Dear Jeanne: This is a family favorite. Can you lighten it? — Sara, Phoenix

Dear Sara: This is an easy and family-friendly dish. I have made it more body-friendly, yet it's still tasty. It's really easy if you have leftover chicken. If you don't have tomatoes and green chilies in one can, you can use a can of each or just a can of green chilies without adding many calories. This is very rich, so the fresh chopped salad ingredients really complete the dish.

RANCH CASSEROLE

2 cans cream of mushroom soup

1 can Rotel tomatoes

1 cup sour cream

1 cup milk

1 onion, chopped

1 pound chicken, cooked and shredded

1 bag (11 ounces) tortilla chips

2 cups grated cheddar or Jack cheese

Sliced black olives

Chopped tomatoes

Shredded lettuce

1. Mix together the soup, tomatoes, sour cream, milk and onion; add chicken. In a buttered 9-by-13-inch dish, layer 1/3 of the chips, 1/3 of the chicken and sauce, 1/3 of the cheese. Repeat layers, reserving some cheese for the top. Bake 45 minutes to an hour, or until hot. Serve with olives, tomatoes and lettuce. Makes 6 servings.

REDUCED-FAT RANCH CASSEROLE

2 cans (10 3/4 ounces) reduced-fat-and-sodium cream of mushroom soup

1 can tomatoes with green chilies

1 cup light sour cream

1 cup fat-free chicken broth or skim milk

1 onion, finely chopped

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded

1 1/4 cups reduced-fat Mexican cheese blend, divided use

12 corn tortillas, cut into 1-inch strips

Shredded lettuce

Chopped tomatoes

Sliced green onions

Sliced black olives (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a 9-by-13-inch pan with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the soup, tomatoes and chilies, sour cream, chicken broth or milk and onion.

3. Add the chicken, 1 cup of the cheese and the tortilla strips. Mix well to distribute the tortilla pieces evenly and pour into the prepared pan.

4. Bake for 30 minutes, top with the remaining 1/4 cup cheese and bake another 15 minutes. Serve garnished with lettuce, tomatoes, green onions and olives. Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 819 calories; 56 gm fat; 163 mg cholesterol; 1,215 mg sodium; 44 gm carbohydrates; 36 gm protein; 4 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 372 calories; 10 gm fat; 65 mg cholesterol; 901 mg sodium; 39 gm carbohydrates; 28 gm protein; 4 gm fiber.


Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most srecently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her Web site, jeannejones.com. Send your recipe for revision to: Cook It Light, Deseret News, P.O. Box 1212, La Jolla, CA 92038. Please include a stamped (58 cents), self-addressed envelope. © King Features Syndicate Inc.