I have to chuckle to myself often when I look in to the site’s analytics. I’m sure you’ve noticed that basically 90% of what gets posted on my site is healthy savory meals and sweet but healthy breakfasts. The other 10% is allocated to baking.
Have you noticed?
Maybe. Have you also noticed that the website is called The Pretend Baker, yet there’s been a sharp decline in baking on this little blog over the last year?
It’s all your fault. You guys love my healthy meals and healthy breakfasts and go to the baking last. Aka, there’s only ever 1 baked good in my top 10 posts. Every. Single. Month. So I just started giving you more of what you wanted since that makes the most sense.
It’s also excellent for us since cooking has always come naturally to me and it’s one of my many forms of therapy. This past Saturday I needed some kitchen therapy so I got to making this healthy salsa verde chicken enchilada casserole.
Can we talk for a hot sec about enchiladas? I have rolled and prepared them properly all of once in my life. After doing it just that one time, I was like… ‘Why does anybody bother fiddling with all this mess? Such a waste of time. Layer it all up in a pan and just bake and slice it. Seems obvious…’
So that’s what I started doing. Sometimes with rice, most of the time with tortillas. Look, your food doesn’t have to be pretty. It has to be delicious, satisfying, generally healthy and it doesn’t need to be fiddly. Plus, I feel like there’s more wiggle room for adjusting how much of a serving you want rather than choosing one or two or three… or one and a half or one and two thirds.
Naaaah. We’re not messin’ with that. Just slice whatever you want, plop it on your plate and call it dinner. Or lunch. Whatever. It’s messy, it’s saucy, it’s appropriately cheesy and it’s comforting. It also doesn’t weigh you down like a brick.
Now, I’m aware that cooking every single thing from scratch isn’t always everyone’s thing. It isn’t even always my thing and I definitely don’t think you have to do this in order to eat good, real food. If you don’t want to have all the bother of roasting the peppers and tomatillos then blending everything together for the sauce, you’re more than welcome to get a couple of jars of your favorite salsa verde and add the greek yogurt to it. Bam. You have sauce.
I would say that you could also use rotisserie chicken but you’re not going to save THAT MUCH of a hassle. I just got some fresh boneless skinless thighs from the market, seasoned them with some cumin, salt and pepper and baked it in the oven for 20 minutes. Then it was just a matter of shredding it and adding it to the hot mess of a mexican lasagna. It’s really no bother.
Aside from that, we have some corn tortillas, shredded monterey jack cheese and some canned black beans. If you’re a cilantro lover, obviously throw it in there. Cilantro is to salsa verde like peanut butter is to chocolate, or so I hear. In this house Cilantro is on par with eating dog food.
Aka, we won’t eat it.
But you can!
The leftovers of this healthy salsa verde chicken enchilada casserole are most excellent for a fuss free lunch or, honestly, it’s just really nice knowing I don’t have to dirty more dishes come dinner time. I friggen love having leftovers in the house that simply require me to pop them in the oven and let it warm through while I go for a walk around the neighborhood, do some yoga or just sit and chill with a glass of wine. It’s the best. So much so that I usually wind up making our dinners early in the day and just put them in the fridge to pull out when needed.
I’ve learned I like my cooking therapy early on and then enjoying dinner without excess dishes later.
However you do it, you’ll love it. Promise.
- 1 pound boneless skinless chicken thighs
- 1 14.5oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- 1¼ pounds tomatillos
- 1 small jalapeno
- 1 poblano pepper
- 3 small unpeeled garlic cloves
- 1 small white onion, chopped
- juice of 1 small lime
- 1-2 tbsp coconut sugar or agave
- salt, to taste
- ½-3/4 C 2% plain greek yogurt
- 325g monteray jack cheese, shredded
- 8 corn tortillas
- Preheat oven to 450F
- Remove husks from tomatillos, wash and slice each one in half. Place cut side down on a parchment paper lined baking sheet.
- Wash poblano and jalapeno peppers, slice in half and remove the seeds. Place cut side down on the baking sheet along with the tomatillos. Add the unpeeled garlic cloves and place in the oven for 15 minutes or until peppers are charred.
- Reduce temperature to 425F, season chicken thighs with salt, pepper and cumin then place on another parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until completely cooked.
- While the chicken cooks, place tomatillos, peppers, white onion, lime juice and garlic cloves squeezed from their skins. Add 1 tbsp sweetener of choice and ½-3/4 cup greek yogurt. Blend until smooth, add salt and sweetener to taste. Optional: throw in a handful of cilantro and blend until smooth if you like cilantro.
- When the chicken is cooked, once cool enough to handle ( I never wait but my husband says I have hands of titanium) shred the meat. Reduce oven heat to 350F
- In a deep 8x8 or 9x9 baking dish, spread about ¼ of the sauce on the bottom. Arrange 2 corn tortillas, ripping as necessary to fit the mold of the pan on top of the sauce. Add ½ the shredded chicken, ½ the beans and ⅓ of the cheese. Pour more sauce over and spread evenly. Repeat another layer then top with remaining tortillas, sauce and cheese.
- Bake for 25 minutes or until hot and bubbly.
- Allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before slicing and serving.
- Serve with guac, greek yogurt/sour cream, veggies, anything you like!
You can also use shredded rotisserie chicken if you don't feel like cooking your own, either. It can really take as little or as much time as you like!
Make these next!