Happy National Nutrition Month!
March is National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme is “Eat Right with Color“! Each year, the American Dietetic Association puts on this nutrition education and information campaign and its members vote on the theme.
In honor of this year’s theme, I will highlight the various nutritional benefits of several fruits and vegetables throughout the month as they pop up in my cooking! While I never aim to tire you, my dear readers, on every which vitamin and mineral, they truly are amazing and do miraculous work in our bodies each and every day, contributing heavily to our overall health and wellness. So expect to see some fruit & vegetable love this month!
In this taquito recipe, I used the Tomatillo Salsa Verde I featured on yesterday’s post. Tomatillos are a slightly tart, firm, green fruit that make for a delicious salsa verde! And taquitos, well…they’re just a flash from my childhood that I love & adore!
3 4 oz low-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup salsa verde (I used Tomatillo Salsa Verde)
juice of 1/2 a lime
1 tsp chile powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp onion powder
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
3 Tbs scallions, chopped
2 cups cooked and shredded chicken (about 3/4 lb)
1/2 cup shredded extra sharp 2% cheddar cheese
1/2 cup shredded Pepperjack cheese (if you can find low-fat, use it! I couldn’t.)
22-24 (6-inch) yellow corn tortillas
coarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine the softened cream cheese with the salsa, lime juice, spices, garlic, cilantro, scallions, and salt and pepper, to taste. Fold in the chicken and cheeses. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
Working 3-4 tortillas at a time, stack them on a microwave-safe plate and cover with plastic wrap. Cook 30 seconds, or until tortillas are soft and workable.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of filling onto the lower third of each tortilla, and roll tightly. Place seam side-down on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling.
Spray the taquitos lightly with cooking spray and sprinkle with coarse sea salt. Bake 15-20 minutes, or until the tortillas are crisp and golden-brown. Serve with condiments of your choice, such as sour cream, Greek yogurt, salsa, and/or guacamole. Yield: 22 taquitos.
Nutrition Information (per taquito): 111 calories; 3.5 g. fat; 16 mg. cholesterol; 148 mg. sodium; 12.6 g. carbohydrate; 1.1 g. fiber; 7.3 g. protein
Result: We loved these! I grew up on taquitos, albeit a much unhealthier, frozen version. These came together quickly and were a fun dinner for us! I used white corn tortillas and I don’t think they are pliable and hold together as well as yellow corn, so I changed that about the recipe. I also used about 2 tablespoons of mixture per tortilla and ended up with more than double what the recipe said it would yield. I am A-okay with that, but also changed that about this recipe. I will definitely be making these again with those few changes – I think they would be perfect for a crowd, for kids, or just as something fun, tasty, and relatively healthy! Enjoy!
Note: To freeze for future use, prepare the taquitos, but before baking, place the baking sheet in the refrigerator until the taquitos are completely cold. Wrap in plastic wrap or aluminum foil, and freeze. To bake, unwrap the taquitos and cook in a 425 degree oven for 20 minutes (no need to thaw).
An a note unrelated to nutrition…is it Friday yet? We lost power yesterday morning and had TERRIBLE flash flooding overnight (that on top of a late hockey game and Mr. Prevention talking in his sleep = nearly no sleep for me). The roads were flooded all over central Ohio and getting to work was a challenge. And because our house lost power at 6:40am, I was left with a head of frizzy hair and one candle…awesome. I packed make-up and my hair straightener and got ready in the bathroom at work. I worked a full 9 hours at my clinic before going to class and lecturing for 2 1/2 hours…with 3 hours of commuting thrown in there. Dinner was at 9pm…good thing I packed strawberries and cottage cheese to eat before teaching. Manic Monday much? Oy…:(
…but so glad it’s Tuesday, March 1st, and National Nutrition Month! 😀
Question: What’s your favorite finger food? Do you like taquitos?
Have a great day!