Chicken Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce (FREEZER MEAL)

So, this was my first attempt at making a freezer meal...and at making this large a quantity of food period! Here I am all ready to go and looking pregnant in my cute apron I got for Christmas from Kayley (photo courtesy of Ella). The recipes our group is using all coming from 30 Day Gourmet and are nice because they multiply out the ingredients for you based on the number of recipes you are making. I will post the ingredients for 1 recipe of this meal (6 servings), but keep in mind I was making EIGHT recipes worth at once!
I decided to prepare my meals on Sunday evening since Mike makes our family dinner that night and I wouldn't have to cook twice. We had all the ingredients ready to go (I did realize after taking this picture and luckily before starting that the sauce recipe made 10 servings per recipe, not 6, and I therefore had an extra gallon of milk...but it is still a lot of stuff). From start to finish it took me a little over 4 hours, but considering that will equal 8 different meals in the end, it's not too bad. The cost for my ingredients was $50 but I'm hoping it is one of the more expensive meals due to the number of ingredients required. We'll see next week when we get together to trade meals and share the costs.
Overall the meal was fine, not the best enchiladas I've had, but not bad either. Here are my tips for when you make them at home...
*If you use corn tortillas, tear them in pieces in the casserole dish, don't roll them. Mine dissolved because the sauce is so liquidy. And use 15 maybe instead of 12.
*Top with cheese. There is a lot of cheese in the filling, but I didn't feel like you could taste it all that much.
*I had extra filling and extra sauce, so you could make more than 12 enchiladas if you wanted.

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INGREDIENTS: (1 recipe makes 6 servings)
- 1/2 c. diced onion
- 1/2 c. diced green pepper
- 1/2 t. minced garlic
- 2 c. chicken, cooked and cubed (after being at 3 different grocery stores and pricing their chicken I decided to go with my trusty canned Costco chicken. I used all 6 cans in 1 pack, which cost $10.99 and saved me a lot of work too)
- 3 c. fat free white sauce, divided (recipe below)
- 1 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, drained (I used Rotel b/c they were on sale)
- 1 4 oz. can diced green chilies, divided
- 1/2 t. chili powder
- 1/4 t. black pepper
- 1/4 t. crushed red pepper (I left this out b/c I knew the Rotel and pepper jack cheese would add a kick already and didn't know how sensitive the rest of our group was)
- 1 c. fat free mozzarella cheese (I used 2% cheddar b/c it was on sale)
- 1/2 c. pepper jack cheese
- 1 c. reduced fat sour cream
**On Hand: 12 6-inch corn tortillas** (which means I don't freeze that as part of my meal, but write in on the bags so people will know they need those when they go to defrost and make this one)

DIRECTIONS:
-Saute onion, pepper and garlic in some water and butter in large skillet 5 minutes, or until tender.
-Remove from heat, stir in chicken, 1/3 of the white sauce (1 c. per recipe), diced tomatoes, 1/2 of green chilies (2 oz per recipe), chili powder, black pepper, crushed red pepper and cheeses.
-In separate bowl, combine the remaining white sauce (2 c. per recipe), with remaining green chilies and the sour cream to make sour cream sauce.

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WHITE SAUCE INGREDIENTS: (1 recipe makes 10 servings)
-3/4 c. flour
-6 c. skim milk
-2 T. chicken bouillon granules

Directions: (I did it over the stove, but the directions are for the microwave)
-Warm up 2 c. milk for 60-90 seconds. Then stir the flour and broth flavoring into the warm milk.
-Microwave for about 60-90 seconds again until the mixture is bubbly.
-Add 2 c. of the milk for 2 minutes.
-Add 2 more c. milk for 2 minutes.

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FREEZING DIRECTIONS:
**Before filling freezer bag, write serving directions on it for others. We decided to also write the person's name and the recipe title facing out on the edge, so when the meals are stacked in the freezer we can easily flip through and pick one out.**
-Place the chicken mixture in a gallon freezer bag or in a rigid freezer container.
-Place the sour cream sauce in a quart freezer bag. Seal, label and freeze.

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SERVING DIRECTIONS:(what you write on bag)
**On hand: 12 corn tortillas
-Thaw in refrigerator or microwave.
-Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
-Divide the chicken mixture evenly between the tortillas.
-Roll them up and place in pan.
-Stir the sour cream sauce until thoroughly blended.
-Pour even over the enchiladas.
-Bake at 425 degrees for 20-25 minutes, until bubbly.

(I had a lot of extra sauce left, and again, would not suggest rolling the tortillas if you use corn.)

Upside-Down Sheperd's Pie

This recipe was in an email I got recently from Kraft. It looked cheap and easy and used beef, which I always struggle to find recipes for. It was cheap and it was easy and it was pretty good too! The Italian dressing wasn't overpowering, but did give it a more jazzy flavor.

Ingredients:
3/4 lb. new potatoes (I used red potatoes)
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup Italian Dressing
1 lb. extra lean ground beef (I used 1/2 lb.)
1 onion, chopped (I used 1/2)
1 cup frozen corn
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 cup Shredded Italian Cheese Blend (I just used cheddar)

Directions:
-Heat oven to 400ºF. Microwave potatoes and water in 2-qt. microwaveable ovenproof casserole on HIGH 10 to 12 min. or until potatoes are tender. Let stand 5 min. (I boiled my potatoes like normal and used milk to make creamy)
-Meanwhile, heat dressing in nonstick skillet on medium-high heat. Add meat and onions; cook and stir until meat is browned.
-Stir in corn and tomatoes.
-Drain potatoes; return to dish. Flatten with bottom of small cup or bowl; top with meat mixture and cheese. Cover.
-Bake 25 min. or until casserole is heated through and top is golden brown, removing lid after 20 min.

To Die For Chocolate Cheesecake Bars

Becoming a better bake is something I definitely need to work on. My friend Susan (who is amazing) made and brought these to the book club meeting I hosted earlier this month and they were SOOOO GOOD!!! She had them cut in bars and I kept a whole plate of them after the meeting...and only let Mike eat one...I wanted them ALL for myself :-)! These will be the first thing I try to master! Definitely make these, you can thank Susan later! (and I'll thank her now...thank you for sharing the recipe Susan)

CHOCOLATE PETAL CRUST
Ingredients:
½ cup butter or margarine, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1¼ cups unsifted flour
½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
¾ teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt

Directions:
-Beat butter in large bowl of electric mixer at medium speed until smooth and creamy. Add sugar, egg and vanilla, beating until light and fluffy.
-Combine dry ingredients. Add to butter mixture, beating well.
-Preheat oven to 375. Grease 9" by 13" pan. (I lined the pan with waxed paper, too)
-Pat crust mixture into pan.
-Bake in preheated oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until crust is slightly puffed and feels somewhat firm when gently touched with fingertip. Cool slightly before filling.

FILLING:
Ingredients:

2 lbs cream cheese (low fat, not non-fat) (room temp helps)
1 1/4 cup sugar
4 eggs (room temp.)
1 Tablespoon Vanilla
1 cup sour cream (light)
1 cup semi sweet choc chips, melted

Directions:
-Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until fluffy. Beat in the eggs, 1 or two at a time and then stir in the sour cream. I usually have to scrape the bowl 2 or 3 times while beating the cream cheese, sugar and eggs to get it all smooth.
*For the Chocolate swirl Cheesecake I made, pour all but 1/3 (roughly) of the batter on the prepared crust. Stir the chocolate in to the batter in the bowl, and then spoon it onto the batter in the pan. Try to place the spoonfuls so they are not touching and then gently swirl the batter a little with a butter knife.
-Cook at 300° for 1 hour or until middle springs back when touched. Chill before serving.

GLAZE:
I glazed it with a Ganache made with 1/2 cup cream and 1 1/2 cups chocolate chips. Bring the cream to a boil, add the chips, and stir until smooth. Unnecessary, but good.

Other Options:
Once you have the basic filling, you can melt 2 cups of chocolate chips and stir it into all the batter and have chocolate cheesecake. Or you can buy a bag of mini chips and stir them in. Or you can make it plain and put fresh berries or a glaze on it. You can also do it in a 10" spring form pan and cook for 1 hour 15 minutes. It will make a tremendous mess if you try a 9 inch pan.

Nacho Spuds

I saw this recipe awhile ago on Rachael Ray's site. It would probably be better as an appetizer than a dinner (it's not the most well balanced meal around), but it was good. A little twist on nachos...and I love potatoes no matter how you serve them! (part of my potatoes got a little burned for some reason, but overall they turned out fine)

Ingredients:
2 large baking potatoes, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
2 1/2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/2 pound ground beef
One 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
2 tablespoons taco seasoning
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grape tomatoes, quartered lengthwise (I just used a regular tomato)
Sour cream and shredded lettuce, for serving

Directions:
1. Position a rack in the upper third of the oven and preheat to 450°. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss the potatoes with 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in a single layer and bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, heat a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and the ground beef and cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Mix in the beans, taco seasoning and 2 tablespoons water. Lower the heat and simmer, stirring, until heated through, about 10 minutes.
3. Transfer the potatoes to an ovenproof platter. Sprinkle half of the cheddar on top, spoon on the meat mixture, then top with the tomatoes and remaining cheddar. Place in the oven and turn off the heat. Let stand until the cheese is melted, 2-3 minutes. Serve with the sour cream and lettuce.

Chicken and Black Bean Burritos

This is another recipe idea from Melissa's Bargain Blog. It moved up on my menu because I had leftover avocado slices from last night's dinner that I knew would be delish in these :-). We used corn tortillas, so they were more like tacos than burritos, but they were really good (and oh so easy too)! I also put Cilantro Lime Rice inside, which made for a perfect combo!

Ingredients:
1 taco/fajita seasoning packet
2 cans black beans, drained
2-3 chicken breasts (I just used 1)
1 can green enchilada sauce
tortillas
optional fillings: cheese, sour cream, avocado, tomato, etc.

Directions:
Place chicken breasts in bottom of the crockpot and then add remaining ingredients. Cook on low 6-8 hours.
Shred chicken before serving and serve in tortillas.
This is also really good if you use beef instead of the chicken!

Cilantro Lime Rice

I saw this recipe on Jamie's Cookbook and thought it would be a perfect match for the chicken burritos I had planned for tonight...it was! I didn't follow the recipe exactly, just used it as a guide for what to add to our rice in the rice cooker.

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons butter
1 1/2 cups rice
2 cups chicken broth
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1 large lime (juice and zest)
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Directions:
In a skillet, melt butter and add rice. Let cook for 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (except cilantro) and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and cook for 18-20 minutes. Add cilantro with a few minutes before done. Fluff with fork and serve.

(**I put 3 1/2 cups chicken broth in our rice cooker with 1 c. uncooked white rice and 1/2 c. brown rice. I stirred in 1 t. cumin, 1/2 t. garlic powder, and 2 T. lime juice. When it was done cooking I stirred in 3 heaping T. cilantro.)

Peppered Steak

This recipe came off Melissa's Bargain Blog and we all LOVED it! Her website is full of great information and one of her newest features is Menu Monday (on which she posts her menu based on her $40/week grocery budget). Check it out! I've been trying to learn from her for quite a few months now (I'm obviously a slow learner) and it's really paying off with our monthly budget!

Ingredients:
3 cups hot cooked rice
1 lb lean beef round steak (cut into 1/2 inch thick strips)
1 T Paprika
2 T butter
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 1/2 c. beef broth
1 cup sliced green onions
2 green peppers, cut in strips
2 T cornstarch
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. soy sauce
2 lg tomatoes (cut in eighths)

Ingredients:
Pound steak to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into 1/4 inch wide strips.
Sprinkle meat with paprika. Brown meat in butter.
Add garlic and broth. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes.
Stir in onions and green peppers. Cover and cook 5 minutes.
Blend cornstarch, water and soy sauce. Stir into meat mixture.
Cook, stirring until clear and thickened, about 2 minutes.
Add tomatoes and stir gently.
Serve over rice.

Creamy Chicken Fettuccine

This is another recipe from My Kitchen Cafe. I was drawn to it because I love creamy sauces on pasta, and this sauce was gluten free from the get-go! It was everything I had hoped it would be :-). I had left over half and half and Parmesan cheese from recipes last week, which made this really cheap too!

Ingredients:
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut crosswise into 1/4-inch strips
salt and pepper
2 T butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 c heavy cream (I used half and half and it was delish still)
1 teaspoon grated zest and 2 tablespoons juice from 1 lemon
1 pound fettuccine (I used my gluten free Penne noodles)
2 cups frozen peas (I only threw in a handful)
1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese
1 cup chopped fresh basil
*Mike suggested the addition of some bacon and it was SOOOO good! I just put in 3 slices, chopped)

Directions:
Bring 4 quarts water to boil in large pot. Pat chicken dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper. Melt butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook chicken until no longer pink, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add garlic to empty skillet and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add cream, lemon zest, and lemon juice and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat, cover, and keep warm.

Add 1 tablespoon salt and pasta to boiling water and cook until almost al dente. Add peas to pot and cook until bright green, about 1 minute. Reserve 1/2 cup cooking water, drain pasta and peas, and return to pot. Add sauce, cheese, basil, and reserved chicken to pot and toss to combine, adding reserved pasta water as needed. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
(*I probably added even more than 1/2 c. water, maybe because I used half & half instead of cream? Just thin until desired...it still tasted great!)

Million Dollar Pie

I don't make a lot of desserts, so here is another stolen recipe from my mom. My dad requests this every year for his birthday and it is DELICIOUS!!! (not to mention it is easily adjusted to be gluten free)

Ingredients:
1 stick butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 8-ounce pkg. cream cheese
1 cup powdered sugar
1 quart heavy cream, whipped with 1 cup sugar until stiff
2 (3.4-oz) packages instant chocolate pudding mix (we use 1 box chocolate and 1 box vanilla)
3 cups milk

Directions:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass dish, melt butter and stir in four and 1/4 cup of nuts. Bake about 15 - 20 minutes, until firm. Let cool.
First Layer: Combine cream cheese, powdered sugar, and 1 cup of whipped cream. Layer over cooked nut crust.
Second Layer: Combine instant pudding mix and milk. Layer over first layer.
Third Layer: Combine remaining whipped cream and remaining chopped nuts. Layer over top. (we top ours with shaved chocolate) Keep refrigerated.

My mom even makes me my own (HUGE) gluten-free version without a crust :-)!

Honey Lime Enchiladas

This is another DELICIOUS recipe from My Kitchen Cafe! I think I'll add some onion to the chicken next time around, but the flavor was really amazing (it seemed like an awful lot of honey so I was a little nervous). My corn tortillas fell apart, so I think I'll use a little less enchilada sauce the next time around as well (I couldn't find a 16 oz. can, and used 2-10oz ones), but I'm sure flour ones hold up much better. Definitely a keeper! I LOVED the creamy sauce!!!

Ingredients:
6 T honey
5 T lime juice (1 large lime)
1 T chili powder
1/2 t garlic powder
1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded (I used leftovers from my slow cooker chicken)
8-10 flour tortillas (I used 12 corn)
1 pound Monterrey Jack cheese, shredded
16 ounces green enchilada sauce
1 cup heavy cream (I used half and half)

Directions:
-Mix the first four ingredients and toss with shredded chicken. Let it marinate for at least 1/2 hour.
-Pour about 1/2 cup enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9X13 baking pan.
-Fill tortillas with chicken and shredded cheese, saving about 1 cup of cheese to sprinkle on top of enchiladas.
-Mix the remaining enchilada sauce with the cream and leftover marinade (I didn't have any extra marinade).
-Pour sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with cheese.
-Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees for 30 minutes until brown and crispy on top.

Artichoke (Crab) Dip

I got this recipe from Mckell and made it for my book club meeting last night (along with the Black Bean Salsa from the first time I hosted). I doubled the recipe and left the crab meat out, but it was SO good and a BIG hit! (I served with tortilla chips)

Ingredients:
1 package cream cheese (I used 1/3 fat)
1 cup mayo (I used light)
1 clove garlic minced or pressed
1 can artichoke hearts in water, drained and chopped (NOT the jarred in oil kind!!!)
8 oz. package imitation crab meat (optional)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 bunch green onions, whites and greens chopped
1/4 tsp. pepper

Directions:Combine all ingredients in bowl or food processor (I just chopped up the artichokes pretty small). Transfer to small baking dish (or 9x13 if doubling) and cook for 25-30 minutes at 350 or until top is golden brown. Serve with pita or tortilla chips.

Slow Cooker Chicken

I found this recipe on the blog Recipe Rut and it inspired me to buy a whole chicken (or any type of bird for that matter) for the first time in my life. This is not a meal to make if you don't like working with raw meat...like me! Luckily, the night before Mike took over the rinsing, drying, spicing and stuffing of the bird because I thought I may get sick (this coming from a girl who can hardly stand to work with a boneless, skinless chicken breast). I had the crockpot all set up with the foil and we popped him in there and in the fridge overnight and in the morning I put him in the crockpot. So, definitely the easiest meal I've made in awhile :-)! The chicken was cheap, $3.00 for the whole bird and I'm using the rest of the meat to try a new enchilada recipe tonight (Honey Lime Enchiladas), so definitely economical! The chicken was moist and pretty good, not bursting with flavor, but great with a side of potatoes and a salad.

INGREDIENTS:
1 (2 to 3 pound) whole chicken
salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon paprika
Lemon- cut into wedges
2 Garlic cloves in skin

DIRECTIONS:
1. Wad three pieces of aluminum foil into 3 to 4 inch balls, and place them in the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. Rinse the chicken, inside and out, under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the chicken with the salt, pepper and paprika. Stuff chicken with lemon wedges and garlic clove. Place in the slow cooker on top of the crumbled aluminum foil.
3. Set the slow cooker to High for 1 hour, then turn down to Low for about 8 to 10 hours, or until the chicken is no longer pink and the juices run clear. (I just left mine on low the whole time because our crock pot is a little tempermental, but it was fine)

V8 Chili

This is a recipe that was emailed to me from Campbell's. It was super quick and easy and pretty tasty as well.

Ingredients:
2 lb. ground turkey
1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
2 T. chili powder
1/2 t. ground cumin
3 1/2 cups V8® 100% Vegetable Juice (Regular or Low Sodium)
1 small green pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 cans (15 oz each) red kidney beans, rinsed and drained

Directions:
Cook the turkey, onion, chili powder and cumin in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat until the turkey is well browned, stirring often.
Add the vegetable juice, pepper and beans to the saucepan and heat to a boil. Reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for 15 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.

Cheesy Potato Soup

I got this recipe from Dish Delish. I LOVE all soups, but especially potato and tortilla and was excited to try this when I saw it. It was really good...even Ella ate hers up and she can be particular about her potatoes lately. We topped with some shredded cheddar cheese.

Ingredients:
* 4 cups chicken broth
* 6-7 cups potatoes, peeled and cubed
* 1/4 cup onion, minced
* 1/2 teaspoon seasoning salt
* 1/4 teaspoon white pepper (I just used black)
* 1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
* 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, cut into chunks (I used 1/3 fat)
I also added a couple shakes each of onion powder, salt, and garlic salt. And lots of black pepper at the end.

Directions:
1. Combine broth, potatoes, onion, and spices.
2. Boil on medium heat until potatoes are tender.3. Smash a few of the potatoes to release their starch for thickening.
4. Reduce to low heat.
5. Add cream cheese.
6. Heat, stirring frequently, until cheese melts.
*also some good add-ins are cheddar cheese and scallions on top, a mild Italian sausage mixed in, corn, bacon, chives or carrots.
*Extra good served in a bread bowl!

Mike's Fried Chicken

This is another of Mike's specialties...my favorite of his actually :-). The ingredients and directions come from him, and since he just makes it up a little different each time they aren't really specific.

Ingredients:
2-3 chicken breasts
about 1/2 c. flour
seasoning as desired...he uses salt, black pepper, chili powder, curry, and garlic salt
eggs (1 per breast)
oil for frying

Directions:
Mix flour and seasonings together in a ziplock bag.
Dip chicken in eggs and then place in ziplock bag and shake to coat.
Place covered chicken in oil over medium heat until cooked, turning over about half way through.

Coconut Chicken Curry

This recipe is from My Kitchen Cafe, my latest favorite recipe site to visit. This meal was delicious!!! I personally however still like the Thai Chicken Curry better, although Mike preferred this one...to each his own. They are both GREAT!

Ingredients:
2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch chunks or strips
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
2 tablespoons curry powder
1 1/2 teaspoons paprika or cayenne pepper (I used 1 t. crushed red pepper and 1/2 t. paprika and it was the perfect spiciness for me)
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
4 red potatoes, cut into chunks
1 (14 ounce) can coconut milk
1 (14.5 ounce) can stewed tomatoes
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
Jasmine rice, cooked (I just used our usual 1/2 brown and 1/2 white rice)

Directions:
-Season chicken pieces with salt and pepper.
-Heat oil, curry powder, and paprika in a large skillet over medium-low heat for two minutes, until fragrant (but don't let it burn).
-Turn the heat up to medium and stir in onions and garlic and cook ten minutes more or until onions are very clear.
-Add chicken, tossing lightly to coat with curry oil and cook for 7 to 10 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and is cooked through.
-Add potatoes, then add coconut milk, tomatoes (I cut up tomatoes first), tomato sauce, and sugar into the pan, and stir to combine.
-Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 30-40 minutes or until sauce thickens and potatoes are soft.