March 2, 2015

Easy, Lightened Up Chicken Enchiladas

Where does the time go? March already! March 2, actually, which happens to be Texas Independence Day. Shout out to my Texas readers! I'm a born and raised Austinite, for those of you who didn't know. :-)

In honor of Texas, I'm posting one of my favorite dishes of all time... chicken enchiladas. Tex-Mex is my absolute favorite food. Queso, Mexican martinis, enchiladas, stuffed avocados, migas... now I'm getting hungry. Anyway, I threw together an enchilada recipe the other day that was so simple, yet sooo Tex-Mexy amazing.

I've mentioned how excited I am about the huge patio my new apartment has. Well, how 'bout this Pacifico stand? Really it's more like a trough. I don't quite understand what it's function is. But now I've deemed it a prop for my Mexican dishes. ;-) Nothing better than a cold Pacifico with lime. Along with some enchiladas of course. And queso. And guacamole. Followed my margaritas.

Here's an example of all the necessary additions to complete your Tex-Mex meal. Chips and salsa, avocados, tequila. Ole!

Oh, and by the way, this recipe makes a LOT of filling. So you can either have very full enchiladas, which is what I did, or make a bunch of little ones. I only used 3/4 cup of cheese in the entire filling. The chicken and black beans have protein to keep you full. Instead of tons of cheese, you get tons of chicken. Each enchilada has roughly 250 calories if you prepare the way I did. They warm up fantastically, too.

Lightened Up Chicken Enchiladas
4-6 servings

3 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
1 cup cheese (I used Mexican panela because it's amazing and melts well, but you could also substitute low fat cheese.)
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 packet of taco seasoning (I used Trader Joe's)
salt and pepper
8-10 soft corn tortillas (hard tortillas crumble when you roll them up)
1 jar enchilada sauce (I used Trader Joe's and really liked it)

1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9x13" baking dish with nonstick spray.
2. If you need to cook your chicken, do so and shred with two forks or an electric mixer. You could also use a rotisserie chicken. I used three cooked breasts and shredded in my mixer. Then I added about 1/2 package of taco seasoning, the black beans, 1/2 cup enchilada sauce and 3/4 cup cheese. Salt and pepper to taste. Mix until combined. Filling will stick together.
3. Pour 1-2 Tbsp enchilada sauce into the bottom of the baking dish and spread around to coat bottom.
4. Set up your tortillas like an assembly line. Brush each tortilla with a thin layer of enchilada sauce then add 1/2 cup or so of filling depending on how large your tortillas are. I found my hands to work well for this by forming the filling into an oval shape.
5. Roll up each tortilla and place seam side down. Pour sauce over the entire dish once all tortillas are done and spread around to coat all tortillas. This helps keep them moist.
6. Sprinkle 1/4 to 1/2 cup of cheese over the top.
7. Bake for about 20 minutes until cheese is all melted.
8. Top with cilantro, avocado, and Greek yogurt (great substitution for sour cream)



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