Friday, January 29, 2010

Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Enchiladas


Chicken, Black Bean, and Spinach Enchiladas
adapted from {good life eats}

3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cooked and shredded)
1 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
5 ounces baby spinach, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
3/4 cup Monterrey jack cheese, grated (a Mexican blend works great too)
8 large flour tortillas or 12 corn tortillas 
Tomatillo Salsa, recipe follows
Sour Cream Sauce, recipe follows

Spray a 9x13 inch pan with cooking spray.  Set aside.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the chicken, black beans, spinach, salt and pepper in a medium to large bowl.  Stir until ingredients are just combined.  Add the beans and carefully stir in so as to not mash up the beans.

If using corn tortillas, steam them in a tortilla warmer or place them in a damp flour sack cloth and heat in the microwave.

One by one, fill a tortilla with a handful of filling.  About 1/4-1/3 cup depending on what type of tortilla you used.  Sprinkle 1 tablespoon of cheese on top of the filling and roll tortilla up, placing the seam side down in the previously prepared pan.  Repeat until all tortillas have been filled.  Drizzle sour cream sauce on top, followed by the tomatillo salsa.  Cover with foil and bake at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.   

Tomatillo Salsa
This tomatillo salsa is simple to prepare and can be served alone with tortilla chips for dipping.

6 tomatillos, husks removed (I buy a can of tomatillos)
1/2-1 jalapeno, remove seeds to adapt heat 
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, packed
2 cloves garlic
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

If using fresh tomatillos, place them in a medium sized sauce pan.  Cover with hot water and bring to a boil.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Remove tomatillos from water and place in a food processor with remaining ingredients, starting with only half the jalepeno.  Process until smooth.  Test for heat and add the remaining half of the jalepeno if desired.  Set aside.  

Sour Cream Sauce
To save on fat calories, feel free to substitue low-fat sour cream.  However, I would not recommend fat-free sour cream.

2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
3/4 cup sour cream
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium high heat.  Add the flour, whisking until golden and bubbly.  The flour will start to clump, but don't worry, add the chicken broth and whisk until smooth.  Stir in the sour cream, whisking if necessary to remove any lumps.  Simmer until sauce is thickened.  Season with salt and pepper.


{cooks note}
You asked for healthy, I'll give you healthy.  We really enjoy these enchiladas.  They are packed with fiber, iron and calcium.  I do not use the jalepeno for a few reasons.  I am nursing and I didn't think my boys would like the heat too much.  It turns out great if you want to leave it out.  Since I had leftover spinach I decided to make a green salad using spinach, romaine, carrots, tomato, avacado and cucumber.  Great way to use it up if you are trying to think of what to do with it.

You can definitely make the sour cream and tomatillo salsa a day or two ahead of time. Just give the sour cream sauce a little whisk to smooth it out before pouring over the enchiladas and you should be good to go.

I cook my chicken in the crock pot for about 6 hours. Add about 1/2 cup onion, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and a couple of shakes of garlic do you like that for a measurement?  The chicken comes out very tender and is easy to shred.

For this particular meal I used 6 tomatillos from this can.  I am saving the rest in the fridge for another recipe.  I wouldn't go to the trouble of buying fresh.  Takes too long and this does the trick.

I use flour tortillas (made with whole wheat durum flour).  They are the uncooked kind you can purchase at the grocery store.  I have only seen the whole wheat durum one's at Costco.  Of course!  You can also use corn tortillas, but I like these.

Seasoned shredded chicken.

Just after I add the flour to the butter.  It gets pretty clumpy, but smooths out once you add the chicken broth.

Chicken broth.  I usually make my own, but this is expiring soon, so I used it .  If you have chicken bouillon, follow the directions on the label and make your own.  

Since I buy the uncooked tortillas, I have to cook mine beforehand.  Don't forget about them and burn them like I did.  

I like to cook them on my pancake griddle.  Cooks two at a time.

Sour cream sauce ready to go.

Drain and rinse the black beans.

Chopped spinach.  Did you know that spinach is one of the most abundant sources of iron and calcium.  
Eat up!

All three ingredients ready to be lightly mixed.

Ready for the tortillas.

I did not have Monterrey Jack cheese, so I used what I had left of this and added a Mexican blend that had Monterrey Jack in it.  One of these days I'll have exact ingredients for recipes, but until then, this is real life for me, people.  

The dish I used to cook the enchiladas in.

Packed and ready to roll...

After all the enchiladas are assembled, place a piece of tin foil over the top and cook in the oven at 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Here is an avacado cut in half.  I am going to make a healthy green salad to go with the enchiladas and thought that some of you might enjoy learning how to cut an avacado. I'm sure there are many ways, but this is how I do it.

Slice the avacado like so...

Take a spoon and dish it right out.  It's as easy as that.  

But how do you get the pit out?  You jab it with a knife, give it a little twist...

and out comes the pit.  Please don't jab your hand.  That would really hurt.

The beautiful healthy salad, because you asked for healthy my friends.

Some friends of ours introduced us to this brand of dressing and we have never looked back.  We like the Light Champagne...we are crazy like that.  Not really.  You should try it, it's really good.

Not your typical enchiladas, but great nonetheless. And they're easy to prepare ahead of time.  


Kate said...

so I have all these ingredients in my house right now (how does that happen?)
I have a jar of salsa verde, would that work?
I am going to make this tomorrow!

Candace said...

Kate, I'm sure the salsa verde would work just great.

Jenn said...

Yeah for healthy enchiladas!!! My family loves the traditional sour cream enchiladas. I have tried a few times to make them healthier but this looks so delicious--I'm having some friends over for dinner tonight and was planning on making enchiladas anyway and now I'm going to make these--Thanks!!! Oh, and thanks for the healthy post-- I love it!!!

Street Fam said...

i am making this for sure!!! it looks so yummy.

p.s. Will loves the club house grill sandwiches! :)

Candice said...

I am excited to try this. Keep the healthy recipes coming. I love it!

Gina said...

that looks so yummy. I wish my Costco carried those tortillas. I can't find raw tortillas anywhere here. grrrr. Thanks for another great recipe.

Aunt Debbie said...

I wish my Costco carried those, too. I am going to ask them about it.

Aunt Debbie said...

Ours carries the white ones, but not whole wheat--Yet!

AaReAn said...

i feel overwhelmed looking at all this. do you want to just come to my house and cook for me please. thanks.

Chief Momma said...

I went to Yokes and WalMart and neither sell the canned tomatillos...annoying!

Alayne said...

I made these tonight and they were DELISH!!! I used LF Sourcream, and LF cheese, and they still turned out yummy!!! Addie even ate them, and she does not eat anything green. Thanks for the tasty recipe.

Brooke said...

I made these for dinner tonight and they were delish!! Thanks for sharing such a different and yummy recipe!!

Erin said...

do you think these will freeze well?

Candace said...

Not sure how they would freeze because of the sour cream. Depending on what it is, the sour cream will sometimes turn out clumpy. You could always just freeze them without the sauces and then make the sauces when you are ready to put them in the oven.

Nicole said...

Made this last night! Wow it was good! Thanks for the recipe!

Nicole said...

Made this last night! Wow it was good! Thanks for the recipe!

Andrea said...

My husband made these the other night and they were delicious.
Thank you for a wonderful recipe that is healthy. We will keep this in the recipe rotation for meals!