How do you turn Vegetarian Enchiladas into an evening?
Why Vegetarian Enchiladas?
A few days ago I prepared dinner for a friend on her way to Cuba. Although she will certainly have fabulous and authentic Cuban food while she’s there, I wanted to make a Latin American dish to celebrate her upcoming trip. I decided to make Vegetarian Enchiladas since they are tasty, healthy and comforting.
As Vegetarian Enchiladas may be prepared in advance, reducing the effort needed when company arrives, they are ideal for a mid-week supper. Weeknight suppers should require less preparation, even if you work from home.
Well, making them in advance was my original plan. In the end, however, my afternoon was busier than expected. At least my appetizers as well as parts of my main course and dessert were prepared by the time my guest of honor arrived. At that point nothing else could be done except go with the flow. Our evening changed from a sit-down dinner to a cooking workshop, everyone helping out. The theme of the dinner was tomatoes.
Evening Cooking Workshop
Our evening began in the family room with small glasses of walnut licquer made by one of my Belgian sisters from walnuts from her own tree. We then sat down to glasses of gazpacho with chopped fresh coriander (cilantro) on top. On the side we enjoyed mini bread sticks to dip into a small cup of bruschetta-style dried tomato pesto.
Preparing the Vegetarian Enchiladas
Afterwards we moved into the kitchen where we set up a rolling station for the Vegetarian Enchiladas. We placed the pan of vegetable mixture, tortillas, grated cheese and Red Enchilada Sauce between us so we could each fill a medium glass baking dish with rolled Vegetarian Enchiladas.
First, we spread some of my famous Red Enchilada Sauce on the bottom of the dish. Next, we spread a little more Red Enchilada Sauce over each tortilla, before adding some vegetable mix, and finally some cheese. We then rolled the filled tortilla and placed it seam-side down. We continued in this way until all ingredients were gone, except for a small amount of the vegetable mix. The leftover vegetable mix was sprinkled over the top of the baking dish, along with a little Red Enchilada Sauce and grated cheese.
A bit flustered with company there to help me, I mistakenly put the chopped coriander (cilantro) on top of the baking dish before placing it into the oven. It is better to add the coriander (cilantro) on top after taking the dish out of the oven so it stays fresh and does not wilt on top.
Preparing the Dessert
We then popped the baking dishes of Vegetarian Enchiladas into the oven for about 25 minutes. While we waited for them to cook we prepared the dessert. I planned on making something original and a bit unusual: a tarte tatin (an upside-down pie) with some fresh peaches and tomatoes I had in my kitchen.
We removed the peach pits, then cut the peaches and tomatoes in half. After cooking them in a pan about 5 minutes we added some balsamic vinegar and sugar with a little thyme. While this mixture cooked in the pan over a low flame (turning the peaches and tomatoes from time to time), I rolled out the Pastry Crust Dough prepared earlier. When the peaches and tomatoes were done, I placed them nicely into a pie dish and then covered the top with a rolled out sheet of Pastry Crust, tucking the dough into the sides.
Enjoying the Dinner
We placed the pie dish into the oven to bake about 25 minutes while we ate our Vegetarian Enchiladas! Side bowls filled with guacamole, Red Enchilada Sauce, grated cheddar cheese, fresh tomatoes and sour cream accompanied the Vegetarian Enchiladas on the table. A bottle of Tabasco hot sauce sat nearby for anyone looking for a bigger kick. Everyone could prepare their enchilada plate how they liked.
The Vegetarian Enchiladas turned out delicious! For the vegetable filling I mixed sautéed zucchini, onions, green bell pepper and fresh spinach leaves with canned corn and kidney beans. Feel free to try other vegetables (for example, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, green beans and green onions) or beans (black beans, pinto beans or even navy beans) in your Vegetarian Enchiladas.
I will definitely make these Vegetarian Enchiladas again. I recommend that you try this recipe soon for your family and friends.
If you are looking for other combination ideas, take a peak at this post for 30 Vegetarian Enchilada Recipes (+7 sauce recipes) by the garden grazer. You are bound to find something that you like. But please try my recipe as a starting point. You will not be sorry!
For a non-vegetarian alternative, try these yummy Chicken Enchiladas. If you are feeling ambitious, you can even prepare both the Vegetarian Enchiladas and the Chicken Enchiladas for a larger group to give them a choice.
The peach-tomato pie, however, was not quite a success, even with vanilla ice cream. The tastes of the peaches and tomatoes did not blend quite so well together. If I try it again, I would cut the peaches and tomatoes into smaller slices so they blend better as they cook. I might then be easier to taste them both in the same mouthful. I would also add a little more sugar when cooking the peaches and tomatoes to make it more appropriate as a dessert.
Please share this recipe with your friends and let me know in the comments below what you think. Don’t forget to rate this recipe so others know how much you like it.
Vegetarian Enchiladas: Delicious and Healthy
- 2/3 red enchilada sauce
- 10 tortillas (whole wheat, white flour or corn)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 red onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 green bell pepper
- 1 zucchini large
- 250 g spinach (fresh or frozen)
- 420 g black beans or kidney beans
- 350 g corn kernels
- 200 g mozzarella
- 70 g cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 15 g coriander - cilantro chopped to sprinkle on top when serving
- See the photo here of my red enchilada sauce. If you make the red enchilada sauce yourself, you should make it before starting the rest of the preparation.
- Preheat oven to 375° F/ 180° C
- Pour the olive oil in the pan over a medium flame. Add the chopped red onions and let them cook about 3 minutes before adding the garlic and cooking another minute.
- Add the chopped green bell pepper, stir, and continue to cook another couple minutes. Add the chopped zucchini and continue to cook another couple minutes. Add the spinach leaves and wait until they are cooked (not overcooked).
- Drain and rinse the corn and beans (if you use canned). Add them to the vegetable mixture and stir.
- Grate the mozzarella and cheddar cheese.
- On each tortilla spread some red enchilada sauce to cover about 3/4 of the tortilla. Add 2-3 tbsp vegetable mix and a handful of cheese. Roll the tortilla and put it with the fold part downwards into a Pyrex-type casserole dish.
- Continue for the other tortillas until you finish the ingredients. If you have extra vegetable mixture you can put them on top of the casserole dish. Don't worry if you need more than one casserole dish to fit all the enchiladas. In our home we make 2 casserole dishes (one bigger than the other). We eat the big dish for supper and the small dish the next day (if there's any left!).
- Put the casserole in the oven and cook at least 25 minutes or until the top of the casserole is lightly brown and the cheese is melted good. Take out the casserole and sprinkle on the coriander / cilantro.
- Serve and enjoy with the toppings of your choice presented in separate bowls.
If prepared in advance
- If you want to make them in advance, cook the enchiladas as described above for 20 minutes. Once cooled completely, you can either wrap the enchiladas (whole or in portions) with aluminum foil sealing the entire dish for up to 3 months, or put in the refrigerator in a sealed container for up to 2 days. When you want to reheat, just take the enchiladas out directly from the freezer or refrigerator and cook for 45 minutes (from freezer) or 30 minutes (from refrigerator).