April 22, 2015
Are you a fan of Mexican food but not the heavy calorie counts that come with it? Me too. Fajitas, enchiladas, tacos, chicken tortilla soup – it’s all good in my book. However, with the amount of cheese, oil and butter a lot of these dishes typically call for I don’t have them too often, however, I recently came across a healthier recipes for beef enchiladas that I tweaked some more, and I think you’re gonna be a fan.
I’ll be honest, I never really imagined beef enchiladas could be healthier; I was just resigned to the fact that they were a guilty pleasure saved for Cinco de Mayo or other special occasions involving tequila. Fair enough.
Recently though, I found a recipe that embraced the idea of the beef enchilada but rejected the idea that it must be a guiltier pleasure. Use a little low-fat cream cheese, extra lean ground beef, low-fat Mexican cheese, and then add some extras like fresh salsa, tomatoes and spinach and you’ve got a much better for you version of your favorite enchiladas. And trust me, these spinach and beef enchiladas are just as filling as the originals.
My fiance, Sean and I put these together as a team – it’s much easier to make enchiladas when you have one person putting the filling on the tortilla and the other rolling the tortillas up and placing them in the baking pan. Even by yourself though, this is an easy dish to put together. Once the filling’s done, the enchiladas sit in the pan and it bakes with salsa and cheese until everything is gooey and bubbly and delicious. I hope you enjoy these healthier enchiladas as much as we did.
Beef and Spinach Enchiladas
- 1 – 1/4 lb. extra lean (93/7) ground beef
- 2 c. fresh salsa, divided (I like Pace Thick and Chunky Medium salsa)
- 1 (5 oz.) package of fresh baby spinach
- 2 tsp. cumin
- 1 (8 oz. block) of 1/3 less fat cream cheese, cubed
- 6 tortillas (I used Flat Out Light Garden Spinach – hence the green color of the enchiladas)
- 1 (14.5 oz) can of no-salt added, diced tomatoes
- 1 c. shredded, reduced-fat, four cheese Mexican blend
- 1/2 tsp. creole seasoning
- 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp. onion powder
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium high heat with the creole seasoning, garlic powder and onion powder, until it is cooked through.
- Add 1 c. of salsa, the spinach and 1/2 tsp. of cumin. Cook, wilting the spinach down and stirring continuously.
- After 2 to 3 minutes when most of the liquid has evaporated, add the cream cheese to the skillet and stir until blended.
- Remove the skillet from the heat and spoon the mixture evenly onto the tortillas, rolling them up and placing seam side down in a 9×13 inch glass baking dish.
- In a small bowl, stir together the rest of the salsa, cumin and the can of tomatoes.
- Pour the red sauce over the enchiladas, and bake for 20 minutes.
- Top with the cheese bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese has melted.
- Serve one enchilada per person (we did ours with a side of skillet corn).