Amazon icon Audible icon Autographed icon Book Bub icon Booksprout icon Buy Me a Coffee icon Email icon Facebook icon Goodreads icon Instagram icon Mastodon icon Patreon icon Periscope icon Pinterest icon RSS icon Search icon Snapchat icon TikTok icon Tumblr icon Twitter icon Vine icon Youtube icon LinkedIn icon

Tag: goat cheese

Stuffed Chicken Enchilada Shells

Faced with the remnants from a pair of delicious roasted chickens recently, I decided to create an Italian-Mexican fusion meal with pasta shells, goat cheese, and that secret ingredient: enchilada sauce.

We lo-o-ove enchilada sauce!

It was surprisingly, or perhaps not so surprisingly, tasty and my children have clamored for it several times since.

I had been so excited to find these Tinkyada Brown Rice Pasta Grand Shells recently, although you can certainly use regular wheat pasta shells. For this dish the important factor is the shape of the shells, what the Italians call conchiglioni, or large conch shells.

When I was a senior in college, one of my friends used to whip together huge Friday night pasta meals for a packed house of hungry kids. She and I actually both lived in Italy during the same time period but really became friends after we returned and would hang out speaking Italian and drinking lots of Chianti.

One Friday night I remember she mixed together a big bowl of ricotta cheese, mozzarella, garlic, oregano, and who knows what else, and proceeded to direct a team of us toward stuffing it into oversize cooked pasta shells. The stuffed shells then lined a baking pan before being drenched with marinara sauce and topped with more shredded mozzarella. It seemed like a feast.

So I had purchased these shells with something similar in mind only I didn’t know what yet. The leftover chicken meat and shreds from the carcass seemed like a good fit. From a run to the farmer’s market I added corn sliced off the cob (4 ears) and a large green chile (which I roasted over the stove burner, then peeled and seeded).

From the fridge I pulled out leftovers of 8 stalks of steamed asparagus and cut them into 1″ lengths. To finish off the stuffing I shredded two kinds of goat cheese: cheddar and mozzarella. Of course, you can easily use cheeses made from cow’s milk — we find goat’s milk cheeses easier to digest in our house and love the harder styles that taste just like recognizable flavors like cheddar, Monterey jack, and mozzarella.

I put all of this into a big bowl and mixed it together.

Meanwhile, I had been boiling the shells in salted water. When they were on the firmer side of tender, I drained and rinsed them well.

Into a glass baking dish, I poured a few tablespoons of prepared enchilada sauce and painted it across the base and up the sides. I used another tablespoon to ladle stuffing into each pasta shell before placing it snugly into the baking dish.

When the layer of shells was complete I poured enough enchilada sauce on top to cover all of the shells, and sprinkled them with more shedded goat cheese. I put the dish into the oven (I actually used a toaster oven to cook outside on the porch this hot summer night!) at 325 degrees F until the sauce was bubbling and the cheeses had melted.

You should feel free to stuff shells with whatever you have on hand and make your own Italian-fusion cuisine!

Goat Cheese Good for Lactose Intolerance

I wasn’t surprised when I noticed that I had become lactose-intolerant when I was 21. After all, my sister had been lactose-intolerant since birth and my mother had been off of milk since she made the connection in her years ago that milk products made her quite uncomfortable.

Bloating, gassiness, explosive diarreah, constipation, headache… these can all be symptoms of lactose intolerance, particularly if they show up within 1- 12 hours of ingesting a dairy product.

Lactose intolerance is not fun, to say the least. It’s particularly common among Mediterranean, Asian, African and other dark-skinned people, but can affect almost anyone.

It’s worth noting that mammals didn’t evolve to digest dairy products after weaning, and the human mammal is the only one to continue to drink milk as an adult. Really, lactose intolerance should be no surprise to any of us.

Still, life without cheese makes me feel deprived. Evolution didn’t account for the development of cheese.

Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy

Most lactose intolerant people simply avoid dairy products whenever possible. We can also take the lactase enzyme to help digest milk products on a food-by-food basis, but for me, even though lactase will ease the discomfort of digestion, I don’t believe it does everything it needs to because I notice a direct  correlation between when I consume cow’s milk products and weight gain in my own body.

Not so with goat milk products. Go figure.

Although goat’s milk has only slightly less lactose then cow’s milk (4.1% to 4.7%), something is different enough that many lactose-intolerant people don’t have a problem digesting it. Hooray! This discovery has opened up a whole new world for me and my family because we can have cheese again!

Some cheeses from Mt. Sterling Co-Op Creamery

The coolest part is finding how many products are now made with goat milk. Besides the typical soft Chevre log, we’ve found excellent Cheddar, Country Jack, and Mozzarella. Even our local Costco carries slices of unnamed goat cheese. Look for yogurt made from goat’s milk, too.

Colorado alone has more than 50 goat farms, dairies, and creameries. One of my favorites is the Haystack Mountain Goat Dairy — their cheeses are so delicious and special. Here’s a fun article about a program that puts prisoners to work on goat farms and then the goat milk goes to Haystack.

Mt. Sterling Creamery out of Wisconsin has wonderful harder goat cheeses, too.

(Do you get my newsletter? I send out a new Glorious One-Pot Meal recipe every other week exclusively to subscribers, and today’s recipe includes goat cheese!)

Glorious One-Pot Meals cooking demonstration video: Farmhouse Pasta

Feeling weighted down by holiday cheer already? I feel like I’ve been eating chocolate non-stop since Halloween, I don’t know about you! Not to mention all the heavy, hearty meals we’ve been eating during our recent sub-zero weather.

Take a break from rich and heavy foods with this quick, easy, and delicious vegetarian one-pot meal: Farmhouse Pasta.

Mmmmm…. Creamy chevre goat cheese, lightly coating al dente noodles complimented by crisp-tender vegetables to make a colorful and addictive meal.

Make it a meat-lover’s dish by adding 1/2 lb. chorizo or other ground beef or turkey over the pasta when you load the pot.

Happy cooking!

PS: You’ll find this recipe in the current edition of Glorious One-Pot Meals. Get your autographed copy for that hard-to-shop-for person on your list!