Monday, May 2, 2011

Chicken Eggplant Enchiladas

I love Mexican food, so does my boyfriend however when we are trying to do healthy eating it’s not something we can indulge in all the time.  In honor of Cinco de Mayo I wanted to make us a healthy version of Chicken Enchiladas!!  The other day when I was cruising the aisles of Whole Foods, I saw some packets of Enchilada sauce from Frontera Grill!  For those of you who are Top Chef fans, you may remember Rick Bayless from Top Chef Masters (doesn’t he seem like the nicest guy?).  I recently had the chance to visit his new restaurant in LA, Red O and it was definitely one of the best meals I’ve had.  Definitely recommend it if you are in Los Angeles.  So you can understand my excitement when I saw his new line of products called Mexican Everyday!  The best thing about his products is that they are low calorie and they use all natural products.  On the packaging it states that the ingredients are all natural with no preservatives, made with fresh ingredients. 

I had been dying to make Cilantro Lime Rice since I had been seeing recipes pop up on the web for the past couple of weeks.  So in order to make it a bit healthier and enjoy my rice at the same time (yes, this is how my brain works- constant negotiations) I decided to forgo the tortillas for something healthier.  I had two beautiful eggplants in my fridge that I thought would be the perfect wrapper and absorb the flavor of the Green Chile Enchilada sauce at the same time.   


Chicken Eggplant Enchiladas

1 large eggplant
3 Tbsp. olive oil
1 cup shredded chicken
2 cups spinach
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup non fat plain yogurt
2/3 cup low fat shredded Mexican cheese blend
1 package Frontera Grill Enchilada Sauce

1.  Preheat oven at 400 degrees.  Cut off end of eggplant and remove peel with a fruit peeler. 


2.  Slice eggplant lengthwise into 1/4 inch thick slices.  Place slices in a bowl and sprinkle salt over pieces.  Let the eggplant sit in the bowl for 20-30 minutes.  *This step is not necessary, but it removes some of the bitterness that can often be found in the eggplant seeds.*


3.  Drain bowl of water the eggplant released and rinse eggplant several times to rid of salt.  Heat up a grill plan on medium high and lightly brush each slice of eggplant with olive oil.  Cook on each side until eggplant is tender.  Once cooked remove from heat and let cool. 


4.  In another skillet add the last Tbsp. of olive oil and cook the onions until tender, season with chili powder and cumin.  Add in the 2 cups of spinach and allow it to quickly wilt down.  In a bowl mix with shredded chicken, yogurt and 1/3 cup Mexican shredded cheese.  Season with salt and pepper. 


5.  Place several scoops of the chicken mixture in the middle of each piece of eggplant piece. 


6.  Roll each piece into a log and place seam side down in a 8x8 pan. 

ChickenEnch6 (2)

7.  Cover the eggplant rolls with the Frontera Grill Green Chile Enchilada sauce mixture. 


8.  Sprinkle the enchiladas with the remaining 1/3 cup of cheese and bake for 15 minutes. 


I ate this with the Cilantro Lime Rice from Two Peas and their Pod, which was totally easy and so delish.  But you could also eat this with some black beans, chips and of course garnish with avocado, salsa or sour cream!  The Frontera Enchilada sauce was so good, it was a little spicy and jam packed with so many fresh flavors.  Two thumbs up, I definitely want to try the rest of the Frontera Grill Everyday Mexican products.  I loved the enchiladas with the eggplant as a wrapper, but I may be biased since I love eggplant.  I guess if you don’t like the texture of eggplant, this might not be the route you want to go, and you might want to just make this with tortillas instead.     



Lindsey @ Gingerbread Bagels said...

This is such a great idea! How creative to use eggplant for the outter part of the enchilada. I'm definitely trying this. It looks amazing. :) said...

I could really go for this!! I am not big on Mexican food, but I LOVE eggplants! Beautiful meal!!

Lucy @ Lucyeats said...

Wow that looks incredibly yummy! I haven't tried very much Mexican before (except nachos) but I am eggplant's number one fan!

Gourmantine said...

What a wonderful way to use eggplants! Thanks for sharing :)

Sandra said...

I love this idea of egg creative!!! Great recipe, thanks for sharing!

Nami | Just One Cookbook said...

Hi Lindsey! You made the eggplant tender and rolled them... Brilliant idea! American eggplants are are large so they can roll something so perfectly.. what a great idea Lindsey!

Tiffany said...

I love the idea of using eggplant at the enchilada wrapper! YUM!

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