Healthy Meal of the Week 24 With Healthy Leftover Idea


Healthy Meal of the Week: Beef Enchiladas w/ beans & Spanish rice
Healthy Leftover Idea: Beef Quesadillas

Here’s a meal and leftover idea both sporting a Mexican flavor that’s sure to bring your taste buds alive. For this example 97% lean ground beef was used but the beauty of this meal is you can literally use any type of meat you want to change the beef enchiladas into either chicken enchiladas, steak enchiladas, pork enchiladas, or even fish enchiladas if you so choose. To be honest I’ve never tried a fish enchilada, or even heard of one before, but hey if that’s what you’d like to try go for it!

Another benefit of this meal is you will find that it’s relatively easy to load up that baking sheet tray with a number of enchiladas so that leftover meals are a breeze and you still have the option to create the beef quesadillas as listed. The choice is entirely up to you. Enjoy!

Equipment Needed

– 3 pots/pans with lids
– oven baking sheet
– tongs
– spatula

Prep Time

– 10 minutes

Cooking Time

– 50 minutes


(6-8 servings)
– 1-2 pounds 97% fat-free ground beef
– 1 pack corn tortillas (70 calories each)
– 2 cans refried beans
– 1 cup white rice
– 1 can tomato sauce
– 1 can of either red or green enchilada sauce
– 1/4 cup yellow corn kernels
– 1/4 cup diced white onion
– 1/4 cup skim or low-fat milk
– shredded low-fat mozzarella and cheddar cheese
– 1 chicken bouillon cube
– 1 tablespoon minced garlic
– optional: sliced olives and diced green chiles
– 1 teaspoon seasoned salt
– 1 tbsp cooking oil

For Beef Quesadillas

– whole wheat flour tortillas
– tapatio hot sauce (or preferred type of salsa)


1. Start with the ground beef. Remove from wrapper and place on a skillet and dice up with a spatula. Add 1/4 cup diced white onion, 1 tablespoon minced garlic, 1 tsp seasoned salt, and a dash of pepper. Mix well, turn stove on medium temperature and cover. Re-stir every 5 minutes for approximately 20 minutes.

2. When meat is finished to your liking, warm enchilada sauce in a pan for about 5 minutes. Get tortillas, both cheeses, and other extras such as sliced olives or diced green chiles ready so when sauce is warm, the assembly line can begin.

3. So that the tortillas don’t crack when being stuffed/rolled, lightly warm 4-6 at a time in the microwave wrapped in a paper towel for 25 seconds. After, dip one at a time into the sauce on both sides and then place directly on the oven baking sheet. You may need to use tongs if the sauce is too hot.

4. Add some meat, a teaspoon of each cheese, a teaspoon of sauce, and any extras you are using and gently roll up. One method is to attempt to pile all items together in a line on the left side of the tortilla so that you can roll completely over and tuck in well.

5. Line up the prepared enchiladas side-by-side so they are slightly touching each other to hold good form. Use a basting brush to coat tops of the enchiladas with leftover sauce and lightly sprinkle with both cheeses. Place in oven at 350 degrees for 12 minutes.

6. For the Spanish rice, add 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and spread around. On medium heat add one cup of white rice and stir for about three minutes to “brown”. Add 8 oz can of tomato sauce and mix well for two minutes. Add 1 3/4 hot water, 1/4 cup yellow corn kernels, and 1 cube chicken bouillon. Increase heat and bring to a boil stirring well so bouillon cube dissolves. When water begins to boil, reduce heat to medium/low, cover and set timer for 18 minutes stirring only once halfway through.

7. Refried beans just need to be opened and added to a pan on medium heat along with 1/4 cup of milk and 5-7 squirts of Tapatio hot sauce if you prefer spicy beans. Cover and stir occasionally for 10-15 minutes.

8. When everything is finished, serve an appropriate portion size along with a 0 calorie beverage and enjoy. Regarding calories, keep in mind that each enchilada will be around 150-220 calories each depending on the quantity/type of items you placed inside so don’t get carried away. One enchilada with rice and beans will be at about 350 calories.

Healthy Leftover Idea: Beef Quesadillas

If there is any meat leftover and you want to change it up a bit yet maintain the flavor of a Mexican-style creation, you should give these beef quesadillas a try. You can use the corn tortillas, or as in this example, whole wheat flour tortillas to provide a larger surface to put a bit more items within.

Simply lightly oil a large skillet (or use non-stick spray) and place one tortilla and turn on stove to medium heat. Spread two tablespoons of beans, then add some cheese, then meat, hot sauce like Tapatio, and again some more cheese. Cover with another tortilla and use a spatula to lightly press the quesadilla down. Allow to cook on each side for a couple of minutes using your off-hand to help keep quesadilla together so items don’t fall out. Once each side is lightly browned and the cheese is melted you can remove from heat, slice in half or quarters and enjoy.

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