Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Enchilada Casserole

Recipe Link

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

I saw this recipe in the paper, and thought it had potential as yummy comfort food that is also healthy. It's so hard to find casseroles that don't use "Cream of ..." soups...and I just don't eat those. Not even the "low fat" soups.

This one is definitely a winner for us. I added way more spice to the meat than it called for - more cumin, and I also added dried chipotle powder and ancho powder. A little red pepper flakes for good measure. We like it hot!

It called for 3 overlapping tortillas in both layers...I didn't really like that. So I did this...

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

I was low on sour cream, but it didn't really matter. For the second layer, I smeared the sour cream on the tortillas before adding the meat mixture. That worked better than this...

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

This is the finished casserole...

Photo Sharing - Video Sharing - Photo Printing

Then we added lettuce, tomato, and cilantro. Very, very good! I froze one, so I'll see how that turns out in a few weeks.

Enchilada Casserole

02:00 PM CDT on Sunday, May 17, 2009

1 pound lean ground beef

1 large yellow onion, chopped

2 cups salsa

1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

¼ cup reduced-fat Italian salad dressing

2 tablespoons reduced-sodium taco seasoning

¼ teaspoon ground cumin

6 (8-inch) flour tortillas

¾ cup reduced-fat sour cream

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend

1 cup shredded lettuce

1 medium tomato, chopped

¼ cup minced fresh cilantro
[Click image for a larger version] LARRY CROWE/The Associated Press
LARRY CROWE/The Associated Press

Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat a 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large skillet over medium heat, brown the beef and onion until the meat is no longer pink. Drain the meat, then stir in the salsa, beans, salad dressing, taco seasoning and cumin.

Arrange 3 tortillas in the prepared baking dish. Spread half of the meat mixture over the tortillas, then top with half each of the sour cream and cheese. Top with the remaining tortillas, then repeat the layering with remaining meat, sour cream and cheese.

Cover and bake for 25 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 5 to 10 minutes, or until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes before topping with lettuce, tomato and cilantro.

Makes 8 servings.

PER SERVING: Calories 357 Fat 12 g (5 g sat)

Cholesterol 45 mg Sodium 864 mg Fiber 3 g

Carbohydrates 37 g Protein 23 g

SOURCE: The Associated Press/March 2009 Taste of Home Healthy Cooking

Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Favorite Weeknight Meals

Thai Pesto Shrimp (has a link w/in the recipe to the coconut rice)

Beef Cheese and Noodle Bake

Tex Mex Pasta Salad

Spicy Yogurt Marinated Chicken Thighs (prepare the night before)

Herb Flounder with Lemon Vinaigrette (I use tilapia.

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Chili

Spicy Honey-Brushed Chicken Thighs

Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce
I use porcini (baby bellas) or a mixture of mushrooms. I've never bought the "exotic blend." You can get good prices on mushrooms at the asian markets.

Cornmeal-Battered Oven-Fried Catfish

Spaghetti Alla Norma

Shrimp Pad Thai

Pork Piccata

Slow-Cooker Veggie Chili

Mini Meat Loaves

Chicken and Basil Calzones (I use turkey.)

Chicken Supreme

Cajun Salmon Cakes with Lemon Garlic Aioli

Cajun Catfish
(3 pts when you use 1 tsp butter)
Cajun Spiced Catfish Rub (I make a jar of this by increasing the amounts so I have it on hand)
for 4 Fillets
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Combine all spices. Brush fish with oil or butter. Sprinkle on the spices. Cook on grill, broiler pan, George Foreman, etc.

Lentil Tacos (from the incomparable CarlaP)used for taco salad, tacos, burritos, etc.
(2oz baked chips 4pts, lettuce 0, tomatoes , red onion 0, 2% cheese 2pts, 1/2 cup lentils 4pts...10 POINTS TOTAL)

(see notes at end)


1 cup finely chopped onion (I've used frozen before)
1 garlic clove, minced (I use 1/2 tsp. ready-minced)
1 teaspoon canola oil
1 cup dry red lentils, rinsed (I use the brown/green)
1 Tbs. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
2-1/2 cups chicken broth (or beef broth) (you can use one can of Swanson's plus some water)
1 cup salsa (I skip this)
12 hard taco shells (we do soft)


In a large non-stick skillet (that has a lid), saute the onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add the lentils, chili powder, cumin and oregano; cook and
stir for 1 minute.

Add broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 25-30 minutes or until the lentils are tender. Uncover; cook for
6-8 minutes or until mixture is thickened. Stir in salsa.

(heat up your taco shells while doing the last part of the above)

Spoon about 1/4 cup into each taco shell and top with your favorite taco fixin's.

This taco filling heats up really well in the microwave the
next day and is just as delicious as the first night.

Carla's comments:

I can never make this work with the red lentils so I use green/brown ones and cook longer w/ more liquid. You are better off w/ less liquid and adding more if they are
too crunchy after the cooking time.
I usually make this in the crock pot, with green lentils, using the amounts listed,
cooking on high until it's done....couple hours maybe?
When I do crock pot, I just dump everything in together at once. It actually works better for me in the crock pot.
I always make double and freeze 1/2
Add a little cayenne pepper if you like it spicy!
This makes great nacho topping too or base for taco salad too!

**Holly's comments** I prefer french green lentils for this (whole foods), but brown are good too. I usually add some chopped chipotles in adobo (from a can in the Mexican section. a little bit will do)I ALWAYS do the whole recipe in the crockpot - no sauteeing, etc. I just dump it all in and cook. But no oil, since that's for the sauteeing.

Lemon Pepper Chicken Breast - lemon pepper seasoning on a breast...grill...3points.

Alton Brown's Baked Brown Rice The best brown rice EVER. Also pointed out to me by CarlaP. I don't put the butter in.

My side dish staples on weeknights are...
steamed broccoli
fauxtatoes (mashed cauli with some smart balance and ff sour cream. i buy frozen cauli)
green beans - put some red onion slices on top, spray with cooking spray, broil a few minutes
arugula salad with cherry tomatoes and this dressing...
1 Tbsp cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper

Stir well with a whisk.

Gradually add 2 Tbsp olive oil to vinegar mixture, stirring constantly with a whisk.

Okra and Tomatoes - sack of frozen okra and a can of italian tomatoes. heat in skillet. voila.

new potatoes with lemon and dill

Green Rice - bake the brown rice above. Add one bunch chopped cilantro, 3 or so bunches chopped green onions, some lime juice, salt, and smart balance. Good with Mexican dishes.