Creative in the Kitchen: Healthy Thursday

I made it! This here is a recipe that I got from Weight Watchers and it is officially called Layered Mexican Chicken.

It is already pretty healthy at 6 points a serving, but I have some tips that I think make it taste a lot better while keeping it in the good points/calorie range.

The Recipe:
POINTS® Value: 6
Servings: 12
Preparation Time: 20 min
Cooking Time: 45 min
Level of Difficulty: Moderate
This Mexican lasagna will last up to five days in the refrigerator.


  • 1 sprays olive oil cooking spray
  • 2 pound uncooked boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 30 oz canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3 cup fat-free sour cream
  • 2 cup shredded reduced-fat Mexican-style cheese, divided
  • 8 oz chopped green chilies, two 4-oz cans
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 12 medium corn tortilla(s), cut into 2-inch strips
  • 1 cup salsa, mild, medium or hot


  • Preheat oven to 350ºF. Coat a lasagna pan with cooking spray.

  • Place chicken in medium saucepan and fill with enough cold water just to cover chicken. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes; drain. When chicken is cool enough to handle, cut into 1-inch pieces.

  • Transfer chicken to a large bowl and add beans, sour cream, 1 cup of shredded cheese, chilies, cumin, and pepper; mix well and set aside.

  • Arrange half of tortillas in bottom of prepared lasagna pan, overlapping pieces to cover surface. Top tortillas with half of chicken mixture, layer with remaining tortillas and then top with remaining chicken mixture. Sprinkle with remaining cup of cheese.

  • Bake until filling is bubbly and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing into 12 pieces. Serve with salsa on the side.
Did you read the part about it lasting up to 5 days in the refrigerator? This is strangely true. You'd think it would become a soggy inedible mess after one day, but no, we're still eating it. Even Josh is like "uh this still tastes good" with a suspicious look on his face. He is anti-left overs as he thinks everything is not worth eating the next day.

What would I change? Firstly, I used 2 cups of FF cheddar cheese which I feel was completely useless. Why? Because I couldn't even taste it and it had the texture of plastic. I suggest using real sharp cheddar cheese, but instead of 2 cups cut that stuff down to a 1/2 cup and use it only on the top. Or better yet, 1/4 cup in the mixture and 1/4 cup on top.
Secondly, I would use fajitas or taco season in place of the cumin. I found the recipe to be underwhelming in the flavor department. Josh compensated with a ton of hot sauce which of course he enjoyed. I used taco seasoning and it really came to life! Thirdly, too much fat free sour cream. Again, I am a sour cream fan, but if its free of fat it tends to be more sour than creamy. I would use less than three cups next time. I'd even get really crazy and only add one cup! I'm okay with everything not sticking together perfectly. The chilies are a nice touch, but I'd consider throwing in some jalapeños for a little kick. Finally, I like the idea of throwing the cooked chicken in a skillet with onions and green peppers with a little olive oil spray and putting that in the mixture as well. Perhaps that would decrease the shelf life, but thats okay.

That's it for this Thursday! I hope you are all eating fabulous and healthy meals out there!
Remember, if you are participating leave me a comment and I will add a link to your blog in this entry.


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Blogger FAT BRIDESMAID said...

COuldn't you also substitute the raw chicken breast with canned pre-cooked chicken breast (same aisle as the canned tuna in my grocery store). I bet that'll make the prep time a snap.

Thanks for sharing! I can't wait to give this a shot!

8:05 AM  
Blogger elasticwaist said...

i love these suggestions for improvement! thanks.

10:20 AM  
Blogger Krissie said...

I will definitely try this. I will probably use a rotisserie chicken, though. I think they are so stinking easy!

Sorry I didn't get a recipe for you this week. I'll be better!

6:47 PM  
Blogger EVA said...

holy chicken burrito, batman! That looks amazing. Thanks!

7:18 PM  

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