This month, at the Recipe Redux, we are talking about some of our earliest cooking memories. I grew up in California in the early 70’s. Both my parents worked, and both cooked for us. Dad’s specialty is more around baking and grilling. Mom was great with the more everyday meals. It might have been a California thing, but for some reason, Mom was heavily influenced by Latin foods. Later in life, when we lived in Seattle, Mom was influenced by Asian foods.
This is why I want to share this recipe for Low Sodium Chicken Enchiladas. Chicken Enchiladas are a comfort food. In our house, you got to choose a dish you wanted Mom to make on your birthday. I wanted Mom’s Chicken Enchiladas. Mom’s Enchiladas are full of tangy sauce, doughy tortillas, green olives, and tons and tons of cheese! Not healthy, but oh so good!
Another reason I wanted to share this recipe, is that my wife learned this recipe from my mom, to make for me. During our courtship, she went to my Mom and wanted to know what some of my favorite dishes are, so she could continue to make them. If that’s not love, I don’t know what is. I love that she thought that it was important to keep family recipes alive and to share them with our kids. I needed to find a way to hack the recipe and fit it into our new low sodium life in order to keep that recipe going. So I was able to knock out the salt so we now have Mom’s Low Sodium Chicken Enchiladas.
The Swaps to make it low sodium
In order to keep the most memorable parts of Mom’s recipe alive, I stuck with flour tortillas. I know that you can get lower sodium if you use corn tortillas, but I have never been able to replicate that taste. I swap the Cheddar Cheese for Swiss. The more than flavorful sauce makes up for any of the flavor you lose by switching to Swiss. The final secret flavor bomb is to find reduced sodium green olives. The Mario brand of olives has both reduced sodium green olives and low sodium black olives.
All of the canned tomatoes, peppers, and sauces are the low sodium or no salt added versions. Also, if you can find a pre-cooked low sodium chicken, that helps save time on a weekday night, or grab the Organic No Salt Added Rotisserie Chicken from Whole Foods. Mary, my wife, uses my Tomatillo Salsa recipe to add an extra layer of flavor (if they weren’t a flavor bomb already)!
Low Sodium Chicken Enchiladas
- 10 burrito size Tortillas
- 2 cups Chicken - diced
- 2 cups of Low Sodium Refried beans . Amy's Organic Low Sodium is the lowest I have found
- 1/2 cup Reduced Sodium Green Olives Mario brand
- 3/4 cup Onion - Diced
- 1 10 oz can of enchilada sauce Ortega Mild is the lowest sodium I could find
- 2 cups Swiss Cheese - shredded
- 1 cup Tomatillo Salsa low sodium
Cook and dice the Chicken
Mix chicken, refried beans, olives, onion and Tomatillo Salsa.
Pour half the can of enchilada sauce on bottom of a casserole pan.
If space allows lay out the 10 tortillas and divide the chicken mixture evenly amongst the torts spreading the mixture in a line from top to bottom.
Roll tortillas placing them in the pan with the seam at the bottom filling the pan.
Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled torts Sprinkle and spread cheese on top.
Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour - the smell will tell you when it's done!
Let me know what dishes you first learned to cook in the comments below! The following recipes are from The Recipe Redux Community. While they are all healthy and written by dietitians and nutritionists, I can’t guarantee that they are low sodium. As always, read the labels and look for ways to hack the recipes to make them low sodium.