Leftover Turkey Enchiladas | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas are an excellent way to transform your leftover turkey into something completely different and completely delicious. Bonus, they’re super simple to make.

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

I think this might be the time of year when I get most homesick for America. I wake up to a Thursday just like any other day, knowing that all over the country, people are taking a day off work to prepare a feast with their families. While they’re all prepping pies and side dishes, filling their homes with enticing smells, I’m sitting at my computer. Instead of friends and family, I’m spending my day with teenagers who would rather be anywhere else than stuck with me.

My first Thanksgiving living abroad was particularly tough. I lived in Taiwan and was totally alone. That evening, I took myself to The Early Bird Diner, an American diner that was a refuge to the expat community. I ordered a turkey and bacon melt and a Sprite. It might have been the loneliest sandwich I’ve ever eaten.

Since then I’ve created my own traditions, and on Saturday, I’ll be hosting my own feast for some of the people I love here in Scotland. It will be amazing, but I’ll still feel a little sad watching all of you digging in to your turkey dinner on Instagram.

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

By the time I’m having my Thanksgiving meal, you could already be making these Leftover Turkey Enchiladas. Because let’s be honest, there are only so many turkey sandwiches you can really eat. Pretty much anything you can make with chicken can also be make with turkey, so you might as well take your leftovers in a completely different direction.

These enchiladas are cheesy and spicy and warming. They’re also totally kid-friendly with no obnoxious hidden veggies to crunch between your teeth and ruin your life. Yes, I still eat like a child most of the time. It’s real life. You can accompany these enchiladas with beans and rice or a fresh salad if you prefer. Whatever you do, just make and eat these with your leftover turkey this year.

Leftover Turkey Enchiladas | How to Be Awesome on $20 a Day

Thanksgiving is my favorite time of year. Keep the happiness going with these Leftover Turkey Enchiladas. It’s gonna be awesome.

Find the original Picky Eater Chicken Enchiladas here.

A Dozen Awesome Mexican Recipes

A Dozen Awesome Mexican Recipes

A Dozen Awesome Mexican Recipes

When somebody asks you if you want Mexican food, the answer is always yes. Even if you’re like my charmingly English husband who calls all Mexican food fajitas, it’s still gonna be awesome. Spicy, meaty, cheesy. There’s just so much awesome. And with Cinco de Mayo right around the corner, baby you better get ready. Here are a dozen recipes for you to love.

Bacon-Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers are so many kinds of awesome I can’t even begin to explain. There have never ever been leftovers. 

It’s almost time for picnic season. Bring Southwest Pasta Salad and be everybody’s favorite person.

I want to eat all the Buffalo Chicken Tacos by myself. Back up off my spicy chicken tacos, yo! 

Spicy Chicken Chili is the perfect thing to make a lot of people outrageously happy all at once. 

We don’t wait for a special occasion to make My Mom’s Tacos. We actually eat them about every other week. Last time Geoff ate his with half a scorpion pepper. He’s insane.

Vegetarians love Mexican food, too. Feed them Mexican Lasagna and they’ll love you forever.

Jalapeno Deviled Eggs are a spicy version of one of the most classic potluck dishes ever. Give the church ladies a surprise!

Chili with Gnocchi is a great way to stretch a small amount of meat, and a great way to burn your mouth off. Go ahead and make it ridiculously spicy. What have you got to lose?

You’re going to need a drink to keep your face from setting itself on fire. Water is useless against chilis. A Passion Fruit Margarita will satisfy all your tropical drink needs. 

In case you need to take this Mexican action to the grill, you can always bring out Spicy Southwest Burgers. Cheeseburgers are my power animal. 

Tequila’s not only for margaritas. Geoff also made this Mexican Bird of Paradise cocktail with tequila and pineapple juice. Sometimes experiments turn into something awesome. 

Please everyone with these Picky Eater Chicken Enchiladas. Even I’ll eat them without picking anything out. 

Seriously, just go and eat all the Mexican food you can get your hands on before it’s too late! No excuses!

Picky Eater Chicken Enchiladas from Awesome on 20

Picky Eater Chicken Enchiladas

Picky Eater Chicken Enchiladas from Awesome on 20

I like to pretend like I’m mature and sophisticated. Sometimes I wear cheap as free versions of Claire Underwood dresses to work. I listen to NPR and occasionally read Russian novels. And I love to read about fancy gourmet food, but I hardly ever want to actually eat it. It’s all an act. I actually have the palate of a 4th grader.

When I saw Bakingdom’s recipe for kid-friendly enchiladas, I figured it would be perfect for me. If kids like it, I probably will, too. There are no actual vegetables in these enchiladas, not even diced onion. It’s just sauteed chicken breast, a creamy sauce, plenty of cheese, and tons of flavor. 

Picky Eater Chicken Enchiladas from Awesome on 20

These chicken enchiladas may not be sophisticated. I certainly wouldn’t serve them if my boss came over for dinner, or the Underwoods, but I have served them to my friends, and we all loved them. What they lack in pretension they make up for in homey, comforting, spicy goodness. 

I guess these humble, unassuming, but deliciously awesome enchiladas sort of represent everything this blog is about. They’re made with simple, cheap ingredients. They’re not expensive or snobby or trendy. They put a huge smile on my face. Food doesn’t have to be fancy or trendy to be good. Love what you love, even when it’s a simple enchilada. Maybe Martha Stewart wouldn’t approve, but who cares what she thinks anyway?

Picky Eater Chicken Enchiladas from Awesome on 20

Make everybody happy, even the picky eaters in your life. Make chicken enchiladas for dinner. It’s gonna be awesome.

Picky Eater Chicken Enchiladas
Yields 6
Cheesy, spicy chicken enchiladas that even the pickiest eaters will love.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  2. 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
  3. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  4. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  5. 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  6. 1/2 cup sour cream
  7. 1 can low-sodium cream of chicken soup
  8. 1 packet hot taco seasoning
  9. 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  10. 6 whole wheat tortillas
  11. 1/4 cup milk
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly spray a baking dish with nonstick spray.
  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Season chicken with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Add to the skillet and sautee chicken until cooked through for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure it's cooked on all sides.
  4. While this is going on, add sour cream and cream of chicken soup to a medium sauce pan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Stir in taco seasoning and simmer gently while chicken cooks.
  5. Once your chicken is cooked through, turn the heat off and add about half of your sauce and half of the cheese to the skillet and stir it all together.
  6. Add milk to the remaining sauce, and continue to simmer while you build your enchiladas.
  7. Add a serving spoonful of chicken to the middle of each of your tortillas. Roll them up and place them, seam side down, in your baking dish. I was able to fill 6 tortillas.
  8. Pour the remaining sauce over your enchiladas and spread it around to cover. Top it with the cheese and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted.
  9. Wait for at least 10 minutes before serving, lest you burn yourself on molten cheese. Serve to your friends and family and impress them with your simple sophistication.
Adapted from Bakingdom
Adapted from Bakingdom
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/

Mexican Lasagna from Awesome on 20

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna from Awesome on 20

I’m a picky eater. An obnoxiously picky eater. I don’t like fruits and vegetables. I’ve tried, but I just don’t like them. I like carbs and cheese. It’s how I’m built. Trust me when I say that I’ve actually expanded the things I will eat pretty extensively over the course of my adult life. It’s still fairly limited, though.

My husband, on the other hand, is only moderately picky. He’s also trying to lose weight, which means he gets slightly annoyed when I try to cook carbs and cheese. Lucky for him, I love love love to cook just about anything, whether I’m going to eat it or not. The act of cooking brings me plenty of joy. I don’t have to be the one putting it in my face.

Mexican Lasagna from Awesome on 20

This dish has some carbs and enough cheese to turn your head, but it’s also loaded with veggies, including tomatoes, onions, peppers and corn. There are also black beans, which might be a super food. Let’s say they are. They taste super, so even if they’re not as healthy as I would like to believe, they’re still awesome. And with fall finally starting to make its presence known in the form of more rain and afternoon highs in the low 80’s, layers of baked carbs, cheese, and veggies seem like exactly the right thing to do.

Since this dish is vegetarian, you can make it fairly inexpensively. I had to buy nearly every ingredient for this dish, and I spent less than $20. And this makes eight servings. My husband will be eating this for lunch and dinner for the next four days.

If you wanted to make this vegan, it could probably be done by using vegan cheese. You might need to check the labels on your beans and tortillas. I’m not an expert on this, but I think it’s totally feasible to adapt this recipe to be completely free of animal products, if that’s your thing.

Mexican Lasagna from Awesome on 20

Sometimes you have to make sacrifices for the ones you love. While my husband is eating and loving Mexican lasagna, I’ll probably be eating blue box mac and cheese. It’s a rough life. Eat your veggies, kids!

Mexican Lasagna
Serves 8
A lasagna-like stack of tortillas layered with salsa, black beans, corn, and cheese. Perfect vegetarian meal for a spicy fall night.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 clove garlic
  2. 1 tablespoon olive oil
  3. 1 onion
  4. 1 bell pepper, whichever color is on sale
  5. 2 serrano peppers
  6. 1 teaspoon salt
  7. 1 can petite diced tomatoes
  8. 1 can petite diced tomatoes with peppers (any combination of 2 cans of tomatoes will do)
  9. 1 tablespoon ketchup
  10. 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  11. 1 can whole kernel corn
  12. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  13. 8 whole wheat tortillas
Instructions
  1. Preheat your oven to 400 and find your deepest round baking dish, 9 or 10 inches in diameter, at least 2-1/2 inches deep.
  2. Smash your garlic clove with the flat side of your knife and peel the skin off. Toss the whole clove into a skillet with your olive oil and heat over medium. Don't forget to pull this out at the end. Chop your onion, and peppers and add them to the pan. Sprinkle them with salt and allow them to cook and soften for about 15 minutes.
  3. Add the canned tomatoes, then fill each can about 1/4 of the way up with water. Swirl it around to get the tomatoey goodness off the side of the can, then add the water to the pan. Squeeze in the ketchup and allow it all to simmer together for about 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, assemble your filling by mixing together black beans, corn, and most of the cheese. Hold a bit back for the very top.
  5. Now it's time to assemble. Start with a few spoonfuls of sauce spread around the bottom of your pan, then lay down two tortillas, overlapping Venn diagram style. Next, add a third of the filling, and some more sauce. Repeat this two more times.
  6. Lay down tortillas 7 and 8 on the top. Spread the last of your sauce over these, then top the whole thing with some extra shredded cheddar.
  7. Bake this in the oven for 30 minutes. You will probably want to put a baking sheet underneath your pan to catch any drips.
  8. When the time is up, let your dish hang out for at least 10 minutes before cutting into it. Slice into wedges like a pie and serve it to your veggie loving friends and family.
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
Adapted from Nigella Lawson
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/
 

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Mom's Tacos

My Mom’s Tacos

Mom's Tacos

I don’t think more than two weeks ever passes at our house without my husband asking me to make tacos for dinner. But he doesn’t mean authentic Mexican roadside tacos, or fish tacos with fresh guacamole, or even hipster tacos with kimchi or pork belly. He wants my “tacos,” which are really my mom’s tacos. This is weeknight, working mom, dinner on the table in 20 minutes food. It’s not pretty or trendy or sophisticated. It’s just damn good. No need to set the table or uncork the wine. These tacos are meant to be eaten in front of the TV with a big glass of milk. That’s how I did it when I was a kid, and that’s how I do it now.

taco ingredients

It’s so simple I hesitate to even share it with you, except for the fact that this is literally the most eaten dinner in our house. My mom’s secret is a can of refried beans mixed into the meat. It bulks up the tacos in the best possible way. Tacos that are just ground beef are so boring. Why aren’t they doing this at every drive thru taco place on the planet? My mom was so clever.

She also fried the flour tortillas in a bit of hot oil. This is delicious, but I’m mostly too lazy, and trying to keep the calories down ever so slightly, to bother with this step. But by all means, if you want to make these extra ridiculous, slide your flour tortilla into about an eighth of an inch of hot oil. It only needs about 30 seconds a side. Just stand right there and turn it when it gets brown. Drain them briefly on a paper towel, then load up your taco meat and toppings. It’s 80’s suburban familial bliss.

Mom's Tacos

My mom died in 2009, so I’m always looking for ways to keep her close by. Cooking the food she made when I was a child is one of my favorite ways to do that. Don’t tell anybody, but I still put ketchup on my tacos, just like when I was 10. I don’t recommend it to normal humans. I’m not normal.

Next time you’re exhausted on a Wednesday, make these tacos. They’re so simple you could make them in your sleep, and so freakin’ good you won’t be able to move afterward. 

Moms Tacos3

 

Mom's Tacos
Yields 6
Fast and simple week night tacos just like the old days
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Total Time
20 min
Total Time
20 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 pound ground beef
  2. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  3. 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  4. 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  5. 1 packet hot taco seasoning (you should probably make your own, but I always forget)
  6. 3/4 cup water (or just refill the seasoning packet)
  7. 1 can spicy jalepeno refried beans
  8. whole wheat tortillas
  9. shredded cheese
  10. sour cream
  11. salsa
  12. and all your other favorite taco toppings
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet over medium high heat, break up your ground beef with a wooden spoon and season with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook until browned, about 8 minutes.
  2. Drain the fat from the ground beef by pouring it into a colander. Return it to the pan.
  3. Sprinkle your seasoning packet over the cooked meat and add water. Stir to combine.
  4. Add refried beans and smoosh everything together. It will become easier to stir as it heats. Simmer for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  5. For a softer tortilla, heat it in the microwave for 15 seconds. Spoon your taco meat onto your tortilla and add all your favorite toppings. You can even have ketchup. I won't tell.
Adapted from my mom, Traci
Adapted from my mom, Traci
How to be Awesome on $20 a day http://awesomeon20.com/



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