Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Enchiladas Don't Sound Healthy, Unless You Do These Tricks

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Enchiladas Don't Sound Healthy, Unless You Do These Tricks

Article excerpt

Since I grew up in Tucson, Ariz., comfort food was always something Mexican or southwestern, involving tortillas, rice, beans, cheese and a tasty sauce to drown it all in. Which is a long way of saying that enchiladas are pretty much my dream food. So it became my goal to create a version of enchiladas that mimicked the flavors and comfort of my childhood but didn't have me searching for my elastic waist-band sweatpants.

I swapped out white rice for brown rice to boost the nutrient profile, and used black beans without added fat (I almost don't miss the lard). While cheese enchiladas are honestly my flavor of choice, I added chicken to give heft and protein. Without the extra fat, I needed some moisture to keep the filling luscious and tasty. Surprisingly, finely chopped baby spinach worked great.

I whipped up a simple enchilada sauce using canned whole tomatoes. And my final victory? I used large chard leaves instead of tortillas.

Trim away the thick stem and then boil the leaves for two minutes, which softens them just enough to fill and roll without falling apart.


Yield: 8 servings

For the sauce

1 (28-ounce) can of whole peeled tomatoes

large yellow onion, roughly chopped

3 cloves garlic, smashed

2 teaspoons chili powder

1 teaspoon olive oil

For the filling

cup cooked brown rice

cup cooked black beans, rinsed and drained if canned

cup cubed or shredded cooked chicken breast

cup baby spinach leaves, chopped

cup shredded cheddar cheese

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

teaspoon kosher salt

Pinch cayenne (optional)

8 large chard leaves

cup shredded cheddar cheese

cup cilantro leaves

cup plain low fat Greek yogurt

1. Heat the oven to 375 degrees. Make the sauce: place all the sauce ingredients in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium-low heat, partially covered with a lid, for 20 minutes, gently smashing open the tomatoes with a wooden spoon as it cooks. …

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