Lightened Up Chicken Enchiladas

This recipe is adapted from the Looney Spoons cookbook, courtesy of Greta and Janet Podleski.  Every time I make something from one of their cookbooks I end up loving it.  Janet and Greta are quirky, funny sisters who pride themselves on tweaking classic comfort food recipes so that they are lower in fat and calories (the bad stuff) and higher in nutrients, fibre, and protein (the good stuff).  Trust me when I tell you that these chicken enchiladas will become one of your new favorite recipes.  You can make these gluten free by just substituting whole wheat flour tortillas for gluten free corn tortillas.

First you get started on the enchilada sauce.  Why buy the bottled stuff which is soooo full of salt when you can easily make your own.  I’m sure you’ll find it tastes better, too.  Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.  Add your onions and garlic.  Cook these slowly until onions begin to soften, about 2-3 minutes (there is something extremely theraputic to frying onions – or is that just me?).  Stir in chili powder, cumin, and oregano.  Mix well.

Add crushed tomatoes, chicken broth, brown sugar, salt & pepper and bring to a rolling boil.  Reduce the heat to low, cover and let simmer for 15 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in cilantro.

While the sauce is simmering, prep the filling for your enchiladas.  Simply combine your shreded rotisserie chicken, drained and rinsed black beans, minced bell pepper, green onions, corn, grated carrots, lime juice, and spices in a large bowl.  Set mixture aside.

Now the fun part, assembling your little enchiladas!  Spread a heaping 1/3 cup filling into the centre of a tortilla.  Top with a heaping tablespoon of cheese.  Roll up tightly and place seam-side down in baking dish.  Make sure 5 or 6 rolled tortillas fit snuggly (but not too squished) into your pan.  Spoon sauce evenly over enchiladas, making sure each enchilada is covered with sauce.  Top with remaining cheese.

Cover loosely with foil and bak for 30 minutes.  Uncover and bake an additional 5-10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.  Serve with a dollop of light sour cream, a sprinkle of green onions, and lots of Mexican hot sauce.

Lightened Up Chicken Enchiladas

Ingredients

Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced onions
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can (28 oz/ 796 mL) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Filling

  • 1 whole rotisserie chicken
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup minced red bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1/2 cup whole kernel corn
  • 1/2 cup grated carrots
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon each ground cumin and chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons minced fresh cilantro

Enchiladas

  • 10 small whole wheat flour tortillas
  • 2 cups packed grated light old (sharp) cheddar cheese, divided (8 oz / 227 g)
  • Sour cream (light) and chopped green onions for garnish

Directions

Enchilada Sauce

  1. To make sauce, heat olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan. Add onions and garlic. Cook slowly and stir until onions begin to soften, about 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in chili powder, cumin and oregano. Mix well. Add all remaining sauce ingredients, except cilantro. Bring sauce to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in cilantro.
  2. While sauce is simmering, prepare filling.

Filling

  1. Combine all filling ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Set aside.

Enchiladas

  1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray two 9 x 13-inch casserole dishes with cooking spray. Add 1/2 cup sauce to filling and mix well. Set aside 1 cup cheese for sprinkling over rolled enchiladas.
  2. Working one at a time, spread a heaping 1/3 cup filling in centre of tortilla. Top with a heaping tablespoon of cheese. Roll up tightly and place seam-side down in baking dish. Each dish will hold 5 enchiladas. Repeat with remaining tortillas, filling and cheese. Spoon sauce evenly over enchiladas, making sure each enchilada is covered with sauce. Top with reserved cheese. Cover loosely with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and bake an additional 5 to 10 minutes, until cheese is bubbly. Serve enchiladas hot with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of green onions on top. Enjoy!
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