sauce does not freeze well. The enchiladas themselves freeze really well. I freeze a few pans of them double wrapped in foil and then I just make the sauce the day of. Thaw them first, add the sauce, cook according to original instructions.”

Tex-Mex Potatoes
Gather:
4-6 small red skinned or Yukon gold potatoes
1/3 onion, diced
1/3 each, red & green bell pepper, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
salt, pepper and chili powder to taste
To make:
Cube and boil potatoes until just fork tender. Drain. Heat 4 tablespoons oil in a pan over medium high heat. Sauté onion, peppers, and garlic until softened. Add potatoes. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook several minutes to combine flavors.

Cilantro Lime Rice
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makes approximately 4-6 servings
Gather:
1 cup of white or brown rice, rinsed
juice of 1 medium lime
1 1/2-2 cups of low sodium chicken stock or water
1 teaspoon of salt
3 Tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
1 teaspoon of unflavored oil

To make:
In a small saucepan, add rice, water/stock, oil and salt with half of the lime juice. Boil on high until most of the water evaporates. When water skims the top of the rice, reduce to low, cover and simmer about 15 minutes. Turn off heat and allow to rest an additional 5 minutes. Fluff with a for, mix in cilantro and remaining lime juice and serve.

Watermelon Lush
watermelon lush

Blend:
1 cup ginger ale
2 cups watermelon, cubed
2 cups ice
1/2 lime, juiced
1 handful mint
pick your poison, mine would be a shot of tequila
simple syrup, to taste

Tostitos Corn Chips
Something to try next time you’re shopping…pick up some of these… organic, no artificial preservatives, and gluten free.