Forget the tie this year and give Dad something he really wants - a dinner off the grill that someone else made. A little grilled chicken can be combined with an easy sauce and rolled in some tortillas to make enchiladas the whole family will enjoy.

In the following recipe, the chicken may be grilled, Dad's favorite form of cooking, or broiled in an oven. In broiling, the heat comes from above the food, while in grilling the source is below the food. Whether you grill or broil, oil the grate before cooking so the food won't stick. The chicken should be of uniform thickness so that it will cook evenly.

Enchiladas are a Mexican dish made by rolling a softened corn tortilla around a meat or cheese filling. They are served hot with a tomato-based salsa and sprinkled with cheese. But they don't have to be heavy and fat-laden.

Using skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat, is a good start. Chiles and spices add so much flavor you won't miss the fat. Low-fat cheddar and low-fat sour cream can be used as toppings. Whole-wheat tortillas complete the healthy nutritional profile of these enchiladas.

This dish not only gives dad a break from grilling, it gives him the extra gift of a healthful grilled entree. Grilling - or broiling - meats creates carcinogens unless the meat is first treated to a marinade, such as the one used in this recipe.

In addition to significantly reducing that health risk, marinades can also add flavor. With accompanying vegetables, beans, or grains, these enchiladas offer both delicious flavor and health benefits.

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Grilled Chicken Enchiladas

Yield: Makes 4 servings.

Sauce Ingredients

  • Canola oil spray
  • 16 Italian tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. black pepper

Enchiladas Ingredients

  • 1/2 tsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp. olive oil
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, fat trimmed (about 12 oz.)
  • 4 whole-wheat flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup shredded low-fat cheddar, plus extra for garnish
  • 1/2 cup diced green Anaheim chile, fresh or canned
  • Low-fat sour cream for accompaniment, if desired


  1. For the sauce, preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat a baking sheet with oil spray. Place tomatoes, onion and garlic on the sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until onion and garlic are golden. Remove vegetables, cool, and transfer to a blender. Add chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper, and puree until smooth. Set aside.
  2. Prepare enchiladas: Combine paprika, cumin and chili powder in a small bowl. Mix in oil and just enough water to form a paste. Rub paste on chicken. Set chicken aside for 15 to 30 minutes. Grill or broil chicken 3 to 5 minutes on each side or until juices run clear when pricked with a fork. Cool. Slice into thin strips.
  3. Lay tortillas on a work surface. Cover each with 3 chicken strips, 2 tablespoons cheese and 2 tablespoons green chile. Roll up and place in a 9-x-13 inch baking pan, seam-side down. Cover with sauce. Bake at 350 degrees 15 to 20 minutes or until sauce bubbles. Garnish with remaining cheese and serve with low-fat sour cream, if desired.

Per Serving:
267 calories,
4 g. total fat,
1 g. saturated fat,
35 g. carbohydrate,
29 g. protein,
6 g. dietary fiber,
618 mg. sodium

Diabetic Exchanges: 2 Bread/Starch, 3 Low-Fat Meat, 1 Vegetable

Source: AICR