Mexican food isn't all that bad for you, really. Chicken tacos with lettuce & salsa-not so bad. Even tostadas (baked) are high in fiber. But whenever I go out for mexican, its always the cream based seafood enchilada with cheesy queso sauce. Yeah, I dont think thats good for you. So, during diet time, we just avoid mexican b/c it will surely break the diet bank.
Now I can make Mexican at home fairly healthy as well, but those plain chicken tacos in corn tortillas, they just dont taste nearly as good as the aforementioned seafood enchilada. So I decided to attempt this enchilada casserole. Sure looked good and there wasn't really a cream sauce to it (just sort of). It had all the ingredients we could eat, so we sacrificed lunch time by having grilled chicken tenders and a veggie soup, so we could eat up the enchilada casserole. And my oh my was it worth it! Prep time is a bit long and then take on another 30-40 minutes of baking time, yikes! There are definelty short cuts you could take, like cooking & shredding the chicken the night before, to decrease the time.
1 1/4 pounds skinned, boned chicken breast
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup beer ** Oh so not diet friendly, I used chicken broth
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground red pepper **Here I used one whole adobe chile pepper with about 1 Tbsp of the Chiptole sauce
1 (28-ounce) can whole tomatoes, drained and chopped *Since I used some of the sauce above, I cut this back to 22 or so oz
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions **Omitted, didn't have any
1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced ripe olives, drained **Used diced olives
2 (4.5-ounce) cans chopped green chiles, drained **I used one can
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour **Here I cut the sauce in 1/2, so 2 1/2 Tbsp flour
1/2 teaspoon salt *1/4 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin *1/4 tsp
1/4 teaspoon ground coriander *didnt have, so omitted
2 cups 1% low-fat milk *1 cup milk
2 large egg whites, lightly beaten or 6 tablespoons egg substitute *3Tbsp egg substitute
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
6 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut in half
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream **Didnt use
1/2 cup salsa **didnt use
Preheat oven to 350°.
Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat until hot. Add chicken; cook 6 minutes on each side or until done. Remove chicken from skillet; let cool. Shred chicken with 2 forks; set aside.
Recoat skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat. Add onion and garlic; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Add shredded chicken, beer, red pepper, and tomatoes; cook 10 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates. Remove from heat. Reserve 1 tablespoon green onions and 1 tablespoon olives for garnish. Stir remaining green onions, remaining olives, and chiles into chicken mixture; set aside.
Combine flour, salt, cumin, and coriander in a medium saucepan. Gradually add milk, stirring with a whisk until blended. Place over medium heat; cook 7 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly. Gradually add hot milk mixture to egg whites, stirring constantly with whisk. Set aside.
Place cheeses in a bowl; toss well. Set aside.
Spread 1/2 cup white sauce in bottom of a 2 1/2-quart round casserole or soufflé dish coated with cooking spray. Arrange 4 tortilla halves over sauce; top with 2 cups chicken mixture, 1/2 cup white sauce, and 1/2 cup cheese mixture. Repeat layers twice, ending with sauce. Set remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture aside.
** I only had 2 smaller Pyrex bowls, so I did 2 of those and one large round dish**
Bake, uncovered, at 350° for 40 minutes or until hot. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup cheese mixture, reserved green onions, and reserved olives; bake an additional 5 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Serve with sour cream and salsa.
NOTE: You can assemble the casserole ahead of time; cover and chill in the refrigerator overnight, then bake at 350º for 1 hours or until bubbly. Or freeze casserole, thaw in refrigerator 24 hours, then bake for 1 hour or until thoroughly heated.
Needless to say it was very good. It made 6 servings.