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  • Historical Reference

    Enchiladas originated in Mexico, where the practice of rolling tortillas around other food dates back at least to Mayan times. The people living in the lake region of the Valley of Mexico traditionally ate corn tortillas folded or rolled around small fish. Don't be limited by these recipes, enchiladas can be filled with whatever you choose and they're healthy, filling and only limited by your imagination. Many of my readers and patients asked for a version without the tortilla because for health reasons they cannot tolerate most grains used in asked, here you go.

    In South America, I have discovered the varieties are expansive but the ones I seek out, if dining out, are what they call "Enchiladas Suizas," which indicates it's made with a white sauce rather than the nightshade-based tomato-based version.

    Enchiladas—Zucchini Version

    • 1 TB extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 large onion, chopped
    • Kosher salt to taste
    • 2 cloves garlic, minced
    • 2 tsp. ground cumin
    • 3 cups shredded chicken/turkey/beef/bison
    • 1 1/3 cups white enchilada sauce, divided (see white sauce recipe below)
    • 4 large zucchinis, halved lengthwise
    • 1 cup shredded Monterey Jack
    • 1 cup shredded Cheddar
    • Sour cream or full-fat plain yogurt, for drizzling
    • Fresh cilantro leaves, for garnish

    sliced zucchini

    1. Preheat oven to 350°.
    2. In large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onion and season with salt. Cook until soft, 5 minutes, then add garlic, cumin, stir until combined.
    3. Add shredded meat of your choice and 1 cup white enchilada sauce (Note 1) and stir until saucy or well-blended.
    4. On a cutting board, use a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to make thin slices of zucchini. Lay out three, slightly overlapping, and place a spoonful of chicken mixture on top. Roll up and transfer to a baking dish. Repeat with remaining zucchini and chicken mixture.
    5. Spoon remaining . cup enchilada sauce over zucchini enchiladas and sprinkle with cheeses.
    6. Bake at 180C/350F until ingredients are melted, will it be slightly browned, approx. 20 minutes; Serve hot!
    Options: Garnish with sour cream, chopped black olives and cilantro; serve. *** White Sauce

    White Sauce


    • 2 1/2 tbsp butter
    • 3-5 tbsp white rice flour, tapioca flour, or corn starch to desired thickness
    • 1 cup milk (or alternative)
    • 1/2 cup sour cream (or plain full-fat yogurt)
    • 1 cup chicken broth
    • 1 tbsp Braggs Aminos
    • 1/2 tsp. cumin powder
    • Salt to taste
    • White pepper to taste and desired “heat”—this adds that spicy flavor without adding nightshades
    • like cayenne or other peppers.

    Instructions for White Sauce
    Dissolve flour in milk with a whisk and set aside.

    Melt butter; add milk/flour mixture to butter and cook for approx. 1 minute or until very light brown, this is the roux.

    Add sour cream and chicken broth. Whisk constantly and cook for approximately 2 minutes–it should thicken slightly or to your desired consistency. Simmer another 10 minutes or so on low and stir.

    Stir in the cumin, salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside until ready to layer and/or garnish the enchiladas with sauce.

    Enchiladas—Tortilla Version
    • 2 1/2 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used marinated and poached chicken breast)
    • 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
    • 1/2 - 3/4 cup finely sliced scallions
    • Salt and pepper (to taste)—use white pepper if you want “heat” without nightshades
    • 2 cups grated cheese
    • 8 to 10 tortillas (flour, corn, quinoa or amaranth)
    • White Sauce, see instructions.


    1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.
    2. For filling, mix together ¼ cup White Sauce, chicken, corn, scallions, 1 cup grated cheese, salt and pepper.
    3. Place tortillas in a steamer (in parchment paper) or gently warm on stovetop in griddle or tortilla warmer plate so they donft crack when being rolled.
    4. Divide filling between tortillas and roll them.
    5. Grease baking dish with butter or coconut oil. Spread 2 TB of White Sauce in baking dish. Place enchiladas in the dish, seam side down. Pour over remaining White Sauce, scatter with remaining cheese.
    6. Bake for approx. 25 minutes, until bubbly and golden. Serve hot!

    Optional: Serve with Guacamole on top or on the side.see recipe following.

    Dr. Gloria's Recipe Notes

    I use all-natural Monterey Jack, Cheddar and other easily melted cheeses. For those that must avoid dairy, use milk and cheese alternatives.


    • Refrigerate the rolled-up Enchiladas (using the white sauce in the filling per recipe) and place them in the baking dish. Keep the White Sauce for the topping separate. Place in the refrigerator for up to two days. On the day of baking, add a small splash of milk to the White Sauce and mix to loosen it to a pourable consistency, then pour it over the Enchiladas. Scatter over cheese and bake, as per the recipe.
    • Freezer Make the Enchiladas and top with cooled White Sauce then cheese. Cover well, freeze. Defrost in the fridge then bake as per recipe.

    For the Guacamole without nightshades, my quick version is:

    • 3-4 Blended/mashed ripe Avocados
    • Sour Cream or Mayonnaise (or combination) to desired consistency
    • Salt to taste
    • White pepper to taste for that "heat"
    • Approximately 1/8 t0 1/4 cup finely chopped Cilantro
    • 1 Red onion, finely chopped
    • 2 TB Lime juice, or to taste—can use lemon juice but the authentic flavor is with lime
    • 2 TB finely chopped garlic
    • 1/4 to 1/2 tsp. ground cumin, to taste

    NOTE:The BEST Guacamole is made in advance the night before, covered and refrigerated—allowing all ingredients to blend.

  • French Fry Nightshade-FREE Alternatives

    Many of us, particularly those educated on the inflammatory effects of the genre of foods known as nightshades, potatoes, in this case, are always looking for ways to substitute some of our favorite foods and snacks—French fries are no exception. These delicious Zucchini Fries are a healthy alternative with a rich crispy outside of Panko and Parmesan, and a dipping sauce that is addicting—it's literally "Molecular Gastronomy."

    Zucchini is also often called Courgette—a French word used in many parts of the world. It originated in the U.S.A. and is available in yellow, light green and green color. Some more recent cultivations produce zucchini in rounded or bottle shapes. It is grown year-round and can be eaten raw, sliced or cooked. It's great shredded in a cold salad and delicious in hot salads as well.

    Zucchini is technically a fruit although it is cooked as a vegetable.

    Baked Parmesan-Crusted Zucchini Fries

    These Baked Zucchini Fries are a deliciously healthy alternative to your usual potato fries! They have a crispy panko and Parmesan breading and become even more addictive with a yogurt dipping sauce.

    2 medium zucchinis
    1 cup panko breadcrumbs 50 g
    1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese 30 g
    1/2 tsp salt, pepper to taste
    1/4 tsp ground black pepper
    2 large eggs whisked
    2 TB finely chopped fresh parsley
    1/2 cup flour or wheat alternative 60 g

    baked parmesan crusted zucchini fries

    Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

    1. Cut zucchini in half lengthwise, then slice into roughly ½ inch wide by 4-inch-long fries (no need to peel them).
    2. Combine panko, Parmesan, fresh parsley, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Note: If you're avoiding wheat just use gluten-free breadcrumbs and finely grind.
    3. Place whisked eggs in a separate medium bowl and the flour in a third medium bowl.
    4. Working in small batches, dip zucchini pieces into the flour, then the egg, then the panko. Set on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.
    5. When all zucchini is breaded, bake for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden and crispy.

    Yogurt Dipping Sauce
    1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt 120 g
    1/4 cup Parmesan cheese 50 g
    1/4 cup mayonnaise 60 g (can use Vegenaise)
    2 TB chopped chives 5g

    Combine the yogurt, mayonnaise, finely grated Parmesan, and chives to a food processor and blitz until smooth. Season to taste with ground black pepper, or white pepper if you want that spicy zing. Serve zucchini fries warm with dipping sauce of choice.

    Alternative Dipping Sauces

    • Guacamole
    • Balsamic Glaze (a reduction sauce made of balsamic with whatever you choose to flavor with like a little marmalade of orange or fig—my favorite is fig and I blend into the glaze. Alternatively, I simply reduce the balsamic and sweeten with granulated stevia or honey. Here in Ecuador, they sell a blend of all-natural brown sugar (called Panela) and stevia and it only contains 2 g of sugar…easy to bake with too. In the U.S. you can use the golden Lakanto™ that is an amazing alternative to any sweetener. You can find it online directly from the manufacturer—it measures exactly the same as conventional sugar for baking.

    baked parmesan crusted zucchini fries dipping sauce

    Zucchini Nutrition Facts

    Low in Calories and Loaded with Anti-inflammatory Properties

    If you're looking to eat healthy to help you lose weight while boosting the nutrient value of your diet, Zucchini comes to the rescue. Studies show it helps enhance vision (especially for us baby-boomers), helps avoid diseases from vitamin C deficiency like scurvy, sclerosis, and easy bruising. It's been reported extremely helpful for those with asthma with its high content of vitamin C. It contains significant quantities of potassium, folate, and vitamin A—all-important for good health.

    It is extremely low in calories and provides the feeling of fullness. It contains a high-water content and is rich in fiber. Additional benefits include:

    • High source of antioxidants and vitamin C
    • Contains anti-Inflammatory properties that can improve heart health
    • High source of potassium
    • Help improve digestion
    • Low in calories and carbs
    • Helps maintain eye health
    • Good source of energizing B vitamins
    • Reported to help control diabetes
    • Contains vitamins A, B1, B6, B2
    • Packed with nutritional elements including magnesium, calcium, folate, potassium, copper and phosphorus
    • Summer squash also has a high content of omega-3 fatty acids, zinc, niacin, and protein