Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Happy 30th + Yummy Enchiladas

This is the beginning of my 30th birthday present to my sister. I wanted to give her something special and something more substantial than your average sisterly birthday gift. Thirty is after all a big rite of passage and milestone into the true throes of adulthood in our culture. I thought and thought about what to get her, but nothing felt right. July 11th came and went, and I still had nothing. She was to be at my house on July 14th for a two week visit and I needed to have the perfect gift when she arrived. But the combination of being 8 months pregnant, having a two-year-old to wrangle and well, just not feeling all that creative left me empty handed.

So I made pie.

A cherry pie to be exact. That's what I do when all else fails--I make food. The sad part is, the pie was horrible. But it's the thought that counts, right?

To make myself and my sister feel better after eating such horrible pie, my husband and I took my sister out for birthday dinner and gave her one of those cheesy homemade coupons that said "good for a birthday shopping trip with your sister." Not exactly the heartfelt gift I wanted to give.

A few days passed, and I reminded her that we still needed to nip this birthday thing in the bud. So I just asked her point blank, "What do you want for your birthday? And don't say something lame. What do you really want?"

She thought for a few minutes and said, "I want you to write down your best recipes and give them to me. Also, I want to know how to eat healthy. I want to know what you do to make that happen for your family."

Now that's a gift I can give. A meaningful gift. A big, straight-from-the-heart gift. So happy 30th birthday, Marie! Here is the start of your year of good, healthy recipes with a bit of advice on food from yours truly. I love you and thank you for being honest enough to ask for something you really want for your birthday. I hope this collection of recipes helps you acquire a love for good, healthy wholesome food.

Now on to the first recipe:

Black Bean & Spinach Enchiladas (Chicken optional)

2 tbsp canola oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pint mushrooms, chopped
1 can organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can Muir Glen diced fire roasted tomatoes (to add a bit of spice get the kind with green chile's added)
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp salt
2 tsp paprika and/or chili powder
2-3 big handfuls of prewashed baby spinach
enough canola oil to coat a skillet
10-12 corn tortillas
red enchilada sauce
1-2 cups shredded cheese

Heat 2 tbsp of canola oil on medium high heat in a large saute pan. Once the oil is heated, add chopped onion and garlic. Saute until onion is translucent. Add spices and stir. Add black beans and tomatoes and let this mixture heat through then add the mushrooms and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Add spinach and turn off heat. Make sure to stir in the spinach thoroughly.

Coat the bottom of a small cast iron skillet with a bit of canola oil and set the heat to medium low. Once the pan is hot, heat a tortilla on each side so that it is pliable enough to roll without breaking. Set the tortilla in a 9 x 13 glass baking dish and spoon about 1/4 - 1/2 cup of enchilada filling into the tortilla. Roll and place in dish. See pictures below:

Once all 10-12 enchiladas are in the pan, pour enchilada sauce over top and sprinkle with cheese. Bake in 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes until sauce is bubbling on the sides and tortillas are slightly browned.

You can add leftover store bought rotisserie chicken too! But it's good as a vegetarian dish as well. Also, the first picture of the enchiladas above is shown with goat cheese before baking. We made it this way last night for Aidan and I wouldn't necessarily recommend it unless you love goat cheese or if you are trying to avoid cow's milk. Let me know how yours turns out!


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