A new comfort food — healthy style

By Lou Ann Thompson - Country Cooking


It’s not often I get excited about a new recipe, but this is one of them.

Several years ago, my husband had taken me to a Mexican restaurant and I had never been to one. I told him I don’t know what to order. He said I bet you would like a chimichanga. I didn’t know what that was. He ordered one for me and it was served on a bed of rice with a warm sauce over it and a side of guacamole and salsa. Well, that was love at first bite…..so every time we went to a Mexican restaurant, I had to order a Chimichanga….they are very good.

Since we don’t eat out often, I wondered if I could find a recipe close to one that I ate and was so good. Guess what? I did!

When I was searching for recipes, I found out the restaurant version of a chimichanga is actually fried. Well, it made sense since the outside of it was a little crunchy. But I didn’t think of that while I was enjoying all the wonderful flavors in it.

This week’s recipe is a healthier version of a Chimichanga. It’s baked. The flavor is still wonderful and oh, so good. I’m thinking it’s my new comfort food, healthy style!

I used chicken tenderloins and steamed them a while until they were very tender. Then took a fork while they were still in the skillet and shredded them. I also used spinach and herb tortillas that only had 50 calories in each one. Instead of the half and half, I just used 2% milk since I usually don’t keep half and half. This has a very mild spice with the green chilies, not hot at all, I’m not a fan of “hot spicy” foods. But you can certainly spice it up as you wish.

My husband took one bite and said, “How do you keep coming up with this stuff? This is delicious. I can’t believe how good this is.”

I do plan on making this again this weekend. It seems pretty economical to make, with the high cost of food these days, this is a plus to say the least.


2 ½ cups shredded cooked chicken breast

1 cup salsa (I used my home canned mild salsa)

1 small onion chopped

¾ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon dried oregano

6 flour tortillas (10 inches)

¾ cup shredded reduced-fat cheddar cheese

1 cup chicken broth

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules

1/8 teaspoon pepper

¼ cup flour

1 cup half and half

1 can (4 Ounces) chopped green chiles


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. In a skillet cook the chicken until done and tender (I cooked mine in a little water, until done and the water was almost completely evaporated) Add salsa, onion, cumin, and oregano until the liquid is absorbed. You don’t want this to be watery or runny.

2. Place about ½ cup of the chicken mixture down the center of each tortilla; top with 2 tablespoons of cheese. Fold sides and ends over filling and roll up.

3. Place seam side down in a 13X9 baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray or coated with a little Crisco. Bake uncovered until lightly browned, about 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the broth, bouillon, and pepper. Cook until bouillon is dissolved. In a small bowl, combine flour and half and half until smooth; gradually stir into broth. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for two minutes or until thickened. Watch this closely, it will thicken quickly. Stir in Chiles, I turned the heat off at this point and just let this heat thru on its own.

5. When they came out of the oven, I very carefully poured the sauce over top of them, be careful doing this because you could end up cracking your baking dish. You can serve them on a bed of rice if you wish. With some guacamole and sour cream on the side.



By Lou Ann Thompson

Country Cooking