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Chicken Enchilada Casserole - total time 45 minutes

Another opportunity to open up a jar of tomatoes from the garden.  It smells like summer every time, which is certainly welcome when I can see how cold it is outside from the kitchen window.  Although I would rather be wearing shorts and enjoying the sunshine, winter allows everything to renew itself in the spring.  Can't wait to get out in the garden again... the seed catalogs are showing up in the mail.

If you love enchiladas, you will love this casserole... and it is super easy!  Swap the chicken for spinach to make it vegetarian.

1 lb chicken
1 cup rice
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup shredded cheese, divided
.5 cup cream cheese
10 oz. tomato juice
1 tbsp chili pepper
1 garlic clove
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare rice according to package.  Cook chicken.
2. In a medium sized pot, heat olive oil, add onions and garlic, and saute for three minutes.  Add in tomato juice and chili pepper.  Simmer until sauce thickens, about eight minutes.
3. Shred chicken using forks and add to medium sized mixing bowl.  Add cream cheese, rice, .5 cup shredded cheese, enchilada sauce, salt, and pepper and mix together.  Transfer into casserole dish and top with remaining shredded cheese.
4.  Bake for 25 minutes.  Eat as a casserole with sour cream and green onions or serve with tortillas.


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