Well, you must understand first that changing a recipe…well, it changes a recipe. It will not be the same lovely rich dish that you’re used to. It’s actually easier to make drastic fat reducing changes if you’ve **not **made the recipe before - that means you won’t miss your old version so much! Still, I think I can make a much healthier version that will be very good, if not phenomenally orgasmic like yours.
The first way I’d get rid of a whole bunch of calories is to drastically reduce the butter. As far as I can tell, it’s just there to give the onions and chilis something to soften in. We don’t need all of it. We do need a tiny bit, to carry the fat soluble flavors of the chili peppers, but as little as 1 teaspoon will do nicely. That’s around 30 calories and not quite 4 grams of fat, instead of 814 calories and 92 grams of fat.
Chicken broth: use fat free broth sold in one of those aseptic containers. Looks like a box; it’s better tasting than canned: regular broth: 19.2 calories and 1 gram of fat; fat free broth 2.4 calories and 0 fat.
Next, I’d replace the cream cheese with neufchatel cheese, also sold in US supermarkets as “fat free cream cheese”. This isn’t a chemically achieved fat free food, it’s just the same general cheesemaking process that uses milk instead of cream. And it really does taste just like cream cheese, even when spread on crackers and topped with a dollop of jam - one of my favorite snacks. I’m also going to drop it from 8 ounces to 4 - with more flavorful meat, corn and beans, you won’t miss it. Anyway, 4 ounces of neufchatel has 295 calories and 27 grams of fat to 8 ounces of cream cheese’s 792 calories and 79 grams of fat.
Next to go is the whipping cream. I’d use skim milk and nonfat sour cream instead. You don’t specify heavy or light whipping cream in your original recipe, so I’ll run some numbers for both. One pint of heavy whipping cream has 1642 calories and 176 grams of fat. One pint of light whipping cream has 1396 calories and 148 grams of fat. One pint of skim milk is 166 calories and almost 1 gram of fat, and 1 cup of nonfat sour cream has 233 calories and 3 grams of fat.
The cheddar cheese is getting the low-fat treatment as well. Low-fat cheddar shreds are available in the supermarket alongside the other bagged shredded cheeses. Again, no funny chemistry experiments, just cheese made with 2% milk instead of whole milk. I’m also reducing the amount of cheese used - there’s a point at which more of an ingredient doesn’t really add more to the experience, and I think there you can get away with less. 1 cup whole milk cheddar: 455 cal, 37.4 fat; 1/2 cup 2% cheddar: 98/4. Same deal with the Monterey jack: 1.5 cups regular jack = 631.5/51.3; 1/2 cup reduced fat jack = 98/4.
Adding beans and corn will up your fiber content and reduce your calories per serving, because you can use less meat in each enchilada and still have a satisfying serving. To keep our recipes on equal footing regarding number of servings, this means we can reduce the chicken to 1/2 pound and use 1 cup of canned black beans (rinsed and drained) and 1 cup frozen corn kernels and end up with about the same volume.
To increase taste without adding fat, poach the chicken in broth with 1/2 cup or so of spicy salsa in it before shredding it. The meat will take on some of the flavor of the liquid it’s cooked in.
This makes 8 servings, I’m guessing?
So let’s see how we did:
White Chicken Enchiladas of Death:
Total calories: 7,021 Calories per serving: 878
Total fat: 524g Fat per serving: 66g
Total fiber: 24g Fiber per serving: 3g
White Chicken Enchiladas of Life:
Total calories: 3,610 Calories per serving:451
Total fat:112g Fat per serving: 14g
Total fiber: 44g Fiber per serving: 5.5g
1/2 lb shredded chicken breasts
1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup fat free chicken broth
1 teaspoon butter
1 cup chopped onions
1/2 cup green chilies
4 ounces neufchatel cheese
2 cups (1 pint) skim milk
1 cup nonfat sour cream
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat monterey jack cheese
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon white pepper
2 teaspoons paprika
- Melt butter in pan, saute onions and green chiles.
- Add broth, cream cheese, cumin and white pepper, beans, corn and chicken.
- Roll in warmed tortillas, place in greased pan,.
- Whisk together milk and sour cream and pour over enchiladas.
- Layer jack/cheddar cheese on top. Sprinkle with paprika, bake for 45 minutes at 350.
Almost 1/2 the calories and way, way, way less fat. Not too shabby!