Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Enchilada Bake

Okay, wholly yumminess!  We love Mexican and Tex-mex food, but its hard to find an out of the ordinary somewhat healthy dish.  I came across a recipe via pinterest that inspired me to create this.  A one dish wonder that tastes just like enchiladas, but has lots of added veggies for flavor and health.   I changed hte recipe A LOT, added a ton of spices and more veggies.  Plus my husband hates zucchini and yellow squash - I took the squash out, kept the zucchini, but grated it so fine he never knew it was in there (until he reads this -Ha!).  He only commented on seeing spinach, which he loves.  I thought the flavors were spot on and the hubby really liked it - even went back for seconds.  I hope you give it a whirl and enjoy it as much as we did!
Happy Cooking!

Chicken Enchilada Bake
Based on a recipe found at http://tastykitchen.com/recipes/main-courses/creamy-weeknight-enchilada-bake/
For the meat:
1 tsp olive oil
1 lb ground chicken
1/2 tsp each salt & pepper
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp chipotle chili powder (spicier and smokier than regular chili powder)
1/4 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic
1/2 cup water
For the vegetables:
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup finely shredded zucchini
1 cup finely chopped mushrooms
1/3 cup finely chopped red pepper
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
1 cup frozen spinach, thawed & squeezed out
1/2 tsp salt
other additions to the one dish wonder:
3/4 cup plain 2% Greek yogurt
2 10oz cans of enchilada sauce (read the ingredients and find one with no artificial ingredients or MSG - yes, many of hte major Mexican food brands put MSG in their stuff.  Yuck!)
1 cup Mexican style shredded cheese
6 Corn tortillas,  (mine were about 6 inches in diameter - if yours are smaller you may need more), 3 cut in half, 3 remaining whole

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.  Heat a large skillet over medium high heat and add the oil to coat the pan.  Add the zucchini, mushrooms, red pepper, onion and 1/2 tsp of salt.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are cooked all the way through, about 5-7 min.  Add the spinach, stir, and allow it to warm up, about 1-2 min.

The veggies before...

The veggies after.
Pour the cooked veggies onto a plate lined with paper towels to absorb any access moisture. Using the same skillet, add another teaspoon of olive oil and the ground chicken.  Break it up as it cooks so that it is in very small pieces, much like taco meat.  After the chicken is thoroughly cooked, add the spices as listed along with the water.  This allows for even distribution of the spices (I found that they stuck to whatever pieces of meat they were sprinkled on if you don't add the water).

Chicken with spices...good enough for a tortilla now.
Once the water has evaporated, (as pictured above), turn off the heat.  Add back the veggies and then the greek yogurt.  Stir until combined.

I could eat this as is.  So good!
Take an 8 by 8 inch pan and spray it with cooking spray.  Pour a little of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan and layer with t2 of the corn tortillas, as shown below.

One whole tortilla on the middle, 2 halves on each side to ensure that every bite has some tortilla goodness.

Continue to layer chicken veggies mixture, enchilada sauce, tortillas, chicken veggie mixture, enchilada sauce, tortillas, chicken veggie mixture (yes, this is the 3rd and final time), the rest of the enchilada sauce, and ALL of the cheese on the top. 
This is what it should look like before it goes into the oven.

And here's a side view of the layers.  I was afraid it was too much sauce, but it wasn't.  It all soaks in perfectly.
Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes or until cheese is melty.  Let rest for 15 min before you slice into it.  So good!  Another one for the dinner rotation. 

As you can see, it holds together well and isn't runny at all.  The resting time does the trick!

Until next time, Happy Cooking!

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