Monday, August 29, 2011

Peanut Butter Balls & Chicken Chilaquiles: Part 2

My daughter takes her lunch to school almost every day, and it's safe to say we are in a bit of a *rut.  I've tried the wraps, she usually hates them. I've tried sending soup in a thermos, that takes more pre-planning than I'm able to muster.  And I'm sure she's definitely sick of the same old granola bars and snack bars.  I'm sure she'd love it if I filled her lunch box with peanut butter cups, so I'd say these are the next best thing.  

Not to imply they taste like a pb cup, but they are pretty darned good.  In fact I'm having a little bit of a hard time right now not scarfing down the remainder of them while she's at school.  I'm not sure it's the absolute healthiest recipe around, but at least you can pronounce everything that's in it.  And it's definitely something the kids can help with.  
Here's the recipe I found at Mommy's Kitchen.

1 cup honey
1 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
2 cups dry powdered milk
3 cups oatmeal (instant or old fashioned) uncooked
1-2 tbsp wheat germ (I didn't have any but I had some flax seeds so I ground up a couple tablespoons and threw them in)
1/2 cup mini chocolate chips 
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs

Mix it all together with a hand mixer.  Form balls by hand and place on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper.  Freeze until firm then store in a large ziploc in the refrigerator. 

I know I just made chicken chilaquiles a few weeks ago and shared them with you, but I made a slightly different version this past week from my new cookbook I keep talking about, the "Food Matters Cookbook".  I think I like this version slightly better because of the bell peppers and fresh poblano in it.  I have to confess I didn't go to all the trouble of deep frying my tortillas,  I just toasted them; and I think bagged tortilla chips would be just fine.  

8 small corn tortillas (stale is ok)
1/2 cup olive or vegetable oil
2 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs (I used 3 breasts)
2 poblano (or other fresh mild chiles) seeded and sliced
1 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1 onion halved and sliced
1 tbsp minced garlic
8 Roma tomatoes, seeded and chopped (canned are fine, instructions read to strain them but I preferred it with the juices)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
lime wedges

1. Cut tortillas in half then into 1 inch wide strips.  Put the oil in deep skillet over med-high heat.  Fry the strips, turning frequently until golden brown.  Drain on paper towels. 

2.  Pour off all the oil except 2 tbsp.  Add the chicken and cook until done.  (I have to also confess I just boiled the chicken, just seemed easier)  Add the poblanos and bell pepper, onion and garlic.  Cook about 5 to 10 minutes until vegetables begin to soften.  Add tomatoes and simmer for 2-3 minutes. 

3.  When the chicken is cool enough to handle chop and return to the pan with vegetable mixture.  Along with the tortillas.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.  Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with lime wedges.  

*Any lunch box advice is very appreciated!


Bo said...

I have made something very similar to those balls before...they are good.

Kim said...

Everyday my daughter takes the same lunch (salami, pepperoni, and cheese sandwich)and never seems to get sick of it. I know I couldn't do that! Packing lunches and coming up with new ideas is really hard though so I know where you're coming from.

I love the looks of those pb balls. I probably wouldn't be able to keep away from them if I was home with them during the day.

I borrowed Food Matters from the library and it really is a good book with some fun recipes. I'm glad to hear you liked Bittman's recipe a little better. It looks delicious!

The Japanese Redneck said...

I like the additiona of graham cracker crumbs.

Joanne said...

Dude, I am SO in love with the Food Matters cookbook! I kind of want to cook through the whole thing! If you want to send me with either of these for lunch...I wouldn't argue.

Brenda said...

I make a similar version to these too. Yours are probably healthier, they have oatmeal in them. :o)

Chris said...

Both look fabulous! I'm partial to the chilaquiles because I don't do sweets but I know my kids would love the "not peanut butter cup balls".

Donna-FFW said...

What a great lunch box snack! My kids will love these. I will try them! Thx for idea. said...

--Gosh, I wish you were making my lunch for work :) WOW!

Monet said...

I would love to have found those peanut butter balls in my lunch! Just Beautiful! Thank you for sharing two delicious and inspiring recipes, my friend. I hope your weekend is full of laughter! Hugs from Austin.