One of the things I have been intentionally practicing in the kitchen is more creative cooking. Working with ingredients I have and planning meals around them. Seeing what is ready to harvest from the garden and incorporating those things into my weekly meal plans. Strolling through the Farmer’s Market, picking up some produce that looks fresh and delicious, and making dinner from it. You get the idea! These Collard Wrapped Chicken Green Chile Enchiladas are the combined outcome of:
- A trip to the Farmer’s Market where we picked up some roasted green chiles. (Read about that Farmer’s Market trip, and the rest of the meal planning I did from it, here.)
- Finding a recipe with a healthy substitution I liked, and re-applying it in a similar way to this NEW recipe!
I’m going to walk you through the process I went through to create this recipe. I hope it gives you some ideas for how to start making your own creative recipe spins!
Subbing Collard Greens for Tortillas
A few months back I made a “Whole 30” version of enchiladas from one of my favorite Whole 30 cookbooks. That recipe was beef and red sauce based, and used collard greens as the wrap for the enchiladas. It turned out pretty good! So even though my filling was going to be different with these enchiladas, I decided to use collard greens instead of tortillas again.
Figuring out the Chicken Green Chile Enchilada Sauce and Filling
Next, I looked up a few different recipes for green chile enchilada sauce to get an idea of what to put in it, ratios, and timing.
Lastly, the chicken filling. When I’ve made chicken green chile enchiladas the “traditional” way, the chicken is always mixed with cream cheese, green chiles, and more cheese. Yummy but rich. And fatty.
Since these enchiladas were already trending towards a healthier spin with the “collard tortillas,” I decided to try non-fat greek yogurt in the filling instead of cream cheese. Yep, that’s right. And guess what – it was GOOD!
So you see, with a few simple substitutions, I created a lighter, low carb chicken green chile enchilada recipe! What will you create in YOUR kitchen this week?
Find the full recipe below!
- Small square or rectangular baker: 2-2.5qt
- 4 quart sauce pan
Collard Green "Tortillas"
- Collard Greens, 1 bunch (at least 6 large leaves)
Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
- 1½ cups roasted green chiles (skinned, seeds removed, and chopped)
- 2 cups chicken broth (low sodium)
- 1 yellow onion (diced)
- 1 jalapeno (diced, include seeds for extra spice)
- 2 cloves garlic (minced)
- Spices: cumin, dried oregano, salt, pepper (add to taste)
- 3 tbsp flour
- Nonfat Greek yogurt (optional, add to taste)
- 16 oz shredded or chopped chicken (see notes)
- ½ cup roasted green chiles (diced)
- ½ cup nonfat Greek yogurt
- 8 oz shredded cheese, half reserved (see notes)
- Salt and pepper to taste
Prep the Collard Green "Tortillas"
- De-stem the collar green leaves, and rinse, leaving them whole. To de-stem, fold the leaf in half, and slice down the middle to cut out the thickest part of the stem. Leave attached at the top so you can use them as tortillas.
- Blanch the leaves – cook in boiling water for ~2 minutes until they feel tender, then transfer immediately to an ice bath.
- Once chilled, lay out on towels to dry.
Green Chile Enchilada Sauce
- In a medium sauce pan, saute the onions with a dash of salt until tender, adding the jalapenos toward the end. (I’ve found that if you cook the jalapenos too long they loose much of their spicy kick.)
- Add in the garlic and stir for ~30 seconds.
- Add in the roasted green chiles, and cook for another couple minutes.
- Sprinkle the flour over the sauted veggies until they are thoroughly coated, and then continue to cook until the flour turns golden brown and starts to smell like pie crust.
- Whisk in the broth slowly, mixing well to minimize lumps.
- Simmer ~30 minutes until thick enough to coat a spoon.
- Taste and adjust the seasoning as the sauce cooks, adding the cumin, oregano, salt, and pepper ~½ tsp at a time. I like to let the sauce get warm and simmer for a bit before I add much seasoning; I think the flavors change as it heats up.
- I blitzed the cooked sauce with an immersion blender to smooth it out a bit. A blender would work as well. Blend to whatever consistency you prefer, or leave it chunky!
- At the end, if desired, stir in a couple spoonfuls of nonfat Greek yogurt to turn this into a creamy green enchilada sauce.
- Mix all the ingredients together, reserving half of the cheese for the topping, until the taste and consistency is what you want.
- Stir in the Greek yogurt to get a creamy binding sauce, but don't overdo it.
Assemble the Enchiladas
- Take a collard leaf, dip it in the enchilada sauce, and lay it on a plate.
- Slightly overlap the inside edges to fill in the gap left from de-stemming.
- Spoon on the chicken mixture, ~1/3 cup.
- Sprinkle a pinch of cheese on top.
- Roll and set in pan, seam sice down.
- Continue until you fill all the collard leaves, or the pan is full. For me, this recipe filled 6 leaves, and fit nicely in a 10"x6" rectangular baking dish. (My favorite Le Creuset Baker.)
- Top with the remaining sauce, and sprinkle with a light layer of cheese.
- Bake at 375°F for 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is starting to bubble around the edges.