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Chicken Enchiladas & Diabetes

Thank you for all the RD love! I had a wonderful day at work and came home for a nice 5-mile run and had leftovers…and a beer 🙂 I LOVED hearing from all the RD’s and RD’s-to-be — I had no idea I had so many readers who were pursing a career in dietetics! Wooo! So awesome! 😀

And on to the eats!!

Chicken Enchiladas adapted from Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes

For the sauce:

2 garlic cloves, minced
1-2 tbsp chipotle chilis in adobo sauce
1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/2 tsp ground cumin
3/4 cup fat free chicken broth
kosher salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the chicken:

1 tsp vegetable oil
8.5 oz (2 breast halves) cooked shredded chicken breast
1 cup diced onion
2 large clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup cilantro
kosher salt
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chipotle chili powder
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup tomato sauce

8 (6-inch) reduced carb tortillas 4 large reduced carb whole wheat flour tortillas
1 cup shredded low fat Mexican cheese
Nonstick cooking spray


In a medium saucepan, spray oil and sauté garlic. Add chiles, chili powder, cumin, chicken broth, tomato sauce, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 5-10 minutes. Set aside until ready to use.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat the vegetable oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté onions and garlic on low until soft, about 2 minutes. Add chicken, salt, cilantro, cumin, oregano, chili powder, tomato sauce, chicken broth, and cook 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Spray a 13 by 9-inch glass baking dish with non-stick spray. Put 1/4th chicken mixture into each tortilla and roll it. Place on baking dish seam side down. Top with sauce and cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake in the oven on the middle rack for 20-25 minutes. Top with low fat sour cream or scallions if you wish (not included in nutrition information). Makes 8 4 enchiladas.

Nutrition Information (per enchilada): 271 calories; 9.5 g. fat; 56 mg. cholesterol; 20 g. carbohydrate; 9 g. fiber; 26 g. protein

SOOOOOO delicious! We give these a HUGE thumbs up! Who doesn’t love enchiladas made with homemade enchilada sauce? Mmmmmm! 😀


Today’s NNM Topic: Diabetes

Diabetes is my “specialty” – I should’ve posted about diabetes yesterday in honor of RD Day, huh? Oh well… 🙂

Diabetes is a serious and costly health problem with fatal complications when uncontrolled. Diabetes is the 6th leading cause of death in the US and is the result of too much sugar (i.e. glucose) in the blood. While glucose is the main source of energy in the body, elevated levels in the blood can lead to serious damage and complications such as blindness, amputations, kidney failure, and death.

Symptoms of high blood glucose include:
Frequent or excessive thirst
Frequent of excessive urination
“Sweet-smelling” urine
Weight loss
Extreme hunger
Blurred vision
Slow-healing wounds

Risk factors for diabetes:
Overweight or obesity
Family history
History of gestational diabetes
Polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS)

Treatment for diabetes includes:
A carbohydrate controlled diet (not “low-carb”!!!) by means of carbohydrate counting
3 meals a day + an evening snack (carbohydrate + protein)
Regular exercise
Oral hypoglycemic agents (if indicated)
Insulin therapy (if indicated)
Blood glucose monitoring (daily or as indicated)

Because diabetes is a disease so hugely dependent upon diet and lifestyle changes, it makes working in this field very rewarding. Once a patient can understand what foods do for THEM in controlling their disease, my mission is a success. Diabetes is a highly individualized and intricate disease with lots of emphasis on prevention.

Question #1: Do you know someone with diabetes? Type 1 or Type 2? Have you ever tested your blood glucose?

Question #2: Have you ever made homemade enchiladas? 😉

Share With Your Friends!


  1. Joanne
    March 11, 2010 / 5:58 am

    I love me some enchiladas! I can’t believe these are so low calorie. They look SO tasty.

    Happy belated RD day! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it. You do so much to raise awareness about how to be both healthy and happy that you deserve it!

    Sigh. Diabetes. The bubonic plague of the twenty-first century.

  2. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self
    March 11, 2010 / 5:59 am

    I am definitely making those enchiladas! Using a homemade sauce is so much better, especially because then you can control the heat.

  3. Lena
    March 11, 2010 / 6:28 am

    I’m on my way home for dinner. It will be nothing so delicious as those enchiladas :).

  4. Anna
    March 11, 2010 / 6:41 am

    Oh my goodness, those homemade enchiladas look so good!

    Diabetes really scares me…great info, as always.

  5. Evan Thomas
    March 11, 2010 / 7:14 am

    My grandfather had diabetes. He never let it slow him down–mostly because he didn’t learn about it until he was 75 and didn’t care by that point–but it’s something that worried me at a young age and made me get healthier.
    I don’t even think I’ve had enchiladas made for me let alone make for myself.

  6. Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday
    March 11, 2010 / 7:38 am

    My grandmother had type II and my mother-in-law has gestational.

    This may be an ignorant question, but can you get type II diabetes if you have type I?

    • Nicole
      March 11, 2010 / 9:39 am

      Not an ignorant question at all! If you have type 1 diabetes you cannot get type 2…but if you have/had gestational diabetes you CAN get type 2 diabetes.

      P.S. About the plants under the bed that you asked about…they need to be out of direct sunlight and drafts…so that was the best place πŸ™‚

  7. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    March 11, 2010 / 7:59 am

    My brother was borderline diabetic and he cut out his sugar and ended up just fine. My dad and my grandfather both had diabetes though.

  8. fitandfortysomething
    March 11, 2010 / 8:18 am

    No I have never made enchiladas-they seem difficult to me!
    My mom was diagnosed with type 2 a while back. It bothers me because that comes from lifestyle and could be fixed with changes to your life.
    good info!

  9. John
    March 11, 2010 / 8:24 am

    I don’t know anyone with diabetes and I’ll be meeting with my doctor on the 23rd to go over my blood and urine tests which blood glucose was one of the things they are checking. Based on your symptom list I should be fine. Based on your risk list I am glad I’m getting myself back into shape!

  10. Sophie
    March 11, 2010 / 9:08 am

    1. Enchiladas are my favorite things to order at Mexican restaurants, but I’ve never made them at home. Every recipe seemed so bad for you. But THESE look amazing…bookmarked!

    2. Two of my friends from HS had diabetes growing up, both Type 1. But being high schoolers, they treated their bodies so badly (junk food, alcohol, etc.) I think it is as important to prevent Type 2 diabetes as it is to teach people with Type 1 how to treat themselves right πŸ™‚

  11. Sushma Mallya
    March 11, 2010 / 9:10 am

    Nice info abt diabetes…really useful one and chicken enchiladas looks delicious nicole…

  12. Lauren @ Eater not a runner
    March 11, 2010 / 9:18 am

    My mom has type two. She could definitely benefit from seeing a nutritionist but is very stubborn about her diet. It’s frustrating!

  13. Morgan
    March 11, 2010 / 9:40 am

    My parents are best friends with a couple, and the husband has diabetes. He is so incredible at managing it. He eats so well, maintains a very healthy weight, and is very aware of everything he eats. My parents say in over 40 years of knowing him, they have only seen him have one glass of alcohol ever! He takes such good care of himself!
    Enchiladas! I should make some veggie enchiladas soon!

  14. Karin
    March 11, 2010 / 9:41 am

    I’ve never ever had or made enchiladas, isn’t that sad?? I should change that asap.

  15. Melinda
    March 11, 2010 / 10:58 am

    Not fair for me to answer the questions since that is along the lines of my “specialty” too, but again, never got the hours before I moved overseas, so no exam for me, oh well. Thanks for sharing with everyone all the great info, including the bit on not low carb, but consistent carb diet. Some people think get rid of carbs, get rid of diabetes. Too bad it doesn’t work that way.

  16. Estela @ Weekly Bite
    March 11, 2010 / 11:04 am

    Enchiladas are my favorite!!!! These look great!

  17. Heather
    March 11, 2010 / 11:04 am

    I love enchiladas – I have a recipe for black bean chili enchiladas that is delicious.

    Thank you for the information on diabetes – my mom has Type 1 diabetes although she developed it in her mid 20s. I try to maintain a healthy weight and exercise to prevent developing diabetes since I know I have a higher risk.

  18. Bekkah
    March 11, 2010 / 11:05 am

    Everyone on my dad’s side of the family over 50 has diabetes and most of my mom’s side gets it after they turn 65. My mother-in-law was just diagnosed with it two weeks ago as well. The summer before my senior year in high school my grandpa passed away from complications from his diabetes because he didn’t take it seriously and take care of himself and he couldn’t get proper medical care once it reached a critical point. It was heartbreaking to know that if he had taken steps to prevent it he might still be here.

    Diabetes scares me so badly. It’s a huge reason for my exercise, weight loss and nutrition goals.

  19. inmytummy
    March 11, 2010 / 11:28 am

    My paternal grandparents both had diabetes and my father has type 2. The only risk factor that I have is family history but I’m still worried about it. I got tested maybe 3-4 years ago and my blood sugar was fine.

  20. Food-Fitness-FreshAir
    March 11, 2010 / 12:35 pm

    It’s hard not to know someone with diabetes. I hope we can change this fact soon…I came home for the week and had the pleasure of eating my mom’s homemade vegetarian burritos. Probably one of my favorite things she makes. Her recipe is pretty intensive, so not something I would normally make on my own, but it turns out wonderful!

  21. kbwood
    March 11, 2010 / 12:36 pm

    ive never made home made enchiladas but you may have just inspired me!!!

  22. Naomi (onefitfoodie)
    March 11, 2010 / 12:44 pm

    Ive never made homemade enchiladas but these look DELICIOUS!!!!!

  23. Kelly
    March 11, 2010 / 12:47 pm

    I love making homemade enchiladas but since it takes a lot of work I usually just end up making an enchilada casserole. But this looks like a fabulous recipe! πŸ™‚

  24. Bree@beeskneeslife
    March 11, 2010 / 1:35 pm

    My maternal grandma has type 2. She lived with it without needing any medication for a long time, and recently had to watch her diet closer. Not easy to do with a stubborn German 85 year old!

    Enchiladas are one of the recipes my husband requests most! We have only made them a handful of times – mostly because the recipes I have used make so many and aren’t exactly healthy πŸ™‚ So thanks for the recipe!

  25. thebalancebroad
    March 11, 2010 / 2:09 pm

    My mom, maternal grandpa, aunt and uncle all have Type 2. πŸ™ I’ve actually had quite a few friends diagnosed with Type 1.5 recently, as well. One actually suggested I get tested, because I seriously drink over 150 oz. of water a day and am STILL always thirsty. Like, every second of the day! I don’t know much about the rest of the symptoms, though.

    I’m copying and pasting that recipe right now! I’ve only made enchiladas a few times – actually, there are some turkey enchiladas I’ve made that are pretty tasty!

  26. Sarah
    March 11, 2010 / 2:40 pm

    Can you explain more what you mean by, “A carbohydrate controlled diet (not β€œlow-carb”!!!) by means of carbohydrate counting”

    What kind of carbs should a diabetic eat?


    • Nicole
      March 11, 2010 / 2:48 pm

      Sarah, good question. A diabetic can eat all carbs, but should have an emphasis on complex carbs (those with fiber like fruits, vegetables, legumes, and whole grains) — just like a non-diabetic.

      Most people and diabetics think that if too many carbs are bad, the less carbs they eat…the better. And that’s not the case. An adult body requires at least 130 grams of carbohydrate a day for proper functioning (things like the brain need glucose — they can’t use anything else for energy). Plus, the liver produces glucose when carbohydrate intake is insufficient or inconsistent. This is why a carbohydrate controlled diet (meaning amount and timing of the carbohydrate) is so important.

  27. Sarah
    March 11, 2010 / 3:44 pm

    Thanks for answering my question so quickly. I have another one for you. What should someone do if they think they might have Type 2 diabetes because they have it in their family history and also have one of the symptoms (frequent urination) but they don’t have health insurance so they can’t go get a blood test. Is there another way to find out?

    • Nicole
      March 11, 2010 / 4:04 pm

      No problem! I would go to a local drugstore and purchase a glucometer which comes with several testing strips. Have the person test their blood first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything. If that number is between 100 and 125, they are “pre-diabetic” — if it is 126 or higher, they are diabetic (diagnosis has to be made by a medical provider, but this is national standard by the American Diabetes Association). They should recheck for a day or two, first thing in the morning. If the blood checks come back >100, they should seek medical attention even if they are not insured. Early detection is so important.

  28. Julie @ Pickley Pear
    March 11, 2010 / 3:56 pm

    The enchiladas look fab. I love Gina’s recipes! Thanks for the info on Diabetes, it runs in my family, which is most of my reasoning for eating very healthy.

  29. whydeprive
    March 11, 2010 / 5:40 pm

    I know a bunch of people with diabetes. Most of them dont take it seriously enough either. That really, really bothers me.

    Those enchiladas look wonderful!

  30. Faith
    March 11, 2010 / 6:31 pm

    Oh my goodness, I just ate dinner and just looking at that gorgeous enchalada dinner plate made my mouth water! πŸ˜‰

    I know two people with diabetes, both type 2.

  31. Lora Goucher
    March 11, 2010 / 7:35 pm

    Fantastic blogpost, thanks a lot!

  32. homecookedem
    March 11, 2010 / 8:06 pm

    Yes, my sweet husband has had Type 1 Diabetes since he was 14. He’s pretty good at controlling it, but his A1C is not where it should be right now. Also, his vitamin D is too low, probably from having celiac. But you know what’s so amazing… my man NEVER ever complains. He’s pretty incredible.

    Your enchiladas look great!! I love making enchiladas with corn tortillas for Andrew and me!! πŸ™‚

  33. Can You Stay for Dinner
    March 11, 2010 / 10:04 pm

    I love those enchiladas! I’ve never tried making them before, but perhaps I should!
    And I know many people with diabetes. It seems like it’s just so common now.

  34. Jocelyn @ Peace.Love.Nutrition
    March 11, 2010 / 10:15 pm

    One of my cousins has Diabetes. I remember going over his house when we were little and they would have skittles and coke for breakfast! bad bad bad

  35. Kerstin
    March 11, 2010 / 10:18 pm

    Mmm, now I’m craving Mexican – your enchiladas sound so good with all those tasty spices!

  36. Ana @ AnActive Adventure
    March 12, 2010 / 12:20 am

    This is my first time visiting your blog πŸ™‚ Though I love eatin’ enchiladas I have never made any!! Great and healthy recipe, I will be making some soon.

  37. Heather @ Get Healthy With Heather
    March 12, 2010 / 12:54 am

    Yes and yes.

    I know so many people at my work with diabetes. Diabetes and depression are the 2 major health issues that are driving up our health insurance costs up. I’m very excited that I get to be one of the leaders in our new wellness plan that will focus on prevention, with an emphasis on those 2 issues.

    Homemade enchiladas with homemade sauce rocks, much better flavor and better for you than store bought.

  38. Lucia
    March 12, 2010 / 4:11 am

    No and yes. I am forwarding you blog to the person I know who has diabetes. First time at you blog. It is very interesting. I am going to try a couple of the recipes (calamari! and coconut tofu!). Thank you for visiting my blog and your lovely comments.

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  41. CaSaundra
    March 16, 2010 / 7:28 am

    Chicken enchiladas always seem to hit the spot! I used to make the red sauced ones all the time, but once I started making the white enchilada sauce, I can’t go back!

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