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Friday, February 21, 2014

Chile Relleno Casserole

Hello everybody! I know you're used to me sharing desserts... After all I just love baking... What you probably don't know is that I barely ever even taste what I bake... I have this love/hate relationship with food and I used to be focused in a very (VERY) low calorie/low fat/low sugar diet... or so I I realize how many foods I was eating that were high sugar and I had no idea... yes they were low calories but no they were not low in sugars... and now... I am in a COMPLETELY sugar-free eating plan now... so again... Desserts seem off-limits but it turns out that this new way of eating (The Trim Healthy Mama way) includes a wide variety of desserts that are on plan and allow you to still lose weight... No sugar but yes other natural sweeteners (no Splenda here!) that do not affect your glycemic index and do not make you insulin resistant as sugar would.The Trim Healthy Mama plan just teaches you to not combine fuels when you eat (you pretty much can eat protein and fat OR protein and carbs but never mix fats and carbs as sometimes we do) ... it is not a low carb diet as you can eat up to 45 grams of carbs when eating "E" type meals  (Energizing Meals = protein+carbs and very low fat) and you can eat up to 10 grams of carbs when eating "S" type meals (Satisfying Meals = protein+fats and very low carbs).

I know it might seem complicated at first but even when I've been on the plan for only about 3 1/2 weeks I am starting to get it... and even when I have thyroid issues I am starting to see some weight loss! This is great because with hypo-thyroidism I am just amazed to be able to eat and not gain weight! I find it miraculous if I can even lose! even if ever so slowly!

So... you will be seeing me around more as I share the foods I eat with the world... For now... I will share with you the recipe to make a delicious "Chile Relleno Casserole" ... The Trim Healthy Mama Book has a recipe for this dish but I decided to make my own with a "more Mexican flare" of course! I am pleased with the results! Hubby loved it and I think you will love it too! Whether you're trying to eat healthier or not this is a YUMMY dish that your family will enjoy.

Disclaimer: this is obviously not an "Authentic Mexican Dish" but it is not deep fried! Which is a better option... You can choose to add more poblano pepper if you can handle the heat. Most of the heat is in the seeds/veins of the pepper anyway and those are discarded. Customize it to your taste.

Chile Relleno Casserole
Trim Healthy Mama - S Meal
Yield: 4 generous servings

  • 7 egg whites + 2 egg yolks (you can use about 1/2 cup of liquid egg-whites from a carton)
  • 6-7  Poblano Peppers (Roasted, Peeled, seeded and sliced into about 1"x0.5" pieces) - to learn how to roast/peel/seed them click here
  • 1.5 lb. (or 3 heaping cups) of cooked chicken (cubed or shredded, I prefer cubed) - you can use leftover skinless rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup part skim mozzarella cheese (You can omit the mozzarella and just add about 1/3 of an 8oz. block of cream cheese, in small "pieces")
  • 1/2 cup petite diced tomatoes (drain if canned or chop your own fresh tomatoes)
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Garlic and onion powder are optional and to taste (they do add a great deal of flavor)
  • Preheat oven at 350F. Grease an 8x8 (or 9x9) baking dish with some butter, EVOO or coconut oil.
  • In a bowl mix the egg whites and egg yolks with a fork or whisk, season with the garlic/onion powders, salt and pepper, mix, add rest of the ingredients to the bowl and gently fold all the ingredients together until they're all incorporated. Season with some more salt and pepper (careful with the salt especially if using pre-seasoned chicken like the rotisserie kind). 
  • Add the mix of ingredients into baking dish and smooth with a spoon or spatula. Bake uncovered for about 45 minutes. 
(Update 3/15/15: I reduced the amounts of cheese in the ingredients but you can add more to your taste if desired, I think this is a good amount though)
 The first time we had this I served it to hubby with some sliced avocado and a spring mix salad. The second time I gave him a whole wheat tortilla as well to enjoy. If you're following the Trim Healthy Mama Plan remember you can have up to 6 grams of store-bought carbs from breads. with this "S Type Meal"


Check out this Pyrex 10-Piece Set, Clear with Blue Lids - Perfect for storage and for baking! I love mine!

© Paloma K.

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Velvety, Lemony, Perfect!

Hello everybody! I can't believe another month has gone by! Where are days going? How can it almost be March? Wasn't it just Christmas? I feel like time is just escaping right in front of me! I am almost 35 as well!!! What in the world? Wasn't I just the age of my friend's daughter? How dare she be 18? How dare she have her prom in April? Wasn't I just 18? Anyway... I guess it's just starting to hit me! like... really hit me!

But... in Mexico we say "Las penas con pan son buenas" which translated means "Even pain is good if there's bread" and of course we have these weird expressions for everything in Mexico... and I guess if you pay attention to that "saying" you'll understand why we, Mexicans, are sooooo into food! Like... really into it! It's almost like a cult! LOL!  And there's obviously always truth in those popular sayings... Everything "feels better" when you eat! (therefore so much obesity I guess!) ... So... let's make the pain of getting older go away if just for a second with a little cake!

It's time to reveal the "Cake of the Month" ... we, The Cake Slice Bakers are baking through the "Great Cakes" book (by Carole Walter) ... this book has turned out to be quite a disappointment for some... I've actually enjoyed baking from it! and hubby has not complained at all either... It is a very old fashioned book... but there's a certain enticing beauty to old fashioned recipes! This month the cake that won our poll was

Lemon Velvet Squares 

They were... delicious! SOOOOOOOOOOO delicious! At least... we truly, deeply loved them! For the very first time we all REALLY loved a lemon cake/dessert! It wasn't overly lemony at all... and the lemon glaze that Mrs. Walters suggests to go with this cake is just the perfect way to top this very perfect, subtle, delicate, beautiful cake!

Since the recipe has already been published online I will share it with you today as well:

Lemon Velvet Squares 
(slightly adapted from "Great Cakes" by Carole Walter Recipe)
Yield: ( about 8-10 servings)

  • 2 1/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder (I use aluminum free)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated navel orange rind
  • 1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice(or you can even use the "Simply Orange" juice which is all I had)
  • 1 tablespoon powdered sugar, for garnish(or make a simple lemon glaze by creaming together 2 tbsp. unsalted butter at room temperature and 1 cup of powdered sugar and then just add 2 tsp. fresh lemon juice, 1 tsp. hot water -add a few more drops if too thick-, 1/2 vanilla extract and blend until it is pourable and smooth.)

  1. Preheat oven to 350°; butter a 13x9 inch baking pan. 
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt; set aside.
  3. Cut the butter into 1" pieces and place in the large bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment.
  4. Add in the lemon and orange rinds and soften on low speed.
  5. Increase to med-high and cream until smooth and light in color, about 1 ½-2 minutes.
  6. Add the sugar gradually and take a total time of about 6-8 minutes to blend it in well (scrape the sides of the bowl occasionally).
  7. Add in eggs, 1 at a time (add the next one as the previous one has completely disappeared but don't overmix), scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
  8. Decrease speed to low; in a small bowl, combine the water, lemon juice, and orange juice.
  9. Add the dry ingredients alternating with the liquids, dividing the flour mixture into 3 parts and the liquid into two parts, starting and ending with the flour.
  10. Mix just until incorporated after each addition; do not worry if the batter appears to curdle, it should smooth out after the flour is blended inches.
  11. Scrape the sides of the bowl and mix for 10 seconds longer. 
  12. Spoon batter into prepared pan, smoothing with the back of a spoon.
  13. Center the pan on the oven rack and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the cake is golden brown on top, springy to touch, and begins to come away from the sides of the pan. 
  14. Remove pan from oven and set on a cake rack to cool.
  15. Just before serving, place powdered sugar in a fine mesh strainer and dust the top of the cake (or pour the easy lemon glaze that I mentioned in the ingredients section); cut into squares and serve.


© Paloma K.