Here's the Dish

Low-Cal Enchilada Casserole

By Charlotte on May 2, 2012 6:03 AM

Welcome Cinco de Mayo without guilt by serving this skinny enchilada casserole.

Taco Casserole - Finished Product - 650.jpgBesides being easy on the waistline, this delicious dish is loaded with Tex-Mex goodness. It's a top request around our house, even with our 25-year-old son Cole who cares nothing about counting calories.


I began making this spicy delight several years ago after spotting the recipe in the Dallas Morning News, one of my go-to's for great ideas. Since I'm not one for spending all day in the kitchen, I love that it's quick and easy to prepare.


Think Mexican lasagna. You first make a meat sauce by browning ground round and onion in a skillet. Then adding chili powder, pepper, ground cumin (said to help control blood sugar, aid digestion and add essential minerals like magnesium and iron), garlic and water and simmering till thick.


Taco Casserole Ingredients-650.jpgAfterwards, you layer half the taco sauce, three corn tortillas, all the meat sauce and part of the cheese; repeat the taco sauce, corn tortillas and cheese, and cover with foil.


At this point, I usually put the concoction in the fridge for warming the next day (don't you just adore being ahead of the game?). But you can bake it now if desired. Then add green onions and your choice of toppings. We prefer sliced cherub tomatoes but you can also use shredded lettuce and fat-free sour cream.


Either way, this diet-friendly Mexican dish promises a kick the whole family will enjoy. Want to double your pleasure? Start with Boomer Brief Spicy Strawberry Margaritas.



Low-Cal Enchilada Casserole


Serves 8


Preheat oven to 375 F.


Cook ground round and onion in a skillet over medium heat until meat is browned and cooked through; drain.


Add chili powder, cumin, pepper, garlic and water. Simmer, uncovered, about 10 minutes or until water has evaporated and meat mixture is thick.


Lightly cover bottom of a 9 x 13-inch pan with half the taco sauce. Top with 3 tortillas, cutting them to fit. Spread meat mixture on top of tortillas. Sprinkle with ½-cup cheese. Drizzle remaining taco sauce over cheese and top with remaining 3 tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining ¾ cup cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake 25 minutes.


Remove foil and bake 5 more minutes. Garnish with green onions and let stand 5 minutes so it's easier to serve.


Top with shredded lettuce, sliced cherub tomatoes and fat-free sour cream if desired.


Per serving (based on 8 servings): Calories 253 (46% fat); Fat: 13 g (5 g sat); Cholesterol: 43 mg; Sodium 516 mg; Fiber 2 g; Carbohydrates 17 g; Protein 17 g


Want another easy, delicious casserole? Check out:


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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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