Friday, April 17, 2009

A Cinco de Mayo Favorite for Brunch or Dinner!

I've always been known as "The Casserole Queen". I tend to be able to create something from almost nothing in a matter of minutes and bake it in a one pot dish that will rock your socks off! This is quite easy when using less than healthy ingredients and not being worried about "points" or "calories" or "fat" and such.

Now that I'm following the Weight Watcher plan I tend to make a lot less of my yummy, gooey, cheesy, easy casseroles and I must confess, I myself tend to miss them once in a while. This inspired me to take a quite un-healthy recipe and tweak it to make it my own, healthy version! I had been making it for years with full fat cheeses, 3 different kinds, regular sour cream & double the tortillas. The changes, while huge in nutritional values, were barely noticeable and I cannot imagine going back to the full fat, high calorie version!

So I share with you.......

Chili Cheese Comfort Casserole (4)
(approximate nutritional values, without substitutions * 218 Calories/8g Fat/3g Fiber)
Serves 12


6 corn tortillas*
4 large eggs
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon chili powder (*optional, adjust for heat, can be left out if you prefer non-spicy version)
6 large egg whites
2 16-ounce containers low-fat cottage cheese
1 1/4 cups fat free shredded cheddar cheese 1 1/4 cups shredded extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
(making this small sacrifice of combining a fat free and regular cheese is barely noticeable and gives the cheese enough fat to remain "creamy")
4 4-ounce cans chopped mild green chile's
1 cup fat free sour cream
1 cup low fat salsa

Preheat oven to 350°F

Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

Toast up your tortillas by either placing them one at a time directly on a burner (gas or electric) set at medium heat or tossing on a counter top style grill (my favorite way) Toast, turning frequently with tongs, until golden, 30 to 60 seconds.

Cut tortillas into 1-inch-wide strips.

*Note: the lowest value/healthiest tortillas I can find are the La Tortilla brand and I use these to lower the entire value of the recipe, but again the values given are for standard corn tortillas, nothing special. The "corn" tortillas work best as they stay firm. Flour tortillas tend to get soggy and chewy, not as good, but can be used.

Whisk all of the eggs in a large bowl until smooth and slightly foamy in texture.

Slowly, add flour, baking powder, chili powder & salt; whisking until smooth.

Add cottage cheese, Cheddar cheese, chile's and tortilla strips to egg mixture, stirring with spatula.

Pour into the prepared 9x13 baking dish.

Bake the casserole until set in the center and golden on top, 45 to 55 minutes.
Let cool for 10 minutes to set up, making it easier to cut into squares and serve.

Cut into 12 even squares.

Serve with salsa & dollop of fat free sour cream on top!

This is what's going to be rockin' our table this year as we celebrate Cinco de Mayo! A few maracas, a nice margarita for dessert and some authentic Mexican music playing from the I-Pod!

Now THAT's eating right!

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