The Zucchini-Chicken Enchilada Recipe That Will Change Your Life
Oh guys, I haven’t been this smitten with a recipe for a long time. Recipe below (adapted from one of my faves: Eating Well magazine!), but let me give you some backstory first: Some of you may know, I’ve been doing the keto thing for a long time. If you’re sick of hearing people talk about keto and are rolling your eyes right now, let me explain. I’ve never been militant about any diet or eating plan (and I’m someone who was a vegetarian for years, went vegan for an exhausting period of time, and have tried all kinds of health trends in the name of journalism research!), but, two years ago, when I switched to this keto thing (which is a low-carb, high-fat and moderate protein diet) I lost about 12 pounds, experienced a jolt in my energy levels and increased ability to focus, and really just felt … all-around better. As a longtime health journalist, I drilled down deep into the science behind all of this, and while there’s plenty of trendy and unsubstantiated stuff floating around in the “keto” realm, the basics are what they are: this way of eating does a body good, at least MY body good. Not into it? Totally cool! I know that it’s foolish to think that one thing works for EVERY BODY. Not true. But I’d wager that the keto-ish way does work for many of us. And I say “keto-ish” because that’s what I aim for. Do I successfully live a 100 percent carb-free life? No way! Do I indulge in fruit and sweets sometimes? Oh yes, m’am! Do I occasionally have pasta? YES! It’s all good! But I keep coming back to this baseline of eating low-carb, mostly grain-free, higher-fat (good fat!) and moderate protein (not too much). It works (at least for me!). And now to my recipe…
THIS RECIPE. I made it for Brandon the other night and we both geeked out over it. In short, make it. You will love, love, love.
1 rotisserie chicken
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cumin
¼ teaspoon finely ground pepper
4 large zucchinis, very thinly sliced into strips
2 jars of red enchilada sauce (I love Trader Joe’s!)
1 pack of shredded mild cheddar cheese (or Mexican cheese)
2 cans of diced green chilies
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ sweet white onion, diced
Fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)
Sour cream for garnish (optional)
Spicy salsa for garnish (optional)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Remove white meat from rotisserie chicken and use fingers to shred into small pieces. Place in a bowl and mix in salt, pepper, cumin and garlic powder. Set aside.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, drizzle 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sauté the onions and minced garlic until soft, being careful not to burn. Add to the chicken mixture with the green chilies.
Spray a 9 x 12 glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set up an assembly station for your enchiladas. You will need: 1.) the sliced zucchinis (your “toritllas”), 2.) the bowl containing the chicken mixture, 3.) the enchilada sauce, and 4.) the shredded cheese. Now, take a strip of zucchini and carefully place a large tablespoon of the chicken mixture in the center. Top with cheese and a drizzle of the enchilada sauce, then tuck the ends around to form a little pocket (it’s ok if the zucchini snaps—it will all mellow out and perfect in the oven). Continue making these little enchilada pouches until your 9 x 12 dish is filled (see photo above for how it should look). Top with more enchilada sauce (evenly spread over dish) and shredded cheese. Bake for about 20-30 minutes, until enchiladas are warmed through, zucchini is soft and the cheese topping is melted and slightly browned. Let rest for at least ten minutes before serving (with sour cream, salsa and chopped cilantro if desired). Enjoy!!