Mexican food that isn’t deep fried in the wrong kind of oil or smothered in cheese that isn’t real cheese is full of nutrient packed ingredients – loads of fresh produce, protein-packed beans, fiber-filled tortillas and healthy spices like chili pepper, garlic and cumin. Mexican food is one of the most colorful and varied cuisines in the world and one of the top most popular cuisines in the US (tacos are right next to hamburgers and pizza!).
Beans and rice, or beans and tortillas, served together make a complete protein, like meat and poultry, meaning it contains all the kinds of molecules called amino acids that are strung together in chains that twist into a three-dimensional structures that make up the proteins that our body uses to build and rebuild itself. Our cells and organs, our muscles and connective tissue and our bones wouldn’t hold together without the help of protein. All the enzymes in our body that trigger chemical reactions, and the regularly hormones, like insulin, are proteins. Milk and milk products like cheese are a complete protein. You can leave out the meat in Mexican dishes and still have the protein that your body needs. So you’re holding a tortilla and spicy filling and then add the fresh produce and it’s so good and so good for you.
Chicken Enchiladas With White Cheddar Cheese and Avocado
- 1 pound chicken tenders
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil or light olive oil*
- 1/2 cup onions, diced
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon Spice Islands Chili Powder
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1/4 cup light olive oil
- 4 ounces mild white cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 ounces jack cheese, grated
- 1 1/2 cups La Victoria Enchiladas Sauce Mild Poco Picante
- sour cream
Rinse and dry chicken, remove any membranes and tendons, and slice into small pieces. Sprinkle with salt and set aside. Heat the oil in a skillet and sauté onions until translucent. Add spices and cook 30 seconds. Add chicken and sauté until pick is almost gone. Remove from heat and set aside. Heat 1/4 cup olive oil and fry tortillas a few seconds on each side and drain on paper towels. Mix cheeses together. Spread 1 cup of enchiladas sauce on the bottom of a 9″ by 11″ casserole. Line up the tortillas, fill with the chicken and onion mixture and sprinkle with half the cheese, roll up and place on sauce in the casserole. Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of sauce on top and then the remaining cheese. Cover with foil and bake 30-35 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted. Top with cilantro, sour cream and diced avocado and serve with spanish rice and beans. Note: This recipe doubles easily and will use the whole can of enchiladas sauce.
*Trader Joe’s Trader Grotto’s Sicilian (cold pressed) Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a blend of three olives from Sicily, packaged in Italy in a beautiful bottle. It’s light and delicious. Store it in the dark and use up within a month.