Tuesday, November 15, 2011

meatless meals - black bean enchiladas

This is one of our family's current favorite meals - if you're new here, you might not know that we eat mostly a plant-based diet, with very little meat, and some dairy. I switched over after facing some yucky health issues, and now that I'm feeling better, there's no going back for me! My family watched how positive and beneficial the whole process was for me, and asked that I start using more meatless meals for our family dinners as well! I try to share recipes here whenever I get the chance! I've tweeted photos of this meal several times, and each time I have someone asking for the recipe. {Yay!} So I thought I'd share today!

Black Bean Enchiladas

1 package of fajita size flour tortillas
1 19 ox can of your favorite enchilada sauce
3 c. of cooked black beans
1 medium onion
1 medium bell pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil
3-4 Tblsp. chili powder
1 Tblsp. brown sugar
dash of oregano flakes
salt to taste {this will depend on whether you've used canned or dried beans that you've cooked at home}
1 cup of cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Dice up the onion and bell pepper {red or green}, and toss into a good size pan with the olive oil that you've warmed over medium heat. We'll be adding the beans to this pan eventually, so it does need to be fairly big.

Cook the onion and pepper until they're soft. Then add the beans. If you're using canned {not my fave}, I'd be sure to rinse them before adding. As a side note, since we eat so many different kinds of beans on a regular basis, I have a bunch of "safe" plastic container that I've purchased so that can cook a double batch of beans, and then freeze enough for a second meal - that way it's as easy as opening a can, without all of the bad stuff. Plus, canned goods just generally taste like, well, can.
Add the chili powder, oregano flakes, brown sugar {this is optional, but it's nice to cut a tiny bit of the heat from the chili}, and salt to taste. All the while keeping it over the heat at a low simmer. If you need a bit of liquid, add some of your cooking liquid from the beans, or a bit of water. Not a lot - just so that it doesn't cook dry, into a paste.
Time to roll! Prepare a generous 9"x13" baking dish with a bit of enchilada sauce - just enough to cover the bottom, since we don't want soggy tortillas}, and set up a rolling station. I always lay a bit of parchment, since this part is a bit messy - that way, I can roll my enchiladas and toss the mess in the trash when I'm done. Don't mind my broken wooden spoon. It's one of those things I never remember to replace! LOL
If you're an enchilada rolling pro, you can ignore the next bit, but if not, read on. I learned from a pro, so I'll do my best to explain!

Add the bean filling, and just a bit of cheese. You really only need roughly a tablespoon of cheese. I'd say, I have between a third and half cup of the bean mixture.
Fold your tortilla shell in half. You can just see the edge of my tortilla in the blur of my photo. Enchilada rolling is more of a fold and pinch than anything else. Definitely not rolling from the edge.

After folding in half, then you roll. This may be completely obvious to most people, but it wasn't to me when I first learned. ;)

Stack them side by side in your prepared pan, with the open edge facing down. When you fold them the way I've tried to explain, they don't unwrap.

Stack side by side until the pan is full.

Drizzle enchilada sauce over the top.

Sprinkle with cheese:

Pop into the oven for 20 minutes. Pull out when the cheese is all melty and the sauce is bubbling.

Serve it up and enjoy! These are so yummy I could eat them at least once a week!

Post a comment if you have any questions, or even if you enjoyed them! I love hearing feedback on my recipes! This is an awesome recipe to use even if your family eats meat - and you're subbing one meatless meal a week.

Have a wonderful Tuesday!


beckyjune said...

That sounds and looks so yummy. I've been trying some new recipes lately so I'll have to add this one to my list.

Amy Heller said...

Yeah, my mouth is watering now!! I think you are my super-hero, Leah!! You are so creative AND a vegetarian, too!! Can we be best friends?! LOL :D

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