For those of us who started keeping Kosher in the past few years, I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say there are a few non-Kosher foods that we miss way more than others. For me, that list includes:
- Chili cheese hotdogs
- Cheesy chicken enchiladas
And I’ll admit that I’ve been lazy when it comes to figuring out some substitutions for these food so I decided to tackle the chicken enchiladas this week via a receipe I found in Good Houskeeping magazine. Their September 2012 issue featured a somewhat healthy version called Chicken & Corn Enchiladas. Per the recipe, total time to make this dish is 1 hour 10 minutes. It took me considerably longer to recreate these enchiladas and in fact, I’ll say it was darn labor intentsive … we ended up eating dinner at around 8pm this particular night … but I have to say the hardwork and effort were totally worth it. These enchiladas reminded me of something you would eat in a fancy restaurant. The sauce, which is made from Kale, tomatoes and garlic is unbelievably good. I honestly could’t get over how delicious and fresh it tasted. Step aside imitation crab, I think Kale is my new best friend. So without further ado, here is the recipe from Good Houskeeping with my tweaks in italics:
- 6 cup(s) (about 4 leaves) packed torn kale leaves, ribs and stems discarded
- 2 pound(s) firm green or yellow tomatoes, cut in half (I couldn’t find green or yellow tomatoes so I used 2 packages of Nature Sweet’s Cherub tomatoes and 1 package of their Sunburst Yellow Tomatoes)
- 2 clove(s) garlic, unpeeled (I used 4 cloves of garlic because I made a mistake and chopped 2 cloves first before reading the recipe. Didn’t want to waste so I used them all)
- 1 jalapeño chile, seeded (I left the jalapeno out because my daughter won’t eat spicy food)
- 1 teaspoon(s) vegetable oil
- 3/4 cup(s) packed fresh cilantro leaves
- 2 tablespoon(s) fresh limejuice
- 2 cup(s) fresh or frozen corn, thawed if frozen
- 1 1/2 cup(s) (about 6 ounces) shredded, cooked chicken-breast meat (This was the tricky ingredient. I checked the Quorn and MorningStar meatless chicken strips and neither were Kosher. I ended up buying WestSoy Seitan Strips and Home-style Tempeh Spicy Veggie both of which are Kosher Parve. I taste-tested both before mixing them into the recipe and ended up using the WestSoy Seitan Strips, which tasted very similar to chicken. I was not a fan of the Tempeh Spicy Veggie at all but maybe I can find another use for it in the future.
- 1/2 cup(s) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese (I couldn’t find reduce-fat feta so I used the regular one)
- 8 (6 inches each) taco-size corn tortillas (I made half with corn tortillas and half with flour tortillas. I liked the corn best but my hubbie liked the flour best)
- 1 romaine lettuce heart, thinly sliced
- Arrange oven rack 6 inches from broiler heat source. Preheat broiler on high.
- Place kale in microwave-safe medium bowl along with 1/2 cup water. My microwave stopped working months ago so I just steamed the kale on the stovetop until tender. Cover with vented plastic wrap and microwave on high 8 minutes or until kale is wilted and tender. Drain; let cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, place tomatoes, garlic, and jalapeño on jelly-roll pan; toss with oil. Broil 3 minutes or until lightly charred, turning over once. Let cool slightly. Reset oven temperature to 400 degrees F.
- Remove peel from garlic cloves; place in food processor bowl along with kale, tomatoes, jalapeño, 1/4 cup cilantro, lime juice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper. Pulse until smooth. Spread 1/2 cup vegetable purée on bottom of 3-quart baking dish.
- In large bowl, combine corn, chicken, 2 cups vegetable purée, half of feta cheese, and 1/8 teaspoon salt.
- Wrap tortillas in damp paper towels. Microwave on high 1 minute or until warm and pliable. (Once again, no microwave for me means I skipped this step completely). Place 1/2 cup chicken mixture in center of a tortilla; roll up tightly. Place, seam side down, in baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken. Top enchiladas with remaining vegetable purée and feta. Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes or until heated through. To serve, top with lettuce and cilantro.
In addition to the Chicken and Corn Enchiladas, I also made a simple cheese enchiladas version for my daughter because I was afraid she would refuse any food that contained so many vegetables. I was right. So she happily ate her plain cheese enchiladas while I pretended I was eating my treif chicken enchiladas mixed with feta cheese. The WestSoy Seitan Strips truly did taste like real chicken and the sauce … yes I’m talking about it again … was out of this world. This is a kosher vegetarian recipe worth trying. Just make sure you have plenty of time for prep work and cooking!