It’s Been A While

Yes, this project fell by the wayside.  There are so many activities to keep up with: weaving, spinning, hiking, kayaking, and even work.  This is what got me thinking again.  People are busy. I am busy. You are busy.  Because of this, many young people never learn to cook with whole food ingredients.  Many older people just stopped cooking at all and rely on heat-and-eat meals from the grocery or eating out.  Don’t get me wrong, I love a good restaurant meal, especially if it’s at a locally owned and operated, non-chain establishment.  But as busy as we are, real food at home is a necessity. And learning how to cook real food is a crucial life skill.

As busy as we are, it can be done, it just takes a little planning, both at the grocery store and in the kitchen.

When I first started writing and really getting in to cooking, I was working at home and raising my children.  My time was more flexible and without a commute to work, I had a bit more of it. This made for an easier transition to a whole food cooking life.  Now that I’m back in an office with lots of extracurricular interests, my time is limited, but there is still time for cooking and eating well, and that’s what I plan on sharing with you!

For you who have gotten away from home cooked meals due to lack of time and you who are young and just learning how to fend for yourselves in the real world, I have tips and recipes to share to get you (back) in then kitchen and enjoying preparing your own healthy meals.

No more chatter for today, let’s get to a recipe.  One of my favorite stand-bys, Chicken Enchilada Bake.  This is not a traditional enchilada recipe.  In fact, technically it’s not enchiladas at all as there are no tortillas.  It’s just a quick and easy 3 ingredient meal that can be made for one person or six with no extra effort.

Grocery Store Tip:  Purchase large bags of frozen chicken breast tenders (boneless, skinless, not breaded, just chicken). Trader Joe’s sells them in a zip lock bag.  If you only need one or two or six, just throw the rest back in the freezer. They thaw quickly and can be cooked from frozen.

Ingredients

  • chicken tenders (however many you need for the people you are feeding)
  • salsa verde (enough to cover the chicken in a baking dish)
  • Monterey jack (or pepper jack) cheese, shredded

Directions

In a baking dish large enough to fit the chicken in a single layer, place the chicken and cover with salsa.  You want to be able to see the chicken through the salsa, so not entirely covered or you’ll end up with soup.  Cover and bake until chicken is cooked. These don’t take long, maybe 20 minutes for 6-8 tenders if thawed.  A bit longer if frozen.  Remove cover and generously top with cheese.  Bake until cheese is melted.  Voila!  Dinner is served.

Add a side veggie or salad if you like.  Spark it up by seasoning chicken with cumin before baking.  Add extra chilies or chopped sweet peppers.  You can customize this as you wish.

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