Easy Vegetarian (or not) Enchiladas

A few weeks back, when I was at the pool with my friend, Lindsay, and our 8 children, I mentioned how hungry I was. The morning had been hectic. I had just taught two fitness classes, and in all of the packing of the goggles and the sunscreen and the swim diapers plus the rush to get me and 5 kids out the door on time, I had forgotten to eat.

As you can imagine, between the forgetting to eat + the two hours of exercise + the whole pregnant thing, I was fast transitioning from hungry to ravenous.

As I sat poolside, I was shoveling in grapes and pretzel thins by the double fistful, but here’s the thing: when I get to a certain level of hunger, nothing but an honest-to-goodness meal will do. Snacks help, but they’re more of a band-aid than a full-on cure.

Maybe I was sounding hangrier than I thought or mentioning how hungry I was every two seconds, but whatever the reason, Lindsay pulled out a tupperware container of homemade vegetarian enchiladas and proceeded to insist that I eat them.

After some very weak resistance, I gave in and inhaled half of her lunch.

And I’m so glad I did! The enchiladas were delicious and healthy, and I knew I wanted to replicate them at home.

I gave it my best shot last week, and while my version turned a little different and quite likely a lot inferior to their inspiration, they were still a huge hit with my family, so I thought I’d share.

INGREDIENTS (the following will make two panfuls):

1-2 tbs olive oil

1 medium onion

2 cloves of garlic

1 1/2 cups uncooked rice (I used Basmati)

2 cans of black beans, undrained

4 oz. of cream cheese

12-16 corn tortillas

3 cans chicken broth

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp seasoned salt

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/2 cup salsa (your choice of heat)

1 can of diced tomatoes

1 1/2 – 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese

1 lb taco meat (optional)

DIRECTIONS:

Roughly chop the onion and saute in 1 tbsp of olive oil until translucent. Remove from pan and set aside in a bowl. If you want, add the rest of the olive oil, then briefly saute diced garlic cloves, making sure not to be brown them (they get bitter). Add 1 1/2 cups of rice and continuing sauteing 3-4 minutes on low-medium heat, makings sure not to burn the rice or garlic. Add two cans of chicken broth + 1/2 tsp cumin, chili powder, and seasoned salt and 1/4 tsp of garlic powder (granulated garlic). Simmer on low heat until the liquid has cooked off, and your rice is soft but not mushy. Remove rice from pan to a bowl and stir in most of your 1/4 cup chopped cilantro (reserve a little for sprinkling on top the finished enchiladas).

Set rice aside and add two cans of undrained black beans to the pan. Add the chopped, cooked onion back in, and the rest of the spices and remaining can of chicken broth. Add in 4 oz of cream cheese. Cook 5-10 minutes on low-medium heat until flavors have melded, cheese has melted, and some of the liquid has cooked off (the beans should still be a soupy consistency).

Note: I didn’t write down exact amounts of seasonings as I went, so these are approximations and should be considered baseline amounts. I would encourage you to taste your beans and rice as you go to see if they need more flavor.

At this point, you’ll have this…

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And you’ll be ready to start rolling your enchiladas.

Inside each tortilla, layer a heaping spoonful of rice, beans, and grated cheddar cheese. Roll up and place seam down inside a greased baking dish.

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You should have rice and beans leftover after making 12-16 enchiladas. Mix the two together and spoon the remaining rice/bean mixture over the top of your rolled up tortillas. Sprinkle with remaining cheese + cilantro.

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Mix together the can of diced tomatoes + 1/2 cup of salsa (I used medium heat), then spoon this mixture over the top of the enchiladas.

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At which point, you’ll have this:

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{MMmmmm…mouth. watering. yum}

Cover pans with aluminum foil and cook at 375°F for 25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and everything is completely cooked through.

Serve with fresh sliced avocado, sour cream, or any other yummy garnish you’d like to try (I wouldn’t necessarily recommend gummy bears).       IMG_4003

P.S. I had some leftover taco meat that I needed to use, so I added that to the filling in the second pan of enchiladas, which made the hubby and the boys happy (I liked the veggie version better).

enchiladas

And there you have it–an easy, quick, filling, healthy, and cheap family meal (that tastes even better as leftovers!).

Happy Monday! I’m off to make meatloaf (recipe coming soon :)).

Do you get hangry too? I am continually amazed at how much my hunger affects my ability to cope with little annoyances. Seriously, if I am super-hungry, do. not. talk. to. me. I might eat you.

Any fast, yummy recipes you’ve discovered latelyThis one will definitely be making an appearance in the regular monthly rotation (especially considering that my firstborn who dislikes beans and rice, scarfed them down) 

 

 

 

9 thoughts on “Easy Vegetarian (or not) Enchiladas

  1. Made this tonight as printed (except with with veg broth) for the vegetarians and chicken chunks (heated up with broth, garlic salt, onion salt, pepper, and cumin) for the carnivores. It was SO delicious! I’ll never soak my corn tortillas in hot cream again– no need. Thanks for this great dish. It’s now in my permanent rotation!

  2. I made this tonight using leftover brown rice and black beans on hand. My super picky 6 year old had seconds. I liked the recipe because it was easy and not full of processed ingredients. Thanks Abbie!

    1. Hi Jen,
      I’m not sure what you mean by email format, but this blog post is the only way I have this written down. If you want, you can highlight all of the text (including pictures) staying with the ingredient list, and then copy and paste it into an email and send it to yourself. I don’t think the pics will transfer that way, and then you’ll just have the text, if that’s what you’re looking for. Hope that helps!

  3. My take on “easy” is forget the rolling up and turn it into a layered casserole–kinda like lasagne, with the tortillas being the “noodles.” Sounds totally yummy, though, no matter how you put it together! 🙂

I love hearing from you guys!