Chicken Enchiladas (with pumpkin purée)

Always looking for clever ways to sneak extra veggies into my family’s diet! This is a no-brainer and went completely under the radar until the end of the meal when I came clean! Not only does pumpkin pair well with enchilada sauce, it makes the dish so creamy and rich, you may never make enchiladas without pumpkin again!

For Bridget!!

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • cooking spray
  • 1, 15 oz can pumpkin purée
  • 1, 19 oz can red enchilada sauce
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch of salt
  • 10 whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • fresh cilantro
  • sour cream
  • guacamole

Directions:

  1. In a medium bowl combine pumpkin, cumin, garlic and salt. Mix well and set aside.
  2. In another bowl, mix half the pumpkin mixture with half the can of enchilada sauce.
  3. Lightly spray your slow cooker with cooking spray and add the chicken and the pumpkin/enchilada sauce mixture. Cook on low for 4 – 6 hours (stirring occasionally) until chicken is tender and falls apart.
  4. Remove chicken and remaining sauce from slow cooker, shred with a fork and let cool.
  5. Lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish with cooking spray. Coat the bottom of the dish with a spoonful of cooking sauce. Place a tortilla on a flat surface and schmear a dollop of the remaining pumpkin mixture down the center. Top with a generous portion of the shredded chicken and some of the cooking sauce. Roll the tortilla and place length-wise in the casserole dish. Repeat until all tortillas, pumpkin and chicken is used.
  6. Top enchiladas with remaining enchilada sauce and the cheddar cheese.
  7. Bake at 350 for 35 minutes covered, 5 minutes uncovered or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Serve with chopped cilantro, sour cream and fresh guacamole!img_8105

*adapted from allrecipes.com

 

Sorta Light Pumpkin Muffins

Inevitably, as the weather changes and the air cools, so do my cravings and my habits in the kitchen. Not only do I yearn for soups and stews, roasts and gravies; I also want to bake things! Now I’ve said this before, I am much better at cooking than I am at baking, primarily because I hate to measure. Baking is a science and if you don’t measure properly your muffins/pastries/cakes/cookies simply don’t turn out right! With cooking (you need to measure of course) I feel like there’s a little more wiggle room and the opportunity to go off script. Bottom line; not staying the course when baking can be disastrous if you’re not mindful to the changes/chances you’re taking!

I originally found this recipe for Pumpkin Maple Loaf in Cooking Light magazine and it intrigued me because the author found a way to take a classic fall favorite and lighten it up a bit! But by sheer stubbornness I needed to find a way to make it my own and go off script! First, I decided to make muffins with the batter versus a loaf. Second, I didn’t have access to dark maple syrup or dark brown sugar so I used grade A syrup as well as a brown sugar/stevia blend as substitutes. Lastly, the original recipe called for roasted pepitas to top the loaf; I know it defeats some of the purpose of “cooking light” but, I decided to mix in chopped pecans and white chocolate chips instead! Regardless, these somewhat lightened-up, twist on pumpkin loaf-style muffins are the bomb!! Enjoy:)

IMG_6049

Ingredients: Makes 12 muffins

  • cooking spray
  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup quick oats
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup real maple syrup
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar/stevia blend
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 cups white whole wheat flour
  • 1 tbsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/4 cup white chocolate chips (I use Ghirardelli)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with papers and lightly spray with cooking spray.
  2. Combine buttermilk and oats, let sit 15 minutes.
  3. Whisk together pumpkin, syrup, oil, sugar, extract and eggs and set aside.
  4. In a separate bowl mix together flour, pumpkin spice, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
  5. Add the oats and buttermilk to the pumpkin mixture and stir. Then add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients and combine.
  6. Gently fold the pecans and chips into the batter.
  7. Divide batter among the 12 muffin cups. Bake for 20 – 22 minutes.

*Recipe adapted from Cooking Light, Lighten Up Pumpkin Bread

 

Pumpkin Chip Cupcake/Muffins

Enjoying a snow-day morning in my jammies making muffins for my kids (who are currently still sleeping)!  This recipe was passed on to me by a friend years ago when the kids were little and I was trying to sneak more fruits and veggies into their diet.  Back then I didn’t dare say they were made with pumpkin but now, that fact actually intrigues them!  The current debate in our household is whether to call them cupcakes or muffins…

Ingredients: Makes 16-18 large cupcake/muffins

  • 1 box yellow cake mix*
  • 1/4 tsp pumpkin spice
  • 1, 15 oz can pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup of mini chocolate chips
  • foil/paper baking cups
  • cooking spray

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. In a large bowl combine cake mix and pumpkin pie spice using a fork.
  3. In a separate bowl whisk together the pumpkin puree, water, oil and eggs.
  4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and blend the batter using your whisk.
  5. Fold in chocolate chips with a rubber spatula.
  6. Place baking cups into your muffin tins.  Lightly spray with cooking spray.
  7. Fill each cup approximately 3/4 full.
  8. Bake 15-20 minutes, test for doneness with a toothpick.

Comments:

I use whatever yellow cake mix I have on hand.  My rule of thumb is to reduce the amount of water/oil/eggs the recipe calls for by half, since I am adding in a can of pureed pumpkin.  Bake time also varies, I frequently check after 15 minutes to test for doneness. Good news is, because of the added pumpkin, it’s truly difficult to over-bake them and dry them out.  Cupcake or muffin… you decide!!!

*For this recipe I used Betty Crocker Super Moist Yellow Cake Mix