Something exceptional happened the other day. Everyone, all six of us, were home . . . at the same time . . . during the dinner hour. And we shared a meal together. When my kids were younger we ate together all the time. But they’re older now and it’s harder and harder to find a time when all six of us can sit down and enjoy a meal at the same time. The 19-year-old works two jobs and the 15-year-old spends more and more time with friends, work, or other activities. But the other night we had all six home for dinner. All of us around the table; and it was so much fun!
My husband served up the piping hot enchiladas. Chopped tomatoes, shredded lettuce, sliced avocado (no guacamole this time), and salsa were passed around for everyone to dress up their enchilada. We settled in, enjoying those first bites. It wasn’t long before my youngest brought up a couple stories from when he was “little”. It was such fun seeing their eyes light up when my husband or I told more stories about each of them when they were younger. Some they remembered, others they didn’t. We shared embarrassing stories and funny stories, stories filled with love and good times.
I’ve heard so many people complain about the teen years with all those hormones raging, but let me tell you, I love to hear my three teens and one tween all talking, and laughing, and having fun. Don’t get me wrong, they have their moments. But this night wasn’t one of them. We had good conversation, laughter, and of course good food. Food brings memories with it. I like to think that when my kids are older, they’ll remember the fun we’ve had around the dinner table. And if they make these enchiladas, well, the memories may be that much stronger. They all like this recipe, at least for the moment. Chicken, spinach, and cheese rolled into a tortilla and topped with a mild green sauce, every savory bite pleasing to the palette.
Since we enjoyed these enchiladas so much I thought I’d share them with you, my readers. So what makes them healthy, or healthier? Well, they’re homemade, not out of a box or from a frozen package, but made from scratch, with the exception of the chicken broth. I used a reduced sodium broth for that. But everything else? Homemade. Even the tomatillo sauce. That in itself would keep the sodium lower. Greek yogurt takes the place of sour cream. This adds protein and if you use non-fat Greek yogurt like I did the fat content is lowered. I added spinach, a leafy green vegetable filled with nutrients. I added 2 cups which, when it cooks down, isn’t a whole lot. But it’s something, and I think you could easily add another cup or two of spinach to the filling, maybe more if you’re so inclined. Finally, whole wheat and whole grain tortillas increase the fiber content as well. I have to admit that this time I didn’t have any whole grain or whole wheat tortillas around, so we used plain flour tortillas. But whole wheat tortillas should work just as well. The healthiest part of the meal though, was having the whole family here eating together. Nothing better than that.
And really, most anything tastes good when you have family around the table, enjoying the time with them and strengthening those relationships. It’s good for you. It’s good for your kids. It’s good for your family. So find time this week to sit down as a family and enjoy a meal together. And try this recipe. Trust me. You’ll like it!
Does your family have a favorite dish that brings back warm memories of great times around the table? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.
Chicken and Spinach Enchiladas
- 2 c. shredded cooked chicken
- 2/3 c. finely chopped onion
- 2 c. fresh spinach tear any large pieces into smaller parts
- 4 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro divided
- 12 oz. shredded Monterey Jack cheese divided
- 2 Tbsp. flour
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 c. reduced sodium chicken broth
- 1 c. non-fat Greek yogurt
- 1 1/2 c. tomatillo sauce
- 12-13 flour tortillas preferably whole grain
- Preheat oven to 350° F. Spray a 9 x 13 pan and 8 x 8 pan with non-stick pan spray.
- In a large bowl mix together the shredded chicken, chopped onion, spinach, 2 Tbsp. cilantro, and shredded Monterey Jack cheese, reserving about 2 c. for the topping.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add the 2 Tbsp. flour to the hot oil and stir till all the flour is moistened. Add chicken broth all at once. Cook over medium heat till thickened, about 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly. Mix in Greek yogurt and tomatillo sauce.
- Using a hand blender, blend until smooth. Keep sauce warm over very low heat, stirring frequently.
- Build enchiladas by warming the tortillas slightly so they roll more easily. I usually put them between sheets of paper towel and warm the stack in the microwave for 30 seconds.
- Build enchiladas by scooping 1/4-1/3 c. filling in each tortilla. Fold one end just over the middle and continue rolling to form the enchilada. Place in the prepared pan after rolling. Eight enchiladas fit in the 9 x 13 pan and 5 enchiladas fit in the 8 x 8 pan.
- Pour tomatillo sauce evenly over prepared enchiladas. Sprinkle remaining cheese proportionately on each pan of enchiladas.
- Bake at 350° F for about 30 minutes or until bubbly and heated through. Serve with shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, sliced avocado, and chopped fresh cilantro.