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Cutting Calories in
Enchiladas, Diet Makeover

Article by Diet Bites

Calories in Enchiladas

They can contain as much as 600 calories each, particularly when packed with cheese and beef and particularly when the red meat isn't of the extra lean variety.

Unless you have prepared them at home, you can just about bet the ranch that the beef is leans more towards high fat content than the lean. When in doubt, ask your server.  

For 600 kcals each - if you order two then you're not going to have very much room left in your eating plan in order to fit in all of the food group servings required by your body. Even at 300 kcals each, we're kissing things here.

But if you're like me, I'd walk a mile for a skinny enchilada. And indeed - we can and shall reduced the fat content in our recipe - and in turn, that will reduce the total energy values. Reducing can be a very good thing, particularly when dieting!

Homemade Enchilada Makeover

One Shell of an Issue

If you have the opportunity to choose between corn or flour tortilla shells, always go with the corn. They are consistently about the same in diameter - about six inches and contain from 40 to 50 kcals each. It's rare to see a corn tortilla climb over this mark - and you'll be getting whole grain goodness amid your healthy pick.

On the other hand, the flour tortillas are totally unpredictable. They come is varying sizes - from fajita to burrito style. The jumbo shells can contain 200 or more kcals. The lowest that we've seen in our research top out at 80 kcals each - so be a label checker if you want to keep your totals in check.

One of the big negatives about this entree is that for the recipe to be authentic the shell typically gets a quick bath in oil. You can opt for cooking spray but using this process will negatively impact the flavor in comparison to the traditional cooking method. We have a tip we'll share below.

The Big Cheese

If you prepare enchiladas at home, then you can opt for the reduced fat cheese. Or, use single slices if you wish that are low in energy values. Velveeta makes a tasty queso blanco slice that contains 40 kcals and it fits perfectly on a corn tortilla shell. We'll provide our homemade recipe below using this lighter cheese. Another great option is skim based shredded mozzarella or Monterey Jack.

Sour Cream, Other Additives

When using sour cream, opt for the lighter, low fat version.

Homemade Cheese Enchilada Recipe

This is a great recipe to prepare for a small crowd. It makes 2 dozen enchiladas and can serve a dozen guests generously when served with other side dishes such as Mexican rice and a hearty shredded salad of greens, chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro. In addition, it reheats very well in the microwave or oven.

We cooked ours in our toaster oven for about 1/2 an hour at 375 degrees. We spent about $7.00 on all of the ingredients necessary to prepare the recipe.

You will need the following ingredients:

24 slices of Velveeta queso blanco cheese
24 corn tortilla shells
1 cup of chopped onions
1 medium size can of enchilada sauce, we used red but green will also work well
vegetable oil; we used sunflower
1 can of Rico Cheddar cheese sauce, medium size
1 small to medium can of chopped green chili peppers, drained

Start by sauteing the chopped onions in a non-stick skillet using just a bit of the oil. Remove when they appear clear and tender and place in a small bowl, allowing to cool.

Next, add one cup of the vegetable oil to the skillet and allow to heat well. One by one, dunk the corn tortilla shells into the oil and quickly turn. Drain thoroughly on paper towels to absorb excess oil.

Place one slice of cheese onto each tortilla shell and a spoon of the sauteed onion.

Roll and place into a baking pan. When all of the tortillas have been rolled, mix the peppers, enchilada sauce and cheese sauce together then pour over the rolled tortillas. Top with the remaining onions and bake.

We've got a few more very tasty enchilada recipes which can be viewed by following the links below.

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