If I haven’t mentioned this before then I’ll mention it now, my boyfriend is kind of a picky eater. Mind you, he will always eat what I put food in front of him and never complain, but I can tell when he sort of likes something and really likes something. The only problem is, he usually likes the naughtier dishes I make like pizza, pasta and fried stuff. He especially hates vegetables. A real shocker, right? Look, I like those types of dishes too, but they definitely don’t help my girlish figure. So, in an attempt to make something delicious and slyly add some vitamin rich veggies in, I've created a Mexican dish that’s not fried and makes a bunch of great leftovers: Baked Chicken, Cheese and Kale Flautas.
This recipe makes 16 flautas and I even re-used the burrito-sized bag I bought the tortillas in to store them in the fridge. When I’m away at an event, my boyfriend only has to reach in the bag, grab a flauta and heat in it a microwave for about a minute. Low maintenance and healthy food for him makes me one happy lady. Many other flauta recipes I’ve seen call for spinach, but spinach can have a droopy texture once it's cooked, so I like using kale, which is also good for you and crunchier.
What is it about Mexican food that is so alluring? I was in the grocery store the other day and the patrons in front of me and behind me had a mixture of products including sour cream, salsa, tortillas, chicken, cheese and taco shells. The checkout lady even commented that she was going to try making a similar dish that evening. Mexican food is just a popular staple in our diets and mainly, I believe, because it tastes so good, but that good taste usually comes along with added fat and oils.
My flauta recipe is baked, so you can enjoy great flavors and less fat, but I must encourage you to eat this dish with two important ingredients: sour cream and salsa. I'm guessing you understand why. These two long-term condiment pals just make these flautas taste extra special and they won’t throw your diet of track. P.S., with Super Bowl around the corner, use a pizza slicer to cut these flautas in thirds and you’ll have the perfect half time snack! Pair these Baked Chicken, Cheese and Kale Flautas with some cold Coronas and you’ll be one scoring the tasty touchdowns!
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Season chicken breasts with seasoning salt and place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Cook for 25-30 minutes. Remove chicken breasts from the oven and let cool. Next remove the chicken skin and discard.2. Using a fork (use it like a rake), shred all of the chicken meat and place in a medium-sized bowl. Add smoked paprika, garlic powder, chili powder and salt and pepper to taste and toss with tongs to coast chicken evenly. Next add diced green chilis and cilantro. Use tongs to mix all the ingredients together.
3. Spray a sauté pan with cooking spray, turn up to medium-low heat and add kale, chicken broth and lime juice. Cook the kale for about 4 minutes (switch to simmer at 2 minutes), turning it constantly until in reduces to about half it's original size. Turn off heat and remove the pan from the stove.
4. Use a pizza cutter to cut your burrito-sized tortillas in half. One at a time, starting with the non-round end, use a small handful each of the chicken, kale and cheese and spread it out on the tortilla. Leave at least an inch of empty space on both ends of the tortilla. Roll the flauta up, starting with the non-round edge again. Make it tight, like you're rolling a rug up.5. Place each flauta on a baking sheet and cover with cooking spray (to ensure crispiness). Bake for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with sour cream and salsa. Enjoy!