Thursday, February 28, 2008

Enchilada Casserole

Today is a white day. As I sit here in the living room there is a beautifully peaceful view out of the window, and all is white. Well, almost all. A fresh layer of snow covers the ground and the hill and soft, fluffy flakes are continuing to fall. The sky is also white, and it takes a bit of concentration before I can discern where the summit of the hill ends and the sky begins. Color on this blank canvas of a landscape is added by the dark green pine trees bordering the front and side yards, the olive-brown of the bare maple and oak tree branches, and the bright red of the half-dozen cardinals, and their rusty-red mates, fluttering under and around the birdfeeder. I’m tired of winter now, but this particular sight fills me with peace.

Yesterday I needed to turn on the oven. Our kitchen is unheated and it can get a little… nippy… in there during these cold winter days. Conversely, this kitchen also faces west and the windows absorb all of the afternoon sun, so I rarely even turn on the oven from the beginning of June until the end of September.

So why is there no afternoon sun to warm my kitchen now? Because I live in western Pennsylvania, where winter sun is rare and, when it does appear, is very weak.

I wanted to make something hearty, a casserole perhaps, to fill our tummies and warm us up a bit.

Jack requested something Mexican. I looked at what was on hand, what was on the menu for the rest of the week (in an attempt to balance the chicken meals with the meatless meals with the fish meals, and also cuisines as well since Jack admitted recently that although he loves curries, three in a row are just a bit too much). I decided on an enchilada casserole.

I was making this one on my own since I had made breakfast and lunch, both without assistance from my long-suffering husband. ;) He needed to work on our taxes, and I should start becoming more self-sufficient in the kitchen since I've become somewhat adjusted to the lurching/ limping motion of walking with this aircast on.

The following is the recipe which I came up with. Jack loves enchiladas but I couldn’t spend the time making the sauce, then standing while I dipped the tortillas in sauce, filled, rolled, etc. I decided to make a layered casserole with the flavors of enchiladas. I have made a chicken enchilada casserole with a green (tomatillo) sauce before, but only had canned red enchilada sauce on hand.

I supplemented the ground turkey with veggie-based burger crumbles and also added black beans and corn to make this a substantial dish. Sauce and cheese completed the enchilada-like taste of this casserole. I served it with a drizzle of blended light sour cream and skim milk which added a nice creamy texture. A tomato and avocado salad is perfect to add some more

vegetables and round out the meal.

* Exported from MasterCook *

Enchilada Casserole

Recipe By: Vicci

Servings: 8

Amount Measure Ingredient -- Preparation Method

---------- ---------- --------------------------------

8 ounces ground turkey

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup chopped green bell pepper

3 cloves garlic -- crushed

2 teaspoons oregano -- Mexican preferred

2 teaspoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper -- optional

4 ounces Morningstar Farms burger crumbles

28 ounces enchilada sauce

1/4 cup water

1 cup frozen corn kernels

15 ounces canned black beans -- drained and rinsed

1 small can green chili peppers, chopped

4 ounces shredded lowfat cheddar cheese

12 corn tortillas

1/2 cup light sour cream

3 tablespoons skim milk

In a large nonstick skillet, brown the ground turkey until no longer pink; add onion, bell pepper, and garlic and continue to sauté until the vegetables are almost soft. Add oregano, chili powders, and burger crumbles and stir for two minutes.

Pour 3/4 cup of the enchilada sauce and water into the ground turkey mixture and combine well. Stir in the corn, black beans, and chopped green chilies; bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.

In a 3-quart casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray, layer 3 tortillas on the bottom. Add 1/4 or the reserved enchilada sauce, 1/3 of the ground turkey mixture, 1/4 of the cheese for the first layer. Repeat in this sequence: 3 tortillas, sauce, ground turkey mixture, cheese, 3 tortillas, sauce, ground turkey mixture, cheese, 3 tortillas, sauce, cheese. Cover and bake for 15 minutes; uncover and bake for 10 minutes longer.

After removing form the oven, allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving. In a small bowl, mix the sour cream and milk until smooth.

Scoop onto plates and drizzle with the sour cream mixture.

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Per serving: 567 Calories (kcal); 14g Total Fat (3g saturated); (22% calories from fat); 27g Protein; 82g Carbohydrate; 27mg Cholesterol; 1309mg Sodium

Food Exchanges: 5 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 4 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 10 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

NOTES : Although this is great right out of the oven, if made a day in advance and reheated the layers will firm up and look more presentable rather than collapsing onto themselves!

Serve with a tomato-avocado-onion salad