A lot of recipes for Southwestern-inspired casseroles are heavy in unhealthy carbs like tortilla chips and white rice, as well as high-fat cheese and sour cream. But in this version, whole-grain corn tortillas take the place of chips or white flour tortillas. This swap provides more fiber, fewer calories and carbs, and less saturated fat and sodium. Serves 8.
6 corn tortillas
⅛ tsp. salt
1¼ lbs. lean ground beef (90/10)
1 large onion, chopped (about 1½ cups)
2½ Tbsp. lower-sodium taco seasoning
1 (14.5-oz.) can no-salt-added black beans, drained
1 (14.5-oz.) can fire-roasted finely diced tomatoes
½ cup fresh refrigerated salsa
1 Tbsp. lime juice
1½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
¼ cup chopped green onions
4 cups chopped romaine lettuce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Cut tortillas into ½ to 1-inch squares. Cover a sheet pan with foil; place cut tortillas on lined pan. Coat tortilla pieces with cooking spray; sprinkle with ⅛ tsp. salt, tossing to coat all pieces. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, stirring tortilla pieces every 3 to 4 minutes. (Tip: Watch pieces on edge to prevent excess browning.) Let cool.
- Heat nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground beef and onion. Cook, stirring to crumble beef, 7 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. Drain any excess liquid; return meat mixture to skillet. Add taco seasoning, stirring well. Add beans, tomatoes, salsa and lime juice. Cook 1 to 2 minutes or until warm throughout and slightly thickened.
- Sprinkle half of toasted tortilla pieces in the bottom of a 13-by-9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with half of beef mixture, ¼ cup cheese, and remaining tortilla pieces. Add remaining beef mixture and sprinkle remaining cheese over top.
- Bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until warm throughout and cheese is bubbly. Sprinkle with green onions. Let stand 5 minutes. Then cut into 8 pieces or spoon each serving over ½ cup chopped romaine lettuce.
Calories 322; total fat 14g (saturated fat 6g); cholesterol 66mg; sodium 472 mg; total carbs 23g (dietary fiber 5g, total sugars 6g, added sugars 0g); protein 24g.
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CAROLYN WILLIAMS, RD