Recipe Modification -- Connie Cooper modifies her grandmother's recipe

Find Connie's
recipe on pp.26-27.
In an article I wrote for Sunflower Living, summer 2013, "Farm Fresh Redux," Connie Cooper offers up a modified version of her grandmother's enchilada recipe. 
Check out the recipe on pp. 26-27 of the magazine (Connie's story begins on p. 23) or scroll down for the recipe that was first published in Sunflower Living.
Here's the recipe as it was first published in Sunflower Living. Go to the magazine link (highlighted page numbers and then turn to pp. 26-27 to see the photos of the finished product + the step-by-step photos that show how the enchiladas are assembled.)

Chicken Enchiladas – Connie Cooper’s Modified Version
Chicken Cooking Time (in the slow cooker): 3 to 4 hours / Casserole Prep Time: Approx. 15 minutes / Casserole Baking Time: 20 minutes
Feeds: 8

4 large boneless, skinless chicken breasts with any excess fat removed
4 tablespoons taco seasoning (see Connie’s homemade version below or use a purchased
mix) – add more or less according to personal preference
2 cups (16 oz.) fresh salsa or pico de gallo (fresh salsa is available in the produce section
of some grocery stores or make your own)
1 to 2 (14 oz.) cans enchilada sauce (amount depends on personal preference)
1 pkg. (14 oz. / 8 count) 96% fat free whole-wheat flour tortillas (sometimes referred to as soft taco shells) – 8” diameter
1 (8 oz.) pkg. 2% milk, reduced fat Mexican blend cheese – divided use 
1 (6 oz.) can pitted and sliced black olives, drained and rinsed
Toppings of your choice such as: additional sliced black olives (drained & rinsed), chopped green onions, slices of avocado or guacamole, and fat-free or reduced fat sour cream

1. Add chicken breasts to a slow cooker and cover with taco seasoning and fresh salsa. Cook for 3 to 4 hours on HIGH or 8 to 10 hours on LOW. Let chicken cool slightly and shred.
2. Spritz a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with non-fat cooking spray. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom of the dish.
3. Dump 1 can of enchilada sauce in a low, flat dish. Dip both sides of each tortilla into sauce and then fill with a combination of shredded chicken mixture, 1½ cups cheese and olives, dividing those ingredients among the 8 shells. Roll each filled tortilla and place seam side down in sauce-lined dish.
4. Cover rolled tortillas with thin layer of leftover enchilada sauce (or open an additional can if desired) and sprinkle remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese over the top of the shells.
5. Bake, uncovered, in a 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
6. Remove from oven and add topping of your choice, or serve toppings on the side.
Another Healthy Addition — Add a can of drained and rinsed black beans to the filling.

Homemade Taco Seasoning – Cooper Style
1½ tablespoons chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1½ teaspoons sea salt
1½ teaspoons black pepper

Combine all ingredients.

Wyatt’s Guacamole
Connie Cooper’s son,Wyatt, came up with this homemade version of the quintessential Mexican side dish.
2 large ripe avocados
Juice from ½ of a medium-sized lime – divided use
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon finely minced garlic
2 finely chopped jalapeño peppers
Salt & pepper to taste

1. Place the avocado pulp in a large bowl; add some of the lime juice – enough to coat the avocados and prevent them from browning. 
2. Add remaining ingredients and the rest of the lime juice.
3. Let set at room temperature for 1 hour and then serve.

And, here's an added feature — an explanation of what Connie did to modify the recipe . . .

Modified Recipe — BEFORE and AFTER  
Through experimentation Connie reduced the fat, sodium and calories in her grandmother’s 1950s era enchilada recipe while boosting its fiber content. Here’s what she did:

Grandmothers Enchiladas  — BEFORE
Connie’s Modified Chicken
Enchiladas — AFTER
Extra — Notes & Tips
Ground beef
Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
Grilling is another healthy way to prepare the chicken. If using ground beef, Connie purchases 95% lean or ground round; she also rinses the cooked beef in water to remove lingering fat.
Corn tortillas
96% whole-wheat tortillas
Connie compared the nutrition labels of the two forms of tortillas and noted that the whole-wheat version contains more fiber and also has a lower calorie count.
Fried tortillas that are stacked between layers of meat, cheese and sauce
Tortillas dipped in sauce before filling and rolling.
Baking is a healthy cooking method; others include steaming and sautéing.
Melted butter coats bottom of casserole dish.
Casserole dish spritzed with non-stick cooking spray.
There are even olive oil sprays available in the aisles of most grocery store.
Full-fat dairy products – cheeses and sour cream
Reduced or fat free dairy products
This change helps lower both saturated fats and overall calories.
Onion and garlic salt
Onion and garlic powder
Flavored salts begin with the powder and are then filled will salt.
Drained black olives
Rinsed and drained black olives
Rinsing helps remove some of the salt used in the brining process.

1 comment:

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