But when I knew my family and I had to lose weight, I had to say adios to my old recipe. (Apparently, one does not get thin consuming a pound of cheese, sour cream, an entire chicken and oil soaked tortillas for dinner. Who knew?)
In this version, by substituting vegetables for most of the chicken, using fat free or low fat dairy, and short cutting the steps–even roasting the chicken with vegetables in the same oven, at the same time–it’s not only much skinnier, it’s much easier!
CHICKEN ENCHILADA SUIZA
2 bone-in chicken breasts (skin on for cooking, but remove before chopping)
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1 T. ground Cumin
1 T. chili powder
2 t. salt
1 t. cayenne pepper
3 large red bell peppers
3 large poblano peppers
2 medium onions, sliced
1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup fat free (or low-fat) cottage cheese
2 cups fat free (or low-fat) sour cream, divided (half in the filling, half for the sauce)
1/2 cup grated sharp 2% cheddar (plus 3 Tablespoons for top)
1 large (28 oz) can Green Enchilada Sauce
10-12 corn tortillas
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped green onions
Preheat oven to 425. Cover 3 baking sheets with foil and spray with canola oil.
Place the chicken on one sheet and cauliflower and onions on a second sheet and sprinkle both with all of the spices.
Place the whole red bell peppers and poblano peppers on a 3rd sheet and put all the trays in the oven.
Roast the cauliflower for about 25 minutes and remove to cool.
Roast the chicken breasts 35 to 45 minutes, depending on size, and remove to cool.
Roast the peppers for up to an hour, rolling them around now and then so that they get a nice char and blistering of the skin on all sides.
When the chicken is cool enough to handle, throw out the skin and chop the meat into small pieces about the same size as the cauliflower.
When the peppers are done, pull the foil that lined the baking sheet up around them and crease in order to make an ‘envelope.’ The steam will loosen the skins and make for easy peeling. After they’ve cooled, slip off the skins as best you can, remove the seeds and stems and cut into strips.
Toss the chicken, cauliflower, onions, peppers, corn, cilantro, jalapeno, cottage cheese, sour cream, cheddar and half of the (28 oz) can of enchilada sauce all together into a large baking dish. Taste for seasonings here and add more heat (jalapeno) or salt if you like.
Wrap corn tortillas, 5 at a time, in damp paper towels and microwave 40 seconds to soften.
Using a spatula, create little valleys and tuck the corn tortillas into the filling. What you’re doing is creating the illusion of tortillas that wrap all the way around the filling. But by doing it this way, you cut the number of tortillas, and calories, without sacrificing the taste or texture.
Mix the remaining cup of fat free sour cream with the remaining enchilada sauce (you can just put the sour cream in the half empty can and mix it there so you don’t have to dirty another bowl) and pour the sauce on top. Sprinkle with 3 Tablespoons of shredded cheddar and the chopped cherry tomatoes.
Bake at 400 for 40-45 minutes until bubbly and brown along the edges.
Sprinkle with chopped green onions and serve over shredded lettuce to add even more bulk and texture.
Add a little fresh non-fat sour cream or avocado on top if you like. Serve with 1/4 cup black beans or half an ear of corn.
PLAY WITH YOUR FOOD:
It’s really easy to change this recipe according to what’s in season or what you have on hand. Try adding yellow squash to the filling. Either roast it along with the onions and cauliflower, or just slice into a bowl, cover it with a damp paper towel and microwave it until soft, about 5 minutes.
You could also add a few beans if you like. They’re a great addition, adding helpful protein-building amino acids, filling fiber and great taste and texture.