Another month, another round of Secret Recipe Club…another WINNER! Why has the urge to make enchiladas packed with vegetables not struck me til now? Shame, shame.
Perhaps it’s because enchiladas need some “body” (i.e. texture) to them. I tried spinach enchiladas once, and the texture was just…off-putting. Meals aren’t just about flavor…the whole thing has to come together just right. And that is exactly what happened here. Just…rightness (yes, I know that’s not a word!).
When I’m assigned a blog to pick a recipe from, where do I begin? Well, if the blog has a search option, I usually search the terms “favorite” or “best ever”. This generally turns up some pretty killer options.
But Nicole’s blog, I’m A Honey Bee stumped me. I had a hard time choosing. I’m not new to Nicole’s blog (you should really check it out!), and I know she enjoys meatless meals, too. So I opted to go that route. Plus, this was a recipe she had chosen from another blog for a round of the Secret Recipe Club and I am yet to have anything sub-par from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook.
This recipe is perfectly timed with the summer produce that will become bountiful and at its best here within the coming months. When your produce bin is over-stuffed with sweet corn, zucchini, and bell peppers…this recipe is your answer. Of course you can swap in whatever veggie combo your little heart desires.
And for those who are yet to tackle enchiladas without the use of canned sauce, bookmark this enchilada sauce recipe. I was a bit weary because it seemed…too easy. I’ve made enchilada sauces before that require either a blender, immersion blender, or food processor (which is fine, but less is always more when it comes to dishes and time!)…but this recipe offered up a short ingredient list with every day ingredients and spices, coming together in no time. As for the flavor? It definitely made these enchiladas what they are.
Lastly, let’s talk tortillas. I often buy the corn tortillas that are super thin and come in a big ‘ol stack for super cheap. They taste great, they’re lower in calories, and they work really well for quesadillas, tacos, etc. But if you’re talking about needing to roll tortillas and limit the breakage, I finally found a tortilla that works well without any finesse at all. La Tortilla Factory has some handmade corn tortillas that were out of this world. They’re thicker and much more durable than your average corn tortilla. While the calorie count is a bit higher with this option, they’re worth it. I found mine at Meijer (Kroger did not carry them near me).
I was going to make the portion size 2 enchiladas…but I just couldn’t stop at 2. Three enchiladas it is!
Veggie Enchiladas ever so slightly adapted from I Am a Honey Bee via Dishing the Divine and Annie’s Eats, originally from The America’s Test Kitchen Healthy Family Cookbook
1 tsp canola oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1/2 Tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp sugar
1 (8 oz) can tomato sauce
1/4 cup water
black pepper, to taste
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1/2 cup corn, fresh or frozen
1/2 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine
1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
7 oz (1/2 can) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1/3 cup enchilada sauce (above)
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles (optional for added heat)
12 (6-inch) corn tortillas (I had good luck with La Tortilla Factory’s brand)
enchilada sauce (from above)
1 cup part-skim (2%) shredded pepper jack, cheddar, or Mexican blend cheese
To make the sauce, heat the oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook until softened and lightly browned, approximately 5 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar; cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Whisk in the tomato sauce and water, bring to a simmer and cook until slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
To make the filling, add oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until shimmering. Add the onion and corn, and cook until slightly softened, 3-5 minutes. Add the bell pepper, cook until softened, approximately for 2-3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook just until tender, 3-5 minutes more. Add in the garlic and black beans and cook until warmed through, about 2 minutes.
Transfer the veggie mixture to a large bowl and stir in 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce, cilantro, and green chilies.
Preheat the oven to 450 F. Spread about 1/4 cup enchilada sauce around the bottom of a 9 x 13-inch baking dish that has been sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.
Place 1/3 cup of the filling mixture down the center of a tortilla. Tightly roll up the tortilla and place in baking dish, seam side down. Repeat with the remaining filling and tortillas.
Evenly pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Sprinkle the shredded cheddar over the top of the sauce.
Cover with foil and bake until the enchiladas are heated through, about 10 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to bake until the cheese is melted, 3-5 minutes more. Serve immediately. Note: These are great topped with diced avocado and fresh cilantro…mm!
Yield: 4 servings (3 enchiladas each).
Nutrition Information (per serving): 514 calories; 12.8 g. fat; 15 mg. cholesterol; 883 mg. sodium; 68.3 g. carbohydrate; 10 g. fiber; 28.5 g. protein
Result: Absolutely delicious! Don’t be a fool like me and think enchiladas stuffed with veggies won’t live up to a chicken or beef enchilada…these are phenomenal! As noted above, the enchilada sauce is so flavorful and truly makes this dish. These aren’t a real quick meal, but you could do all of the prep ahead of time and easily make this a weekday meal. Enjoy!
Sad it’s Monday…but no regrets. This weekend was fun, productive, and very relaxing. I even planted my garden: Cherokee purple heirloom tomatoes, Early Girl tomatoes, zucchini, chives, basil, parsley, and rosemary. My oregano, sage, thyme, and blueberry bush are all doing well from last year. This week looks wet, hot, and steamy…should be good for my potted garden!