Meatless Monday: Chipotle and Tomatillo-Sauced Black Bean Enchiladas with Spinach & Red Pepper

March 7, 2011 · 16 comments

in beans and legumes,healthy,mexican/tex-mex,vegetarian

I try to eat as much organic food as I possibly can, but a 100% organic diet is just not feasible right now, cost-wise.  It’s pretty sad, considering both Tom and I work full time and are not the sort of people who buy designer cuff links or go on swanky vacations.  Living in a high cost of living area combined with somewhat exorbitant prices for organics means sacrificing here and there.  In an effort to bring our grocery bill down a bit and make room for being able to buy organic dairy and meat products we do eat (like the grass-fed steaks we enjoyed this weekend), I’m trying hard to incorporate more vegetarian meals into our rotation.  I finally convinced Tom (who’s been complaining about our grocery bill as of late) to do a vegetarian meal each week.  (Just don’t tell him that the last two weeks, it’s been 2 vegetarian meals in a week…he hasn’t noticed, and I plan to stick with it. Shhh.)

Beans are an easy way to do vegetarian.  They’re healthy, have protein, and they’re full of fiber so they fill you up.  I planned on making pretty simple black bean enchiladas, but I had half a bag of baby spinach that needed using up, and by some miracle, red bell peppers were on sale, so I had one of those, too.   The filling for these turned out delicious.  Really flavorful and believe me,  you will not miss the meat.  Beans have a meaty texture as it is, but mashing some of them up, a method I use for our normal black bean side, fools you even more.  Not that you really need to be fooled, because black beans are awesome and so are spinach and red peppers.

I was going to make a standard enchilada sauce for these, but then I remembered how much I loved the chipotle and tomatillo salsa from Rick Bayless.  Also, it was crucial that a chili pepper or two be used in some way, shape, or form in the sauce, considering I didn’t use any in the filling.  I ended up having an extra tomatillo (read: I completely missed it when I was making  the chipotle-tomatillo salsa) so I just diced it up and threw it on top. It was a nice added texture and tang.

These were fabulous.  I loved them for dinner and I might have even loved them more for lunch.  And, come to think of it, they made a pretty great breakfast one morning, too. :)

I promise that some day I will learn to take pictures of things like enchiladas and lasagna, but today is not that day.

 

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanne March 7, 2011 at 5:24 am

I try to do at least one veg meal a week (usually more) as well otherwise I wouldn’t be able to afford to eat ANY meat, let alone organic (although I do go organic). And beans are usually the way to go. With a dish this flavorful I’m sure you don’t even notice the absence of meat! Looks delicious.

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Peter G @ Souvlaki For The Soul March 7, 2011 at 5:35 am

You’re words couldn’t be truer regarding prices of certain organic produce. I too vary my meals with a lot of vegie options. Love what you have done here Elly. I’m a fan of any type of enchilada.

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nina March 7, 2011 at 5:49 am

I love, love this recipe. Elly. I kind of get stuck in a rut for Meatless Monday, this is a new inspiration to me!!

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bellini March 7, 2011 at 7:12 am

I would prefer this veggie version of enchiladas over beef any day. Good for your for going veggie twice a week!

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Joan Nova March 7, 2011 at 7:13 am

Looks delicious…I’ll never tell!

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USA Kiwi March 7, 2011 at 10:02 am

Loving the look/sound of this recipe! We have been eating a lot of beans lately. Im for sure going to try this out!

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natalie March 7, 2011 at 5:32 pm

These look very tasty! I have also recently started talking my husband into a meatless recipe once a week. He’s been carrying it over to not eating meat as much for his lunches either. Looks like my good habits are finally starting to rub off on him!

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Juliana March 7, 2011 at 5:36 pm

Your vegetarian enchilada looks delicious, very nutritious with beans and spinach…hope you have a wonderful week ahead Elly :-)

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Banana Wonder March 8, 2011 at 9:37 am

Loove this recipe Elly – doesn’t even have that much cheese is it so I could modify for Lent. Way to be sneaky about the 2fer non eating meat sessions per week.

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Kelsey March 8, 2011 at 10:17 am

This looks wonderful, Elly! I’ll definitely have to make this for one of my meatless Mondays. Thanks for sharing!

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Maria March 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

My stomach is growling! Seriously, it is! This looks amazing.

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Mestebla March 10, 2011 at 6:35 pm

I made this for dinner tonight and added rice to the bean mixture. My kids all ate it up as fast as they could. Thanks for a great recipe! I’ll definitely be making this again soon!

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elly March 10, 2011 at 7:30 pm

So glad everyone liked them! The rice sounds like a great addition.

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