Slow Cooker Salsa Verde and Green Chile Stacked Chicken Enchiladas
Prep Time: 15 minutes
This southwest classic can be prepared up to two days in advance. Store the crock pot in the refrigerator and plug it in a few hours before meal time.
For a veggie version, swap the chicken for 1 cup each roasted red peppers and sliced zucchini.
• 2 tablespoons cooking oil
• 5 corn tortillas (5-6 inches in diameter)
• 1 (10-ounce) can green enchilada sauce, or 1¼ cups green salsa
• ½ cup sour cream
• 2 cups fully cooked, shredded chicken (use leftover, rotisserie, or canned)
• 2 cups shredded jack or mozzarella cheese
• 1 (4-ounce) can chopped green chilies
For easy clean-up, brush halfway up inside and bottom of slow cooker with cooking oil. Brush tortillas on both sides with remaining oil; place on sheet of waxed paper briefly. In a medium bowl, combine green enchilada sauce and sour cream. Place ¼ cup sour cream mixture into crock pot. Top with tortilla, ½ cup chicken, 1/3 cup cheese, 1 tablespoon green chilies, and ¼ cup sour cream mixture. Repeat process three more times, ending with the last tortilla. Cover with remaining sauce, chilies, and cheese. Place in refrigerator, uncooked, for up to two days.
Cook on slow cooker setting high for 3 hours or on slow cooker setting low for 6 hours.
Fresh and Easy Salsa Picante
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Drop off the enchilada casserole with a bag of tortilla chips and this easy salsa, which will keep for five days, refrigerated.
• 1 small clove garlic
• ¼ cup coarsely chopped white onion
• 1 (14-ounce) can diced tomatoes with mild green chilies, undrained
• ½ cup packed cilantro
• juice of ½ lime
• ¼ teaspoon salt
Layered Cheese Ravioli “Lasagna”
Prep Time: 10 minutes
For busy nights, this super-fast lasagna knock-off will be ready to deliver in ten minutes. Include a loaf of French bread and instructions for baking. For a meaty version, use purchased tomato and sausage pasta sauce.
• 2 (24-ounce) bottle purchased tomato and basil pasta sauce
• 1 (27.5-ounce) bag of frozen cheese ravioli, unthawed
• optional: 1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, thawed, drained, and chopped fine
• 2 ounces finely grated parmesan cheese
Coat a 9x13-inch casserole dish with no-stick cooking spray. Pour half of the pasta sauce into dish (about 2 cups). Layer half of the ravioli and half of the spinach, if using. Repeat with 2 cups of sauce, remaining ravioli, remaining spinach, and remaining 2 cups of sauce. Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese. Top with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350º F. Remove foil and bake an additional 10 minutes. Let rest for 10 minutes before serving.
Cowboy Barbecued Beef and Cheesy Potato Shepherd’s Pie
Prep Time: 30 minutes
For a veggie version, substitute 4 (15-ounce) cans of drained pinto or black beans for the ground meat.
• 3 pounds russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
• 1 cup low-fat milk
• 2 tablespoons butter
• 1 teaspoon salt
• ½ teaspoon pepper
• 2 pounds lean ground beef or turkey
• 1 large onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced, or ½ teaspoon garlic powder
• ¾ cup smoky barbecue sauce
• 1 tablespoon yellow mustard
• 1 tablespoon brown sugar
• 3 cups frozen corn kernels, thawed
• 1½ cups grated sharp cheddar cheese
• 2 tablespoons chopped green onions or cilantro, for garnish
Preheat the oven to 400º F and grease a 9x13-inch baking dish.
Place potatoes in a large pot of cold water over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer. Cook potatoes for 15 minutes, or until tender. Drain potatoes and mash with milk and butter; add salt and pepper and set aside briefly.
Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, cook meat with onions and garlic, breaking up with the back of a spoon until meat is just cooked through. Stir in barbecue sauce, mustard, and brown sugar.
Transfer meat mixture to prepared casserole dish. Top with corn, scattering evenly over the top. Carefully spread the mashed potatoes over the top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake at 400º F for 40 minutes, or until potatoes are nicely browned and meat mixture is bubbling. Cool completely and wrap tightly to refrigerate or freeze. Reheat thawed casserole at 350º F for 30 minutes. Sprinkle with green onions or cilantro just before serving.
Old Fashioned Buttermilk Fudge Brownies
Active Prep Time: 15 minutes
These brownies are sweet-sharing perfection, since they taste even better the day after they are made. If you don’t have time to bake up some brownies, consider packaged microwave popcorn and licorice, vanilla ice cream and root beer, or a tube of bake-it-yourself cookie dough.
• 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate
• ¾ cup butter
• 2 cups sugar
• pinch of salt
• 3 eggs
• ½ cup buttermilk or milk
• 2 teaspoons vanilla
• 1¾ cups flour, divided use
• 1 cup milk chocolate chips or semisweet chips
Preheat oven to 350º F. Butter and flour a 9 x 13-inch baking dish. In a large microwaveable bowl, heat chocolate and butter on high at one minute intervals, stirring often to avoid scorching. When chocolate mixture is melted and smooth, add sugar and salt. Stir in eggs, one a time, and then buttermilk and vanilla. Add 1½ cups flour and mix well.
In a small separate bowl, stir together remaining ¼ cup flour and chocolate chips. Pour chips and any flour from bowl into brownies. Stir until just combined. Pour mixture into prepared baking dish.
Bake for about 28–32 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into center comes out with a few fudgy crumbs. Do not over bake. Let cool for at least 30 minutes. Store brownies in same baking dish, uncut until serving.