Inspiration Award and Enchilada Bake

Grateful am I to Carolyn of “Chasing Light” for nominating me for the Inspirational Blogger Award! I am honored, so honored by this blogosphere shout out, especially during this exhausting epoch of general surgery—the notice of the award was a bright moment in a tunnel-sort of week. Image

I am living in Need-Food-for-the-Entire-Week mode. I feel compelled to share my go-to recipe for massive amounts of left-overs that continue to taste good throughout the week, that taste good over and over again, even when you don’t even have time to microwave. Also, although I wouldn’t medically advise this practice, I thought this stuff even tasted good after it sat in my locker, unrefrigerated, all day when I got stuck at the operating table for a 10-hour case. Nothing tastes better than the hope that microbes haven’t invaded and proliferated in your lunch—and then, nothing tastes better than a missed lunch finally requited for a late dinner. Enchilada, I love you.  Image

Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake

1 medium onion, chopped

1 large red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 rotisserie chicken, skin removed, deboned and shredded (this is ideal, but this week I didn’t even have time to find a cooked chicken, or to cook one, so I got some pre-cooked grilled chicken cubes from the freezer. Still tastes great)

2 (15 ounce each) cans diced tomatoes with green chiles, undrained

2 (10-1/2 ounce each) cans condensed cream of chicken soup

1/2 c. chicken broth

1/2 tsp ground oregano

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

18 (6 inch) corn tortillas

3 c. shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish; set aside.

In a large skillet sauté onion, bell pepper and garlic in hot oil over medium-high heat until tender. Stir in chicken, tomatoes, condensed soup, chicken broth, oregano, cumin, chili powder and cayenne pepper. Heat mixture through. Remove from heat. Image

Place 6 of the tortillas in the prepared baking dish, overlapping as necessary. Top with one-third of the chicken mixture and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. ImageImageImage

Repeat layers twice more, leaving off the final layer of cheese.

Bake, covered, for 25 to 30 minutes or until bubbly. Uncover and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake, uncovered, about 5 minutes more or until cheese is melted. Let stand for 10 minutes. Just before serving, top with lettuce and chopped tomatoes.


As for this award deal, it is only right to pay it forward. Here are the rules of the award as I understand them:


Thank the person who nominated you.

Add the “Very Inspiring Blogger Award” logo to your post.

Share 7 things about yourself.

Nominate a few bloggers who inspire you.

Include the set of rules.

Inform your nominees by posting a comment on his/her blog.


1. An exhausted (but not jaded, I still love my patients!) medical student on a general surgery rotation.

2. Wife to the phenomenal special ed teacher Karl-Peter,

3. Mother to 80lbs of English Bulldog, Izzy.

4. Soon to be mother of three precocious backyard Rhode Island Reds

5. Farmer of three rather impressive tomatoes (pics forthcoming), quite a summer’s harvest

6. Author of a post-Katrina education memoir that has yet to find the right agent, and recent MFA grad

7. Marathoner and Jazz Diva


Liz at My Favourite Pastime

The Monday Baker

Ariel Boswell and The Ethnography of Real Life

Gluten Free Gus

Bread Love and Dreams

In the Kitchen With Kath

Prateeksha at CookNutritious

Playing With Flour

Daniel at Breads Cakes and Ales

Mom. She doesn’t have a blog, but if she did, it would be on this list, Mom, you are my inspiration.

You all have been not only inspirational to me, but supportive! I appreciate your sharing and feedback always! When I get home and want to fall on my face in a puddle of scrubs, sometimes I look at your blogs and think to myself, rather than sleep, I should make that and eat it while I study. Thanks for all that you do! This song is for YOU.

16 thoughts on “Inspiration Award and Enchilada Bake

  1. Rachel love…thanks for the song..would you believe I saw them in concert once? Yes, there I was with might lighter lit!:-) I am so glad you and your brother have taken to medicine and both love the kitchen…a place of solace and creativity. I’m so grateful God put you in my arms 28 years ago……m

  2. Thank you so much for the nomination, Rachel! I am honored and humbled. You are amazing – you’re able to post regularly to your lovely blog on a medical student’s schedule! Kudos to you! I enjoy following your blog, even though I sadly have found that I feel much better if I don’t eat wheat.

    1. Absolutely, Kath. How do you do with kamut and quinoa? I try to work those non-wheat ingredients in every now and then… and I keep meaning to pursue more gluten free options (but the ingredients are so expensive and hard to find in Rochester, MN)

      1. I haven’t used kamut though I’m sure I’d be fine with it. I do use quinoa, but I just cook the whole seeds. Mostly I have played around with blanched almond meal and coconut flour. They’re both lower carb which I like. Paleo recipes work for me, but I will never jump on the Paleo bandwagon because I love cheese and yogurt! 🙂

      2. You’re so right about the ingredients being expensive! Baked goods are a once in a while treat in our house so the expense doesn’t seem that bad. I keep the ingredients in the freezer.

  3. Felicidades on the award nomination, darling! I love learning even more about your beautiful life from reading your “Who Am I”? responses – I hope some publisher soon realizes the treasure they’ve got on their hands when they read your manuscript! Fuerza as you continue marching through this experience in Florida – you truly are an inspiration, and not just to other baking bloggers!

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