Chicken and Kale Enchiladas

I haven’t made enchiladas in a while but I also had some kale I was hoping to sneak into something. Enchiladas seemed perfect. To tell the truth, I’m not a fan of raw kale but it is a good veggie to tuck into other foods. I know, I feel like anyone with a food blog is supposed to loooove kale. The health benefits are amazing but I find it so tough. Chard & spinach often score higher than kale anyway and I like them better. Greens, like kale, work well to dice up and treat like an herb. I didn’t highlight it, but it has a good place here.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
This was a perfect make-ahead meal. I made the filling while I was making my lunch (see my taco salad with avocado lime dressing). Basically I ate pretty similar lunch and dinners on the same day, but I’ll take Mexican meals any day.

Ingredients:

4 chicken tenderloin pieces (or 2 breasts)
2 tbs taco seasoning
10 oz black beans (3/4 of a can)
4 cups kale, with ribs removed
6 oz shredded cheddar
8 wheat tortillas
1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce

Directions:

Dice the chicken into chunks and sauté with the taco seasoning until cooked through.
While chicken is cooking, remove the ribs from the kale and chop. Steam the kale for 3-5 minutes to partially cook.
Mix together the kale, black beans, and chicken.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
Assemble the enchiladas with tortillas, filling, a sprinkle of cheese. (save some cheese for the top)
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
Then roll them up and place with the seam-side down into a baking dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
Pour enchilada sauce over the top and bake for 30 minutes.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
Top with cheese and bake for another 5 minutes until cheese melts. Or refrigerate until you’re ready to bake. Or freeze for future use. I made 2 pans, each with 4 enchiladas. I baked one and froze the other.
Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
These were really good. The sauce has some zip to it and the wheat tortillas, kale, and beans, make them a bit more nutritious. The filling really could be anything. Mine was heavier on kale and beans than chicken.

Chicken & Kale Enchiladas - The Three Bite Rule
If you have any leftover filling save it and add some brown rice for a lunch burrito bowl!

Breakfast Bake with Ham, Eggs, & Cheese

It is officially time for maternity leave. “I’ll be back”. In the meantime, I have a few goodies to share out here in the blog-o-sphere until I come back. Enjoy!

Thanks to my parents’ hens, we always have a good supply of fresh eggs around. They have 4 hens who are dutifully producing about a total of 3 eggs a day, from the expected 1 egg per hen quantity. They often stop laying eggs in the winter but not these ladies. They are named: Henrietta, Helga, Helene and The Old Hag. There’s not really a way to know which is laying (or which hen is which!).

I wanted some variety in my freezer food supply so I figured there should be something breakfast-y. My ham was leftover from a spiral ham at Christmas that I chopped up and froze after we were tired of it. This is recipe is along the lines of a savory baked french toast and has infinite possibilities.

The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Bake with Ham, Eggs, and Cheese
Ham, Eggs, & Cheese Breakfast Bake (serves 6)
Ingredients:
8 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 loaf of Italian bread, or ~4 sub rolls
3 slices of spiral cut ham, chopped
1 cup cheddar, shredded
1/4 cup chives chopped

Directions:
Whisk together eggs, milk, salt & pepper.
Chop bread/rolls into 1″ chunks and mix into to the egg mixture.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Bake with Ham, Eggs, and Cheese
Add in cheese, ham, chives (note: my ham pictured was frozen)
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Bake with Ham, Eggs, and Cheese
Mix just to combine. The bread will be soft and have absorbed the egg/milk mixture so don’t overmix or the bread will lose shape.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Bake with Ham, Eggs, and Cheese
Spray a baking dish (or individual ramekins or into sprayed muffin tins) with non-stick spray. Preheat the oven if serving immediately, or prep labels to freeze.
Spoon into the dish(s) and bake at 375-degrees for 30-45 minutes until set, or cover & label to freeze.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Bake with Ham, Eggs, and Cheese
I froze mine and baked from frozen for 60 minutes. The edges will lightly brown, it will puff up, and the center will set when fully cooked.
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Bake with Ham, Eggs, and Cheese
Serve and enjoy!

I loved this. It is puffy and light but filling. I thought the ham was fantastic but you could easily substitute whatever you like. I went lighter on the cheese since I didn’t want it too heavy and figured we could be spared a few calories while still getting the cheesy flavor and texture.

It was a nice alternative to some of my other freezer foods (butternut squash lasagna, burritos, stuffed shells, pulled pork, etc). I made one that served 4 and a smaller/more shallow one that would serve 2. I froze them for a few weeks but think this would hold up in the freezer for quite awhile…a few months?
The Three Bite Rule - Breakfast Bake with Ham, Eggs, and Cheese
Suggested adaptations: 
Bfast bake – ham + sausage or bacon = Still Meaty Bfast Bake
Bfast bake – cheddar + pecorino/fontina/parmesan/gruyere/swiss = Still Cheesy Bfast Bake
Bfast bake – meat + spinach/peppers/onions/mushrooms = Vegetarian Bfast Bake
Bfast bake – chives + other fresh herbs/scallions = Herbaceous Bfast Bake
Bfast bake – white bread + sourdough/rye/wheat bread – 2 of the eggs + 2 egg whites = Healthier Bfast Bake

Better Than Usual Stuffed Shells

It is officially time for maternity leave. “I’ll be back”. In the meantime, I have a few goodies to share out here in the blog-o-sphere until I come back. Enjoy!

I made stuffed shells before, but this time I made them better. Plus, I was stocking my freezer for newborn-time and planned to make these. They were great and such a freezer friendly food. They’re so much quicker than lasagna and I used one of my favorite secret ingredients.
The Three Bite Rule - Better Stuffed Shells

Ingredients:

1 pound jumbo shells
2 cups marinara sauce
1 egg
16 oz ricotta cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 pkg frozen creamed spinach
8 oz shredded mozzarella
1/3 cup fresh mozzarella (optional)

Directions:

Boil salted water for the shells. Cook until al dente as they’ll cook more when it bakes.
Mix together the ricotta, creamed spinach, and egg. Then add in the parmesan.
The Three Bite Rule - Better Stuffed Shells
Spread some marinara onto the bottom of a baking dish, first sprayed with non-stick spray.
Scoop some ricotta filling and spoon into each shell. Repeat to fill all the shells.
The Three Bite Rule - Better Stuffed Shells
Overlap as needed, or bake into multiple pans.
Spoon on some more marinara and chopped fresh mozzarella for each layer.
The Three Bite Rule - Better Stuffed Shells
Sprinkle shredded mozzarella onto the top and freeze (or bake to serve now).
The Three Bite Rule - Better Stuffed Shells
Keeps well in the freezer for 4-6 months. Defrost in the refrigerator overnight, then bake at 375-degrees for 45-60 minutes. If baking from frozen, bake about 80 minutes, or until warmed through.

The Three Bite Rule - Better Stuffed Shells
Needless to say, I loved the spinach in here. It would be a good source for whatever veggies you have to add (fresh chopped spinach, artichoke hearts, chopped sauteed zucchini, tomato chunks, etc) or with a meat sauce (or meatballs on the side, with crumbled Italian sausage sprinkled in, etc).

I made 2 dishes of this and reminded myself the baking instructions to eliminate all brainpower needed.

Swedish Meatballs

I’ve been all about the meals that I can whip up a) without tons of work/ingredients and b) that are wintry and comforting. Ahhem: tomato basil tortellini soup: calzone with ready made filling of creamed spinach & meatballs: ham & cheese rolled rosetti: and the list goes on… I’m also pretty obsessed with the Al Fresco chicken meatballs so this dinner of my take on Swedish meatballs perfectly fit the bill. Also, of note, I’m not Swedish and I don’t know that I’ve ever had Swedish meatballs so I’m really just winging it after googling to figure out what they key flavors are.

The Three Bite Rule - Swedish Meatballs

Ingredients:

~4 meatballs per person (I made 3 servings)
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tbs dijon mustard
1 tbs cream cheese
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp corn starch & 2 tsp water, incorporated together
1/4 cup water
2 tbs butter
egg noodles

Directions:

Make your own meatballs, or put the frozen (fully cooked) meatballs into a large skillet with the broth and garlic over medium heat. Cook for 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Swedish Meatballs
Add in mustard, creamed cheese, Worcestershire sauce, and water. Whisk to combine. (It may look a bit chunky and not creamy yet, that’s OK!)
Make a cornstarch slurry or flour & butter roux and whisk in. Keep whisking as you bring the sauce to a low boil.
The Three Bite Rule - Swedish Meatballs
Cook for 5 minutes, then add salt, pepper, and butter after reducing heat to low.
Mix well to ensure the sauce is smooth.
Serve over egg noodles.
Enjoy!
The Three Bite Rule - Swedish Meatballs

I added the water to this for you. Mine was quite salty so I’m reducing the broth and adding some water. Taste as you go and see what you think. I liked this as something different, something easy, and a great use for a ready-made ingredient.

Have I told you lately how I love these meatballs? They’re in my grocery store by the meat/sausages as refrigerated meatballs in smaller packs annnnd they’re in the freezer section for larger re-closeable bags of meatballs. These were caramelized onion meatballs, thus why I didn’t add more onion. You could easily use your own meatballs, beef meatballs, beef broth, etc. Go wild!

What I Ate: Chili over Cheddar Cornbread Waffles

What I Ate’ is a series of posts for so-easy-this-doesn’t-need-a-recipe but I’m sharing with you for the idea or inspiration.

Awhile back I was wanting to make something crazy in the waffle iron. There’s a restaurant I heard about in Syracuse, New York, called Funk ‘n Waffles, that puts all sorts of cra-zy things onto waffle irons. I loved the crispification it sounded like would come from cooking on a waffle iron. I literally had “cook something weird as a waffle” on my ideas of foods to blog. I used a cornbread mix with cheddar as the base topped with chili.
The Three Bite Rule - Chili over Cornbread Waffles

I tried a bacon hashbrown thing that failed miserably. It stuck and never crisped so I ended up tossing it into a frying pan to salvage it. I didn’t end up blogging it because I felt defeated, and tired, and pregnantly-hungry, and I blame my waffle iron. My waffle iron is really some plates that insert into my panini press/griddle. I loooove that they aren’t all separate appliances (since I make waffles mayyybe once a year) but it means that the nooks are pretty shallow…1/3 the depth of a Belgian waffle iron. That’s probably the ticket to more surface area for cooking crazy things. This time I stuck closer to waffle batter and made cheddar cornbread waffles for some nooks the leftover chili could rest it. Such a winner.

Ingredients:

cornbread batter prepared
some extra milk/water to loosen the batter (~1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
2 green onions, chopped (optional)
2 cups chili

Directions:

Prepare cornbread according to the mix or according to the cornmeal, then add the cheese & green onions if using them.
The Three Bite Rule - Chili over Cornbread Waffles
Add in a little extra milk or water to loosen it enough that it drips off the whisk like pancake/waffle batter.
Ladle onto the waffle iron and cook until crisp. (mine takes about 4-6 minutes)
The Three Bite Rule - Chili over Cornbread Waffles
Serve waffles topped with chili and some extra cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Chili over Cornbread Waffles
Enjoy!

I liked this platform. The chili was leftover and would have seemed like a bit less if we just ate it straight up. I probably had a size-able serving for 1 of chili but with the waffles, this fed two of us for dinner. Bam! Leftover magic! It was great to just have to prep the waffles while defrosting & warming the chili.

If you’re a big waffle person you could definitely prep the waffles and freeze them when batching up leftover chili. Then they’d just go in the toaster or oven when it was time to serve!

Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

I was thinking about what convenience items are worth the spurge. I especially was thinking about it while trying to get the knife through some butternut squashes. Those suckers are definitely tough to cut so it can be your call if you want to save some dollars and halve the squash yourself, orrrr if you want to pay to get it all skinned and chopped. I cut through them but didn’t peal before roasting. It was super easy to scoop it out once they were cooked.

The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash & Apple Soup

Ingredients: (makes ~4-6 servings)

2 small butternut squash
2 large apples, pealed & chopped
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 tbs butter
1 1/2 cups veggie stock
3 tbs half and half

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
Cut the squash in half and roast for 45-60 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
In a large pot, heat to medium high heat and add in the apples and onion with butter. Cook for 10 minutes until the onions are translucent and the apples are soft. The butter will get all bubbly and brown.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
Scoop out the squash seeds and spoon the squash pulp into the pot with the apples and onion.
The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
Add in the stock and cook for 5 minutes or so.
Transfer into a blender or blend with an immersion blender then return to the pot.
Season with salt and pepper. Add more stock if it is too thick for your liking.
Add in the cream and stir well.

I loved this. It was so good with a touch of sweetness from the apple and I toasted some sourdough for dunking. I froze the rest and will be so glad to pull it out of the freezer some day when I’m not into making dinner. I know, the apples just keep appearing…that’ll be over soon.

The Three Bite Rule - Butternut Squash & Apple Soup
Bailee oversaw the whole operation. She likes to know what is happening in the kitchen if there’s food around and she wanted to say hi.
IMG_4592

Roasted Red Pepper Romanesco Sauce

The last time we ordered pizza our specialty pie had roasted red peppers on it. It made me think, woah, that’s an ingredient I guess I assumed Mr. J wasn’t into, annnnnd it is a veggie I don’t use often. That was all about to change.

I was aided when I scored 3 red peppers in the clearance produce for $0.68. Insane! The peppers were fine if used in about 5-7 days. They weren’t squishy or shriveled at all.

The Three Bite Rule - Romanesco Sauce

Ingredients:

(sauce yields 4+ servings)
3 red bell peppers (or double the jarred roasted red peppers)
2 medium tomatoes
1/2 jar roasted red peppers
2 tbs minced garlic
1/3 cup toasted pine nuts or toasted walnuts
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tbs lemon juice
3-4 tbs olive oil
2 tsp heavy cream (optional)
pasta

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400-degrees.
Half the tomatoes and fresh red peppers. Brush or drizzle with olive oil and bake for 20 minutes.
Flip once and bake another 10 minutes.
Remove and put into a plastic bag, or cover with plastic wrap for 5 minutes then release the steam and pull off the skin.
In a food processor, blend all the red peppers, tomatoes, garlic, parmesan cheese, nuts, lemon juice, and olive oil.
The Three Bite Rule - Romanesco Sauce
Blend 30 seconds to a minute.
The Three Bite Rule - Romanesco Sauce
Bring salted water to boil for the pasta.
Scoop out the sauce in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add cream, or some starchy pasta water.
The Three Bite Rule - Romanesco Sauce
Toss the pasta with the sauce.
The Three Bite Rule - Romanesco Sauce
I liked this a lot. It had a great flavor to make dinner feel a bit different. The sauce was thick and a bit textured (from the nuts). I love sauce so it was great to me, or you can blend more for a more silky sauce that would stick to the pasta a bit less.

I think the sauce has great potential for a ton of uses. It would be good on a sandwich, panini, or wrap. I’d like it on pizza too. It would definitely be a fun twist on bruschetta.

Freezing

Do you freeze stuff? I freeze every.thing. I mean, every. thing. I can’t tell you how excited Mr. J and I were to get another freezer. It lives in the basement, and makes me earn dinner sometimes when I’m pawing through the regular freezer and going down/up a set of stairs to check the other auxiliary freezer.

The freezer (much like your washer/dryer) is dry-erasable. We try to keep a running list of what’s in there.

The Three Bite Rule

Most common things I freeze:

bread/english muffins/burger rolls/pizza dough/etc – with just 2 of us we never use it fast enough
raw meat/ground chicken/ground beef/chicken pieces/pork chops – I sort of look for sales, but it’s easier to move to the fridge before work.
already frozen goodies for quick dinners/dinner additions - fries, breaded eggplant, tamales, leftovers, tortellini, etc
frozen veggies – edemame, corn, broccoli, cauliflower
sauces – meat sauce, creamed spinach (I use as a sauce)
double batch, or a frozen portion of meals.

Maybe more uncommon things I freeze:

coffee into ice cube trays – helps to not water-down iced coffee
“grossness & guts” – stinky stuff that would make me take the trash out before it is full (fat trimmings, the gross soggy pad underneath chicken, bones, etc). It’s a Ziploc bag that I add to, then open up into the trash when it is going out. That same bag lives a good life for about 6 months before needing to be replaced.
fresh herbs – chopped up frozen with a little water or a little olive oil if I wouldn’t use it before they go bad.

There are pretty good lists out there of what to freeze.

http://dailysavings.allyou.com/2012/03/07/foods-storage/

Zucchini Fritters

Years ago, I did a post of these fritters using summer squash. They were due for a re-do, this time they’re back to classic zucchini. I love them as a side dish and haven’t made them in a really long time. I made enough for dinner and lunch with just 1 zucchini.

The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini Fritters

Ingredients:

1 large zucchini
1/4 cup white onion, chopped
1 tbs garlic, chopped
1 egg
1/4 cup breadcrumbs or panko
1 tsp flour
1/4 cup parmesan cheese or feta
salt & pepper

Directions:

Grate the zucchini then press excess liquid out either through a mesh strainer or towels.
Add zucchini, onion, garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, flour, cheese, salt and pepper to a large bowl.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini Fritters
Mix together. It should be sticky. If too wet, try adding more breadcrumbs/flour/cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini Fritters
Heat a large pan with vegetable oil to medium heat. (or preheat an oven to 375 degrees to bake. Bake 20-30 minutes until golden brown)
Test the oil temp by dropping just a shred of zucchini in to see it sizzle.
Spoon 2-3 tbs of the mixture into the oil to fry. Let it cook on the first side for about 5 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini Fritters

Flip to cook on the other side for about 4 minutes.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini Fritters
Remove from the heat and let rest on a paper towel for any excess oil.
Enjoy!

I love these as a side. They go with anything. We grilled some pork chops and had these on the side. Othertimes I’ve had them alongside a salad for a filling meatless meal.
The Three Bite Rule - Zucchini Fritters

Suggested adaptations:

zucchini fritters – Parmesan + feta + artichoke hearts = Greek zucchini fritters
zucchini fritters + chopped tomatoes/sundried tomatoes + basil = summery zucchini fritters
zucchini fritters + shredded potato = lighter potato cake fritter

Frozen Breakfast Burritos

I whipped up these breakfast burritos to freeze so I could have them on hand for whenever the mood strikes. I love savory breakfast options and this packs a punch without a lot of work. I wanted them to be a smart portion and healthier than fast-food breakfast so I opted for turkey sausage, getting a veggie in there, and mostly eggwhites.

The Three Bite Rule - Frozen Breakfast Burrito

Ingredients:

1 cup egg beaters
2 eggs
8 oz turkey breakfast sausage
2 cups arugula or spinach
8 oz shredded cheddar cheese
6 wheat tortillas, 8″

Directions:

Heat a medium skillet to medium high heat, then fry the sausage. Once cooked, let it cool.
Whisk together the egg beaters and eggs, then cook in a large skillet over medium low heat. Once cooked, let it cool.
Assemble the burritos with greens, eggs, sausage, and cheese.
The Three Bite Rule - Frozen Breakfast Burrito
Fold the sides in and roll the burrito closed. Then wrap in plastic wrap to freeze.
The Three Bite Rule - Frozen Breakfast Burrito
To eat, defrost in the fridge overnight, or microwave on defrost for 1 minute. Toast in the oven or toaster oven.
The Three Bite Rule - Frozen Breakfast Burrito
The arugula is a big flavor. I might use spinach next time.

suggested adaptations: 
bfast burrito + pepper jack cheese + salsa + black beans + corn – greens = Mexican Breakfast Burrito
bfast burrito – sausage + bacon – greens + herbs + a schmear of cream cheese = fancified bfast wrap
bfast burrito – cheddar – sausage + goat cheese + tomatoes + basil = vegetarian bfast wrap