Thursday, January 10, 2013

New Recipe: Mami's Sofrito

Growing up, my sisters and I would help my mom do the prep work to make a big batch of sofrito (pronounced so-free-toe lol) whenever she was running low. She kept in a big plastic container in the fridge & it still amazes me that I've never seen sofrito "go bad". Well, I know that I've carried on this tradition as an adult (minus the 3 daughters to help me prep lol). It's a staple in every Puerto Rican household, well at the ones in my family! I will often use it as an ingredient in my recipes I post, so obviously, I have to share the sofrito recipe. I'm going to give you the "big batch" version & you can always scale it down.

Mami's Sofrito

WW Points Plus: 0

6-7 green bell peppers, seeded & chunked
6-7 tomatoes (about the same size as the bell peppers you pick out), chunked
6-7 yellow onions (about the same size as the tomatoes & bell peppers), chunked
6-7 heads of garlic, peeled
1 bunch of fresh cilantro, washed
Water, oregano, salt & pepper as needed
(Optional ingredients)
A pack of ajices dulces (small sweet peppers), seeded
Scotch bonnet peppers to your desired hotness **see warning in the notes


1. Start by putting a handful each of onions, bell peppers, tomatoes, and garlic into the blender jar. Add some of the cilantro, oregano & a little bit of salt & pepper. Add just enough water to get the blending started (I would start with 1/8 of a cup).

2. Blend until it's the consistency of a purée. If your blender isn't full if purée, keep the blender going & add in equal amounts of each ingredient through the hole in the jar lid EXCEPT the water, salt, pepper & oregano.

3. Once the blender is pretty full, pour out almost all of the sofrito into an air-tight storage container. Leave just enough in the blender jar to get the next round blended (this now replaces the water from Step 1).

4. Repeat Steps 1-3, minus the water, until you have no more peppers, onions, tomatoes, garlic & cilantro left.


- This recipe is very flexible! I love garlic so I usually have more garlic than I do the other ingredients.

- If you want your sofrito to be spicy, that's what the optional Scotch Bonnet peppers are for. **WARNING** Do not seed the Scotch Bonnets with your bare hands... SERIOUSLY, your skin & nails will be burning like crazy & if you then accidentally rub your eyes - YOWZA! I speak from experience! I couldn't get it off my hands for almost a week :-(

- We use sofrito for lots of different things, including but not limited to, the base for yellow rice, marinating pork roasts & turkeys, a base for stewed beans/meats.

- The sofrito will be a bright, light green or possibly have a light reddish tint when you first make it. It will change to a darker color after a few days in the fridge. Don't freak out, it's still good & I've had a batch last me a whole year (but then again it is just me in my house lol).

- Sometimes my mom would use cleaned, empty spaghetti sauce jars to store the sofrito & give to her friends. Once you start loving sofrito, you're gonna want to share it's yummy goodness with others, so save your spaghetti jars LOL

New recipe - Spinach & Chicken Quesadillas

As I am getting back on track, I know that means I have to do a lot less eating out & a lot more cooking. Not that I can't eat out, but cooking gives me control over what goes into my food & how it's prepared. That being said, this week I got back in my kitchen and came up with this recipe for some healthy & scrumdeliumptious quesadillas that have surpassed any of the restaurant quesadillas I've had in flavor. They're also very Weight Watchers friendly :-)

Spinach & Chicken Quesadillas

Serving Size: 1 or 2 quesadillas
Points Plus Values: 4 for 1, 8 for 2**


2 large boneless, skinless chicken breast w/ rib meat
4 cups water
1 tbsp taco seasoning (I like Taco Bell's)
1/2 tbsp Goya Adobo seasoning
3 tbsp Mami's Sofrito (recipe will be posted)
1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 to 3 cups fresh baby spinach
1 oz shredded extra sharp 2% cheddar
1 Laughing Cow garlic & herb cheese wedge
2 Ole Xtreme Wellness High Fiber Low Carb tortillas
Cooking spray


1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a sauce pan. Bring to a boil. Cover & simmer over medium heat until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken breasts and shred with two forks. Place the shredded chicken back into the simmering pot & reduce to low.

2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the garlic & spinach. Cook until just wilted & remove from pan.

3. Preheat griddle to 375. Spread each tortilla with 1/2 Laughing Cow cheese wedge.

4. Measure out 4 oz of shredded chicken. You will use 2 oz for each quesadilla.

5. Lightly spray the griddle w/ cooking spray. Place both tortillas on the griddle, cheese side up. Sprinkle a little shredded cheese on 1/2 of each tortilla. Add 2 oz chicken to 1/2 of each chicken. Add half the spinach to each half. Then add remaining cheddar to each half. Fold each tortilla over the filling side.

6. When underside is golden brown, flip each quesadilla over & cook until golden brown. Then serve!!!

- You can accompany the quesadilla(s) with 0 point salsa or pico de gallo.
- Other filling options that won't change the points values: bell peppers, onions, mushrooms.
- You will have plenty of chicken left to make more quesadillas or stay tuned for my Easy Chicken & Black Bean that uses the leftover shredded chicken.