When I am cooking for my family I almost never use a recipe. I have been at this business of family cooking for more years than I chose to admit and, at this point in life, main course meal recipes just seem to get in the way. Anyway, if I use them, I have a tendency to alter and adjust so liberally to meet my likes and needs that, once cooked, the meal bares very little resemblance to the original recipe. So what in the world am I doing writing a recipe blog?? Well I am trying to pass on ideas to my fellow Diabetics about how to adjust recipes and meals so as to meet the needs of Diabetics. You see, unlike most people, we simply cannot just eat willy- nilly whatever is in front of us and hope for the best. We MUST pay attention—or die. As I have said before, death by diabetes is not fast, clean, or easy. So learn to adapt, adjust and substitute when you cook. Often foods for this blog are delicious, but not necessarily photogenic.
That is the case with the recipe I am going to give you today. The official name of this meal is Pollo Elena. For purposes of this blog I am calling it Green Chili Chicken Enchilada Casserole. It has been eaten with considerable praise, acclaim, and compliments by family, friends, and associates. My 10 year old grandson is with us for Summer Vacation and I made this for dinner one night. After he finished he said “Grandma, that is absolutely the best food I ever ate. Be sure to tell my parents how to make it!” No — he wasn’t just wheedling his way toward a second helping. It really is that good. Here are steps I took to lower the calories and carbohydrates: instead of just any chicken, I used organic, boneless, skinless chicken breast. For the tortillas, I get the Carb Chopper flour tortillas (greatly reduced calories and grams of carbohydrates). For the sauce I use lite or fat free cream of chicken soup. The cheese is the lowest calorie white cheese I can find (usually 80 calories per ounce.)
- At home I use chicken often. Once a week or so I put 6 or so half chicken breasts in my big bamboo steamer and steam them. When just about done, I sprinkle with my favorite garlic/herb seasoning. I use what I need and freeze the rest for later use.
- The flour tortillas are bigger around than the smallish round casserole dish I was using. I set the dish on a tortilla, drew around the base with my sharpest kitchen knife, then took sharp kitchen scissors and cut all required tortillas the same circumference as the dish. Makes for much neater assembly.
- Green Chili Chicken Casserole Ingredients 3 Carb Chopper flour tortillas trimmed as instructed above 2 half chicken breasts previously fried, steamed, boiled or baked. 1 can lite or fat free cream of chicken soup 1/4 soup can of water 2 7-oz cans chopped green chili’s (heat level that you can stand) Lots of lower cal. cheese (Mexican white, or farmer’s white, or Mozzarella)
- Shred the chicken
- Grate the cheese
- Mix the soup and water well in a bowl or larger measuring cup.
- Grease (or Pam spray) the inside of casserole dish
- Place one tortilla in casserole.
- Put liberal amount of chicken on it.
- Sprinkle liberally with chopped chili’s.
- Sprinkle liberally with cheese.
- Spoon approx 1/3 of soup over that.
- Repeat this process until all ingredients are used up.
- Bake in pre heated 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes.
Note: These amounts fed two adults and one hungry child. Double or triple the recipe and size of your casserole dish or pan to meet your own needs. Don’t forget to document the calories and carbs as you create it and divide by the number of servings if you are serious about keeping one jump ahead of diabetes.