Enchiladas are rolled tortillas that are filled with meat or beans and baked in a delicious tomato sauce. This recipe uses a home-made sauce rather than store-bought. Although it will take a little more time to prepare, you'll be able to control the calories and sodium in the final dish.

Chicken Enchiladas

(Serves 8—one enchilada per serving)

Each serving is approximately 165 calories.

Sauce:

3 garlic cloves- minced

2 tbsp. onion- finely minced

1 jalapeno- minced

1 cup fat free chicken broth

1 cup tomato sauce

1 tbsp. tomato paste

1 tsp chipotle chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

salt- to taste

pepper- to taste

Chicken Filling:

1 tsp olive oil

2 large chicken breasts- cooked and shredded

1 onion, diced

3 large clove garlic- minced

1 small handful cilantro- chopped

1 1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp dried oregano

1 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder

salt- to taste

1/2 cup chicken broth

1/3 cup tomato sauce

1 tbsp. tomato paste

8 tortillas- preferably low-carb/low calorie

1 cup low fat Mexican cheese-blend - shredded

non-stick cooking spray

chopped cilantro or green onions for garnish

Directions:

Cooking And Shredding Chicken Breasts For Enchiladas

This can be done hours—or even a few days—ahead. Store cooked chicken in the refrigerator until ready to use.

I find it's easiest to grab a deep pan, set the chicken breasts on the bottom and add any spices you would like. Poultry seasoning, bay leafs, salt, pepper and cumin are all great choices.

Cover the chicken breasts and spices with water and cook on the stove-top over medium-high heat for about 15 minutes. Cooking the chicken this way ensures your meat will not dry out; you also have a flavorful broth—perfect for cooking your rice.

After the meat has poached in the water for 15 minutes, cut into the widest piece and make sure it's no longer pink in the center. If it is, continue cooking the chicken longer. Once it's done, remove the chicken from the water and place it on a cutting board.

Using two forks—one to hold the chicken and the other to shred—begin shredding. Two chicken breasts will yield quite a bit of shredded chicken.

Sauce:

In a saucepan, add oil and heat on the stove-top over medium-high heat. Add garlic, minced onion and jalapeno.

Cook for one minute and then add the chipotle chili powder, cumin, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir to mix. Cook for another minute, or until onions become tender. It should look a little dry.

Add tomato sauce and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer for about 15 minutes—or until it thickens. Set aside.

Chicken:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and garlic. Saute until they become soft and no longer smell raw. Toss in the tomato paste and cook one minute longer.

Add the chicken, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chipotle chili powder, salt, chicken broth and tomato sauce. Cook for about 5 or 6 minutes—until the liquid begins to thicken into a sauce for the chicken. Remove from heat.

Putting Together The Enchiladas:

Grab a 9-inch by 13-inch baking dish (preferably glass) and spray the bottom with some non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

Now, spoon about 1/3 c. of the chicken filling into the center of each tortilla. Roll the tortilla around the mixture. Place the rolled tortilla in the baking dish seam side down. Continue until all of your chicken is gone and you have used up all of the tortillas.

Top the rolled tortillas with the tomato sauce you made earlier; and then sprinkle the cheese over the sauce.

Cover the dish with foil and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from oven and garnish with cilantro and green onions.

Top with sour cream—or greek yogurt—and a little salsa, if desired. Serve with brown rice.

About the author: Shari enjoys learning about food, making food, and eating food. She especially has an affinity for unique ingredients and Indian recipes. You can read her blog over at MyFancyPantry.com

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