Going for more inspiration from my most favorite and well-loved cookbook, Favorite Recipes: Vegetarian, here’s another crowd pleaser that falls firmly under the heading of “Tasty Tex-Mex That’s Mostly Good For You:” Baked Vegetable Enchiladas. Though making the sauce kicks up the difficultly level a little, the results are insanely delicious. (I guess you could use a canned enchilada sauce… I guess.) You might look at the ingredients and think that a vegetable medley in tortillas is hardly filling, but I beg to differ. Once you get everything together with the sauce and the cheese, and chips and salsa, I guarantee that a hearty meal awaits.
So the recipe below differs from the original mainly with the sauce, which called for crushed tomatoes to be mixed with everything and then reduced over high heat. Now maybe it was just my stove-cooking naïveté showing, but I had a repeatedly awful time with the red liquidy mixture popping out all over my white stove as it was boiling on high. So I altered the recipe to use a thicker, canned tomato sauce (no seasonings, just tomatoes) that could be slow cooked over low heat. Yes, it took longer to cook, but making it proved much less messy, plus it tasted wonderful in the end, so win-win. This sauce can be made well in advance and keeps in the fridge for about a week. If you want to make the enchiladas all in one day, plan to cook the sauce for at least an hour beforehand.
Note that you can change up the veggies depending on what you have, keeping in mind that you’ll probably want to stick with things that won’t compete with the enchilada sauce. Squash and green beans, for example work well, but things like broccoli and kale don’t. (Too pungent.) Additionally, you can easily add cooked chicken, pork, or beef to the mix. Just work it up like you would for tacos and roll it up with the vegetables.
I can get eight enchiladas out of this meal, which serves four. If you end up with leftovers, they keep well in the fridge and can be easily reheated.
Baked Vegetable Enchiladas
1 28 oz. can of tomato sauce
1 1/3 cups vegetable broth
2 small red or green chili peppers/jalapenos, diced, seeds removed (or not if you like)
2 shallots, diced
1 T chili powder
1-2 T sugar
1 t salt
Place all ingredients into a large pot and stir well. Bring to a boil then reduced to low. Simmer, partially covered, for about an hour or until the sauce has reduced by about 1/3rd. Be sure to taste check as the sauce cooks to adjust sugar and salt levels. The sauce should be sweet and tangy, but not overly salty or spicy, by the time it’s done.
2 T olive oil
2 leeks, each sliced in half lengthwise, and then thinly sliced crosswise
1 cup chopped onion
3-5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup bell peppers (any colors)
1-2 carrots, chopped
½ cup fresh or frozen corn
8 oz. chopped spinach, cooked and drained, or frozen, thawed, and drained
½ cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup black beans
1 T cumin
Salt and pepper to taste
You’ll also need:
6-8 flour tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese (cheddar, monterey jack, pepper jack, etc.)
(Veggies can be prepared in advanced and kept in the fridge for a few hours before cooking enchiladas)
- Heat oven to 375 degrees.
- In a large sauce pan, heat oil over medium and sauté leeks, onion, and garlic for a minute or two, until you can just smell the garlic begin to cook.
- Add peppers, carrots, and corn, and sauté for 7-10 minutes – carrots should be relatively soft.
- Add in spinach and stir well.
- Stir in peas, beans, cumin, salt, pepper, and cook for another few minutes until everything is well incorporated together.
- Spray or coat bottom and sides of an 8 x 8, 9 x 9, or 8 x 11 (inches) baking dish
- Place a few tablespoons of filling in each tortilla and roll. Pack rolled tortillas tightly into baking dish.
- Cover tortillas with a generous amount of sauce. You may or may not use all from batch depending on the number of tortillas used.
- Sprinkle cheese over and bake in oven for about 20 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly.
- Remove and cool for at least 10-15 minutes before serving.
Serve with chips, salsa, and/or guacamole.
Let’s see just how many blogs Cary can put on her roster before going mad! While you’ll find her here on occasion, you’ll more likely to catch her over on United We Game or Geek Force Network; or better yet, working on her own blog about gaming and nostalgia and such, Recollections of Play.