Monthly Archives: July, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas

I know a lot of people have “their” chicken enchilada recipe but I have to say, this one is the best I have tried and I wouldn’t change it!  We eat this on a regular basis and it is a family favorite – flavorful but not too spicy, healthy but not so healthy that it doesn’t include some good cheese and sour cream, makes a large batch so there is always leftovers (which are always just as good if not better the second day!), a little bit putsy but not so complicated that you don’t want to make it.  I definitely think you should try it!

Chicken Enchiladas

Recipe from Camille Johnson

4 chicken breasts (or to cheat, one rotisserie chicken cleaned of bones and skin)
1 c. chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp. butter
1 16 oz. can whole tomatoes (chopped up)
1 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 small can mild chopped green chilies
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. oregano
1 tsp. basil
12-14 tortillas
2-3 c. shredded Monterrey jack cheese
3/4 c. sour cream


Simmer chicken in water, covered, 8-12 minutes until chicken is cooked through.  Drain and shred.

Cook onion, garlic, and butter in a large skillet until tender (about 4 min.).  Add tomatoes, sauce, chilies, and spices.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes.

Remove sauce from heat.  Begin assembling enchiladas:  Dip one side of a tortilla in sauce to soften it, add 2 Tbsp. cheese, and some chicken.  Roll and place in 9×13 pan seam side down.  Repeat until all the chicken is used up.

Blend sour cream into remaining sauce.  Pour over the top.  Sprinkle remaining cheese on the top.

Cover and bake 40 minutes at 350 degrees.  Uncover for last 10 minutes so cheese can get a bit golden.

Husband Rating:

Food for Thought: This one is a great freezer meal.  I usually actually divide one batch into two pans because our family can’t eat more than 6 enchiladas in a meal.  It is easy to double and then you have one meal for that night and 3 to stick in the freezer for later or to share with friends.  For cooking after freezing, simply thaw overnight in the fridge and then follow the same baking instructions.  If it is not fully thawed, you may need to just increase the baking time a bit until it is hot and bubbling throughout.


Ginger-Scented Corn and Asparagus Stir Fry

Tonight was a lesson in double checking things I assume I have in my pantry… as I was in the middle of cooking, I realized I didn’t have as much rice vinegar as I thought.  After a quick google search, I was able to determine that balsamic vinegar was the closest of the ones I had on hand.  (Most searches said white wine vinegar but of course I didn’t have that either… both are on my next shopping list!)  But, I couldn’t tell the difference in flavor and this was a good variation on stir fry.

Ginger-Scented Corn and Asparagus Stir Fry

Adapted from Cooking Light August 2011

4 Tbsp. cooking oil, divided
2 chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 c. corn kernels
1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 c. onion, sliced vertically
1 julienne-cut red bell pepper
6 oz. steamed asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 c. vegetable broth
2 Tbsp. g/f soy sauce
3 Tbsp. rice vinegar (or balsamic if you don’t have rice)
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1 c. uncooked brown rice
2 thinly sliced green onions.


Cook rice according to package directions.

In a large skillet or a wok, heat 2 Tbsp. cooking oil.  Add chicken and stir fry until chicken is cooked through (about 4-6 minutes).  Set aside.

Wipe pan clean with a paper towel and add remaining cooking oil.  Add corn, ginger, garlic, onions, and pepper.  Stir fry 5 minutes.  Add chicken, asparagus, broth, soy sauce, vinegar, and crushed red pepper.  Stir fry another 1-2 minutes until it is all hot.

Divide rice among 4 plates.  Spoon stir fry over rice and top with green onions.

Husband Rating:

Food for Thought:  This could easily be turned into a freezer recipe.  In one freezer bag, place cut up chicken.  In another, combine the corn, ginger, garlic, onions, and pepper.  In a third bag put the asparaguys, broth, soy sauce, vinegar, and crushed red pepper.  When you are ready to serve, thaw the chicken but keep the others frozen until you add them to the pan.  Adjust cooking time as needed.  I haven’t tried this but this is how I would do it if I were freezer cooking.

Spicy Basil Chicken

*6/9/13 – Updated the recipe to use a few different ingredients, eliminating the use of refined sugar and checking that it is all g/f. Still liked it! Enjoy!

I don’t normally think of basil as an herb to use in Asian style cooking.  Italian, yes, of course, but not Asian.  So, when I saw this recipe I was definitely intrigued and glad we tried it!  Yummy!

Spicy Basil Chicken

1 Tbsp. coconut oil
1/4 c. minced shallots (one or two medium sized shallots)
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
1 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. coconut aminos or organic g/f soy sauce or liquid aminos
1/4 tsp. sriracha sauce or garlic chili paste (sambal oeleck) or more if you like more heat
1 tsp. water
1/2 tsp. cornstarch, arrowroot powder, or tapioca starch
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1/3 c. sliced basil leaves
1 c. brown rice (optional)
steamed veggies (we did broccoli and carrots but any would work)


Cook brown rice according to package directions.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Add oil to pan and swirl to coat.  Add shallots and garlic to pan.  Cook 30 seconds or until fragrant.  Add chicken to pan and cook until chicken is done, no longer pink.

Combine fish sauce and the next 6 ingredients (through salt) in a small bowl.  Whisk thoroughly.  Add fish sauce mixture to chicken and cook for 1-2 minutes until mixture thickens.  Stir chicken to coat.

Remove from heat and add basil.  Serve over brown rice.

Husband Rating: 9 out of 10

Food for Thought: We served this with red peppers and snow peas that I sauteed.  They were ok but the first comment my husband made about this was questioning if the veggies were part of the original recipe or not and that they just didn’t seem to fit.  So, we will continue to figure out which veggies pair nicely with the meal – maybe broccoli next time or carrots?  We shall see… I will update when we eat it again.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Lemon Basil Couscous

This meal reminded me of why I don’t regularly serve couscous to people who have not yet mastered the use of silverware.  Eeeks, there was so much couscous all over the floor that we immediately had to get out the vacuum.  Messiness aside, here’s the low down on the meal.  The chicken was delicious from this recipe; the couscous was a little bland and could have used something else.  I’m not sure what.  I don’t think I would make the couscous again – probably switch to something less messy like rice or pasta and top with basil and lemon.  If you come up with a good idea, let me know!  We had this with steamed green beans topped with a bit of garlic, butter, and slivered almonds.

Stuffed Chicken Breasts with Lemon Basil Couscous

4 chicken breasts
1/2 c. garlic herb cream cheese
1/4 c. jarred roasted red peppers, drained and chopped
8 basil leaves, chopped
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
Couscous Ingredients:
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. ground pepper
1 c. couscous
1 1/3 c. water
1 c. fresh basil, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp. lemon juice


Prepare Stuffed Breasts:

With a tip of a knife, cut each chicken breast from a long side, keeping knife parallel to surface of breast to form a deep pocket with as small of an opening as possible.  (I am not good at this so mine do not turn out quite as beautiful… a skill I should probably work on).

Rub the outside of the chicken with oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper.

In a small bowl, combine cheese, peppers, and basil. Spread 1/4 of the cheese mixture in each chicken breast.  Use a tooth pick to hold shut if necessary.

Place chicken on grill over medium heat and cook 12-15 minutes or until juices run clear.  (Mine were leaking stuffing all over the place before I even started cooking so I did them in a grilling pan covered in tin foil to save the grill from the mess.  That worked great too.)

Prepare Couscous:

In a 2 quart saucepan, heat oil, salt, pepper, and water to boiling.  Stir in couscous.  Cover saucepan; remove from heat and let stand at least 5 minutes.

Add basil and lemon juice to couscous just prior to serving.

Husband Rating: Darn, forgot to ask again… will get it next time.

Food for Thought: My friends and I did this recipe as a make-ahead one on our marinade night.  We mixed together the stuffing and each took our portion home and stuffed there.  After I stuffed the breasts, I placed them in a disposable foil pan and covered them with plastic wrap and tin foil and froze them.  Prior to cooking, I simply set them in the fridge to thaw.  It worked really well!

Honey-Ginger Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Mmmmm, this was sweet and delicious.  For the first time, I think I should have marinated two tenderloins instead of one because both of the boys ate so much, my husband and I hardly got any.  As a bonus, it is super simple, needing only 5 ingredients!  Needless to say, this will be going on a list of recipes to use regularly.

Honey-Ginger Glazed Pork Tenderloin

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light  Jan. 2012 issue

1 Tbsp. grated fresh ginger
3 Tbsp. honey
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp. g/f soy sauce
1 (1-pound) pork tenderloin


Combine all ingredients in a large Ziploc bag.  Either freeze or let sit in fridge for several hours.  If frozen, thaw in refrigerator.

To grill, heat grill to medium-high heat.  Place tenderloin on grill.  Baste tenderloin when turning with leftover marinade.  Cook about 7 minutes a side until 145 degrees inside or to desired doneness.

Let sit for 5 minutes before cutting open.

While pork is sitting, pour any reserved marinade into a small sauce pan and cook over high heat until boiling and caramelized.  Remove from heat.

Slice pork and drizzle with glaze.


Husband Rating:

Food for Thought: This could also be pan cooked as well browning the meat and basting throughout the cooking process.  If you cook it in a pan, you will not need to cook the reserve marinade.  Simply add any that is left into the pan about 5 minutes before the pork is done to allow it to boil.  Make sure to scrape all those delicious caramelized bits off the bottom of the pan when you serve it!

Farmer’s Market Pizza

This recipe turned out amazing!  I had my doubts as I was putting corn on pizza but we all agreed that it was like a very wonderful gourmet pizza.  Definitely will be making this one again!

Farmer’s Market Pizza

Recipe adapted from Cooking Light July 2011 issue

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 large onion, thinly sliced
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme
1 red bell pepper, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 c. fresh or frozen corn kernels
12 oz. thinly sliced fresh mozzarella
1/2 c. grated Parmesan cheese
1 c. cherry tomatoes, halved
1/3 c. fresh basil leaves
3 oz. thinly sliced prosciutto
pizza dough (either refrigerator or homemade recipe)


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  Add olive oil and swirl pan to coat.
Add onion and thyme.  Cook for 3-5 minutes or until onions are tender.  Add bell pepper and garlic and cook for additional 2-3 minutes.  Add corn and cook until heated. 

Roll out dough onto a cookie sheet.  Lay mozzarella across crust.  Add layer or prosciutto.  Top with corn mixture, spread evenly over crust.  Finally add Parmesan cheese.

Bake for 23 minutes and then add tomatoes.  Cook additional 5 minutes or until pizza crust is golden. 

Top with basil and serve hot. 

Husband Rating: 9 out of 10

Food for Thought:  The only change I would possibly add to this would be a bit more prosciutto.  I was skimpy on it, unsure of how it would be in the recipe as it was one of the things I added on my own.  It was a good match!

Rosemary Chicken Panini with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

This recipe has all the ingredients for an amazing meal: sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, fresh mozzarella, garlic, etc…. but somewhere it fell apart in the execution.  I guess this post shows that not every meal at our house turns out as it is supposed to (even though I usually only post the better ones) 😉 and that there is definitely room for improvement.  I plan to make a few modifications to the meal which I will note in the “Food for Thought” section and make this again sometime soon. 

Rosemary Chicken Panini with Spinach and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Recipe adapted from Cooking Light magazine, January 2012 issue

2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 chicken breasts
1/4 c. oil-packed sun dried tomatoes, chopped
pinch crushed red pepper
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 c. fresh baby spinach
8 slices Italian bread
12 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced thinly
butter for bread


Combine 1 Tbsp. olive oil, rosemary, 3 garlic cloves, and chicken breasts in large zipper bag.  Seal, mix, and marinate at least 30 minutes in the refrigerator.

Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat and heat remaining olive oil.  Add sun-dried tomatoes, red pepper, and garlic and saute 1-2 minutes until garlic begins to brown.  Add spinach and saute until spinach is just wilted, about 2-3 minutes.  Set aside in a bowl for later.

In same skillet, add chicken breasts and cook about 6 minutes per side until completely cooked through.  Remove from heat and slice chicken thinly.

Lightly butter one side of bread and place 4 sliced of bread, butter side down on a grilling pan or skillet.  Layer chicken, 1/4th of the spinach mixture, and slices of mozzarella on the bread and put an additional slice of bread on top.  Grill over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes per side until cheese is melty and both sides of bread are toasted.

Enjoy hot!

Husband Rating:

Food for Thought: I think the next time I make this meal, I am going to use a heartier bread than the recipe called for.  The Italian bread simply seemed to fall apart in the grilling process and thus the sandwich was eaten with a fork rather than fingers.  I plan to maybe try a foccocia or cibatta bread next time to see how it goes.  The fillings of the sandwich were delicious but I also may up the amount of sun-dried tomatoes as I really like that flavor and I thought it was a bit overpowered by the rest of the ingredients.  Let me know if you try it and find any good adaptations to the recipe that I could try too!

Pork and Cabbage Pot Stickers

We have tried several different recipes and methods for cooking pot stickers and I think tonight I finally found the best yet!  I adapted the recipe from one I found in Martha Stewart Living and let me just say, Martha must be a wizard at making and assembling these pot stickers because it definitely took me longer than her 45 minute hands on time listed.  But, even though they were tedious, the result turned out great and it made a big enough batch that we ate dinner tonight and stuck the other half in the freezer for a future meal. 

Pork and Cabbage Pot Stickers

6+ Tbsp. vegetable oil, divided
1 head napa cabbage, thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
1 3/4 tsp. fine sea salt, divided
1 large vidalia onion, thinly sliced
1/2 c. chopped fresh chives
1/4 c. thinly sliced scallions, plus more for garnish
3 Tbsp. minced garlic
1 lb. ground pork
2 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1/4 c. sesame oil
1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper, divided
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/2 c. rice vinegar
approx. 80 pot sticker wrappers (two packages for me)
2 large egg whites


In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil.  Add cabbage and saute until translucent, about 3-5 minutes.  Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and remove from heat to a large bowl.

Heat another Tbsp. oil and add onion slices.  Saute until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.  Season with 1/2 tsp. salt and add to bowl with cabbage.

Place cabbage and onion in a food processor or blender and chopped until just coarsely chopped.  Return to bowl

Heat 1 Tbsp. oil and add chives and ground pork.  Cook until ground pork is just browned.  Add to cabbage mixture.  Stir in the scallions, garlic, sesame seeds, sesame oil, 3/4 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. ground pepper.  Stir to combine and let cool.

Meanwhile, make the dipping sauce by combining soy sauce, 1/4 tsp. ground pepper, and rice vinegar into a bowl.  Whisk to combine and set aside until later. 

After cabbage mixture has cooled, begin assembling pot stickers.  Working one at a time, brush edges of wrapper with egg white.  Scoop 2 tsp. cabbage mixture in middle of wrapper.  Fold over making half-circle and press edges together to seal.  Set aside on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.  Continue until all are assembled (approximately 80 pot stickers). 

In a large skillet, heat 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil until shimmering.  Working in batches, add pot stickers and brown, approximately 1-2 minutes per side.  Set aside on a dish and continue until all are browned.  (If freezing, let cool and freeze at this point.  Then, thaw on parchment paper and follow directions below to cook.)

Lay a single layer of pot stickers in a large skillet and fill about 1/4 in. deep with water.  Put tight fitting lid on top and steam pot stickers for about 2-3 minutes until hot through.

Remove from pan, garnish with green onion, and serve with dipping sauce.

Husband Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Food for Thought: I have also made these with spinach and finely chopped carrots in the filling.  For the carrots, make sure to saute them a bit so they aren’t too firm. 

Grilled Thai Beef Salad

A first for Hungry Like the Wilfs  – “A Guest Blog Entry”.  I didn’t actually cook this meal but I definitely enjoyed it and needed to post the recipe.  While at the cabin this past week, each couple took a night to cook and this recipe came from my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.  It was absolutely amazing and easy to do!  We will definitely be repeating this recipe at our house.

Grilled Thai Beef Salad

Recipe from Ellie Krieger, also found at

1 lb. flank steak or top-round London Broil
3 Tbsp. lime juice divided
3 Tbsp. g/f soy sauce
3 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 1/2 tsp. minced ginger
1 1/4 tsp. red curry paste or chili-garlic sauce
1/2 head lettuce, torn (about 6 cups)
3 shallots thinly sliced, (about 1/2 cup), divided
1/2 c. cilantro leaves, rinsed and dried
1 c. basil leaves, sliced into ribbons


In a medium bowl, combine 1 Tbsp. lime juice, soy sauce, canola oil, brown sugar, garlic, ginger, and chili-garlic sauce.  Pour half the mixture into a large freezer bag and add the steak.  Add additional 2 Tbsp. lime juice to the freezer bag and set aside to marinade 4-24 hours.  (The longer you marinade, the more tender the meat.)

Reserve the rest of the marinade mixture to use as dressing for the salad.

Prepare grill to medium high heat and grill steak to medium-rare (about 5 minutes per side) or to desired done-ness.  Allow to sit at least 5-10 minutes before slicing against the grain.

Combine lettuce, shallots, cilantro, and basil and toss with remaining dressing.  Divide salad among 4 plates and top with beef slices and shallots for garnish.

Husband Rating: 10 out of 10

Food for Thought: The beef could easily be prepared ahead of time and frozen.  Allow to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before cooking.

Potato and Red Pepper Frittata

I had some eggs that were nearing their expiration date and wanted to try something different for dinner.  After perusing a few different recipes, I figured I could throw together just about anything to make a tasty frittata.  So, using what I had in the kitchen, this is what I came up with.  And it was really good!

Potato and Red Pepper Frittata

8 large eggs
2 Tbsp. milk
1/2 c. sharp cheddar cheese, cut in small cubes or shredded
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small yellow onion, diced
4 medium red potatoes, sliced
2 Tbsp. olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
salt/pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat olive oil and garlic over medium high heat.  Add pepper, onion, potatoes, and salt/pepper.  Cook over medium high heat until veggies start to become tender, about 10 minutes.

While veggies are cooking, in a bowl, beat eggs, milk, and cheddar cheese.  Prepare a round cassarole dish with cooking spray.

When veggies are done, remove from heat and layer on bottom of dish.  Pour egg mixture over the top.  Bake in the oven for 20 – 30 minutes until egg sets and is cooked through.

Serve warm!

Husband Rating: 5 out of 10

Food for Thought:  If you are someone who needs meat in your meals, this is an easy one to add to – simply add some cooked sausage, bacon, or ham to the egg mixture.  Also, any combination of veggies would work in a frittata – a nice meal for cleaning out the fridge!

This also could become a freezer meal.  You would mix and cook it and after it is cooked, let cool before covering and freezing.  When reheating, either bake in the oven until hot or microwave a slice for a minute or until hot.

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