Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Recipe: Fash Black Bean Enchilada

This recipe is from a book called "Whole Grains for Busy People," hence the whole-wheat tortillas. But you don't taste the heft of the tortilla because it's slathered in a tasty salsa. You also have black beans, corn, and lots of other good stuff, which makes it an oxymoron: a healthy & tasty dinner. The less cheese you use, the healthier. But it's a nice addition as a small amount makes everything congeal nicely.

Another thing I like is that I can get most of the pre-made ingredients at Trader Joe's. Specifically, I use their organic black beans, fire-roasted red bell pepper, shredded cheese (though I sometimes buy my preferred cheese and shred as needed), frozen corn, chunky fire-roasted salsa, and hand made whole-wheat tortillas.

I should note that I find this recipe isn't very enchilada-like in terms of flavor since it doesn't use enchilada sauce. The recipe notes that you can use it, but watch for sugar content as enchilada sauces tend to be very sweet.

It's piping hot after 3 minutes in the microwave, but it cools down in a few minutes if you cut it up into small pieces, which is a must for kids. If you don't cut it up, it takes a long time to cool down.

Black Bean Enchiladas
From Whole Grains for Busy People by Lorna Sass

1 ripe, firm Hass avocado, diced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1 can (15 ounce) black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup diced roasted red bell pepper, preferably fire-roasted
1 cup shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
1/2 cup frozen corn
1/3 cup finely chopped red onion
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/4 cups chunky salsa, preferably fire-roasted, plus more to pass at the table
1 medium size tomato (optional - see * below)
4 large whole-wheat tortillas, about 10 inches in diameter
Shredded romaine lettuce and lime wedges, for serving

Toss the avocado in lime juice and sprinkle lightly with salt. Set aside.

To make the filling, in a medium bowl, combine the beans, roasted red pepper, 1/2 cup of the cheese, corn, onion, cilantro, and 1/4 cup of the salsa (see below for non-spicy alternative). Add salt to taste.

Distribute 1/2 cup of filling across the middle of each tortilla. Roll up. Set 2 enchiladas, seam side down, on a microwavable dinner plate. Pour a strip of salsa (or tomato puree*) along the length of each tortilla. Sprinkle with cheese. Repeat to make 2 more enchiladas. Cover lightly with waxed paper to catch splatters. Microwave until heated throughout, about 3 minutes for both of them together.

Alternatively, before sprinkling on the cheese, heat the enchiladas on a nonstick pan, in an oven preheated to 375F for 15 minutes. Sprinkle on the cheese and continue heating until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the enchiladas are piping hot.

To serve, tuck some shredded lettuce under and around the enchiladas. Set some diced avocado to one side and a lime wedge to the other side. Accompany the enchiladas with a bowl of the remaining cup of salsa.

*If you'd like a milder version (e.g., kid-friendly), cut a tomato in half and grate the pulp of both halves into a bowl. Use this instead of 1/4 cup of the salsa. To make a single mild serving, put 1/2 cup of filling in a small bowl, add a tablespoon of the tomato puree, mix to combine.