March 30, 2015

Chicken Enchilada Risotto

We're heading into Spring, but the weather is still pretty cold, which means it's still practical to share a recipe for hot comfort food, right? Believe me, this recipe will make you turn up the A/C and make you want to relive the cozy Winter months again. Even you Boston!

This recipe is a perfect way to start off a change I'm making to the blog. I've talked about how my wife and I lost a combined 130 pounds in previous posts, but I haven't really shared exactly how we did it. This is a food blog of course, so I'm only going to focus on the food portion of our wellness journey. 

We believe in a sustainable approach to nutrition called "flexible dieting." In a nutshell, you track your food intake against a ratio of fat, carbohydrates, and proteins based on your goals and activity levels with an app called MyFitnessPal. It sounds neurotic I'm sure, but it's easy and allowed us to lose weight, lift heavier weights, and still eat all of our favorite foods. Hello doughnuts and In-N-Out burger!

So why is that relevant to this blog? Well, starting with this recipe, I'm going to include serving sizes and macro nutritional information to benefit the growing bandwagon of the flexible dieting revolution and also to help others make mindful choices about the food they eat. There's no such thing as bad food, just good choices!

Chicken Enchilada "Risotto"

Preparation Time: 45 minutes (including prep time)
Servings: 6
Serving size: 15oz

Macro Nutrition Information (1 serving):
Fat: 2 grams
Carbohydrates: 39 grams
Protein: 25 grams
Fiber: 5 grams
Calories: 275

cooking spray
1 green bell pepper, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup white onion, chopped
1½ tsp salt
1½ tsp ground cumin
1 tsp black pepper
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup red enchilada sauce (If you can't find Oaxacan enchilada sauce, store bought will be just fine. #InaGartenJokes )
1 cup white rice
20oz chicken breast, cubed
1 can diced tomato (14.5oz)
1 can black beans (14.5oz), drained
1 can green chilis (4oz)
1 cup white corn, frozen
Avocado slices, to taste
Cotija cheese, to taste
Cilantro, to taste
Lime juice, to taste

1) Coat a pot with cooking spray and preheat at medium-high heat. No need to use your pot lid at all in this recipe.

2) Add the green bell pepper, garlic, white onion, salt, ground cumin, and black pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, stir occasionally, until softened.

3) Add chicken stock and enchilada sauce. Turn up heat to high and bring to a boil.

4) Stir in chicken breast. Once the liquid starts to boil again, turn heat down to medium.

5) Stir in rice and cook for 10 minutes. Stir every few minutes to make sure the rice doesn't get stuck to the bottom of the pan and burn.

6) Stir in tomatoes, black beans, green chilis, and corn. Cook for 15 minutes.

7) Serve in a bowl and top it with cotija cheese, whole cilantro leaves, avocado slices, and a squeeze of fresh lime. You can also garnish with tortilla strips for some extra crunch.

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