Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Cheesy Chicken Tostadas

A big hello to all the new people who have found my blog recently! Thanks so much to everyone who entered the holiday giveaway so far, and a special thanks to Elizabeth at Love is the Adventure and Joy at Joy Beyond Fifty for blogging about the giveaway! I was a little worried that no one would enter at all, and  the response has exceeded my expectations. If you haven't entered yet, you still can! Just go to the link above and make sure you follow this blog. You have until Saturday night.

I'm happy to say that my fall semester is ending and I have passed practicum I! My final session was successful and I'm planning on continuing to see one of the couples I've been working with when we come back in January. I was flattered and thrilled that they wanted to continue working with me and that they felt positive about the counseling experience they have received thus far. I'm looking forward to my month off from school, which will begin after next Tuesday night. :)

But I have more exciting things to share today...a new recipe! This one is adapted from the South Beach Diet. Although I no longer follow a diet plan, I am still a fan of healthy eating. Here's a delicious recipe that will make both your body and your tastebuds happy!

Cheesy Chicken Tostadas
Adapted from the South Beach Diet 

You Will Need: 
  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat
  • Whole wheat or flour tortillas, 8 inch size (1 per person)
  • 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheese (cheddar or jack cheese are suggested)
  • Tomatoes (either 2-3 cups fresh or one 14 oz can of diced tomatoes)
  • 1/2 a white onion, diced
  • Olive oil
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 
  • Kosher salt (to taste)
  • Sliced avocado (optional)
How It's Done: 
Begin by preheating your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil and place the tortillas on top. You will use one per person, so make sure you make enough for everyone! I used regular flour tortillas since we already had them, but whole wheat is the healthier option. Brush one side of the tortillas with olive oil and sprinkle with some kosher salt. Bake in your oven for about 7 minutes or until crispy and slightly browned, like so:

Set the tortillas aside. Next, heat up a large saute pan and put in a couple teaspoons of olive oil. While the pan heats up, dice the onion and put it into the pan. Let it cook for a couple of minutes, stirring occasionally. While the onion cooks, get to work on your chicken breasts. Slice them very thin. The recipe recommends using thin sliced chicken breasts (chicken cutlets), but I just took about 1.5 regular sized chicken breasts and sliced them up as thin as possible. Whichever way you choose, break out your best knife and go for it! Put the chicken in the pan and allow it to cook until it's just a little less than done. 

Add your diced tomatoes and all of your spices. Feel free to add additional spices of your choosing, or add more than the recipe calls for. I added a little extra cayenne pepper and some Southwest Chipotle seasoning by Mrs. Dash, in addition to a sprinkle of kosher salt. 

Allow the mixture to cook and for the liquid to reduce. I have to admit, mine did not reduce as much as I hoped. This is what slotted spoons are for. Life goes on. When the chicken mixture is just about done, shred your cheese of choice (if it wasn't shredded when you bought it). You're going to want to move quickly for this next part. 

Put your oven on broil and, using a slotted spoon, spoon the chicken mixture onto your tortillas. You want to keep as much of the liquid out as possible in order to preserve the crunchy element the tortilla brings to the recipe.Top with shredded cheese. The recipe recommends using a total of 1/2 a cup for 4 people, so work accordingly. Or add more cheese. I'm not telling. 

Put the pan under the broiler for a couple of minutes, until the cheese is melted. Watch carefully! The cheese will melt quickly. Take it out as soon as it's finished and serve. Top with fresh avocado slices if desired. 


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