When you have people over, the temptation (at least for me) is to make some grand meal “you’ve been wanting to try.” STOP right there. I’ve been there too and it never works out like you think it will. Pinterest fail anyone? Find a handful of recipes that are tried and true, your family loves, and others have been pleased with as well. For my family, one of those recipes is Crockpot Enchiladas! This is a creamy, savory, tasty recipe, but using canned ingredients and lots of cheese I know may be a diet issue for some. Naturally, you can make some substitutions for any health concerns. Here’s the link for the recipe and some of my tweaks below!
Crockpot Enchiladas from Heritage Schoolhouse
My main substitution is homemade enchilada sauce instead of canned (when I have time) that way I can control the amount of sodium. Here’s a good recipe for quick, tasty enchilada sauce!
5-Minute Enchilada Sauce from Crunchy Creamy Sweet
You could also make your own Ranch Style Beans, if you have time. This recipe makes a big batch, so you could freeze them in 1 1/2 cup portion bags. That way, when you need a “can” of Ranch Style Beans, 1 1/2 cup will be the right amount.
Homemade Ranch Style Beans from Homesick Texan
I also make a couple of healthy, sneaky additions to most of my beef meals:
Healthy, Sneaky Additions:
- Shredded Zucchini. It is basically tasteless, but adds nutrients and serves as a healthy “filler,” ie makes your dish go farther!
- Ground Flax. Again, tasteless, and adds nutrients such as omegas and has a small amount of fiber and protein.
- If your crowd is accustomed to “healthy swaps,” you could also add some finely chopped or diced oats which are known to reduce cholesterol (Just not too much, or it will take on an oatmeal flavor. I typically add maybe 1/4 cup per pound of meat.). You could even add some quinoa, rice, or lentils to make the dish go farther.
- I also use local grass-fed beef. Where I live, I’m able to get it for $5/lb which is not much more than beef from the grocery store, but is much better for you than grain-fed beef.
- You could also sub flatbread for tortillas if you’re watching sodium or trans-fats.
Another way to make your meal “taste” 5 times better and ensure a “win” is to simply serve it on some fun or beautiful dishes and arrange it on the plate in an appetizing way! That’s why we buy “kid plates” when our kids are little (well, that and so our nice dishes don’t get broken), but it does help make the food more enjoyable! It’s about creating an experience.
These Pioneer Woman plates are just gorgeous!! (Click on the picture to be taken to the website to read more about them.) And they go with any style of decorating, any table, any table cloth, any placemats, or meal. There’s lots of other beautiful sets underneath these on Amazon as well.
So the next time you’re having friends over, give this recipe a try! They will love it! Or start a Pinterest board or a recipe binder with “tried and true” recipes. Only put the ones that everyone liked, that are easy, and that go a long way in this binder or board. So, share with me, what is your favorite, go-to meal for get-togethers?
P.S. This article and blog may contain affiliate links, which just means that when you click on and purchase through one of my links, you’re helping support our family and my ability to stay at home with my children and write. Thank you so much for stopping by!