Recipe: pseudo enchilada casserole

Lately I’ve been embarking on a healthy living plan that I affectionately refer to as Project Wellness.  It involves making small changes to my life in an effort to relieve stress and make myself feel better. It does not involve giving up everything I love, such as chocolate.  However, it does mean I’m making a concerted effort to eat at least 70% dark chocolate instead of downing milk chocolate like it’s going out of style.

Fortunately I love foods like chickpeas and black beans.  They’re chock full of goodness and wellness stuff and they taste good.  I decided I wanted to make something akin to chicken enchiladas, only without the tortillas.  Here is an excellent recipe that is high on my wellness meter as well as ridiculously simple (and nommy!) I adapted the spice mixture from Cooks Illustrated recipe for chicken enchiladas and it works wonderfully.  It’s also great for using up leftovers in the fridge, so be creative and throw in whatever you’d like – just skip adding things like leftover doughnuts.

Here’s what I used for my pseudo enchilada casserole:

* cooked chicken (I used 2 cooked breasts) – obviously omit if you’re wanting to make this vegetarian

* 1 can of chickpeas, drained and rinsed

* 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

* 1/2  of a 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes

* cilantro

* garlic – approximately 2-3 cloves, squished through a garlic press or finely chopped

* 3 Tbsp chili powder

* 2 tsp cumin

* grated cheese (cheddar, mozza – whatever you’re in the mood for)

Preheat the oven to 400F.  Shred or chop the chicken breasts and place in a large rectangular baking pan.  In a large bowl, mix together the chickpeas, black beans, garlic, cilantro, chili powder and cumin.  Pour this mixture on top of the chicken and spread evenly in the pan.  Top with cheese if desired, cover with foil and bake for approximately 20-30 minutes.  I highly recommend serving with guacamole to make it extra nommy!  Mine involves 1-2 soft avocados, fresh lime juice and a clove or two of minced garlic.  Mash it up and add more lime or garlic as your taste buds dictate. Enjoy!

Warm, nommy casserole goodness...

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