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Slim Down Enjoying Every Bite

Chef Mary Ann Brody of Kissed By An ItalianHappy New Year! And with the new year comes the promise that we all make to ourselves - we will lose the weight we want to lose, eat healthier, exercise more - you know what I’m talking about. We all start out with the best intentions. And then temptation sets in, we get busy, we lose focus.

But I think we make it harder on ourselves than we need to.

The mistake that we all make when it comes to dieting is that we deprive ourselves. We cut out everything we like. Well, let’s not do that. And I want to help you.

What if I told you that I could take your favorite, fat-full recipes and help you “slim them down” without sacrificing taste. Seriously. What’s better than great tasting food that won’t wreak havoc on your waistline!

To prove it, in this issue I’m going to provide one of my long-time favorite, family recipes – Mexi-Chicken Casserole. It is a real crowd pleaser but also has a lot of fat and calories. I’m going to provide the before and after recipe. My “after” recipe cuts over 50% of the fat, calories and sodium but tastes delicious and is still a hit at parties.  I hope you will try my revised version of this easy and delicious recipe. Your waistline will thank you.

Original Mexi- Chicken Casserole

4 cups of cooked  and diced chicken
1 8oz container sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 jar of your favorite salsa
1 package of flour tortillas
3 cups of shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese

Revised Mexi- Chicken Casserole

4 cups of cooked and diced chicken breast (all white meat with no skin has much less fat than dark meat)

1 8oz container light or no fat sour cream (using light or no fat sour cream cuts a tremendous amount of saturated fat).

1 can Campbell’s “Healthy Request” cream of mushroom soup (The healthy request line of soups cuts the sodium content by over half as well as the fat content)

1 jar of your favorite salsa (A majority of Salsas are low in calories and have no fat)

1 package of low carb flour tortillas or use tortillas that don’t contain lard

1 1/2 cups of shredded cheddar or Mexican blend cheese (cutting the cheese in half makes a lot of difference in total fat and calories but does not sacrifice taste)

Heat oven to 375. Spray medium sized casserole dish with PAM or any brand of non-stick cooking spray.

Combine sour cream and cream of mushroom soup and set aside.

Into your prepared casserole dish, pour  a layer of salsa to cover the bottom of the dish. Tear enough of the flour tortillas to lay over and cover the salsa. Spread half of the sour cream mixture on top of the torn tortillas. Next take half of your diced chicken and layer on top of the sour cream mixture. Repeat layers. Top the casserole with the shredded cheese.

Bake for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cheese melts and the casserole is bubbling.

Let’s have some fun and help our diets at the same time. Each month, I’d like to take one of your favorite recipes, highlight them and then revise them to cut fat, calories, sodium and carbohydrates. I will look forward to “the challenge”!

Submit your recipes to be slimmed down by clicking here.  Put "Recipe" in subject line.  Attach or copy recipe to email. It is that easy to continue enjoying that dish you love so much!

Tucson members/readers: Learn more about Chef Mary Ann Brody and how to simplify your life at www.kissedbyanitalian.com

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