Cooking with Natalie and Siani

By ch1c0nta@ctus 11.10.2011 blog

As an intern at Channel One, I not only get to hang out with all the great reporters and producers in the newsroom, but I also get to be involved with segments that appear on the daily show. This week I worked with Digital Journalist Kitama Cahill-Jackson on a story about high school students who grow and sell their own vegetables.

To get the story, Kitama went to West Philadelphia to interview 16-year-old High School of the Future student Siani Woodall about her passion for growing vegetables and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Siani is a part of  the Agatston Urban Nutrition Initiative run by the University of Pennsylvania. Through the program, Siani and other students at her high school get to grow crops in a community garden and sell their produce at a local farmer’s market.

When Kitama returned from his shoot, I helped him go through raw video footage and picked out clips that would be used on air. I also got to give my input when he wrote the script and did research on health statistics in West Philadelphia. Did you know that there are fewer grocery stores per person in Philadelphia than almost any other city in the country?

Because Siani and her family make the most of what they grow in the garden, Kitama shot some extra footage of them cooking together.  Check out the video below for directions from Siani and her mother on cooking with the fresh vegetables they pick there.

They also shared a shopping list and the recipe they used, which they found on a food blog and adapted, for the enchiladas with us.

Chicken Enchiladas Swiss Chard

2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Fresh swiss chard

Corn tortillas

Fresh cilantro

Fresh garlic cloves

Chicken stock

Olive oil

One onion


Queso dip

Chili powder

Green and red peppers

Jalapeno peppers

Monterey Jack cheese

Cream cheese


Cook 2-3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts in your slow cooker for 4 to 6 hours with taco seasoning and enough water to barely cover the chicken.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Lightly spray a 13-inch baking dish with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

Shred the chicken on a dinner plate. Season with whatever amounts you want of cumin, chili powder, and fajita seasoning. Set aside.

Spray a 12-inch skillet with butter-flavored nonstick cooking spray. Heat to medium, then add the onion, sprinkle with some fajita seasoning and saute for a few minutes until the onions are soft.

Add the garlic and saute for one more minute.

Reduce the heat to low and add the shredded, seasoned chicken, cream cheese and Monterey Jack.

Sprinkle this mixture with cumin, chili powder and fajita seasoning, to taste.

Stir to melt the cheese, then stir in a little of the enchilada sauce.

In a separate 10-inch nonstick skillet, add about 1 cup of the enchilada sauce and bring to a simmer.

Rinse the corn tortillas under hot water and steam them in the microwave.

When they’re nice and hot and soft, dip them, one at a time, in the simmering enchilada sauce and place them in the prepared baking dish.

Add some of the chicken mixture and roll up. Place seam side down.

Repeat until you have eight perfectly rolled corn tortillas filled with the chicken mixture.

Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the top and smother with the cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 15 minutes.

Remove the aluminum foil and let them bake for 10 to 15 more minutes until the cheese is really bubbly and starts
to brown.

Remove from the oven and let sit for a few minutes, then scoop them out onto a plate.

Garnish with sour cream and chopped tomatoes. Serve the torn lettuce, along with the rice and beans,
on the side, and enjoy your perfectly rolled, no-more-cracks enchiladas.

**Very special thanks to food blogger Debby from “A Feast for the Eyes,” who kindly granted us permission to use her photo and recipe in this post. You can find detailed directions (including more photos!) for the enchiladas at her site.**

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