Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Chicken-Green Enchilda Casserole

This is one of my family's favorite meals. One of our go to recipes no matter the season. We have made it for new mothers, for friends that have come over for dinner, and in a dinner swap adapted to be gluten and dairy free. It really is a wonderful meal. It can be frozen and it is good left over.

The original recipe that I have in my recipe binder, that S lovingly made for me, was torn from a Cooking Light magazine many years ago. It was originally a recipe featured in their "inspired vegetarian" section. I am going to include the original vegetarian recipe, and then my family's adaptation.

Chicken-Green Chile Enchilada Casserole
The "chicken" strips add 8.3 grams of soy protein and 3 grams of fiber to each serving without any fat.

1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 cup chopped onion
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 (4.5-ounce) can chopped green chiles, undrained
2 (6-ounce) packages meatless fat-free chicken strips (such as Lightlife Smart Menu), chopped
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 (10-ounce) cans green chile enchilada sauce
Cooking spray
14 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut into quarters
1 1/2 cups (6-ounces) pre-shredded reduced fat Mexican blend cheese, divided 
Chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, saute 5 minutes or until onion is tender. Add chiles; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat; stir in chopped chicken strips.

3. Combine cumin, chili powder, and enchilada sauce in a separate container. Pour 1/3 of sauce mixture into a 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. 

Arrange 1/2 of tortilla quarters over sauce mixture. Sprinkle with 3/4 cup Mexican blend cheese; top with 1/3  of sauce mixture. 

Top with remaining tortillas and sauce mixture. Bake at 375 deg. for 15 minutes. 

Sprinkle with remaining 3/4 cup cheese, bake an additional 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro, if desired. 
Yields 8 servings.

For my family, we use boneless, skinless chicken breast. I use 2 and cut them into one inch cubes. I then gently cook them in some oil for about 5-10 minutes until they are cooked just through. Sometimes I shred the chicken with 2 forks and sometimes I just add it in cubed  to the the garlic/onion/pepper mixture once it is cooked.

The other thing  I do differently is to reduce the chili powder to 1/4 teaspoon. This way I know my children will eat it. They can admittedly be a little wimpy when it comes to spices!

We usually serve it with sour cream and chips and salsa. Occasionally we will add a side of fruit or a simple salad.

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