Chile Verde…yum ~By: Steph

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Chile Verde, only healthy carbs

Last Friday at the supermarket, I decided I was buying tomatillos.  I have never even unwrapped a tomatillo before.  I knew they went into homemade chile verde sauce.  Yep there’s my expertise in a tomatillo husk. Is it called a husk? Hmm…

I realized on Tuesday that I had forgotten about the tomatillos and they were going to end up going to dead vegetable land. More commonly known around these parts as, the trash bin.  Alas, many a vegetable has met this terrible fate in my home.  I decided to stop the madness and do something with these little green, wrinkle wrapped thingys. I went to…wait for it…Pinterest, and found a recipe that sounded pretty yummy/pretty easy (once again…I do not really follow recipes as much as I look at them to see what should go into something.) and I got to work.

Tomatillos are sticky little suckers under that covering.  It was weird and I got great satisfaction at washing their stickiness away before quartering them.  I threw the tomatillos, some chunked up green peppers (yep, chunked up), a couple of halved jalapenos, a rough chopped onion, and an entire head of peeled garlic, on a baking sheet.  Coated everything in roasted garlic olive oil and seasoned with chipotle chile powder, salt, pepper, and cumin.  Took about 15 mins to prep and get into the oven.  I roasted this until the house smelled phenomenal…that means about an hour.  They were so pretty but, I forgot to take a picture of their slightly charred gorgeousness.

After the veggies cooled down a bit I threw them into my Cuisinart with about 1/2 cup of chicken stock and 1 cup of cilantro leaves.  Whirled it until it looked Chile Verde sauce-ish and set it aside.  It was at this point when I realized it made enough for two recipes.  I threw half into a jar to be popped into the freezer.  After it got it’s picture taken, of course!

I cubed up a pork tip roast that I had quick thawed in a pan of water, while the veggies roasted.  They are very lean and I definitely prefer them with some kind of sauce to keep them moist. I seasoned the cubed roast up and popped it into a hot cast iron skillet to brown up. I contemplated throwing the meal into my slow cooker. Which is where I usually make my cheater chile verde with the jarred salsa and canned green sauce.  I thought better of using the slow cooker when I realized it was already after 12:45 and I wasn’t positive the meat would get tender enough before dinner.  I almost put it all away to make the next day and then GENIUS STRUCK.  Okay not really but, I did remember that I had some of those Reynold’s oven bags in the drawer.  I grabbed one out, added the meat, covered it with the sauce, sealed it up, stabbed the bag a couple of times so the steam could escape, and cooked it at 325 for about 2 1/2 hours.  The result was a really ugly looking bag that sort of scared me when I opened the oven. That’s why I included it in the picture.  I was totally convinced I had cooked dinner into an incinerated oblivion.

When I opened the bag up, there was bubbly, green, deliciousness! That’s not a phrase you use often.  I was totally ready to mash up some pinto beans and chow down for dinner that night.  NOPE, Big Guy had an errand to run so I went with him.  Ended up eating the kids meal of grilled chicken nuggets and fruit salad at Chik-fil-a. I LOVE that place.

Wednesday I made some Mexican riced cauliflower.  It was pretty delicious yet, still cauliflower and not rice.  I am not going to lie and say I like it as well as carby, delicious, rice but, I do think it was a nice substitute.   Mashed up and seasoned some pinto beans for fat free “refried” beans. Shredded up a little lettuce and diced a tomato because, I like the fresh crispness with Mexican food. Warmed up the Chile Verde in the oven and ta-da dinner!

I’d say that I spent about 40 mins of prep time on the meal.  There was a lot of waiting patiently (I’m so very good at that…) for the oven.  The end result was definitely worth the time it took.

Healthy carbs, veggies, lean pork, homemade sauce, and some new favorites.  I call this meal a win.

Everyone ate this meal except for My Monster Boy. Well, The Bee didn’t eat the cauli rice.  As I have said before, my son would think I was trying to kill him if I served him something other than pizza with any kind of sauce on it.  Took out a Flatout, coated it very lightly with Ranch dressing, threw on a bit of shredded cheese, and added some turkey pepperoni (shh…don’t tell him), and put it in the toaster over until it was crisp and melty.  That and a bowl of fresh fruit with some cucumber spears, and he was a happy kid with a fairly healthy meal. I love that he enjoys Flatout’s and they have great fiber and protein.

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For my wls friends, I know this looks like a lot of food. I am very near, 4 years out of surgery and can eat a decent portion of food.  This is a salad plate with 2 TBL of beans, 1/4 cup of cauli. rice, 3 oz. of chile verde, and maybe a quarter cup of lettuce with 3 pieces of diced tomato on top. There isn’t even a TBL of cheese on top of the meat.  Maybe 1 1/2 cups of food total. The lettuce and cauli. rice don’t really take up a lot of space for me.  If this plate contained all solid foods, I could do about a cup.  If this plate was a bag of popcorn, chips, cookies, or something else carby and easily digested, I could unfortunately probably do closer to 50 cups.  Okay that may be an exaggeration but, I can do way more of something that breaks down easily like those off limit foods. That is why they are off limit foods for me.


P.S.  I like to grab a few head of cauliflower at the store, and forget them in the fridge until I panic about them going bad.  Then and only then do I drag out the food processer and make cauliflower rice.  I never actually want to use it that night because, honestly I hadn’t planned on using it that night and only touched it because, I was afraid I’d have to throw it away if I waited any longer. So it gets bagged up and put into the freezer for when I actually do want to use it and have absolutely no fresh cauliflower in the house.

 

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