Monday, January 24, 2011

Avoiding Guilt When Feeling Puny

It's been so long since I've been sick. I had forgotten all of the emotional anguish that accompanies the physical symptoms of not feeling well. It hit really hard yesterday when my husband got home from church. To "make" him dinner, I turned on the oven so he could prepare his healthy dinner of home-cooked...Jalapeno Poppers. That's right. Wife Extraordinaire watched her husband, for the second night in a row, devour a plate of Jalapeno Poppers and Mozzarella Sticks as his main sustenance for the day. Costco really saved me this past weekend. But I felt so badly about it! While John went to three hours of church, I laid in bed, watched a Doris Day movie, napped, and even read a little from my Real Simple magazine to give my body a chance to heal. I didn't want to risk getting anyone sick, but the thought of even getting ready for church made my head spin! The most physically-demanding task I accomplished all day was turning on the oven for my husband's dinner. Of Jalapeno Poppers.

But today, despite still being sick and canceling plans with family to avoid sharing my bug, I decided to do something better for my husband than ruin his digestive track with deep-fried vegetables. After I showered and got into some clean pajamas this morning, I knew a trip to the store was, yet again, out of the question. I also knew that I happen to keep everything on hand for some incredible enchiladas, just in case I need a last-minute wonder dish to feed thousands. My pantry didn't let me down, and I was able to find all the necessary ingredients to put together some enchiladas for my hubby. He's going to be so excited. And hopefully not disappointed that dinner isn't Jalapeno Poppers again.

Pantry Chicken Enchiladas

  • One onion, small diced (or some dehydrated onions, in my case)
  • Two 12.5-ounce cans of Chicken Breast, drained
  • One can Black Beans, rinsed and drained
  • One can Sweet Corn, drained
  • One cup Homemade Salsa
  • Two tablespoons Taco Seasoning
  • One 8-ounce block Cream Cheese
  • Sharp Cheddar Cheese, about three cups grated
  • One large can Enchilada Sauce
  • One bag Flour Tortillas
  •  For garnish, Shredded Lettuce, diced Roma Tomatoes, Sour Cream, Guacamole, sliced Black Olives
Instructions: If using real onion, saute in a large pan on medium heat with a tablespoon of Extra Virgin Olive Oil. If using dehydrated onions, start with adding the chicken to the pan and warming it up. Add Black Beans and Sweet Corn. Add Homemade Salsa. Mix well. If using dehydrated onions, add them now. Add Taco Seasoning. Stir well again. Add Cream Cheese and stir well to melt and mix. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Assembly: Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly grease a 13x9-inch pan. Add a small amount of stirred Enchilada Sauce to the bottom of the pan (this reduces sticking later). Tear up and add a layer or Flour Tortillas. Add about half of the Chicken Mixture from the stove. Add another layer of Flour Tortillas. Next add about one-third of the Cheddar Cheese and top with one-half of the Enchilada Sauce. Add the rest of the Chicken Mixture, topping with a little Cheddar Cheese before adding the final layer of Flour Tortillas. Top with remaining Cheddar Cheese. Use the remaining Enchilada Sauce to cover all tortilla to prevent it from drying out during baking. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about thirty minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another fifteen minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and your stomach just can't wait any longer. Remove from the oven and let sit for about five minutes before cutting and serving. Garnish with shredded lettuce, fresh diced tomatoes (if you have them), sliced black olives, sour cream, and guacamole. Watch your man cry because dinner is so good. 

However, if I attempted to make anything Mexican for my husband's dinner, it had to be accompanied by my Homemade Salsa. I created a monster when I introduced John to this he can't eat Mexican food at home without it! I am happy to oblige, since it only involves getting a blender and cutting board dirty. I usually use one small, fresh onion for this recipe, but I wasn't about to get out of these pajamas to go to the store to get one. I have my priorities, after all. And since the salsa was made this morning and is now waiting in the fridge, the dehydrated onions will have plenty of time to soak up the flavors and plump up. He won't even know he's eating the fake stuff.

Homemade Salsa

  • One Small Onion, small diced
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Two teaspoons Cumin
  • Three tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • One heaping teaspoon chopped Garlic
  • One tablespoon Jalapeno Juice
  • Five to six Jalapeno Slices, small diced
  • One large can Diced Tomatoes (don't drain)
  • One can Rotel (don't drain)
Instructions: In a blender, add the ingredients in the order listed. This ensures that everything combines well. Blend to the desired consistency. I usually use the medium setting with a few bursts of high until it's nice and lumpy. Check again for taste to see if additional spices, salt, or pepper are needed. Then pour into an air-tight container and place in refrigerator for at least six hours. It keeps for a few weeks, but ours never lasts longer than a few nights. It's that good!

That's what we're having for dinner tonight at the Sick Residence. Now if I could actually talk him into running to the store to get me some mint ice cream...I'm sure I would be feeling better in no time! I think he's on to me, though.


  1. Yummy! Is it wrong to be hungry for enchiladas and salsa only an hour after eating lunch?

  2. I just found the beauty of Rotel. Now I have something else to try. It's really good for just a cheese dip when mixed with some velvetta. anyway thanks for your recipes.

  3. Sounds and LOOKS heavenly!! xoxox


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