The Family Table: Mexican Casserole Makeover

By EatingWell Editors, June/July 2006

Remaking Chilaqules Casserole: How we made this family's favorite meal healthier.

"My husband HATES vegetables! I try to sneak them in wherever I can. I made this casserole especially for me and my husband came home late and found it in the fridge. He tried some and ate 3 pieces of it! He's asked me to make it again...

Our makeover meal boosts fruits and vegetables considerably, sneaking stealth vegetables into the chilaquiles and serving up an easy salad with a master dressing recipe that can be used all week long. And there’s always room for a healthy dessert, especially when it’s a crumble made from seasonal fruit that bakes during dinner. Best of all, since every meal component has built-in leftover potential, this dinner makes the rest of a busy week easier too.

The menu

Chilaquiles Casserole
Baby Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
Old-Fashioned Fruit Crumble

Goal #1: A heart-healthy meal with plenty of fruits & vegetables

  • Adding “stealth” zucchini and tomatoes to the chilaquiles boosts fiber, vitamins and minerals.
  • Substituting reduced-fat cheese
    for regular cheese reduces the saturated fat and cholesterol by over two-thirds.
  • A healthier dessert provides a serving of fruit plus whole grains.
  • Replacing the butter in the crumble with canola oil almost completely eliminates saturated fat and cholesterol.

Goal #2: Planned-for leftovers

  • Keep extra salad fixings (see more salad tips) and homemade dressing in the fridge for a week’s worth of quick side salads and lunchbox meals.
  • Doubling up the casserole size leaves tasty leftovers for lunchboxes or the freezer.
  • Big-batch crumble topping is enough for several more quick desserts—including yogurt parfaits and sundaes.

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