Monday, 21 January 2013

Almost healthy enchiladas

I've enjoyed the wonderful crisp winter weather up North this weekend. It just wasn't cold and snowy enough in Cambridge. I was keeping my fingers crossed, as my train journey on Friday evening coincided with the worst part of the snowstorm, so I was worried about missing any of my three train connection. Luckily, despite the second train being 15 minutes late, I made the connection with at least 20 seconds to spare. All thanks to some newfound sprinting skills. On the way back, I got delayed by one cancelled train, which luckily was the last leg of the journey. So I spent a lovely 45 minutes in Stevenage right before midnight on Sunday. Luckily, I found an electric heater which was blasting out hot air, and spent my time rubbing up to it to keep warm. Getting home and into my bed with my hot water bottle was very relaxing after that little adventure.

I enjoyed the weekend with my sis very much. We had time to talk about everything and nothing, obviously we went to the gym. And we cooked some great food. I'm still trying to eat healthily and lose as much weight as possible before my holiday in a few weeks time, and sis is a very healthy eater. But at the same time, I thought a weekend with both of us in the same place is a rare treat, and needs to be celebrated in some way. So we decided a bit of carbs and even cheese was in order. I think we ended up with a really delicious meal despite still being reasonable with the calories. And there was a couple of servings left for sis to have for dinner later in the week. Seeing someone enjoy your cooking is almost as good as eating yourself!
Enchiladas sis&sis (serves 4):
8 whole wheat tortillas
225g beef steak or other low fat cut in thin strips or diced
1 huge onion (or 2 small ones)
1 green pepper
125 g button mushrooms
15 g fajita seasoning mix (half of one of those ready seasoning mix pouches)
1 clove of garlic
390 g tomato passata (we used one with chilli and pepper for added flavour)
90 g reduced fat cheddar or other cheese of choice

One serving (2 enchiladas) contains 511 kcal (19 g fat, 45 g carbs and 29 g protein)
The howto:
Preheat oven to 200 degrees C. Thinly slice the onion, and chop the pepper and mushrooms. Finely chop the garlic clove. If you want to, add some oil in a frying pan, we used a non-stick pan so no extra fat needed. Saute the onions for a few minutes until translucent, add the steak, peppers, garlic and mushrooms. Season with fajita seasoning. Cook for about 10 minutes, or until meat is no longer red.

Take 1/8 of the filling, and wrap inside each tortilla. Line the tortilla wraps in an oven proof dish, spread the passata on top of the tortilla rolls and top with grated cheese. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and golden. Serve with avocado and organic yoghurt. Oh, and check out that nifty little gadget my sister has for removing the avocado flesh. It's manufactured by Fiskars. And if you didn't happen to know, Fiskars is not just the name of the brand, it's also the name of the village where the company was founded. And I lived right next to it when I grew up!

The verdict:
Obviously we cut quite a few corners. We used ready made fajita seasoning, which has all sorts of nasties in it. There are plenty of recipes out there in cyberspace for fajita seasoning mix, so you are obviously more than welcome to make your own. Also, we used ready made tomato passata, whereas you could of course cook your own. But we came home after a day at the gym, doing some shopping and dragging back bags full of groceries, so we just wanted food on the table. Something hot and filling and delicious. And this dish most certainly fulfilled those criteria. Also, you can sub the beef for chicken if you prefer to. Or even tofu or some other vegetarian protein, if you believe in that kind of stuff. 

This is the epitome of comfort food. On a cold, snowy winters day, after exhausting yourself at the gym, this is exactly what you need. A good serving of protein, some carbs, a bunch of veggies to help you with your five a day. A bit of heat from the chilli in the tomato passata, combined with the cold fresh yogurt and the creaminess of the avocado. And that glorious golden brown cheese to top it all off. Can you tell I'm excited by the cheese? I haven't had any cheese for over two weeks (ok, I know it's not very long to go without, but it feels like an eternity), so it really tasted good. Nothing like depriving yourself of something you really love to make you find a totally new level of appreciation for it.

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