Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Layered Mexican Casserole Recipe with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese

Layered Mexican Casserole
This Layered Mexican Casserole is Phase One and Gluten-Free!

(This Layered Mexican Casserole Recipe with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese is a perfect family-friendly choice for our month of Daily Phase One Recipes.  To see all the other recipes from the month, just click on that link, and check after the recipe for Phase One Flashbacks from this day in 2012 and 2013.)

I grew up eating casseroles, which in those days usually had white rice, noodles, pastry, tortillas, or potatoes, and some kind of canned cream soup.   Then I changed my eating habits and didn't want to use those ingredients any more, but I still craved the comfort-food appeal of a casserole, as well as the way they make such great leftovers.  To fill that casserole craving I've been experimenting for several years with updated casserole combinations, using low-glycemic ingredients for a healthier result.  I've come up with quite a few Casserole Recipes that have been winners, but I think this Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese might be one of my best creations so far! 

If you also had a mom who made those canned soup casseroles, the flavors in this recipe may remind you of chicken enchilada casseroles from the past with layers of tortillas, diced chicken, a sauce made of sour cream and cream of chicken soup, and cheese.  My casserole has seasoned pinto beans to replace the tortillas, and Hatch Green Chile Enchilada Sauce is reduced on the stove and then combined with diced green chiles, light sour cream, diced chicken, and green onions to make the sauce.  I also used low-fat Mozzarella for the cheese layer, for a finished dish that's lighter but still very tasty.  When we were sampling this Jake had the idea of mashing a few of the beans so that layer would stay together a bit more, and I think I'll try that the next time I make it.  And there's no doubt that this casserole is one I'll be making again many times!

Put the can of Green Chile Enchilada Sauce into a small pan and simmer on the stove until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to one cup.  (If you need gluten-free be sure to choose a brand of green chile sauce that doesn't contain wheat.  One is La Victoria.)

Drain two cans of pinto beans into a colander placed in the sink, rinse with cold water, and drain.

Heat olive oil in a large heavy frying pan, and saute the chopped onion and green bell pepper until the vegetables are soft and starting to brown, about 5 minutes.

As soon as the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce is reduced to one cup, put it in a bowl and mix in the can of diced green chiles.  Let the sauce cool before you mix in the other ingredients.  (Taste at this point to see if you want to add some Green Tabasco Sauce; we did!)

As soon as onions and peppers are starting to lightly brown, season with cumin, mix in the drained pinto beans, and cook for a few minutes to get the beans hot.

Measure out 4 cups of diced cooked chicken.  (You can cook four chicken breasts or use leftover rotisserie chicken.)

As soon as the enchilada sauce no longer feels hot, stir in the light sour cream, then the diced chicken, and then the sliced green onions.

You need a fairly deep casserole dish for this.  I used a dish that was 9"x9"x3".  If your dish isn't that deep, make sure it's slightly bigger.  Spray dish with olive oil or non-stick spray and then make a layer with half the pinto bean mixture.

Spread half the sauce/chicken mixture over the beans.

Then layer half the cheese over the sauce/chicken.

Repeat with another layer of seasoned pinto beans, sauce/chicken, and cheese.  (As you can see, it came close to the top of the dish!)

Bake at 375F/190C for about 30 minutes, or until the mixture is bubbling and the top is nicely browned.  Let sit 10-15 minutes before serving.


Layered Mexican Casserole with Chicken, Green Chiles, Pinto Beans, and Cheese (Phase One, Gluten Free)
(Makes about 8 servings; recipe created by Kalyn.)

Ingredients:
1 can (15 oz.) Mild Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (If you need gluten-free be sure to choose a brand of green chile sauce that doesn't contain wheat.  One is La Victoria.)
2 cans (15. oz) pinto beans
1 large onion, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
1 large green bell pepper, diced in 1/2 inch pieces
2 tsp. olive oil
1 T ground cumin
1 can (4 oz) diced green chiles plus juice (not jalapenos unless you want it really hot)
1-3 T Green Tabasco Sauce (Optional, but nice if you want it a bit hotter; we used two tablespoons.)
3/4 cup light sour cream
4 cups diced, cooked chicken
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onion
2 cups grated low-fat Mozzarella

Instructions:
Preheat oven to 375F/190C.  Put the green chile enchilada sauce in a small saucepan and simmer over low heat until the sauce is slightly thickened and reduced to one cup.  While sauce simmers, put the two cans of pinto beans into a colander placed in the sink and rinse well with cold water until no more foam appears.  Let beans drain well (or blot dry with paper towels if you're in a hurry.)

Dice the onion and green bell pepper and slice the green onions.  Heat the olive oil in a large heavy frying pan, add onion and green bell pepper and saute until they're softened and starting to barely brown, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the ground cumin and drained beans and cook about 3-4 minutes more, or until the beans are hot.  (You can mash the beans slightly at this point if you'd like a layer of beans that sticks together a bit more.)

As soon as the green chile enchilada sauce has reduced to 1 cup (about 10-15 minutes), place it in a bowl to cool and stir in the diced green chiles with juice.  Taste the mixture to see if you want to add the optional Green Tabasco Sauce.  When the mixture no longer feels hot (it can be warm), stir in the sour cream, diced chicken, and sliced green onions.

Spray a 9"x9"x3" casserole dish with olive oil or non-stick spray.  (If your dish has lower sides than that, be sure it is slightly bigger.)  Spread half the pinto bean mixture over the bottom of the dish, followed by a layer of half the sauce/chicken mixture.  Sprinkle 1 cup of grated Mozzarella over the sauce/chicken mixture.  Repeat with another layer of pinto beans, sauce/chicken mixture, and cheese. 

Bake uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the casserole is bubbling and nicely browned on top.  Let stand about 10-15 minutes before cutting, then serve. 

This freezes well, or will keep in the fridge in a covered container for several days.  (I divided it up into single-serving portions and frozen some and put some in the fridge to eat.)

Printer Friendly Recipe

South Beach Suggestions:
All ingredients in this low-glycemic casserole are approved for any phase of the South Beach Diet.  However dried beans are a limited ingredient, so I'd have a small serving (with some vegetables on the side) if you're eating this for phase one.

Phase One Flashbacks:
January 8, 2012:  Chickpea Soup with Spinach, Tomatoes, and Basil
January 8, 2013: Spicy Green Chile Mexican Casserole with Ground Beef, Black Beans, and Tomatoes

Nutritional Information?
I chose the South Beach Diet to manage my weight partly so I wouldn't have to count calories, carbs, points, or fat grams, but if you want nutritional information for a recipe, I recommend entering the recipe into Calorie Count, which will calculate it for you.

More Updated Casseroles You Might Like:
(Recipes from other blogs not always South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Ham and Cauliflower Casserole au Gratin from Kalyn's Kitchen
Butternut Squash Casserole from Jeanette's Healthy Living
Sausage and Kale Mock Lasagna Casserole from Kalyn's Kitchen
Mushroom Casserole from 101 Cookbooks
Better-than-Mom's Chicken, Broccoli, and Quinoa Curry Casserole with Creamy Curry Sauce from
Kalyn's Kitchen
Broccoli-Rice Casserole (No Canned Soup) from Salad in a Jar
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)

Blogger Disclosure:
Posts may include links to my affiliate account at Amazon.com, and Kalyn's Kitchen earns a few cents on the dollar if readers purchase the items I recommend, so thanks for supporting my blog when you shop at Amazon!
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85 comments:

  1. Wow! I didn't grow up in a casserole house, but I can see right away I will love this casserole. It's a perfect party dish!

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  2. I LOVE quick Mexican casseroles like this and do them often with the same ingredients, especially when I have some leftover cooked chicken in the fridge. I also like to do this casserole with some browned ground beef. Mmmm. Yours looks DELISH Kalyn!

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  3. I grew up on casseroles, too, and still like to make them. My Mom, who baked many a soup based casserole dish, would love this recipe.

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  4. Thank you for this! I definitely grew up on the Campbell's soup casseroles, and have missed them since going low-carb. Our son is living with us again while he finishes his dissertation (graduates in December) and I am challenged to feed his 6'2" 166 pound frame while keeping us eating low-carb. This is perfect, will make it this week!!

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  5. Layered casseroles rarely sound good to me because of the "cream of" association...but this one sounds delicious! Full of real ingredients and serious flavor.

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  6. Thanks for the nice feedback on this everyone. I was so pleased with how this turned out. Francie, my cooking assistant is my college-age nephew Jake, and he gobbled this up!

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  7. This does look comforting, Kalyn. I rarely eat Mexican-inspired dishes in cold weather - don't crave them - but something like this could change that.

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  8. Mimi, I have some of this in the freezer that I'm looking forward to having for dinner, so I hope you will try it.

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  9. Made this today...FABULOUS! Thanks K.

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  10. Oh yum, I can't wait to try this! I'm going to have to find a recipe for enchilada sauce that will work and go from there. Thanks for the recipe =)

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  11. mub, there are several brands that are good. Another one I like if you can't find Hatch brand is Las Palmas. Enjoy!

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  12. Kalyn, isn't it about time for a cookbook?

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  13. Carrian, you are sweet but truly I have no interest in writing a cookbook. I don't want to work that hard, and I'm pretty busy just keeping up with two blogs!

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  14. Deb, we were writing comments at the same time. Thanks, loved it too.

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  15. This sounds wonderful! I'm going to sub tempha crumbles for the chicken to make it vegetarian. Your recipes like this, the egg muffins, and soups keep me going in college. I cook one big batch then eat on it all week!

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  16. Elizabeth, love your idea for a vegetarian version. So glad you are enjoying the recipes.

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  17. My love of mexican + casseroles with a big + on green chiles makes this a must have for me. Can't wait to try it! I had a chile rellanos casserole that I loved, that layered beans, ground turkey, chiles, cheese and an egg/flour/tabasco top that puffed up nicely. Too much milk & flour in it for me now, though. This could be a great new addition!

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  18. I'm a fan of most mexican style dishes and this casserole looks like it will exceed expectations.

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  19. Thanks Kimberly and CJ! Hope you enjoy it.

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  20. Made this last night and it was delish!!! I had more chicken, so I added an extra can of black beans and a full cup of lowfat sour cream...also used monterrey jack cheese. It is definitely one of my new favorites!

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  21. This casserole is in the oven as we speak and my husband cannot wait to try it. He lost 50 pounds via South Beach 3 years ago and gained some back, so he is back to phase one and your recipes are such a boon to the basic SB lifestyle we've adopted. The only change I made was to go ahead with canned jalapenos, but next time I would saute fresh ones with the onions & pepper. Spiciness helps my husband feel more satisfied.

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  22. Terri, hope you enjoy it. I just ate some of my leftovers from the freezer for dinner!

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  23. It just came out of the oven and we have just had our first taste and it is spicy good!
    Thank you for this delicious recipe!

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  24. I'm supposed to start Phase 2 today, but recipes like this make me not want to venture back into the land of grains and fruit! Lol

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  25. Recipes like this are great for what my brother and I call Phase 1.5, where you're eating mostly phase one stuff but occasionally you eat something that's phase two!

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  26. Okay, I have to tell you about my oh crap moment. This will teach me to cook without wearing my glasses. Instead of 1 T. of cumin, I grabbed the oregano....well, they look alike. :D My husband came into the kitchen and said: what's that smell; he picked up the bottle and said: oh, it's oregano. OREGANO, OMG!!! I was supposed to use cumin. I have to tell you, it was really good, but next time I will use cumin. Excellent recipe!!

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  27. Oh my. Glad it was still good even with oregano, but that does sound like a LOT of oregano!

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  28. This is absolutely amazing! I used 505 Green Chile instead of Hatch and tried a reduced fat Colby Jack blend and I can't get enough! Portion control is going to be hard with this dish. Awesome recipe, Kalyn! Thank you!

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  29. Amanda, so glad you enjoyed it. (And stay strong on the portion control!)

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  30. Hi Kalyn! I love all of your recipes and am excited to try this one ... however my South Beach book says that Pinta Beans are not on Phase 1 but are allowed to be reintroduced in Phase 2. Has that information been updated since?? :) thank you!

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  31. Heather, the newest book does allow pinto beans in phase one. All beans are limited, which is why a casserole like this with lots of other protein foods is good.

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  32. Thank you ! My husband and I tried this and it may be one of our favourites already!

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  33. So glad; thanks for letting me know you liked it!

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  34. Oh, my goodness, this was SO good. I've traditionally made "King Ranch Chicken" casserole with corn tortillas, but this was a much healthier, and tasty substitute. I made it for supper Saturday night, then ate it Sunday night AND Monday night when my husband was out of town. VERY satisfying. Thanks for the recipe!

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  35. I was wondering if this is Phase 1 because of the Mild Green Chile Enchilada Sauce (does it contain flour)?

    You're the best!

    Wanda

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  36. Wanda, the Green Chile Enchilada Sauce does contain a very small amount of modified corn starch, but it only ha 4 carbs in 1/4 cup (which is probably about the amount of sauce in one serving) so I would still feel fine about eating it for Phase One.

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  37. Wanda just saw your other comment about pinto beans too. In the newer books they are allowed for Phase One.

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  38. I wanted you to know this was a HIT with my husband and 2 year old daughter!! Thank you for helping us on this journey to good health.

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  39. Chrissy, so glad you all liked it.

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  40. This was so delicious! At dinner my six-year-old asked if we could have it again tomorrow night. Thank you!

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  41. Kimberly, that is so cute! Love it.

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  42. Fresh Chile and pinto beans would be awesome for this dish! I'm from New Mexico, green Chile is a staple here :0) Can't wait to try it out, thanks for sharing.

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  43. Would you freeze this before you cook it or after? Or can you freeze either way? I am making for a neighbor and trying to decide if i should bring to her cooked or uncooked.

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  44. I haven't tried assembling the casserole, freezing, and then thawing and cooking later, but I think it would work. I do know that you can freeze it successfully after it's been cooked.

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  45. DELICIOUS!!! My 8yo and 6yo agree, as does my hubby! And I accidentally stumbled upon the green tabasco sauce (it was with the pickles of all things) while grabbing fresh green onions and green pepper this afternoon. We topped our servings with some of your "easy guacamole" (with a little cilantro added for good measure). Let phase 1.5 live on forever!!!

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  46. A delicious recipe! Green enchilada took some searching for here on the prairies of Canada, but it was worth the hunt. Thank you.

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  47. Made this tonight (used black beans) and it is delicious! Looking forward to my leftovers :)

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  48. I made this last night and both my husband and I really liked it. I was surprised that a comforting casserole could be made to fit in with phase 1. I LOVE Mexican food which made phase one really hard for me last time I did the SB diet. I love me some tacos and chips and salsa. But this recipe and some of your others have allowed me to get my Mexican fix and stay on the diet! Thanks so much!

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  49. Could this be frozen after assembly (and before cooking)? I wasn't sure, because of the sour cream. This sounds great, btw!

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  50. I have frozen this after cooking, but haven't tried it before cooking and truthfully I am skeptical. If you do try it, let us know how it turns out.

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  51. I made this for the 3rd time today. I should clarify - I made it for the 3rd time this month!! We LOVE this. The first time I made it, I forgot to add the cumin, and we didn't even notice, so I've gone ahead and left it out each time. I added a red bell pepper today also, since I had one that needed used. This dish is wonderful.

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  52. Barbie, glad you are enjoying it so much!

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  53. Made this tonight. My family loved it! It's going to be great for leftovers. Thanks for all of your recipes,

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  54. Shelley, so glad you all enjoyed it!

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  55. YUM! Putting this on the meal plan for next week! Thanks!

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  56. I'm definitely making this! But I am sure I made a similar recipe from you that used whole green chiles as layering elements. The only one I can find on your site uses ground beef instead of chicken. Think I could use chicken instead?

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  57. Carol, you can certainly experiment with it if you'd like but I can't say for sure because I haven't tried the other one with chicken. There is also this Chili Rellenos Bake if you wanted to try something else that layers with green chiles.

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  58. this looks very yummy,but if I want to sub the beans for vegges what do you recommend, thanks

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  59. I find it hard to recommend substitutions that completely change the character of the dish, and I can't think of a vegetable to recommend here. If you do come up with an idea, I'd love to hear how it works.

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  60. Yum! I made this yesterday - I'm trying to cook enough on Sunday afternoons so my boyfriend and I have food all week. We tried this for dinner and it was delicious, and the best part is that we have lots of leftovers for the week!! Great flavours :)

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  61. Jen, glad you enjoyed it. Even though I work at home, I still like to cook on the weekend for the upcoming week!

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  62. This was absolutely delicious and so satisfying. I'm a huge fan of Mexican food and this satisfies that craving for sure. Great recipe full of flavor!

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  63. I wonder if cooking a 1.15 lbs package of chicken tenderloins would work for this. I have everything else but the only chicken I have are these tenderloins. What do you think?

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  64. Yes, I think that will work just fine. I'd just cook them for about 10 minutes in either water or chicken stock, over very low heat. Then drain and cut the chicken up.

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  65. Yay!! Hopefully is will make 4 cups...i might have a single chicken breast i. The freezer I can add to make sure...*goes to dig in the freezer* =)

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  66. Has anyone tried this using red enchilada sauce? I am not a fan of the green sauce but am interested in trying this recipe.

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  67. Tracy, if you try it, let us know what you think.

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  68. I just wanted to let you know my hubby is NOT a casserole man, but I had leftover chicken breasts I needed to use up. I came across your recipe and since I had all the ingredients on hand, I made it tonight. I just wanted to say THANK YOU! He loved it and even wanted thirds, and the whole family thought it tasted great! Woohooo!!! This is a keeper for us. Thank you for sharing it!!
    Jen

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  69. Could you use 0% Fage Greek plain yogurt instead of the light sour cream?

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  70. I probably wouldn't; yogurt has a different consistency and a sharper taste that I wouldn't want here. But everyone's taste is different; you might like it just fine.

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  71. Am I able to interchange black beans for pinto beans?

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  72. Tiffany, that would definitely work just fine.

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  73. I loved this recipe, served it with diced tomatoes, avocado and lime wedges. Thank you for helping me get through SBD phase one. Your website is fab!

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  74. Thanks Lucy, and so glad you enjoyed it!

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  75. This is great! I usually add a layer of whole green chilies in the middle (like one of your other casseroles). Yummers!

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  76. Thank you for such a wonderful recipe. I can not wait to try it. I have had a lot of fantastic weight loss success in the last few months meeting my carb count under 20 grams per day.Just wondering if you think a serving might be under 20 grams. I am so bored with everything I have been eating and would love more recipes like this.

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  77. Sorry, I have no idea what the carb count it. But there is a link right after the recipe for a site where you enter the recipe and it will calculate for you.

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