How to make a perfectly balanced meal – enchilada edition

Instead of eating macaroni and cheese and Nutella cheesecake every day like I’d like, I’ve been subscribing to the whole balanced plate philosophy of late. One-third protein, one-third veggies and one-third carbs in each meal. So far, I have lost a few ell bees, so I guess I’ll stick with it, even though having cupcakes and a bottle of wine for supper every night sounds like more fun. Gah. Being a grown up is so annoying sometimes.

Chicken and Veggie Enchilada Stack (A perfectly balanced meal adapted from this vegetarian Perry’s Plate recipe.)

The planning ahead version involves throwing the following adapted from this Mexican Chicken recipe in the crock pot first. It is succulent. Make it and put it in everything ever.

photo courtesy of

This chicken is expletive great.

  • 1.5 lbs of boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 2-3 cups chicken broth (enough to cover the chicken in the crock pot)
  • 1/3 cup salsa
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 Chipotle Chili powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Place chicken in crock pot
  2. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine
  3. Cook on High for 4 hours
  4. Shred chicken with a fork before serving
For the enchilada stack:
  • 1 poblano Chile, diced
  • 2 red bell peppers, diced
  • 1 head of cauliflower, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 oz baby spinach leaves
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 2 cups salsa/pico de gallo
  • 6-8 corn tortillas (You can find a homemade corn tortilla recipe here.)
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (I used Colby Jack)
  • sour cream and thinly sliced scallions for garnish, if desired
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly oil a large shallow roasting pan.
  2. Place poblanos, red bell peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato,  and onion onto cookie sheet. Drizzle olive oil and sprinkle the cumin and minced garlic over top. Add a generous pinch or two of salt and black pepper, then use your hands to mix everything together.
  3. After everything is coated well, spread the vegetables evenly in the pan. Roast for 30-40 minutes until vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots. Stir or shake the pan every 10 minutes for even roasting. Remove pan from oven and reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
  4. Prepare an 8.5 x 11 inch baking pan with nonstick spray.
  5. Spread 1/4 cup of salsa into the bottom of the baking pan.
  6. Add a layer of tortilla pieces, to completely cover the salsa.
  7. Top with the vegetables, a handful of spinach.
  8. Spread a layer of shredded chicken over the vegetables
  9. Cover the chicken with a light layer of shredded cheese
  10. Cover with aluminum foil.

Bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake another 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and everything is heated through.

Let it sit for 5 minutes and cut into squares. Serve with sour cream and a sprinkle of sliced scallions.

Serves 6


One-third protein, one-third, veggie, one-third carb. Perfectly balanced meal.

11 Comments on "How to make a perfectly balanced meal – enchilada edition"

  1. Kristin February 14, 2012 at 5:45 pm · Reply

    And now I want Mexican tonight!

    • Tricia February 14, 2012 at 8:52 pm · Reply

      Mexican for Valentine’s Day is absolutely acceptable!

  2. Leslie Deitch February 16, 2012 at 11:02 am · Reply

    That looks delish-just wondering who is gonna chop all that stuff for me-oh that’s right, I can be pre chopped!

    • Tricia February 16, 2012 at 11:09 am · Reply

      The chopping took a while. That part sucked.

  3. The Lucky Wife @ The Saturday Evening Pot February 18, 2012 at 1:19 pm · Reply

    Hi! This sounds so delicious! We’re big fans of Mexican AND crockpot cooking… check out our Crockpot Chronicles DAILY paper. I’m going to feature you in it, probably in tonight’s issue. I’m following you on Twitter… it will be tweeted when it’s out tonight!

    I’m so embarrassed that I’m just now getting to some who shared with us in our SITS day back in December, but with two young children it just takes some time to do anything! Thank you so much. I’m glad you enjoyed the Ask The Chef post and I hope you found some recipes to try. I’m looking forward to checking out more of yours soon… fellow foodie!

    • Tricia February 19, 2012 at 4:30 pm · Reply

      You are so sweet-thank you so much for commenting. I love your blog and I get excited when I see new posts are up. I followed you back on twitter. Thanks again!

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