Vegetarian recipe – can be made vegan without the cheese
I feel like there’s a plethora of delicious taco joints throughout Chicago, but I have a hard time finding delicious Enchiladas in the city. Maybe I’m just not going to the right places, but the more authentic places tend to not have the best vegetarian options for their enchiladas even though their sauces are phenomenal. They are always vibrant and flavorful. One of my favorite “Mexican” dishes are enchiladas because of how saucy they are. I love a complex and spicy red sauce with melted cheese over it. It’s heavenly. Since I have a hard time finding mouthwatering enchiladas, I have decided to take matters into my own hands and cook them at home. I wouldn’t say these are super authentic but they are tasty and spicy, which I am satisfied with. The recipe I am using is based on https://cookieandkate.com/2016/vegetarian-enchiladas-recipe/. I love her recipes because they are very vegetarian-focused while still being flavorful.
- 12-15 small corn tortillas (fry them ahead of time in oil so they don’t rip when you roll the enchiladas), I prefer corn to flour
- 3 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 package of spinach
- 1 package of Baby Bella mushrooms
- 1 red onion, diced
- 1 poblano pepper, diced
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 green onion sprigs
- 2 handfuls of cilantro, chopped
- 1 can of black beans, washed and drained
- 1.5-2 cups of Mexican cheese depending on how much of a cheesehead you are
- 2 cups of Enchilada sauce (see https://cookieandkate.com/2016/enchilada-sauce-recipe/ – I add more chili powder, cayenne pepper, and smoked paprika)
- 1 tbsp of salt and pepper combined
- 1 tbsp of chili pepper (I usually add a bit more of all of these spices)
- 1 tbsp of paprika
- 1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp of cayenne pepper
- 1 tbsp of Mexican Tajin
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- Cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and grease two pans with cooking spray or oil.
- In a medium frying pan, add the olive oil and once it’s hot enough on medium heat, add the onions and sauté them for about 4-5 minutes. Then add the peppers and mushrooms, sauté for 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and spices and sauté for a few more minutes making sure the spices have been equally distributed.
- While you are sautéing your vegetables, in the meantime sauté your tortillas on each side in about 1 tsp of olive oil to coat each side of the tortilla. It should take about 1-2 minutes for each side until soft. When you’re done, put on a paper towel to absorb the oil.
- Then add the spinach in handfuls and add a bit more of the spices to make sure that the spinach absorbs it. Sauté for a few more minutes making sure that the vegetables have absorbed the spices and are not overly crunchy. If you see a lot of water, drain the pan.
- In a medium bowl, add your sautéed vegetables, black beans, 1/4 cup of cheese, 2 tbsp of enchilada sauce and any extra spices you feel that this mixture needs (I usually do more chili powder). Stir all of these ingredients together.
- To assemble the enchiladas: put about 2 tbsp of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the pan so it covers the bottom completely.
- Put about 1.5-2 tbsp of the veggie/bean mixture in the tortilla and roll it starting from the side furthest from you and repeat until you’re out of tortillas and the filling.
- Put the sauce on top of the enchiladas so it generously covers the enchiladas, then sprinkle the rest of your cheese on top of the enchiladas with green onions and cilantro.
- Bake for about 20-25 minutes on the middle rack, then put them on the upper rack so the cheese bubbles.
- When they are ready, take them out and let them sit for 10 minutes so you don’t burn your mouth. Enjoy some saucy, spicy enchiladas!