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This recipe comes with no guarantees, but just maybe a few less calories in one of these easy to prepare enchiladas will get you into your short shorts sooner than you thought.

I for one am a little too old for short shorts (but I’ll happily let the rest of you wear ’em).  I also feel like bathing suit season is right around the corner so less calories can be helpful when you’re staring down that scary season in the face.

Oh, and I think this is the perfect weeknight recipe and would go well with yesterday’s Spanish rice.  I garnished the finished enchiladas with a dollop of light sour cream and sliced green onions (but not for the little boys) just for the grown ups.

Cook 1 lb of lean ground beef and 3 minced garlic cloves over medium heat until beef is no longer pink.  Drain off any liquid and return the beef-garlic mixture to the skillet and season with 1 tsp ground cumin, Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Add 1 1/2 cups of frozen spinach  and a 4.5 ounce can of chopped green chiles (drained) to the pan and cook over medium heat until spinach is wilted and cooked through.  Stir well to incorporate the spinach and chopped green chiles into the ground beef.

Now you’re ready to add the 6 ounces of cubed light cream cheese to the skillet.  Stir over medium heat until cream cheese melts and is incorporated throughout beef-vegetable mixture.

Add a 1/2 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese to the beef mixture.  Stir well to incorporate.  However, if you’d like to save a few extra calories, you can eliminate this step altogether.  Oh and one little confession…I’m not a big fan of light cheese, so I used the full fat goodness of real Monterey Jack in this recipe.

Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of enchilada filling to the center of your tortilla.

Fold over one third of the tortilla so it covers the filling.

Tuck the edge of the tortilla just slightly with your fingers and roll somewhat tightly so that your filling doesn’t escape.

These go quite quickly once you get started.

Place the enchiladas seem side down in a 12 inch x 8 inch baking dish (or the equivalent).

In a small bowl, mix together 3/4 cup of salsa and 1/4 cup of tomato sauce.  Spoon the salsa mixture over the enchiladas.

Top the enchiladas with 1/2 to 3/4 cup of shredded Monterey Jack cheese.  I prefer to shred my own using a Microplane…how about you?

Bake the enchiladas uncovered in a 350 degree oven until the cheese is melted and the filling is heated through, about 25 minutes.  To serve, garnish with sour cream and sliced green onions.

Light Beef Enchiladas Florentine


1 lb lean ground beef

3 cloves minced garlic

1 tsp ground cumin

Kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper

1 1/2 cups loose frozen spinach (do not defrost)

1 4.5 ounce can chopped green chiles, drained

6 oz light cream cheese, cut into cubes

1 1/4 to 1 1/2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

10 tortillas

3/4 cup of your favorite salsa

1/4 cup tomato sauce

light sour cream and sliced green onions to garnish (optional)


 In a 10-inch skillet over medium heat add the ground beef and minced garlic and cook until no longer pink.  Drain off any liquid and return to skillet.  Add the cumin and season with salt and black pepper.  Stir to combine.  Add the frozen spinach and the chopped green chiles.  Stir to combine over medium heat until spinach is wilted and is incorporated along with the green chiles, into the beef mixture.  Add the cubed cream cheese and continue to stir until it is melted.  Add  a 1/2 cup of shredded cheese (if using) and stir until combined.

To fill enchiladas add 1/4 to a scant 1/2 cup of filling down the center of each tortilla and roll tightly, placing the filled enchiladas seam-side down into baking dish.

Combine the salsa and tomato sauce in a small bowl.  Spoon over enchiladas.  Top with additional shredded cheese.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25 minutes or until cheese is melted and filling is heated through.

Yield: 4 to 5 servings

Thanks so much for dropping by Main St. today…