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Tag Archives: cheese

Zucchini-Beef Enchiladas

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Enchiladas are one of my favorite foods, but they are a bit filling and heavy for summer fare.  I had a few zucchini to use up, and decided to try adding one to enchiladas.  Worked great, added some low-calorie nutrition & a little extra texture without detracting from the yummy flavor.  These were a hit, and we all liked them so much, I know I will never make my Mom’s Beef and Cheese Enchiladas without zucchini added in again.  And pssst: you can totally “bake” these in the microwave – doesn’t take long, just until the cheese is melted.

Zucchini-Beef Enchiladas

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium zucchini, quartered & chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
2 1/2 tablespoons homemade taco seasoning (or 1 packet store-bought)
2 tablespoons water
15 corn tortillas
1 (8 oz) package cheddar cheese, finely shredded
1 (19 oz) can red enchilada sauce

Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 dish with cooking spray and set aside.

Heat skillet over medium-high heat and add olive oil, swirling to coat bottom of pan.  Add the zucchini and cook about ten minutes, stirring often, or until soft.  Remove to a plate, then add the ground beef and cook until browned.  Drain and add taco seasoning, water, and the cooked zucchini.  Stir well and cook a few minutes longer. Remove from heat.

Wrap four tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Set aside a cup of the cheese to use for the top. Take tortillas one at a time, keeping the others wrapped, and put a little cheese in a line down the middle, then some of the beef mixture, about 2-3 tablespoons. Roll up tight and place in prepared dish. Repeat, warming additional tortillas as necessary, until all the filling is used. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, then sprinkle the remaining cheese over. Cover with foil and bake about 30 minutes, or until cheese is melted.

Veronica’s note: I know it’s so much easier to buy pre-shredded cheese, but you just will never get the same glorious melt that you get with cheese you’ve shredded yourself. It’s worth the few minutes and extra clean up. Also, if you’d like to “bake” these in the microwave, it’s best to divide the recipe between two smaller microwave-safe dishes. Keep an eye on it and just let it go until the cheese is melted – should take five minutes or less. I prefer to do a few at a time on a plate.

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Onion, Cheese & Poppy Seed Bread

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Poppy seeds go with lemon, amiright?  Maybe orange if you want to get a little adventurous.  But cheese and onion?  I wasn’t sure.  I love to try new things but I admit, I wouldn’t have made this bread if I hadn’t gotten the recipe from my Foodie Mama, and if she hadn’t told me that it was an undefeated blue ribbon winner for 25 years in California and she finally retired it to give someone else a chance. Ha!  Well, knowing it had to be good, even if it was a sweet quick bread with onions and cheese in it and poppy seeds, I made it while staying with my in-laws last week.  The loaf was devoured in less than a day. (I may have had more than my fair share.)

Marina recommended spreading cream cheese on the slices and I have to tell you, that was incredible! The tangy cream cheese really was the perfect compliment to the sweet & savory bread.  She also said if you toast the slices first, it makes an outrageous grilled ham and cheese sandwich.  Unfortunately this loaf was eaten too fast for us to try it, but I’m going to next time!

P.S. Marina still has copies of her cookbook available for purchase for $10 + $3.50 S&H. Let me know if you’d like to purchase one!  I have yet to be disappointed in any recipes I’ve tried from it.

Onion, Cheese & Poppy Seed Bread

Printable recipe
Printable recipe with picture

1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz) granulated sugar
1/2 cup (3 1/4 oz) vegetable shortening
3 large eggs
2 cups (8 1/2 oz) all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon aluminum-free baking powder*
1 teaspoon dry mustard
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon poppy seeds
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar, Monterrey Jack or a combination
1/2 cup finely diced sweet onions
Sweet paprika

Preheat oven to 375F. Grease a 9″x5″ loaf pan or coat with Miracle Pan Release; set aside.

Cream sugar and shortening until fluffy, a few minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Combine dry ingredients and add alternately to creamed mixture with milk, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Stir in cheese, onions, and poppy seeds. Pour into prepared loaf pan and sprinkle the top with paprika. Bake 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle of loaf comes out dry. Cool 10 minutes in pan. Remove loaf carefully and cool completely on wire rack. Loaf is best the next day, or at least several hours after baking so that the flavors can deepen and meld.

*I always recommend using an aluminum-free baking powder, such as Rumford, in any recipe calling for more than a teaspoon. The regular kind with aluminum tends to leave a chemical aftertaste in baked goods, especially if a larger amount is used.

Recipe source: Marina C.

Tamale Pie

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Did you know that Campbell’s has a “Fiesta Nacho Condensed Soup?”  I didn’t, until I made my friend, Katy’s, mother’s tamale pie, which calls for it.  As soon as I tasted it, I knew I had to try it in other things to have some fun with it.

You know that slightly spicy cheese & tomato dip  (I think it’s made with Velveeta & Rotel) that people bring in crockpots to potlucks & serve with tortilla chips?  Well, that is what the soup reminds me of!  And at 120 calories/half cup–I can guarantee you it’s a calorie bargain compared to the Velveeta dip (you’d get less than half as much Velveeta dip for that many calories).

After making the tamale pie….

I bought a few more cans and made nacho appetizers (which we turned into a meal)….

And then whipped up some nacho tacos (just replace the cheese with the heated soup)

As for the tamale pie, it was very good (everything was good, but this blog is about the pie so I’m concentrating on that).  It will definitely be a recurring meal at our dinner table.  I’m almost embarrassed to say it’s the best thing I’ve eaten in a few weeks b/c it’s so simple to prepare & doesn’t that sort of mean I’m a bad cook if I can’ t make something from scratch that tastes better?  Oh well, I don’t care!

Honestly, I don’t know if the best thing about it is how easy it is to make, how tasty it is, or that it’s Weight Watchers friendly.  That’s right, people!  You can have a big slice of beefy, cheesy, cornbread topped pie without feeling guilty!!!  Now how’s that for a winner?

Tamale Pie

Recipe courtesy of Katy R.
Serves 6

1 lb. lean ground beef (I used bison, so mine was lower in cals than what is stated below)
1 pkg. taco seasoning (or 3 tablespoons homemade)
1 can Rotel tomatoes
1 can nacho cheese soup
1 can corn, drained
1 box of Jiffy corn bread
1 egg
1/2 cup milk (I used skim)

Brown meat & drain off any fat. Stir in taco seasoning, Rotel tomatoes, and can of corn.  Simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Pour into 13×9 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray & spread nacho soup over the beef.  Mix Jiffy mix with the egg & milk & spread over the nacho cheese soup.  Bake at 425 until cornbread is brown on top, about 15 minutes.

Serve with a salad and you are good to go!!!  *Heads up to Moms: this dish is very kid friendly!

Nutrition Facts (prepared with lean ground beef & skim milk)
Per Serving
436 Calories
15.2 g Fat
6.9 g Saturated fat
113 mg Cholesterol
835 mg Sodium
42.9 g Carbohydrates
2.8 g Fiber
12 g Sugar
31 g Protein
*9 Weight Watchers Points

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet, one serving provides
15% Vitamin A
14% Vitamin C
17% Calcium
25% Iron

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Update 7/15/09

I made this again today, but this time added a cup each of quartered and sliced zucchini and yellow summer squash, along with a cup of diced onion.  This really bulked up the filling layer and it was no less tasty. There is no end of variations on this recipe, I’m sure–I think beans would be a wonderful addition or even replacement for the meat.

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