Apr
22

Ahhhhhhhh! I’ve been so completely busy lately.

Today I competed in a Chinese take-out cook-off. It was amazing to see the turn out and all of the creative dishes.

We were required to make 250 samples. I know… that’s a lot of freakin’ samples! I spent my Saturday night chopping, dicing, and listening to Bon Iver. I was totally in the zone. There is something about the combination of music and food that leaves me feeling completely content. I mean, I LOVE creating dishes more than anything in the world. Music tunes out everything else. I end up being happiest in my brain thinking about flavor combinations.

Here’s a sneak peek: Every morning I wake up and dig through my cupboards. The other day I found coconut. I got super excited. Next there were raspberries and coconut milk in the fridge. You know what I came up with? Toasted coconut oatmeal with raspberry coconut milk & almonds. That was my breakfast. Same thing happens at lunch and dinner. I can’t help but just throw the things I find together and somehow make it delicious.

I suppose it would have been really helpful to have figured all of this out four years ago, but that’s not how life works. Life makes you work for what you want. It surprises you! And I’m okay with that, as long as I can keep eating things that pop into my brain, then share them with you. Cool?

For the contest I ended up making ginger-garlic chinese chicken lettuce wraps with sweet mango salsa. I was sure they were going to win. Seriously who doesn’t like MANGO & CHINESE CHICKEN? That combination makes taste buds dance with delight. I promise it’s true.

Even though my dish didn’t win, I’m actually incredibly happy I competed. Meeting others with the same passion for food makes me feel like I might be actually normal. Because I have a strange feeling that watching the Food Network and grocery shopping all the time isn’t? I dunno… I’m just doing my thing.

Right now I can tell you one thing. All I want to do is relax and eat a big giant bell pepper stuffed with goodness and dripping in enchilada sauce. You know what I don’t want to do? Pack up my all of my belongings. I think I failed to mention that I’m leaving Washington DC!

Life is completely bonkers right now… in a good way! SO MUCH is happening. Hopefully I will have some exciting news to share with you soon. But perhaps we should discuss this another time? My suitcases are waiting to be packed and I can tell you want talk about these bell peppers that are stuffed to the brink.

Just look at these. One of my favorite things I’ve made in a while. I swear all it takes is one bite and you’re in a world full of deliciousness. That was a serious statement by the way.

By now you should know that I don’t joke around when it comes to mexican flavors.

Quinoa.

Chicken.

Cilantro.

Garlic.

Enchilada Sauce.

Gooey Cheese.

Mexican Spices. OMG. What else?

In my world these are a dream come true. They’re savory, healthy, roasted, and basically just FREAKIN’ AMAZING. Combining chicken & quinoa with enchilada sauce and then stuffing it in a pepper is probably one of the  best decisions I’ve ever made.

Please get on this level with me. Seriously… somebody needs to.

Enchilada Chicken & Quinoa Stuffed Bell Peppers

3 bell peppers, cut in half and seeded

1 cup cooked quinoa

1 pound ground chicken or turkey

1/2 cup cilantro, plus more for garnish

1/2 onion, diced

1/3 cup egg whites

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 teaspoons cumin

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 cup red enchilada sauce, plus more for topping (I typically use 1 can)

1/2 cup reduced fat cheese of your choice (I like colby jack)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. In  a large bowl combine chicken, quinoa, egg whites, onion, cilantro, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper, and enchilada sauce. Mix well.
  2. Stuff each pepper half with the mixture. Top pepper with 1 tablespoon of enchilada sauce and 1 tablespoon of cheese. Bake for 45 minutes.

Serves 6

Notes

  • Inspired from Oxygen magazine
  • Feel free to add extra enchilada sauce after they come out of the oven
  • Top with extra cilantro for a great garnish

 

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