Saturday, January 24, 2009

Healthy Chile Con Queso with Baked Lime Tortilla Chips

Though I distinctly remember one or two occasions where I nearly chucked a shoe at ESPN, or Fox Sports, or ESPN2 for constantly hogging up our TV, I must admit I'm a little sad that football is nearly over. I'm much more of a college football fan, so I'm just hanging on till the Super Bowl. Since no team I have a vested interest in made it to the big game, I've already picked my new favorite to win.


Not only will I miss football, but I'll dearly miss having a great excuse to eat junk food in the middle of the day, having friends over just to eat said junk food, and of course, spending a Saturday or Sunday with a beer in hand and dedicating myself to nothing but drinking, eating and watching the TV. I promise I'm not really lazy at heart :)

In honor of the near end of the football season (really, one of the only regularly televised sports that can keep my attention) here's a tasty and healthy treat that doesn't actually taste healthy!


I grew up eating Chile Con Queso in the Velveeta form. No mockery of this quintessential snack,but here's a real deal dip that's heart healthy. Baked tortilla chips are never as crispy and delightful as their fried cousins, but at least you're not consuming a mountain of fat, right?

The dip is a little bit thinner than what I'm used to, but if you let this sit in a crock pot or even on your stove (on low heat) while you're watching the game, it will thicken up!

The Recipe Girl
is having a Super Bowl Party Recipe Smackdown contest. Send Lori your best football fare, and you could win $250! Woohoo! Check it out here.

Chile Con Queso with Baked Lime Tortilla Chips
Eating Well, Feb '09

2 tsp olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup light colored beer
1 1/2 cups milk, divided
3 tbsp cornstarch
1 3/4 cup shredded sharp Cheddar
1 10 oz can Rotel (drained)
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup scallions
2 tbsp fresh cilantro

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion & garlic, and saute until beginning to soften and brown. Add beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup milk and bring to a simmer.

2. Whisk the remaining 1/2 cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the saucepan and cook, stirring constantly, until bubbling and thick, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring until melted. Add tomatoes, lime juice, salt, chili powder and cayenne (if using). Serve warm, garnished with cilantro & scallions.

Chile-Lime Tortilla Chips
12 6 inch corn tortillas
cooking spray
2 tbsp fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp salt

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

1. Coat both sides of tortillas with cooking spray and cut into quarters. Place wedges in an even layer on 1-2 cookie sheets. Combine lime juice & chili powder in a bowl. Brush the mixture on the tortillas and sprinkle with salt.

2. Bake tortillas until golden & crisp, about 15-20 minutes. Try flipping them mid-bake to get an even crispiness.

44 comments:

Larissa said...

That looks like a great meal for a cold day indoors!

Snooky doodle said...

these look delicious. Usually I don t like greasy food so the baked tortillas will be yummy . can you tell me what is rotel ??

VeggieGirl said...

Sooooo vibrant!! Love it.

That Girl said...

I grew up with velveeta and rotel too! AND since I lived right outside Pittsburgh for 9 years, you can guess where my loyalty lies.

Lisa said...

I LOVE this healthier version. I am definitelt going to try it. Did you use whole milk? Or can i get away with using skim or 2%? Thanks for the great recipe!

ttfn300 said...

i didn't think healthy and con queso could go together, but this looks fantastic :)

Katie said...

This looks SUPER tasty!

recipes2share said...

looks delicious and isn't it great to be able to sneak in another comfort food! Great!

Esi said...

OMG, I have this starred. It sounds so good!! I am not a huge football watcher, but I always make time for the Superbowl.

pigpigscorner said...

Looks really delicious!

Rebecca said...

That looks delicious!

I have not tried any of your recipes yet, but more and more, I keep bookmarking them so I can try them at a later date. I am so glad I stumbled across your blog, you have some great stuff on here!

Leslie said...

Yummo. I too am a bit sad that football is nearing an end. What will I do with my Sundays?

Ashley said...

This looks delicious!

RecipeGirl said...

This looks GREAT- especially for those of us trying to eat healthy these days.

You definitely should enter this in my Super Bowl Recipe Contest!! You can win $250 to Sam's Club... we've got two of them here in San Diego!

Grace said...

football is definitely the ultimate excuse to pig out. we need a new reason...how about we celebrate the simple fact that the sun is shining? i'm game. :)

N.D. said...

9am and I want some of that. That looks delicious!

Cecilia said...

I think I am definitely going to make this for the big game. I can eat more since it's healthy, right??? Hehehehehe.

An iMperfect wIfe said...

Thanks sharon!

This looks very tasty!

Jenny

Sharon said...

If you can't find Rotel near you, it's basically diced tomatoes with green chiles. I'm sure you could try making your own! :)

Lisa - I actually used skim, since that's all I usually have in the house. I found it to be a little thin, but after sitting out for awhile it thickens up.

Rebecca, let me know when you try anything! I hope you do soon :)

Lori, THANK YOU for the reminder! I"m such a space cadet sometimes.

Dawn said...

Those lime chips sound divine! I love a good snappy lime flavor. I could pig out on this, a lot.

noble pig said...

I saw this in the magazine as well, it looked very good. I hope you win.

Bunny said...

Ahh football food, lovin this Sharon! I took a vacation day to watche the Super Bowl with my hubby. Go Steelers!

tigerfish said...

This will make one good TV snack for me, definitely.

Maria said...

Football and food, they really are the best! I am loving this! I think I will serve it on Sunday!

Zesty Cook said...

I am loving this meal! WOW

The Blonde Duck said...

Yum! That looks so good! I love chile con queso!

Pam said...

My husband loves chile-lime chips - I never thought to make them myself. The dip looks amazing... great photos.

Lys said...

The fact you made the chips gives me hope that I don't have to buy a certain brand that makes a baked lime chip and can just make them at home.

Thanks for posting this!

Jesse said...

I too have been looking for a velveeta free queso option, but regular cheese usually separates. This clearly looks great though. I definitely will try it!

Kevin said...

This sounds tasty!

Erica said...

yes! I will miss football too! What a great meal- I am a huge fan of rotel. Thank you so much for the lime tortilla chip recipe- I love the touch of lime chips so I will def be trying these!

Also- thanks for your sweet comments on my blog :)

Amanda said...

I have to say I just found your blog today, but I am HOOKED!

Have already sent it to my blogie friend!
sooo making that queso!

Helene said...

I have to try this recipe. Thanks.

Garrett said...

So sad the Chargers didn't win - if you're a fan of the local team, that is. I never really had a traditional Chile Con Queso dip growing up, but this looks like it'd be perfect to bring to the big game.

Emily said...

Oh man! This looks delicious! The pictures are very good. I'm going to have to check out that contest. I missed that completely.

Sara said...

I am looking for healthier snacks so this is great.

Ana Powell said...

Gosh, this just looks yummy.
Lovely orange colours.
Just as well that you explained what Rotel was as I had no idea.

Aggie said...

Ohhhhh girl. I might have to make this for super bowl. Seriously, my husband would love love love it! (of course so would I). I love the lime tortilla chips!

Bunny said...

I just wanted to let you know I make the smash hot potatoes for dinner tonight and they were a big hit with my family, THANKS SHARON!

Bridgett said...

Delicious! I used to eat that stuff like crazy when I was younger. Now I am craving a taste after all these years.

newlyweds said...

Yummy, and healthy, gotta love that!

Carrian said...

This looks so delicious! Thanks for sharing!!!

Anonymous said...

Made this for a Superbowl party this weekend. Turned out great!! Thanks for sharing

taylorneilthomas said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I've been doing lots of alternative cooking myself and constantly looking for ways to make old favs more healthy. And believe me queso is definitely one of my old favs. I practically lived on it when I was in college.

However, my boyfriend, a relative junkfood junkie, recently had a cancer tumor removed, so I have been very strict with his diet. Of course, it is challenging as he was a chef for 16 years and likes things done a certain way...so lots of research and trial and error in my kitchen now.

Anyhow, here's an idea for you. I have cut out white flour, sugar, and other very processed foods. I consider corn starch an over-processed unhealthy food, and recently stumbled across something called arrowroot, which is supposed to be a substitute. I will try it with your recipe and see how it goes.

Also, for what it's worth, I always use whole wheat tortillas for chips. We don't add anything to them, just cut them up and bake them. They turn out very crisp, and I love them. I will try adding some corn tortillas to the mix if I can find some healthy ones this week.

Thanks again and best to you!
=)
Taylor