Vegetable Enchiladas

Veggie EnchiladasAs I was making this dish, it occurred to me just how often I use black beans.

I was writing this blog post in my head while I was cooking, something I do quite a bit in the kitchen, and I was kind of trying to pick an approach.  Generally, I have a pretty good reason for sharing a recipe with you.  It is super easy, reliable, fast to make but with great flavor, or it just tastes dang good!  I also like to let you know why I ever even made it in the first place.  Sometimes there is a history with a recipe that pertains to my family, sometimes I needed something specific for a certain event, or maybe I was in the mood to create a new flavor and decided to share my limited, yet enthusiastic, culinary wisdom about it with all of you.  To a certain extent (I can be rather long winded…) I like to make sure that you know I am not just cooking and blogging about it because my three kids, my husband, my house, church, and various extra curricular activities don’t keep me busy enough.  I do it because I love it.  And ultimately, I want you to go into your kitchen with a recipe recommended to you from a friend (me!) and love it too.

So…as I was saying…black beans.

I was thinking of other recipes I have that I could link back to this one and I realized just how often I cook with black beans.  They are in this salsa, this chili, this rice, this dinner–all super healthy dishes, by the way–and I was suddenly like, wowzah!  I buy almost nothing else. Granted, I like them the best when it come to beans, but I guess I kind of need to branch out a bit, huh?  Well, regardless of my new legume awareness, they are in this dish too. Heh heh heh…

If you have been reading this blog for awhile, you know that I am not the biggest fact of mexican food, but for my husband and children, I soldier on and cook it an eat it anyway.  This is not really all that difficult but if given the choice, meat and potatoes would rule it for me.  Well several years ago, I came across this recipe originally from Martha Stewart and I figured it looked like something I could easily add to my normal rotation.  You know, make the fam happy.  We had no idea that it was going to be so fantastic we would want to eat it all the time.  And bonus!  It is freezeable!  I have a serious weakness for things I can make ahead of time and pull out and throw the oven.  I get giddy.  Not weak in the knees, like when my husband kisses me, but definitely light headed….

Now when you read through the recipe below and realize that you will be making your own enchilada sauce, don’t despair!  This is easier than it sounds.  So easy in fact, you are never going to want to buy it from a can again.  This meal goes together quite quick and can feed a few people or a crowd.  It is healthy and vegetarian, but you won’t miss the meat, the salt, or the calories.  And if you feel like making something else with black beans, try one of the other recipes on this blog.  You never know when I’ll be adding more to the list!
Veggie EnchiladasOne Year Ago: Simple Vinaigrette & Roasted Broccoli
Two  Years Ago: Pork Roast W/Mustard & Peach Glaze, Simple Soup

Super Easy Veggie Enchiladas
Please note that you can make this meal in one big casserole dish, or two smaller ones, freezing the second pan for a later use.  Leftover seasoned taco meat or plain shredded chicken could easily be added to stretch the filling to make a bigger batch.

In a small sauce pan, whisk together:
1/4 c flour
1/4 c tomato paste
1 tsp cumin
good pinch of salt and pepper
Whisk over medium heat to cook the flour a bit.  Add:
1 can vegetable stock or a good quality, low sodium chicken broth
1/2 c water
Whisk until smooth and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until slightly thickend.  This takes about five minutes.  Carefully taste for seasoning and add more salt if necessary.  Set this aside and make the filling!

In a large bowl, combine:
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 (2 c bag) shredded cheese- cheddar, pepper jack, four-cheese Mexican, cojack, whatever
1 small bag of frozen corn, about 10 oz, thawed
1 box of frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
1 tsp cumin

18 small corn tortillas

Mix the filling ingredients in the bowl.  Lightly spray one large, shallow casserole dish or two 9X9 pans.  Microwave the tortillas for a few seconds to soften and then put one large scoop of filling in the center of a tortilla, fold it over in thirds, and place it seam side down in the dish.  Continue until you have used all the filling.  I can only fit seven in my square glass baking dishes so the last few I roll up and put in a microwaveable dish for Mike to take to work.  Sprinkle the whole pan with a bit more cheese and then pour the enchilada sauce evenly over top.  If freezing, wrap well, chill, and freeze.  Defrost overnight or bake from frozen, adjusting cooking time.  If baking right away, put uncovered in a 400 degree oven for 20 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve with sour cream, salsa, and chopped scallions, if desired.