Sometimes I wonder if the best preparation for having kids isn't having a husband.
They do messy things that result in getting very dirty.
They don’t much like to pick up after themselves.
They take great joy in pestering you.
They look at you with pleading puppy-dog eyes to fix them a sandwich because "you make is so much better, though."
And they don’t like to eat their vegetables.
Or wait... maybe this is just my husband?
In any case, Mr. Vittles has a rather short list of acceptable veggies, especially when it comes to the cooked variety.
So for that very reason, I tried to sneak the zucchini into this dish before he got home from work. But as luck would have it, he walked in just as I as I grating it.
Warily eyeballing the pile of vegetables, he demanded, “What’s all that green stuff?”
“Just bell peppers,” I said (knowing full well that was definitely not the green stuff he was referring to).
“No," he persisted, "the other green stuff.”
Argh! Caught red-handed.
(Or green-handed, as it may be?)
“It’s zucchini,” I admitted, and the look on his face told me that no matter how delicious this meal might end up being, for him it would be completely tainted by the thought of this foreign ‘green’ vegetable lurking in every bite.
But during dinner, I still asked my usual - "How is it?"
And he replied, “Alright."
Then, "It tastes kind of weird though.”
(Wait for it...)
“I think the zucchini is ruining it.”
Lastly, he threw in "And I don't like mango."
Ok, ok! I get it. I'm waving the white flag, 'Don't ever make this again,' is what you're really trying to say.
Which is a shame, because I rather liked it.
To his credit, he did eat it that night, and also for lunch the next day… but quite begrudgingly.
Thankfully, however, the recipe is easily adaptable. So if any of your family members don't like certain ingredients, or if you prefer a more 'standard' enchilada sauce, then by all means - do some experimenting.
But I bet that as long as they don't see that 'green stuff' go in, they will never even know it's there :)
Mango Chicken Chilaquiles Casserole
- 1 1/3 C. enchilada sauce (see recipe below for Mango Enchilada sauce)
- 1 lb. thin-sliced boneless, skinless chicken breast
- 1 medium zucchini, grated
- 1/2 C. diced bell pepper (whatever color you choose)
- 14 oz. can black beans, drained & rinsed
- 10 oz. can diced tomatoes & chiles, drained
- 1 C. corn, frozen (thawed) or fresh
- 1/4 t. ground cumin
- 1/4 t. salt
- 8 8” whole wheat tortillas, cut in 1” strips
- 1 1/2 C. shredded Mexican cheese
Prepare Mango Enchilada sauce, if using. Preheat oven 400 degrees.
Slice a stack of 4 tortillas in half, then 3 slices the other way (to create 8 strips). Peel them apart then repeat with remaining 4 tortillas. Keep piles separate from each other.
Slice chicken into 1” strips and toss with 1/3 C. enchilada sauce. Place mixture in a large, nonstick frying pan over medium heat and cook until chicken is no longer pink (about 3-5 minutes, depending on how small your chicken pieces are). Remove chicken from pan & set aside.
Return pan to stove (you can wipe clean with a paper towel first) and add grated zucchini, bell pepper, black beans, diced tomatoes, corn, cumin, and salt. Stir to combine, and cook 3-5 minutes over medium heat until mixture is heated through. Set aside.
Grease a 9x13” casserole dish, and scatter half of tortilla strips to loosely cover bottom of pan. Scatter half the vegetable mixture over tortillas, then half the chicken, then half the remaining enchilada sauce, then half the cheese. Repeat the same 4 layers, ending with cheese, and bake in preheated oven 10 minutes. Serve immediately. Serves 8-10.
Recipe Adapted from Eating Well
Mango Enchilada Sauce
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 1 large tomato, quartered
- 1 t. canola oil
- 1 t. minced garlic
- 1/8 t. dried chile flakes
- 1/2 C. water
- 1 t. chili powder
- 1/4 t. cumin
- 1/4 C. cilantro leaves
- 1/2 t. kosher salt (or to taste)
- 1/2 mango, diced
- squeeze of lime
Place large, nonstick fry pan over medium to medium-high heat and add quartered tomato & onion, cut sides down. As the vegetables brown, turn to other cut side. Once each is roasted, add to a blender and blend about 30 seconds until fairly smooth.
Briefly clean & dry pan, then return to stove over medium-low heat. Add canola oil, then garlic & chile flakes and sauté about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Then add blender mixture back into your pan, along with water, chili powder, cumin, cilantro leaves, kosher salt, and diced mango. Bring to a gentle simmer, increasing heat if necessary, and cook 3-5 minutes until mango is soft.
Pour the entire mixture back into the blender and blend until smooth. Strain through a sieve to catch any large solids. Return to the pan, add in the lime, and stir to combine. Use immediately or refrigerate up to 2 days.
Recipe Adapted from Fat & Happy