I have been preparing this dish for many years and it is still one of our favorite go-to casseroles! Besides being healthy, it is delicious, nutritious, and pretty quick to assemble. It was originally a Weight Watchers recipe, that I received at a Weightwatcher’s meeting, over ten years ago. Now the tricky part; since we have decided not to eat meat anymore, I needed to tweak this favorite recipe to remain as good as the original, yet stay in our vegan guidelines. It was actually not difficult at at all! After a few tries, I accomplished the vegan conversion and again received a big thumbs up from Jeff. Serving size for this casserole is 8… well not in this house-hold… 6 maybe, with a vegetable, or a side salad. The original Weightwatcher’s recipe is simple, yet so good, that I am going to give you both versions. The Weightwatcher’s version is called: ” Spinach, Chicken Tortilla Bake.” If you eat meat, try this version, it is so good. However, if you are a vegetarian or vegan you will not be sacrificing any flavor if you try the vegan version. Heck, try both!

Spinach, Chicken Tortilla Bake

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups of roasted chicken

1 Cup Uncooked spinach chopped

1/2 Cup cilantro chopped

1 Cup Herdez Salsa Verde

1 1/2 Cups fat free ricotta cheese

6 mission carb balance whole wheat tortillas – fajita size

2 ounce (1/4 Cup) Monterey jack cheese shredded

1/3 Cup Diced Green Chilies )1 small can)

INSTRUCTIONS

Toast tortillas in a dry skillet until toasty, set aside. In a medium bowl mix chiles, salsa verde and ricotta cheese together. Place 1/2 cup of the Salsa Verde mixture in the bottom of a 8 X 8 inch casserole dish, spread evenly. Layer, toasted tortillas, chicken, spinach and additional salsa verde mixture. Should make 3 layers. Top with the shredded Monterey jack cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Top with sour cream and salsa or any of your favorite toppings

Now for the Vegan version (and believe me its super good also).

Vegan Spinach, “Chicken” & Tortilla Bake

Ingredients

1 1/2 Cups of beyond burger or any vegan meat substitute you desire

1 Cup Uncooked spinach chopped

1/2 Cup cilantro chopped

1 Cup Herdez Salsa Verde

1 1/2 Cups extra firm tofu – drained well and crumpled

6 mission carb balance whole wheat tortillas – fajita size

2 ounce (1/4 Cup) Vegan Monterey jack cheese shredded

1/3 Cup Diced Green Chilies )1 small can)

1/3 Cup sliced black olives

INSTRUCTIONS

Toast tortillas in a dry skillet until toasty, set aside. In a medium bowl mix chiles, salsa verde, sliced black olives and firm tofu together. Place 1/2 cup of the Salsa Verde mixture in the bottom of a 8 X 8 inch casserole dish, spread evenly. Layer, toasted tortillas, chicken, spinach and additional salsa verde mixture. Should make 3 layers. Top with the shredded vegan Monterey jack cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes. Great topped with salsa.

NOTE: I HAVE TRIED THIS CASSEROLE WITH CORN TORTILLAS AND IT WORKS FINE, JUST MAKE STRIPS OF THE TOASTED TORTILLAS TO LAYER WITH (USING THE WHOLE TORTILLA MAKES SERVING MORE DIFFICULT AND MESSY). I FIND IT BETTER TO SLICE THE TOASTED TORTILLAS IN WEDGES, ALSO.

CHEERS FROM JEFF AND LIZ

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