Cheese Enchiladas Unwrapped

I recently noticed that I was getting into the habit of abandoning healthy eating for the sake of new recipes and blog posts.  I’ve been making far too many desserts,cream sauces, and other things that should be eaten in moderation!  My waistline has been reflecting it, too.  So, in an effort to reverse the trend, I am making a conscious effort to work on some healthier recipes.

For some inspiration, I picked up a copy of The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites last weekend. So far I have made a few recipes and I am pleased with the results.  My husband has enjoyed the dishes, as well, which is a good indicator that they don’t taste too healthy!

I must warn you that when I cook from a cookbook, I rarely actually follow the recipes as they are written.  I consider a recipe to be a general guideline or suggestion.  I change the ingredients, do things out of order, and skip entire steps. Call me stubborn, but I like to do things my way! In this recipe for cheese enchiladas (which should probably be called lasagna since there are no wrapped up rolls – thus the unwrapped part of the title), I made quite a few substitutions – 1% cottage cheese instead of fat free, colby jack cheese for reduced fat cheddar, 96% fat free whole wheat tortillas for corn tortillas, and canned diced tomatoes with mild chiles for chopped fresh tomato.  I also added some extra garlic and decided that the recipe needed some cilantro.  In addition, I decided I would layer mine differently – the original recipe calls for two layers, mine has three – using less tortillas – figure that one out!

In the end, it turned out to be pretty delicious and still moderately healthy.  As you will see, the higher fat content in the cottage cheese and colby jack cheese cost me some extra calories and added fat (as you would expect).  I am just not a fan of fat free dairy products.  If I am going to eat cheese, I want real cheese.  I did gain some extra fiber and protein though – most likely from the switch in tortillas.  The recipe makes 4 fairly large servings.  Here are the stats:

Original Recipe Stats – Calories: 299; Fat: 6g (2.8g sat fat); Carb: 42.3g; Fiber: 4.3g; Protein: 19.1g

My Recipe’s Stats – Calories: 378; Fat:  14g (8g sat fat); Carb: 45g; Fiber: 6g; Protein: 21g

So, without further ado – the recipe (adapted from The Best of Cooking Light Everyday Favorites)…

Ingredients:

  • 5 ounces colby jack cheese, divided
  • 1 cup cottage cheese (1% milk fat)
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 – 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes with mild chiles, excess liquid drained
  • 4 whole wheat tortillas (I used Mission 96% Fat Free “Heart Healthy” tortillas)
  • 1 jar taco sauce

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375°F.  Spray a 1 1/2 quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Combine 4 ounces of colby jack cheese (about 1/2 cup), cottage cheese, green onions, garlic, cilantro, and chili powder in a medium bowl. Place one tortilla in the bottom of the baking dish. Spread 1/3 of the cheese mixture over the tortilla.  Spoon 1/3 of the tomatoes on top of the cheese mixture, spreading evenly.  Repeat the layers two more times.

Top with the remaining tortilla and the bottle of taco sauce.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.  Bake uncovered for 25 minutes, until cheese is bubbly and casserole is cooked through.  Garnish with additional cilantro, if desired.

14 Responses to Cheese Enchiladas Unwrapped

  1. jenn says:

    I haven’t had enchiladas in a while. That looks so good!!

  2. Mindy says:

    I hear you about the heavier food since starting a blog! Every recipe I’ve made recently, I’ve tried to reconstruct in a healthy manner in my head for next time. After doing a nutrition comparison between two chicken piccatas on my blog, my husband suggested I start listing the nutrition for all of the stuff I post about, but I’m too embarrassed!

    (And the word “enchilada” just means “covered in chile,” so I guess they’d still be technically enchiladas if you used chile sauce!) ;-) This looks tasty, by the way!

  3. Eliana says:

    If I am going to eat cheese I want the real stuff too. Full flavor is always better there. When I’m watching my waistline, I just try to have less. These enchiladads sound wonderful.

  4. Yum! Very delicious! I can’t ever follow a recipe either :)

  5. Teanna says:

    I am SO with you on that one! For a while, it was all bad stuff on my end as well, and then I was finally like, you know what? My waistline can’t suffer for this! And people actually seem to like the healthy posts (like healthy brownies!). Believe me, we all appreciate you sharing healthy dishes, especially ones as gorgeous as this!

  6. Amy says:

    My only problem when I don’t follow the recipe is that I forget to write down what I did and then can’t make it the same way twice! But, I guess that is part of the fun of cooking, right?

    This looks delicious.

    • shay says:

      I have the same problem but it doesnt bother me until my boyfriend asks for a dish he really liked and it comes out completely different. He doesnt mind though :)

  7. Ohhhh gosh – these look incredible! I could literally drink enchilada sauce, I love it so much ;) Sorry for the gross visual!

  8. Reeni says:

    I love enchiladas!! These looks wonderful!

  9. alice says:

    These look so good.. I have everything in my fridge except for cottage cheese. Do you cheddar would be okay?

    • Jen says:

      Alice – Cheddar would probably work – would have a slightly different texture than the cottage cheese. Maybe throw in some sour cream, too – for a closer consistency!

  10. Rachel Gerhart says:

    Made this for dinner tonight and LOVED it! Because Dennis thinks a meal isn’t complete without meat :), I did add pieces of grilled chicken to the cheese mixture. A side of Tostitos was great to clean our plates of any enchilada remnants! The end result was delicious…Thanks for the great recipe!

  11. That enchilda looks sooo good !
    Thanks for the recipe.

  12. Shilo says:

    Fantastic recipe! I actually added shredded chicken and pepper jack cheese. Absolutely delicious! My husband loved it. Thanks for sharing!

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