Friday, October 15, 2010


My family loves Mexican food, and I love to make it because it can be very inexpensive.  One of the reasons it is so inexpensive is because beans and rice easily fit into Mexican meals and make great fillers, meaning less of the expensive stuff - meat!

Throughout high school, frozen chimichangas were a staple in many of my fellow students' diets.  I even partook of one occasionally.  However, store-bought frozen meals don't fit in my budget nor are they (usually) healthy.  Thankfully, I'm able to make a healthy version at home, and the best part is it's freezable!

1 Tbsp. butter
1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, chopped
Salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder, to taste
1/2 onion, chopped
4 oz. diced green chilies
Refried beans
Green onions
16 oz. can enchilada sauce (or see recipe below)
Cheddar or Jack cheese

Melt butter in a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add chicken and spices; cook chicken thoroughly.  Remove from heat and set aside.

In the same skillet, saute the onions until tender.  Add diced chilies with juice; heat thoroughly.  Add prepared chicken and enough enchilada sauce so that chicken mixture is saucy, but not soupy.  Stir to combine.

Heat tortillas for a few seconds in the microwave so they are pliable and easy to work with.  On each tortilla, place a strip of refried beans, chicken mixture, enchilada sauce, green onions, and cheese.  Place them a little off-centered for easier folding.  Fold the ends of the chimichanga in toward the center, then roll the other two ends over the filling.

Place in a greased 9x13 pan.  Spray the folded chimichangas with cooking spray (this takes the place of deep frying, creating a crispy outside without the added fat of deep frying).  Bake in a preheated 500 degree oven for 8 to 10 minutes or until the chimichangas are golden brown and crispy.  At this point, you can eat them or you can let them cool completely, wrap them individually in parchment paper, then place them in a zip-top bag, and put them in the freezer.  When you're ready to eat them, just pull them out of the freezer and stick one in the microwave for about 2 minutes, or until it is heated through.  Time will need to be adjusted if you're reheating more than one at a time.

Enchilada Sauce
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp flour
1/4 cup chili powder
2 cups water
16 oz. tomato sauce
Salt, to taste
Garlic powder, to taste

In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.  Add flour and cook, stirring, 1 minute.  Add chili powder and cook an additional minute.  Whisk in water and tomato sauce.  Add desired amount of salt and garlic powder.  I think I only ended up using about half of the enchilada sauce, so I stuck the rest in the freezer for another batch of chimichangas at a later date!


Susan said...

I'm so excited about both of these recipes, but especially the enchilada sauce. I haven't found a homemade version that I like, but I'm excited to try yours. Canned sauce is *so* expensive (at least in NY).

Frances said...

I just had time to browse your blog site. This is spectacular!!! I copied several of the recipes to try in the near future. Right now the focus in our house, besides thrift, is low fat, carbs and sodium. Love your creativity and love you both!!

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