As a self-proclaimed foodie I continue to find ways to eat what I want and still maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have loved exercising and staying fit for about ten years now and although it’s a lifelong journey I try my best to eat foods that are nutritious, yet enjoyable. I come from a family where holidays, birthdays and celebrations mean an endless table of collard greens, yams, macaroni and cheese, menudo, tamales and of course, my nemesis– tortilla chips and guacamole. I am an African American and Mexican American woman with the matriarchs of each side of my family being phenomenal cooks, so of course the cooking skills were passed down to everyone (no pressure, right?). In a majority of the traditional foods that are made for my family gatherings, there’s a ton of flour, sugar, sauces, meat and seasoning. Now, I’m not knockin’ these ingredients. Without them, I feel comfortable in saying half the people that come to these get togethers wouldn’t show up if the food wasn’t on point (you know who you are). This being the case, I have made it my personal goal to maintain family recipes and traditions throughout my adult life, while still remaining true to my love for generally healthy meals. Last week I was visiting a few cousins in the Bay Area and I must say these cousins can throw it down in the kitchen. Both of them are excellent cooks and can whip up some mean recipes that will leave you in a food coma the next few hours. They are both very particular eaters and know good food when they taste it. Well, this particular night it was my turn to cook and it was going to be my first time ever making a dish for them. These two cousins are on my African American side of the family and I wanted to delight them with a laid back Tex-Mex inspired meal that would still have a kick, satisfy the taste buds and deliver that comforting wanna go lay on the couch afterwards feeling. So I scrolled through Pinterest and landed on Cream Cheese Chicken Enchilada Stuffed Peppers. I didn’t follow the exact guidelines of this recipe but the dish mainly consisted of green bell peppers, boiled chicken, sour cream, chiles, spinach, tomatoes, chicken broth, sharp cheddar, white rice and cream cheese. The reason I decided to go with this recipe was because of all of the vegetables, the fairly small portion size and I knew it would be an appetizing dish. Turns out my cousins enjoyed the flavor and were very complimentary of how well the dish was put together. Of course, cooking without a moderate amount of the not-so-healthy ingredients that can make a meal savory and flavorful isn’t always possible, but finding a balance between the healthy and not-so-healthy ingredients is key.
Until Next Time