Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Chicken enchiladas three ways

As I posted on my Facebook page the other day, I love making meals for friends! It gives me an excuse to spend a few hours in my kitchen. Sometimes the kids join me, sometimes they just color or craft at the nearby island. Either way cooking "takes me away" without having to leave home and I truly find much joy in it. I usually make a soup, stew or casserole but this time I decided on enchiladas because I knew I had everything on hand and enough to make a double batch for my family to eat that night as well.

This got me thinking of how the recipe could have really been made a couple of different ways. Some would say the way I did it-- from scratch-- was more labor intensive. At first thought I would agree but then I thought about what the alternative-- an impromptu trip to the grocery store-- really entails (first finding matching shoes... followed by making sure all four rascals are buckled into the van... driving a few miles and spending a pretty penny on gas for those few miles... getting one into the Baby Bjorn and another into the shopping cart-- which never seem to have clasps that work these days; am I the only one who has noticed this?... walking through the aisles without any little hands sneaking something into my cart... reading labels to make sure there is no corn/dairy/etc in the items I am purchasing... waiting in line to pay (which always seems to be when the chaos strikes)... and then getting everyone back in the van & home [before the baby gets hungry again])! For these reasons and more is why I love 1) staying home and 2) cooking from scratch! Besides, take a look at these results and you will clearly see how much healthier doing it yourself is!

Enchiladas Made Completely from Scratch [24 different ingredients]
Chicken, Brown Rice, Chicken Stock, Water, Real Salt, Whole Wheat Flour, Palm Shortening, Cream of Tartar, Baking Soda, Tomatoes, Apple Cider Vinegar, Dried Onions, Dried Green Peppers, Dried Jalapenos, Chili Pepper, Oregano, Dried Garlic, Cumin, Onion Powder, Olive Oil, Pastuerized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Enzymes, Fresh Cilantro. 

Semi-homemade Enchiladas using Old el Paso Enchilada Sauce, Chi-Chi's Tortillas & Newman's Own Salsa [55 different ingredients]
Chicken, Brown Rice, Chicken Stock (from cooked chicken + Water), Real Salt, Tomatoes, Modified Corn Starch, Dried Red Chiles, Soybean Oil, Sugar, Citric Acid, Onion Powder, Monosodium Glutamate, Spice, Garlic Powder, Red Pepper, Hydrolyzed Corn Protein, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Autolyzed Yeast Extract, Bleached Wheat Flour, Malted Barley Flour, Niacin, Reduced Iron, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid, Sodium Bicarbonate, Mono & Diglycerides, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Sodium Aluminum Sulfate, Fumaric Acid, Potassium Sorbate, Corn Starch, Soy Flour, Sodium Propionate, Calcium Sulfate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum, Arabic Gum, Sorbic Acid, L-Cysteine, Green Chili Pepper, Green Bell Peppers, Dried Onions, Red Jalapeno Peppers, Red Bell Peppers, Distilled Vinegar, Cilantro, Black Pepper, Pastuerized Milk, Cheese Cultures, Enzymes.

Store Bought Stouffer's Family Size Chicken Enchiladas [52 different ingredients]
Cooked Chicken Meat, Soy Protein Concentrate, Vital Wheat Gluten, Salt, Soybean Oil, Natural Flavors, Water, Tomatoes, Calcium Chloride, Citric Acid, Green Chiles, Modified Corn Starch, Dried Chicken Broth, Yeast Extract, Onion Powder, Paprika, Garlic Powder, Chile Pepper, Cilantro, Black Pepper, Corn Flour, Guar Gum, Cellulose Gum, Mono- & Diglycerides, High Amylose Cornstarch, Dextrin, Trace of Lime, Blanched Enriched Long Grain Parboiled Rice, Iron, Niacin, Thiamin Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Skim Milk, Cultured Milk, Enzymes, Annatto Color, Corn, Tomatillos, Green Chiles, Cultured Cream, Nonfat Milk, Red Peppers, Jalapeno Peppers, Acetic Acid, Garlic Puree, Onions, Bleached White Flour, Spices, Sugar, Xanthan Gum, Cultured Whey.

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