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Chicken Enchiladas

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    Known for their creamy sauces and liberal use of cheese, enchiladas are a dinnertime favourite, but often at the expense of a hefty calorie load. We’ve made over this classic Mexican-inspired meal by upping the nutrition ante using a marriage of nutritious ingredients such as beans and avocado so you can enjoy it more often. For a busy weeknight, you can have all the components prepared ahead of time and simply assemble before baking.

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    2 tsp (10 mL) grapeseed oil or other oil of choice
    1 medium yellow onion, chopped
    3 garlic cloves, minced, divided
    2 cups (500 mL) tomato sauce, preferably salt-free
    1 cup (250 mL) reduced-sodium chicken broth
    2 tsp (10 mL) minced chipotle chili in adobo sauce, or 1/2 tsp (2 mL) chipotle chili powder
    1 Tbsp (15 mL) fresh oregano, or 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
    3/4 tsp (4 mL) ground cumin
    1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper
    2 cups (500 mL) shredded cooked chicken 
    1 cup (250 mL) grated reduced-fat cheddar cheese
    1 cup (250 mL) cooked or canned pinto or black beans
    3/4 cup (180 mL) frozen organic corn 
    1 small red bell pepper, diced
    10 - 6 in (15 cm) whole wheat or organic corn tortillas, warmed 
    2 cups (500 mL) baby spinach
    1 small ripe avocado 
    1/2 cup (125 mL) 2% plain Greek yogurt 
    Juice of 1/2 lime
    2 green onions, chopped
    1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro

    In medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until softened, about 4 minutes. Add 2 garlic cloves and cook for 1 minute. Add tomato sauce, chicken broth, chipotle chili, oregano, cumin, and pepper. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until mixture thickens slightly.

    Preheat oven to 375 F (190 C).

    Place 1 1/2 cups (350 mL) tomato mixture in large bowl and mix with chicken, cheese, beans, corn, and bell pepper.

    Lightly grease 9 x 13 in (23 x 33 cm) baking dish with cover. Line tortilla with spinach and top with 1/3 cup (80 mL) chicken mixture. Roll tortilla tightly and place in baking dish seam side down. Repeat with remaining tortillas, spinach, and chicken mixture. Spread remaining tomato mixture on tortillas and top with any remaining chicken mixture. Cover and bake on middle rack for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 5 minutes.

    Meanwhile make cream sauce by placing avocado flesh, yogurt, remaining garlic, and lime juice in food processor or blender and blend until smooth.

    Uncover enchiladas and garnish with green onion and cilantro. Serve with avocado cream.

    Makes 10 enchiladas.

    Each enchilada contains: 246 calories; 18 g protein; 7 g total fat (2 g sat. fat, 0 g trans fat); 30 g total carbohydrates (6 g sugars, 6 g fibre); 116 mg sodium

    Fit tip

    Iron deficiency can lead to fatigue and poor athletic performance. Spinach is an excellent source of iron and calcium—especially when cooked, as in these tasty Chicken Enchiladas.  Raw spinach contains oxalic acid which inhibits mineral absorption; cooking increases mineral bioavailability. Eat raw spinach with vitamin C-rich fruits and vegetables, fish, meat, or poultry to enhance mineral absorption.

    source: "Perfect Poultry", alive #372, October 2013

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    Chicken Enchiladas

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