WannaBe Chef

Recipes and randomness from Amanda's kitchen.

Turkey Enchiladas May 31, 2010

Filed under: Turkey — WannaBe Chef @ 6:24 pm

Happy Memorial Day, loves!  We’ve been having another low-key day hanging around the apartment.  Wayne has been packing and preparing to leave me go on another business trip.  His flight leaves at 7:05 AM tomorrow, and he doesn’t get back till Sunday evening!  Booo.  On the bright side, I have a lot of fun dinners planned for myself.  They are all vegetarian except the day I’m having salmon.  Anywho, tonight I whipped up some enchiladas per Wayne’s request.  Recipe is approximate!

Turkey Enchiladas

  • 10 ounces extra-lean ground turkey
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, diced small
  • 1/3 large onion, diced small
  • 1 Tbsp taco seasoning
  • 1 cup enchilada sauce
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 8 small, wheat, low-carb tortillas
  • light sour cream, cilantro, taco sauce, black olives for topping, if desired
  1. Saute the peppers, onion, and turkey until meat is cooked through.  Stir in the taco seasoning, about 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, and a splash of water. 
  2. Roll approx. 1/4 cup of meat mixture and a sprinkle of cheese into each tortilla.  Line up each enchilada, seam side down, in a pan coated with cooking spray.
  3. Top with any leftover meat mixture and the remaining enchilada sauce and cheese.
  4. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until heated through and bubbly.


Mini weekend update May 30, 2010

Filed under: Appetizer,Chicken,Holiday — WannaBe Chef @ 8:20 pm

Bloglettes!  It’s been so long.  Not really, but I’ve missed you.  How is everyone’s Memorial Day weekend going so far?  Friday night, Wayne and I went to an “after golf get-together” at one of his new coworker’s house (Wayne golfed, I didn’t).  In case you haven’t noticed, I’m a wee bit antisocial shy, so I was a little anxious about it.  It was fine though… met lots of people, heard a lot of “shop talk,” and had some good food.  I brought Summer Corn Dip with Fritos Scoops and celery sticks for dippers.  It was a big hit and everyone liked it a lot.  I didn’t take a pic, but you can go this post to see one, since I’ve made it before.  Saturday night, we went to another new coworker’s house for a much smaller get together.  It was just us, them, and their 2 kids.  We had drinks, played washers, Euchre (WOOT WOOT for fellow Michiganders!), ate an amaaaazing meal (T-bone steaks on the grill!!), and chatted on their deck until after midnight.  We brought some BBQ cocktail weenies and this platter of nibbles.

Sharp cheddar, grapes, swiss/pepperjack, strawberries, green/black olives and crackers that I added to the platter when we got there.

Today has been pretty low-key.  We got some groceries, did some laundry, and I’ve been catching up on blog-reading.  Tonight’s dinner was simple and very tasty.

  • Corn on the cob
  • Zucchini:  Sauteed in extra virgin olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic powder
  • Inside Out Buffalo Hot Wings:  Recipe from Sweet & Savory.  I used feta instead of blue cheese.  Yuh-um, definitely will be making these again!

That’s all for now, friends!  Wayne is going out of town for work on Tues-Sun (almost 6 days!! uuggh), so I need some dinner ideas for myself.  I like to experiment while Wayne is gone, so hook a girl up with some yummy ideas?


Fun Post! May 27, 2010

Filed under: Life — WannaBe Chef @ 6:11 pm

With the exception of my two over-easy eggs with toast, my meals today have been anything but blogworthy.  So I decided to change it up a little and give you a type of post that I’ve seen floating around the ‘sphere…. Confessions and Obsessions!  It’s fun, it’s a little revealing, and better yet, it’s completely random.  Let’s get started.


ConfessionMy wedding was over a year ago, and I still have not started the scrapbook I vowed to make, and there is not one wedding pic hanging in our house.  Why?  Because, in my opinion, there are literally no good pics of Wayne and I together… which is kind of the point of wedding pictures.  There are a lot of good ones of family, the wedding party, and the decor, but somehow taking a variety of pics of “the couple” got overlooked.  Lesson learned:  do NOT skimp on the photographer. 

ObsessionMy SON, Ziggy.  Really, it’s probably pretty disturbing to some, but I feel that my little orange and white bundle is truly my first child, and that no other cat is as cute as he is!  And of course, every little thing he does is just amazing and hilarious.  The thought of not having him just breaks my wee wittle heart!  I attribute what’s left of my sanity partly to this little guy. 

Aren't I precious?

Confession:  Our dining room table and corner cabinet are hand-me-downs from my mom.  They are solid oak, Amish-made pieces that I can remember getting when I was a child.  I think they were pretty pricey and coveted back in the day, right Mom?  I did countless hours of homework and ate countless holiday meals at that table.  Although they are not my style, I feel like the table and cabinet belong with me now since they seem to fit perfectly wherever we are!  And I can’t help but feel I have a little piece of home with me 🙂 

ObsessionLady Gaga.  Yes, she is controversial.  Yes, she is strange.  Yes, she might glue snow to her face, but she’s really very intelligent, humble, beyond creative, and has deeper meanings behind everything she does.  And no music gets me as pumped as hers!  I even bought her CDs instead of illegally downloading purchasing the songs from Itunes.  And for no other artist would I pay almost $200 (per ticket!) to see in concert this August!  *Gasp*

ConfessionSome of my FIRL (friends in real life!) may already know this, but I make lists of everything.  I guess this could also be an obsession.  I’ve had a planner every year since middle school (even though my life is not nearly busy enough to warrant one!).  I have multiple notepads, binders, and pads of paper filled with random reminders, notes, ideas, and lists.  It’s pretty ridiculous and pretty type A, but that’s just how I like it!  Making a list makes me feel in control and it reduces anxiety (Erin, RD, my list-making partner in crime, knows ess-actly what I’m sayin’).  In fact, I may or may not have a running list of ideas for fun blog posts… 

ObsessionMy water bottle.  When I worked at the hospital back in MI, I was obsessed with my “hospital cups.”  Us girls had a ritual of getting our drinks every morning, i.e. water and coffee, and then we would refill the water cup many times over the course of the day.  I would then bring the cup home and use it through the night, and even bring it with me in the car on my drive to work the next morning.  Then that cup would get tossed and a new one would replace it.  Well, obviously I don’t work there anymore :(, so I had to get a suitable replacement for my beloved cups.  Although I do have a small stash of hospital “goodbye cups,” I am saving those 🙂  Now, I have this lovely, much more Green-friendly bottle with a built in straw, and it’s never far from my reach.  Actually, it hasn’t been washed in quite a while.  Eww? 

From these...

to this!

Confession:  I am pretty open-minded about trying new foods and blog trends.  However, I just can’t get on the whole green monster train.  (I don’t want to post a pic of one here, in fear of offending someone!  So just google “green monster smoothie” to see one!)  I have tried them before, a couple different ways, and I just can’t stomach them.  From what I see in blogs, the most common green monster contains banana, spinach, and almond milk.  Of course there are countless of variations out there.  I think the first thing that gets me is the color… I mean, come on, it doesn’t look appetizing, I don’t care what anyone says!  Secondly, I’ve said before I don’t like an overwhelming banana flavor in smoothies, which is problematic when basically the only flavor and source of sweetness in the smoothie is from the banana.  Finally, it gets all foamy and glossy looking and I just.can’t.do.it!!  Sorry if this offends all the monster lovers out there.  I do add spinach to some other smoothies, though!  Just not enough to make the whole thing bright green 😉  I’ll stick to spinach salads, thanks!


That’s all for my first stab at Confessions and Obsessions.  You likey?  Or you no likey?


Everything I ate May 26, 2010

Filed under: Breakfast,Chicken,Oatmeal — WannaBe Chef @ 7:23 pm

Today I bring you the latest edition of “Everything I Ate Today!”  Shall we get started? 

*Breakfast*  Another oatmeal pancake.  This time I added 1 tsp chia seeds to the “batter,” but I forgot a very important ingredient, the baking powder!  This made for a very dense, rubbery pancake.  It was still edible… barely! 

Topped with 1 banana, cinnamon, and 2 Tbsp light syrup

A little while later, I had some Archer Farms S’mores flavored coffee with Splenda.  As much as I try to like flavored coffees, I just don’t.  And s’mores are like one of my top favorite things. 

*Lunch*  Leftover falafel patty, tzatziki and roasted broccoli with strawberries on the side.  That whole bowl was only THREE steroid induced strawberries!

I was still hungry, so I had the last of a package of turkey pepperoni and a little bit of deli chicken for some protein. 

*Snackage*  A Luna Protein Bar – Chocolate Cherry Almond.  These are pretty good, but not nearly as good as the cookie dough flavor. 

*Dinner*  Couldn’t get here fast enough.  I am especially hungry today.  I’ve had this packet of stir-fry seasoning for longer than I’d like to mention, so I finally decided to use it up tonight. 

In my stir-fry went:

  • 2 large chicken breasts, cubed
  • 1 medium green pepper
  • 1 small yellow pepper
  • 1 (8 oz) package sliced mushrooms
  • 1/3 of a large onion, sliced
  • 1/2 cup edamame
  • the sauce packet which I mixed with soy sauce, sugar, and water per the package
  • brown rice

Normally I like a little something red or orange in my stir-fry, but no carrots or red peppers were in my fridge today.  I also don’t care for green peppers (But I like red, yellow, and orange though!), so I gave Wayne most of those.  The stir-fry had good flavor but there wasn’t much heat, which was surprising since it was called “szechwan”! 

Of course I will be having a night time snack, or two, or three.  I have issues with eating at night, and instead of fighting it, I try to make sure I have a nice amount of calories left so I can have a few snacks without feeling too bad.  I will edit this post later or in the morning to show you what I have.  And just because this post is called “Everything I ate,” technically I had my gummy vitamins, a calcium chew, and a taste of hummus that all escaped the camera!  Ta ta for now 😉

*Edited to add – Snacks!*


  • 1 cup frozen cherries
  • 5-6 frozen banana slices
  • 1 Tbsp Hershey’s Special Dark cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp maca powder
  • dash of salt, splash of vanilla
  • water

100 calorie bag of kettle corn – I eat this almost every night because I get the most bang for my buck calorie-wise! 

Half of an Arnold’s Sandwich Thin with Sabra Supremely Spicy hummus <— really is HOT!


Green dinner May 25, 2010

Filed under: Meatless,Sandwiches — WannaBe Chef @ 6:38 pm

Remember my yellow dinner and orange dinner from ages ago?  I don’t do these monochromatic dinners on purpose, either.  Anyway, I don’t have much to show you today, my apologies.  Do you think it’s worse to post something just for the sake of posting OR not posting anything at all? 


All I have for you today is my somewhat pathetic little dinner.  I planned to make falafel pitas, using up a mix I’ve had in the cupboard for awhile.  However, when we got groceries on Sunday, the pita bread looked like crap and expired the next day.  So I made falfafel “burgers” instead and put them on sandwich thins.  Another glitch:  I went to make a quick tzatziki sauce and noticed my plain Greek yogurt expired on 5/22.  Eh, I figured it was just a couple days, but when I tasted it, there was an odd aftertaste.  Into the garbage disposal it went, and I used low-fat sour cream instead which worked just fine.  On the side is simple roasted broccoli topped with parmesan herb seasoning.

There's a TONN more tzatziki under that lettuce and cilantro!

In case you’re interested, my batch of tzatziki contained approx: 8 Tbsp light sour cream, 3 inch chunk of chopped seedless cucumber, handful of chopped cilantro, salt, pepper, and cumin.

That’s all for now, folks.  Perhaps a more exciting post will come tomorrow!


Blog mods and a beast salad May 24, 2010

Filed under: Salad,Shrimp — WannaBe Chef @ 6:39 pm

Hello, friends and blends!  <— new term I recently learned… it means “blog friends”… creative, no?  Today I spent a lot of time messing around on this here bloggity.  I am really dumb when it comes to blog-building, but I was pretty proud of myself for figuring out what a “widget” is and actually adding/changing some of them!  So I ended up adding a couple new things in the green sidebar on the right, changing up the order a little bit, adding a new blue “contact” tab on top, updating my blogroll, and tweaking my “about me” section.  I also caved and started a Twitter account, which is another whole new world that I will have to decipher.  Someday, I think it would be fun to create my own layout instead of using a pre-fab wordpress one, but that will be a looong time from now!


Moving on… tonight’s dinner was a big, refreshing salad.  It’s in the 90s outside (YUCK!), and even though we have central air, I wanted to make something cool and light tonight.  

Shrimp Taco Salad
Inspired by “A Reader’s Taco Salad” in May 2010 issue of Cooking Light (pg 216) 

Salad components:
cooked, deveined shrimp, rinsed with tails removed
romaine lettuce
canned corn, drained
black beans, drained and rinsed
avocado, diced
cilantro, chopped
tomatoes, chopped
crushed blue corn tortilla chips
low-fat sour cream, optional
shredded cheddar cheese, optional

Sauce/dressing components:
(This made enough for 2 large salads, if you’re making more, I suggest doubling the sauce)
1 Tbsp olive oil
juice from 1 lime
1-2 tsp chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp cumin
2 tsp minced garlic

Basic Method:
-Combine the sauce ingredients in a small bowl, pour about half of it over the shrimp (I made 1 pound of shrimp)
-Build your salad on a large plate or in a large bowl
-Warm the shrimp through in a skillet over medium heat, stir in some cilantro if desired
-Top salads with warm shrimp, a little sour cream, and the remainder of the sauce mixture


Burgers with a side May 23, 2010

Filed under: Side dish,Turkey — WannaBe Chef @ 6:17 pm

Hello, my pretties.  How was everyone’s weekend?  I tell ya what, it’s freakin’ hotttt up in here!  I think it’s around 90 today.  Thank goodness for central air.  Anywho, I’m going to start with the side dish I made last night to go along with our salmon burgers <— didn’t make those, they came in a box ;-).  This succotash is extremely simple to make, and I just love all the textures and flavors together. 

inspired by Ruby Tuesday’s succotash

2 slices extra-lean turkey bacon, chopped
1/3 of a medium red bell pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen, shelled edamame
1 cup canned corn
salt and pepper

-Start the bacon in a skillet coated in cooking spray
-Add the edamame, corn and red pepper; season with salt and pepper
-Saute until heated through (add 1-2 Tbsp water to speed up the process if desired) 

Now we’ll fast forward to tonight’s dinner… burgers!  I had some corn leftover from the succotash, and a whole lotta chipotle peppers in the freezer, so this recipe worked out perfectly. 

Chipotle-Corn Turkey Burgers
Modified from Everyday with Rachael Ray, June/July 2010 issue

1 pound lean ground turkey
1/2 – 3/4 cup canned corn
1 canned chipotle pepper in adobo, finely chopped
2 Tbsp chopped cilantro, plus whole leaves for topping
salt and pepper
4 Arnold’s Sandwich Thins, tomato slices, Miracle Whip Light for topping

-Combine the turkey, chipotle, chopped cilantro, salt (about 1/2 tsp) and pepper in a large bowl
-Shape meat into 4 patties and place on a baking sheet lined with foil and non-stick spray
-Bake burgers at 425 for approx 8-10 per side (time may vary… sorry, I didn’t keep good track of how long mine took!).  Or you could cook these on an outdoor grill. 
-Place burger and toppings on sandwich thin and enjoy!