Let’s Make Enchiladas

Last week I posted a survey on Facebook and Instagram asking about which light-hearted topics you’d rather hear about: what I’m wearing or what I’m cooking? The results were overwhelmingly… split exactly down the middle 50/50 (not counting those who suggested that I share what I’m wearing while I’m cooking—answer: leggings and baggy t-shirts). And since it’s a lot easier for me to photograph what I’m cooking than what I’m wearing, you get a recipe post today.

I’ve been eating these leftovers all week. And a lot of times when I’ve eaten leftovers a few days in a row I start to get sick of it. But every single time that I nuked these in the microwave and piled them high with tomatoes and lettuce, I did a happy dance. They’re gone, now, and I miss them.
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I’ve been eating meat-free since May. I have an ultimate goal of moving towards a full plant-based diet at some point but I work best in baby steps so here I am for now. I don’t want to use the “V” word because I really hate it when people assume they know things that they don’t when I apply certain labels to myself—especially regarding my diet. So I’ll hold off on that as long as I want to.

One of my favorite parts of eating meat-free has been coming up with new recipes. Lately, I had been craving Mexican-type flavors but it’s really hard for me to eat tacos at home (my usual go-to) without meat because I feel like I’m really missing out and my craving never really gets quite satiated. When I’m craving at-home tacos, I’m really just craving my mom’s ground beef taco mix.

So I looked in the freezer and the pantry and I saw a meal play out in front of me. I like to give myself a bit of a Mystery Box Challenge every now and again. Is anyone else as obsessed with Master Chef as me?

So I threw all these ingredients together and I’m glad that I wrote everything down as it was happening because I definitely want to be able to re-create these again. They are full of protein (around 27 grams) and iron and have less than 500 calories for two enchiladas. All around, it’s a great choice for a meat-free dinner if you ask me. A bit of warning—I thought these had the perfect amount of spice but my husband thought it a bit much. So if you live in a house with people who don’t love spicy food, maybe back off on the jalapeno. Or replace it with something a little more calmed down like an Anaheim or a bell pepper.

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Creamy Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas
Serves 4
1 12 oz. bag of frozen spinach
1/2 onion, chopped
1 jalapeno (1/2 sliced and 1/2 minced)
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 t. cumin
1 T. chili powder
1/2 t. smoked paprika
1 t. garlic salt
1/2 c. light sour cream
2 c. low-fat cheese, shredded
8 white corn tortillas
1 can of Red Enchilada Sauce (but if you want to go for homemade, I’ve used this recipe before to much success)
Garnishes:
shredded lettuce, chopped tomatoes, avocado, chopped onion, lime
Preheat oven to 350. Spray baking dish with cooking spray.
-Saute the spinach over medium heat (I’ve found that doing so over a lower head keeps it from sticking and eliminating the need for oil), occasionally pressing down with the back of a spoon to release the water. Once the spinach is thawed, add chopped onion, minced jalapeno and garlic and continue cooking until most of the water is released. Turn off the heat, stir in spices and beans, and let cool.
-Pour half of the can of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking dish.
-Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the sour cream. Spoon the mixture in a line down the middle of a tortilla, sprinkle in some cheese, fold both sides in and lay seam-side down in the sauce in the baking dish. Fill the pan and pour the remainder of the sauce over the top of the enchiladas. Sprinkle the tops with sliced jalapenos and the remainder of the shredded cheese
-At this point, you can put them straight into the oven. But for me, I like to wait a little while. I’ll put the pan in the fridge for an hour or longer and let the tortillas soak up the enchilada sauce. This is great for a planning-ahead meal.
-Bake, covered, at 350 for 20 minutes (or until warmed through). Finish baking uncovered for another 30 minutes or until the cheese turns golden brown.
-Serve with whatever garnishment you like. I like to add a bunch of chopped lettuce and tomatoes and lime juice–almost like a tossed salad on top.

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Does this sound like something that would go over well at your house? What are your favorite meatless meals?

XOXO, Lib

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6 thoughts on “Let’s Make Enchiladas

  1. When we first got married we were so bad at grocery shopping and making meals. One of the very first meal staples we game up with, looking for a cheap, healthy comfort food, was a vegetarian chili. We use 3 kinds of beans- pinto, black and kindey which is a must! As for vegetables we basically throw in anything we have canned, frozen or fresh. Tomatoes, corn, green chilies and jalapenos are a winning combo. We season it with a lot of chili powder, some black pepper and a little bit of cayenne pepper. We just make a huge pot of that and have leftovers to bring to work for lunch all week, or put on top of baked potatoes or pasta if we are feeling carby!

  2. We have meatless Mondays at our house, and I know we’d eat these! I just baked a bunch of freezer enchiladas, so I am enchilada’d out for a little, but I know I will be back to them. I always come back. I would love to see a good veggie lasagna, too!

  3. This sounds awesome! I made enchiladas for the first time about a month ago and I found them so messy and time intensive. I was dipping the tortillas in red sauce and then rolling them up, though– that’s what the recipe I used directed me to do. This way looks way better. And I love that it’s meat-free! While I’m not making efforts to remove meat from my diet, I am always looking for filling meatless recipes, because, HELLO it’s cheaper and good for the environment!

    1. Staci– YES! Ryan loves Enchiladas so much, so I’ve been begrudgingly making them the dip-in-the-sauce way for years until I realized that I don’t HAVE to follow the directions. Plus, I kind of like the few crispy bits that come up when not every bit of the tortilla is covered in sauce.

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