So I have this recipe for enchilada casserole. My mother-in-law used to make it and it’s kind of a big deal in our family. I vividly recall the night she gave me the recipe over the phone while I scribbled it into my well worn Betty Crocker cookbook, hunched over in our tiny apartment kitchen. I was around 23 and I remember she was really impressed I knew what a roux was.
I’m doing the math in my head and HOLY SCHINKES…I’ve been making this casserole for well over a decade now. Everyone loves it and it is absolutely delicious and comforting. My kids probably wish I’d make it weekly. Okay, every night. They call it ‘chaladas.
Over the years I’ve tweaked the recipe – subbed ground turkey for ground beef, corn tortillas for flour, added lots of spice and I stopped frying the tortillas in oil before layering them into the pan (I know. So good and so bad!). But a lot has stayed the same. The enchilada sauce is a white sauce with a can of red sauce and a TON of cheese dumped in, for instance. I’m not going to lie…it’s pretty amazing. But good for you? Errr. Not really.
A few weeks back I took the tweaking one step further…I de-casseroled the whole thing. What happened was that I’m not eating dairy and I needed to change the recipe to work with that – of course, I added cheese for the rest of the family, but for me? Just the straight enchilada sauce with a bunch of cilantro on top and some tomatoes…and some smashed avocado. Because guacamole.
What resulted were these great enchilada stacks. They’re perfectly portioned, have enormous flavor and check in at around 200 calories per serving.
While I’ll always make my mother-in-law’s enchiladas – because, let’s face it: food =memories – I think I’ll be adding these stacks to the rotation – way less guilt but so much flavor!