Tuesday, August 13, 2013

You don't even have to go to Taco Bell

I've been counting calories since junior high school, which means fast food restaurants are not establishments that I frequent. 

However, during my freshman year of college, Taco Bell introduced its short-lived "low fat" menu. This was a great addition for a budget-strapped, fat-conscious college student who just wanted to eat something other than dorm food. I can remember taking my books over to the local Taco Bell and smiling from ear-to-eat while sitting in a booth with my tray of goodies. 

One of my favorite low-fat items from the Taco Bell menu was the mexican pizza. If memory serves, they made it low-fat by swapping flour tortillas for corn, full-fat sour cream and cheese for light, beef for beans and piling it high with veggies. It was delicious. 

So you can imagine how happy I was to find a recipe on Pinterest that resembled what I remember of the low-fat mexican pizza. I had to try it! 

2 tablespoons olive oil 
4 green onions, sliced thinly 
4 garlic cloves 
1 lb. extra lean ground beef 
1 package taco seasoning mix 
1 can black beans, drained 
2/3 cup frozen corn 
 8 ounces fat-free cream cheese 
1/3 cup chicken stock 
salt and pepper 
6 corn tortillas 
1 3/4 cups 
2 percent shredded mexican cheese 

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Add olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium heat. Add the green onions and cook for 1 minute, then add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain all grease from the pan, using a paper towel to soak up any extra grease. 
2. Add the chicken stock, taco seasoning, black beans, corn and cream cheese to the skillet. Cook while stirring until it is creamy. Taste and add salt and pepper as you feel is needed. Remove from heat. 
3. Spray a standard 9X13 casserole dish with oil and place 2 corn tortillas (making 2 stacks) in the dish. Spread 1/3 of the meat mixture on top of the two tortillas. Top with 1/2 of the cheese. Repeat this step 2 times, ending with cheese. (Note: I messed mine up a bit, if you noticed in the picture.)
4. Loosely tent your casserole dish with foil. 
5. Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes. 
6. Let the dish sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving. 

I cut each of the mexican pizzas into four servings, for a total of eight servings from this recipe. Each serving was 6 points each, but I at with some fat-free sour cream and some salsa on top - bringing the total to 7 points per serving. 

And yummmmm... This was so much better than Taco Bell.

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