If you are looking for a delicious yet healthy Mexican style meal, this is for you! I have always wanted to try making a mole sauce but most of the recipes seemed a little too involved, especially for a week night. I came across this simple mole sauce recipe and so decided to make some enchiladas to go with it. Most enchilada recipes have sour cream and/or lots of cheese in the filling, but I wanted to do something that was healthier and also dairy free, aside from topping some of them with a small amount of cheese. I left one enchilada free of cheese for our son (because he has a milk allergy). And honestly, the mole sauce and enchiladas themselves are so good, the cheese isn't necessary! I also used multigrain tortillas instead of flour tortillas for a healthier spin on the recipe, and they were really good. The best part is that these enchiladas taste even better the next day, so make great leftovers. I made these for dinner last night and we had them again for dinner tonight.
To make shredded chicken for dishes like this, I am a fan of slow-cooking the chicken breasts in chicken stock for 5 hours. When you take the chicken out, it pretty much just falls into pieces, making the shredding very easy. It is really simple to do it this way, but you just need to make sure you plan ahead since it takes several hours. You could pop the chicken in the slow cooker the evening before and store it in the fridge until you are ready to make the rest of the meal.
This Mexican brown rice is so flavorful, I think even those who aren't brown rice converts would like it. The key is slow-simmering the rice in the puree of tomatoes, garlic, onion, and chicken stock. To save some time, make the rice ahead of time if you can (since it takes an hour to cook) and reheat it at dinner time.
1 pound organic free range chicken breasts
2 cups chicken stock
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 cup red onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp garlic powder
1 cup frozen corn, thawed
2 oz canned diced green chili peppers
1 (28oz) can stewed tomatoes
8 multigrain tortillas
1 cup 2% milk shredded cheddar cheese (optional), for topping
1. Place chicken breasts in slow cooker and pour in 2 cups chicken stock, or enough to just cover chicken breasts. Cook on low for 5 hours.
2. Remove chicken from slow cooker and shred using 2 forks. Set aside, or store in refrigerator until ready to use.
3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large frying pan, heat canola oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add shredded chicken, salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder, corn, chilies, and stewed tomatoes. Stir until evenly combined and cook, continuing to stir, until chicken is heated through, about 5 minutes.
4. Spread a thin layer of mole sauce (recipe below) on bottom of large rectangular baking pan so that enchiladas do not stick.
5. Fill tortillas with chicken mixture and wrap to hold together. Place seam-side down in baking dish. Spoon mole sauce over enchiladas, trying to cover as much of exposed tortillas as possible so that they do not dry out in oven. Top with cheddar cheese. Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
(Recipe adapted from foodnetwork.com)
2 tsp canola oil
1/4 cup yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp dried cilantro
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 (10.75oz) can condensed tomato soup
1 (4oz) can diced green chile peppers
1. Heat canola oil in small sauce pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
(Recipe adapted from allrecipes.com)
Mexican Brown Rice
1 (14.5oz) can organic diced tomatoes
1 clove garlic
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cups organic chicken stock, divided
1 1/2 cups organic long grain brown rice
1 Tbsp canola oil
3/4 cup frozen vegetables
1. Place diced tomatoes, garlic, onion, and 1/2 cup chicken stock in food processor. Process until smooth.
2. Place oil, rice and frozen vegetables in a large sauce pan and cook over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously. Add tomato mixture and remaining chicken stock and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 50-60 minutes, or until rice is no longer crunchy, stirring occasionally. Add additional chicken stock or water as needed.
What are the nutritional benefits of this meal? Multigrain tortillas are less refined than flour tortillas, and contain more fiber, vitamins and minerals as a result. Chicken is an excellent source of protein and is rich in B vitamins. Corn provides some fiber and vitamin C, folate and thiamin, as well as minerals phosphorous and magnesium. Onions are rich in quercetin, a type of antioxidant, as well as vitamins and minerals, including vitamins C, K, folate, thiamin, and minerals calcium, magnesium, potassium and manganese. Canned tomato products, such as the stewed tomatoes, diced tomaoes and tomato soup in this dinner, contain more lycopene than fresh tomatoes, and also provide lots of vitamin C. Cocoa powder, used in the mole sauce, contains flavonoids, a type of antioxidant. Cumin is a good source of iron and calcium. Brown rice is unrefined, so contains it's original abundance of iron, zinc, manganese, selenium, antioxidants and fiber.