Tuesday, April 30, 2013

(Light?) Southwestern Casserole

I'm posting about a go-to comfort food of mine, the Light Better-for-You Southwestern Casserole.  It's my modified version of the Light King Ranch Casserole, but I can assure you, there is nothing 'light' about this.  Sure, the recipe calls for everything 'light' and 'reduced fat,' but you just have to laugh at any recipe that consists mostly of opening canned goods.  When you add up all the sodium, you're looking at THOUSANDS of mgs of sodium per serving!  The sodium levels in even the most fat free of canned foods will bloat you up faster than a can full of calories will.  My version adds corn for color, beans for protein and iron, uses a quarter less tortillas to save a total of 440 calories, and adds carrots for a dose of anti-oxidents, vitamin A and beta-carotene.  Still not ideal, but better than the boring Southern Living recipe

Z is away for two weeks and I'm on my own during one of my busiest work seasons.  That's why I am nixing the recipes that have me chopping, stirring and stewing all night (you may have noticed I like to make everything fresh and from scratch, including sauces and salsas) until he returns.  My waistline suffers more than my stress levels when he's gone!

Anyway, this recipe is always delicious and makes servings and servings of leftovers, which means I only have to cook once this week so that I can spend the rest of my nights playing and bonding with my adorable little love and squeezing in some work before bedtime.

1 onion, diced
1 green bell pepper, diced
shredded carrots
1 can 98% Fat Free Cream of Chicken soup
1 can 98% Fat Free Cream of Mushroom soup
1 can whole kernel corn, drained and well rinsed
1 can no salt added diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained and rinsed
1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 can reduced sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can green chiles
8 oz. shredded cheese (I suggest not cutting fat here, as recommended in the King Ranch Casserole recipe)
8 corn tortillas, torn in half
3 scallions, green parts only, for garnish
1 lb chicken breast, fully cooked and shredded
2 tbsp corn oil

Heat oven to 375F

Layer tortillas in bottom of greased 9x13 baking dish.  Heat 5-7 minutes.  Let cool.

Heat corn oil in large skillet.  Add onion, pepper, and carrots and cook until onions are translucent in color, about 5 minutes.  Add next 7 ingredients.  Cook until well blended and the mixture begins to bubble.  Reduce heat to low and cook an extra 5 minutes. 

Once the tortillas have cooled, remove 8 halves and cover the bottom of the dish with 4 tortillas (8 halves).  Spoon one layer of the soup mixture over the tortillas.  Cover soup layer with shredded chicken.  Spoon another layer of soup mixture over chicken. Top with remaining tortillas.  Cover with shredded cheese.

Bake in oven until cheese melts completely, about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and cool slightly before serving.



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