Change Your Choices

Change Your Life…Tips for a healthier you

Extreme Recipe Makeover

on September 12, 2011

Those of you who have been following this blog know that I have issues with dark green leafy vegetables.  I don’t like them.  At least I think I don’t like them until I actually eat some.  I have recently started eating spinach and I’m surprised that I like it!  I easily eat it raw and I found that if I bury the cooked under enough cheese I can eat that, too.  I found a recipe for Spinach Enchiladas that looked good but the nutritional information was scary.  Here is the original recipe with the nutritional info.  My changes are in red.  

Cheesy Spinach Enchiladas


  • 1 tablespoon butter(1 tbl. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup sliced green onions  I prefer red onion, not much nutritional change so use whatever
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced  I used the jarred stuff, it’s easier
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen chopped spinach , thawed, drained and squeezed dry I blanched fresh spinach in the microwave though there is no nutritional difference
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese Fat free ricotta
  • 1/2 cup sour cream fat free sour cream
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese part skim Pizza blend
  • 10 (6 inch) corn tortillas La Tortilla factory low carb/high fiber green onion tortillas more about this below
  • 1 (19 ounce) can enchilada sauce  I would love to find a low salt variety but none yet.  Might try low salt tomato sauce with some seasoning next time


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
  2. Melt butter  (olive oil) in a saucepan over medium heat. Add garlic and onion; cook for a few minutes until fragrant, but not brown. Stir in spinach, and cook for about 5 more minutes. Remove from the heat, and mix in ricotta cheese, sour cream, and 1 cup of shredded cheese. ( I added cumin, red pepper flakes and black pepper or this would be pretty bland)
  3. In a skillet over medium heat, warm tortillas one at a time until flexible, about 15 seconds. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture onto the center of each tortilla. Roll up, and place seam side down in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Pour enchilada sauce over the top, and sprinkle with the remaining cup of shredded cheese.
  4. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes in the preheated oven, until sauce is bubbling and cheese is lightly browned at the edges.

    Hot and bubbly right out of the oven


Original Nutrition Info:

Servings Per Recipe: 5

Amount Per Serving

Calories: 578

Total Fat: 39.9g

Cholesterol: 111mg

Sodium: 415mg

Total Carbs: 34.8gd

    Dietary Fiber: 6g

Madeover Spinach Enchiladas (as best I can figure, might not be completely accurate, but close)

Calories: 250

Total Fat: 11 g

Cholesterol: 45 mg

Sodium: 906 mg

Total Carbs: 23 g

Dietary fiber: 9 g

As you can see, I dropped over half the calories, 3x the fat, 3x cholesterol, decreased the carbs and increased the fiber.  However, the sodium went up!  The big decreases in fat,calories and cholesterol comes from using fat free ricotta and sour cheese and part skim shredded cheese.   Trust me, in dairy products you will never miss the fat.  Another huge difference is the tortilla.  The basic corn and  flour tortillas, are not very healthy.  In fact, flour tortillas are just plain unhealthy.  There are so many great options now, I swear by La Tortilla Factory tortillas- give them a try. 

The big increase in sodium as far as I can tell, was in the cheese but the enchilada sauce has lots of sodium.  It’s also in the original recipe so I’m a bit stumped by that. The next time I make these I am going to look into options other than canned enchilada sauce.  These were delicious, I served them with a side of refried beans but I might have to reconsider the side dish next time.   Canned refried beans are notoriously full of fat but I didn’t realize that they are loaded with sodium until I read the label.  This is disappointing because I love refried beans, maybe I’ll have to try making them myself and see if I can make them healthier. 

Remember to read the labels and change your choices to a healthier option whenever possible, every little bit helps!

Here is our yummy lunch!


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