Ahhh how has it been a month since I shared a new recipe?
Actually, I’ll tell you how…
I could give you the standard excuses: work has been insane, I’ve been busy, blah blah blah.
But the real reason is that my sister got married on Saturday and the whole wedding business ended up taking up quite a bit of time and energy. But it was all worth it to be able to watch two of my favorite people celebrate their love for each other in front of friends and family.
One of the best moments of the day – and a completely ridiculous experience I’ll never forget – was taking pictures in Grand Central.
The original plan was to take the pictures in Bryant Park but we got rained out, despite the fact that Saturday was the only day it wasn’t supposed to rain that week. Luckily, Grand Central was our back-up and it was the most New York photo shoot.
Apparently, when a bride and groom appear in the middle of a crowded train station with 6 bridesmaids, 5 groomsmen, 2 photographers and a videographer, it becomes a bit of a spectacle. So much so that the entire time we were taking the pictures we were surrounded by a crowd of dozens taking pictures of us taking pictures. Countless strangers now have photos of us on their phones.
On a related note, I also have a lot of compassion for models. It turns out that standing and looking pretty while someone takes pictures of you is completely exhausting!!! Who knew.
It’s definitely going to take a few days to recover from the wedding weekend marathon. I also need to throw myself headfirst into healthy eating, exercise and a complete eschewal of dairy. I’ve been taking a lot of cheat days and I’m paying the price.
Things that will keep me going as I embrace this total immersion into a clean(er) lifestyle: 1) RX bars. I know, I know, every blogger and their mother has been eating these clean protein bars forever. I’m woefully behind trend.
But now that I’ve discovered them I just can’t stop. My favorite morning food line-up is a smoothie before work and an RX bar mid-morning. They do the double duty of stopping me from eating lunch at 10:55am and curbing my sweets cravings.
Thing 2) is this recipe for zucchini “enchiladas” that I ripped from Instagrammer Wiz Kaleifa. She’s been my clean eating idol for some time. Seriously, everything she makes looks amaaaazing and it’s usually just a plate full of six different kinds of vegetables.
But this recipe really takes the cake. Zoodle lovers, rejoice, there’s now a way to make carb-free Tex Mex. Take a vegetable peeler and peel thin, wide slices of zucchini (it may take a few tries to get them right). Lay four slices next to each other, overlapping slightly. Fill with your favorite enchilada fillings, then roll up and bake like you would with normal enchiladas.
HELLO delicious! I improvised from her recipe, using the chicken filling from my favorite tomato-braised tacos, and topping them with some of the reserved tomato sauce, my avocado salsa and Daiya dairy free mozzarella.
This recipe is actually the best and proof that eating your favorite foods while trying to be healthy is completely achievable – you just need to use your imagination (or, you know, steal ideas from your favorite Instagram bloggers 🙂 ).
Zucchini “enchiladas” with tomato-braised chicken
(Adapted from Wiz Kaleifa)
Yields 8 enchiladas, or about 3 servings
1/2 yellow onion, diced
1/2 cup cheese of your choosing
For the chicken filling
2 cans Rotel original diced tomatoes & green chilies
1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped
1/2 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken pieces
For the salsa
1 11oz. jar tomatillo salsa (salsa verde will also work if you can’t find tomatillo)
1 ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
1 serrano pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
3 tablespoons lime juice
1/4 cup of chopped cilantro
1 clove garlic, minced
Preheat oven to 350.
Prepare the zucchini: Using a vegetable peeler, slice thin, wide slices of zucchini. It took me a couple tries to get ones that were right. I suggest finding the widest side of the zucchini and pressing down firmly to get slices that are the right width and thickness.
Keep going until you reach the seeds in the middle, then flip it and slice from the other side. Repeat with remaining 3 zucchini. You should end up with about 32 slices.
Prepare the chicken: Add Rotel to blender or food processor and pulse until smooth. Add jalapeño, onion and garlic and blend until smooth.
Then, heat olive oil in a large skillet. Brown chicken, in batches if necessary, about 2 minutes per side over medium-high heat. Add tomato mixture to skillet, reserving about 1/2 a cup. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Remove lid and shred chicken using two forks. Stir a few times to incorporate all the sauce, then cook uncovered for about 10 minutes longer, until sauce coats chicken.
Make the salsa: Combine tomatillo salsa, avocado, serrano pepper, lime juice, cilantro and garlic in blender and pule until smooth.
Make the enchiladas: Dice remaining 1/2 onion. On a work surface, lay out four slices of zucchini so that the long ends are somewhat overlapping. Take about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture and spread it down one end. Sprinkle with raw onion and roll up. Place in a baking sheet seam down.
Repeat with remaining zucchini slices to yield about 8 enchiladas. Top with reserved tomato mixture and cheese. Bake at 350 for 20 minutes, until sauce is bubbling.
Serve topped with avocado salsa.