Ok, I know. These two don’t sound like they would go together. However, we had zucchini that was going to go bad soon, so hence the side dish. They were both delicious. The best part? Both pretty healthy items. The second best part? I managed to cook these suckers without burning anything! Considering I have burned couscous before (no joke), I was pretty concerned with how well I could do with these. With just a little help from Alex we had an awesome dinner, with leftovers for today!
I found both recipes on Pintrest. Props to the Budget Savvy Diva, who posted the Parmesan Roasted Zucchini. To see her post (and find other great recipes) you can check her out here. Kudos go to Lauren at Healthy Delicious for the Chicken and Spinach Flautas recipes. I have pinned multiple recipes by her, and so far her recipes are awesome! To take a look yourself, you can head on over here.
For the zucchini, the hardest part was actually just slicing the darn thing into fourths. Alex and I actually ended up cutting them thinner, which made them super mushy. They tasted great, but next time I would want a little more crunch. The prep for these took all of five minutes, and they only had to cook for 15. With only 5 ingredients, these are awesome for people on a college budget. I know I keep all the ingredients aside from the zucchini at my apartment at all times. Plus all these ingredients are items you use in other dishes, so you will get your use out of them. Don’t believe me? Check out the recipe below.
The chicken and spinach flautas were also super easy, just time consuming. I made a couple of modifications based off of what I had in the house. For starters, I used chicken breasts instead of chicken thighs. Which makes it a wee bit healthier because there’s less fat. I cut each breast in half to cook faster, but it still took 15 minutes, instead of 10 to cook the chicken like the recipe said. The recipe calls for 16 oz of beer. With neither Alex or I being 21, we had to make do with the one 12 oz bottle of Coors my dad had in the house. To make up for the missing liquid, we just added more water. To us there was not any difference. We also did not put in the jalapeno at my request. For the cheese I used a light Mexican blend because that is what I could find at the grocery store. The hardest part of the whole thing was actually putting the flautas together. We had to ration the meat for 10 flautas, which would have been much easier could we of just laid all 10 out and put the meat on them. Due to limited space (and a hungry doggy who was just begging for a bite) we had to make one at a time. Rolling them up and putting them on the sheet was definitely easy. To save a few calories, we sprayed them with cooking spray instead of using olive oil. I should note I forgot to spray the pan – DON’T MAKE MY MISTAKE! It was not fun getting the flautas off the cookie sheet. Finally, if you have salsa on hand, I would use that as dipping sauce. The flautas were great plain, but the salsa just made them that much better. Again, the recipe is posted below, but feel free to check out both of these wonderful food blogs!
Excuse the Soma catalog up in the corner, but other than a little crispy edges, I think this turned out great! And it was pretty simple.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 400. Cut off the ends of the zucchini and cut lengthwise into fourths. Lay zucchini on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper. Brush olive oil on each and sprinkle: salt, pepper, garlic powder. Top with cheese. Bake for 15 minutes.
Baked Chicken and Spinach Flautas
- 1 pound boneless, skinless Chicken Thighs (about 4)
- 16 ounces Beer
- 2 cups Water
- 1 teaspoon Paprika
- 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
- 1 teaspoon Garlic Powder
- 1 teaspoon ground Cumin
- 1 teaspoon Chili Powder
- 1 Jalapeno Pepper, minced
- 3 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
- 5 burrito-size Flour Tortillas (9 inches)
- 6 ounces Queso Quesadilla or other melting cheese, shredded
- 1 tablespoon Olive Oil, or cooking spray
- Salsa, for serving
- Preheat the oven to 450*F.
- Put the chicken thighs in a deep sided saute pan and cover with the beer and water. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove the chicken from the liquid and shred it. Mix together the chicken and seasonings.
- Pour out all but 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid. Add the jalapeno and spinach and cook over low heat until for 2-3 minutes, or until the spinach is wilted.
- Cut the tortillas in half. Spoon 1/10th of the chicken (about 1 tablespoon) along the long edge of a tortilla. Repeat with the spinach and cheese. Roll the tortilla up, starting with the straight edge. Place seam-side down on an oiled baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas.
- Brush the flautas with olive oil or spray with cooking spray. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn them over and bake for until 10 minutes, or until crispy. Serve with salsa.