Mexican Chicken Cornbread Bake

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I saw a meme the other day that compared cooking during this time of “social distancing” to an episode of Chopped.  That could not be more accurate.  When I schedule and pick up my grocery order, only half of what I ordered is actually in stock, so my pantry is a random assortment of ingredients.  I stand there and stare, trying to figure out what I can put together to make an actual meal.  If you are doing the same, I have a good, pantry-and-freezer-friendly Mexican dish for you.  I know you’re all missing Mexican food right now, so here ya go.  If you lucked out and got chips in your grocery order, that would be great with this too… a real Mexican feast!  ~Erin

Ingredients:

4 cups chopped boneless, skinless chicken breast (about 4 large breasts or 5 medium):  I sprinkle the breasts with 1 tsp. each of chili powder, cumin, paprika, salt, and garlic powder; then bake or grill until fully cooked, let the meat rest/cool a few minutes and then chop.  Store in the fridge if made in advance.

1 (10 oz.) can Old El Paso red enchilada sauce, mild

1 (10 oz.) can Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies, mild

1 ½ c. yellow corn kernels

8 oz. (2 small cans) Hatch chopped green chiles

1 tsp. chili powder

½ tsp. ground cumin

1 (8.5 oz) package dry Jiffy corn muffin mix (or other cornbread mix – I prefer a sweet cornbread mix)

1 egg

½ c. reduced-fat Mexican shredded cheese, divided

½ c. unsweetened cashew or almond milk (skim milk will work too)

2 T. chopped pickled jalapenos

Chips and salsa, optional – for serving

 

Cook and chop seasoned chicken (see notes on first ingredient); set aside.

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Spray a deep casserole dish (slightly smaller than a 9X13) with nonstick spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, stir together:  enchilada sauce, Ro-Tel, corn, green chiles, 1 tsp. chili powder, and ½ tsp. cumin.  Add 4 cups chopped chicken and stir to coat.  Spread evenly into casserole dish.

In a small bowl, stir together:  dry cornbread mix, milk, egg, chopped jalapenos, and half of the cheese (about ¼ c.).  Pour mixture evenly over the chicken mixture.

Sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese.

Bake in preheated oven for 45 minutes.

WW Info:  This recipe makes 8 servings.  Green plan – 9 points per serving; Blue plan – 6 points per serving; Purple plan – 6 points per serving

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Beef Tamale Pie

October is a big month in my family.  My birthday is Saturday, and so is Mom’s.  Then Dad’s is 4 days later.  Lots of celebrating to do!  To top it all off, we take our annual sisters’ trip in October.  Can. Not. Wait!  Yes, October is a fun, busy month.

With all of that happening, we won’t be home much on the weekends, which is when I do the majority of my cooking.  Without my big weekend meal prep sessions, I’ll need quick dinners I can whip up after work.

This is one of those easy, speedy meals, prepped and in the oven in very little time.  It’s certainly easier than making actual tamales but just as tasty!  ~Erin

Beef Tamale Pie from Four Sisters Dish

Ingredients:
  • 1 ½ c. yellow cornmeal
  • ½ c. all-purpose flour
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 c. hot tap water
  • 1 egg
  • 3 T. light butter, melted (I use Land O’ Lakes Light)
  • ½ lb. 96% lean ground beef
  • ½ medium onion, optional
  • 1 (16 oz.) jar fat-free chunky salsa
  • 1 (15.5 oz.) can red kidney beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 ½ tsp. chili powder
  • ½ tsp. ground cumin
  • ¾ c. reduced fat Mexican blend shredded cheddar cheese
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Instructions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  2. Spray a deep-dish pie plate with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. You can use a 9×13 pan instead, your layers will just be thinner.
  3. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, and salt with a whisk.
  4. Add hot water, melted butter, and egg to the cornmeal mixture; whisk until well-combined.
  5. Pour the cornmeal batter into the bottom of the pan and spread evenly; set aside.
  6. Cook the beef and onion (if using) in a large skillet over medium heat, until beef is no longer pink.
  7. Add the salsa, beans, garlic powder, chili powder, and ground cumin; stir to combine.
  8. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce heat and stir until heated through.
  9. Spoon the meat mixture over the cornmeal batter to within half an inch of the edge.
  10. Bake 20-25 minutes, until crust is set.
  11. Remove from the oven and sprinkle with cheese.
  12. Let stand 5 minutes until cheese is melted.
  13. Cut into wedges and serve with additional salsa, if desired.

WW Freestyle Info.: This recipe makes 8 servings. Each serving is 6 points.