Giving meaning to the cooking….all about community.

Here is the latest meal I’m dropping off for Kai’s Village – Chicken Enchilada Casserole (very easily gluten-free).

All meals delivered to families in need should be frozen, or freezer ready as they’re for treatment days for families of children in treatment.  Here is a bit more about Kai’s Village & how you can either volunteer, donate, or deliver meals.  I try not to get too personal on this blog, as that’s not what it’s intended for, but this is a non-profit that is as close to my heart as the blood that runs to it!  Kai was my nephew (my first cousin’s son, so technically Kai was my cousin, but he wasn’t that at all for me.  I happen to be an only child & cousins are the closest things to sisters & brothers that I have), so for us Kai was a nephew, both to my husband & myself & he was the only cousin on my side for my 2 boys.  We lost Kai baby this past November after an amazing warrior-like fight against his brain tumor.  He was just 2 years old.  You can read his story here at my cousin’s impeccably written blog: Kai’s Fight Club. (don’t try to read it all in 1 day & make sure you have tissues on hand, the love that comes out of these posts is palpable & moving).

As far as the meals go, I didn’t blog about my first drop off, as I wasn’t sure how personal I should get here, but Kai’s Village is always in need of more & more help, so hopefully me telling you all how rewarding it is to help others (we don’t have $$ to donate, so this is a very personal way to help), will get others to help & spread Kai’s message further & further.

This was my second delivery to the same family & this time I wanted to try a new recipe we hadn’t had before, but sounded filling & warm. First I’ll give you the ingredient list from the original recipe, I only made a few changes:

Lazy Girl’s Chicken Enchilada Casserole 

Serves 6

1lb chicken breasts, cut into bite-sized pieces
salt & pepper
1 cup enchilada sauce
1 cup low-fat sour cream
3/4 cup jarred salsa
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
4oz diced green chilies
12 white corn tortillas, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Here are some of the simple changes that I made:

I used a much larger package of chicken, as I made enough for this family & my own at the same time.

my salsa was fresh (not jarred), but if I could recommend a “jarred” salsa, it would definitely be Sabra brand (gluten-free), tastes very close to fresh salsa.

I used canned corn – just a personal preference, I can’t stand the flavor of frozen (just me)…I would have used fresh if I had it on hand.

The corn tortillas were non-GMO, certified organic & gluten-free.

Oh, just realized I should mention while mixing up ingredients I also added oregano & cilantro (both fresh & organic from my own garden)  Added both to the cooking chicken as well 🙂 – I like a lot of flavor in every bite.

I then followed the recipe fairly exact after that.  I made a cilantro-lime rice to go with the casserole.  Here are some pics of the results:

Ready for the oven. 2 Smaller casseroles for delivery & 1 portion for us.

Ready for the oven.
2 Smaller casseroles for delivery & 1 portion for us.

chicken enchilada casserole ready to bake

We added some black beans to ours, yummy!

We added some black beans to ours, yummy!

Cooking up the chicken

Cooking up the chicken

Breasts into bite-size pieces.

Breasts into bite-size pieces.

Celebrate your local community & help others when you can, you will find so much joy in the simple gestures.  I urge you to give back in any way you can to your community, it really does take a village.  I miss Kai every single day, his 2 years here were such a struggle for him & our family feels the pain of missing such an innocent, joyous little man, this is my small way of celebrating his every day, to enjoy ours!

Cook, eat & enjoy!!

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