Stacked Enchiladas

Stacked Enchiladas ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

Earlier this month I signed up on a meal train to bring dinner to some friends who recently had a baby. They’re also vegetarians which made it easy for me- I always stress about what to prepare for meat eaters! I made these staked enchiladas for myself first to test them out and was so pleased with how tasty and flavorful they were. Homemade enchilada sauce is perfect in here, but if you’re tight on time you can certainly use the canned stuff.

These stacked enchiladas have all the awesome flavor of regular enchiladas, but take a fraction of the time to put together since there’s no need to tediously roll each tortilla. This dish also refrigerates well if you want to make it ahead of time. It might take a few extra minutes in the oven, but the flavor and texture will still be great.

Stacked Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 cup corn
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 1 cup red enchilada sauce (or more as you prefer)
  • 8-10 small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and saute for about 2 minutes. Add the red pepper and continue cooking until the onion is soft and translucent. Remove from heat.
  3. In a large bowl, combine the cooked onion and red pepper with the black beans, corn, cumin, chili powder, garlic and jalapeno.
  4. Spread a very thin layer of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking pan, I used a 9 x 9 inch pan. Add a layer of tortillas, cutting them as necessary to achieve an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Top with 1/2 of the bean mixture and 1/3 of the cheese. Add another layer of tortillas and spread the tortillas with enchilada sauce. Add the remaining bean mixture and another 1/3 of the cheese. Top with more tortillas, enchilada sauce, and the remaining cheese.
  5. Cover the pan with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking for another 10 minutes until the cheese melts. Allow the enchiladas to cool at room temperature for about 10 minutes before serving.
Makes: About 4 servings
Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod

Red Enchilada Sauce

Enchilada Sauce ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

I love Mexican food, partially because it’s so vegetarian friendly- lots of beans, rice, and veggies, but also because of the spices and flavors that are used. I just started making my own enchilada sauce this summer and I’m so glad I did. As with most things homemade, it’s significantly tastier than the stuff from the grocery store, and it isn’t filled with lots of weird preservatives.

Make sure you buy good quality chili powder, it provides most of the flavor in the sauce. Depending on the brand you get your sauce might turn out fairly bright red, or a more reddish-brown like mine. Either way it’ll be great for enchiladas, as a dressing over a Tex-Mex style salad, or as a dip with chips and veggies.

Red Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients

  • 4 tbl. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 2 tbl. vegetable oil
  • 2 tbl. flour
  • 2 cups vegetable broth
Directions
  1. In a small bowl, combine the chili powder, garlic powder, salt, cumin, and oregano.
  2. Heat the oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and stir for one minute. Add the spices and stir to combine. Gradually pour in the broth whisking constantly to keep it smooth and lump free. Simmer for about 10 minutes until thick.
  3. Use immediately or refrigerate for up to 2 weeks.
Makes: About 2 cups
Source: Gimme Some Oven

Mexican Lasagna

Mexican Lasagna ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

It seems like beans are a staple item in most vegetarian’s diets and that is definitely true for me. Some of my favorite dishes on this blog center around black beans like the Spicy Black Bean SoupBlack Bean Burgers, and the Southwestern Salad. And, after making this lasagna last weekend and eating the leftovers for a few nights I can confidently say that this is yet another black bean dish that I’ll be eating on a regular basis!

The prep-work for this lasagna is minimal. Mince some garlic, shred a little (or a lot!) of cheese and stir some beans and spices together and you’re basically done. This is also a great dish to prepare ahead of time. Once the layers are assembled just cover it tightly and refrigerate until you’re ready to cook.

Mexican Lasagna

Ingredients

  • 15 oz. black beans, drained
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 4 green onions, chopped
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 28 oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained (some liquid will remain, that’s fine)
  • 9-12 no-boil lasagna noodles
  • 8 oz. shredded Mexican blend cheese, I used half pepper jack and half monterey blend)
Directions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees and have a 9 x 9 in pan nearby.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the black beans, corn, green onions, oregano, cumin, garlic, and salt.
  3. Spread a thin layer of tomatoes on the bottom of a 9 x 9 pan. Layer with 3-4 noodles. On top of the noodles, spread about 1/3 of the bean mixture. Layer with 1/4 of the remaining tomatoes and 1/4 of the shredded cheese. Repeat the layers two more times. For the final layer, use noodles, tomatoes and cheese.
  4. Cover tightly with foil and bake for about 35-45 minutes until the noodles are tender. Remove the foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until the cheese is melted and lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let stand for at least 10 minutes before slicing and serving.
Makes: 4-6 servings
Adapted from Annie’s Eats

Corn Tortillas

Corn Tortillas ~ Annie's Cooking Lab

The other day the grocery was out of corn tortillas and on a whim I decided to look online to see what was involved with making them. I expected it to be a complicated process, but it’s super easy and the end result tastes so much better than the store-bought variety. I’m not sure I’ve ever had home-made tortillas before, but I’m definitely a convert.

It would be easy to scale down the recipe for a smaller number of tortillas, but for your first time I would recommend making the recipe as written. It isn’t difficult, but there is a bit of a learning curve to getting the tortillas rolled thin enough and not tearing them while trying to transfer the tortilla off the waxed paper and onto the skillet. I messed up the first two, but after a couple of practice tortillas it was smooth and easy!

Corn Tortillas

Ingredients

  • 2 cups masa harina corn flour (I used Bob’s Red Mill)
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 1/2-2 cups hot water
Directions
  1. Combine the masa harina corn flour and salt. Slowly pour in 1 1/2 cups of hot water and stir to combine. Add additional water as necessary to achieve dough that has a firm consistency but isn’t dry or sticky. Cover the dough and allow to rest for an hour.
  2. Heat a skillet or griddle over medium heat. Divide the dough into 2-inch balls (I used a medium cookie dough scoop for this) press the dough between two sheets of waxed paper to form a 6 inch disk. You can use a rolling-pin or the bottom of a plate to press the dough. Gently separate the dough from the waxed paper and transfer to the hot skillet. Cook for about 1 minute until the bottom of the tortilla is lightly brown, flip and cook the other side for another 30 seconds.
  3. Transfer the finished tortilla to a plate and cover with a kitchen towel to keep the tortilla warm while you finish cooking the rest of the tortillas. Add your favorite fillings to the finished tortillas and enjoy!
Makes: About 12 tortillas
Source: Bob’s Red Mill

Vegetable Fajitas

My mom and brother both came to town over the weekend to attend my graduation ceremony. I know that families usually go out to eat the night of graduation, but we decided to stay home and cook a delicious meal ourselves and skip the crowds. Vegetable fajitas are one of my favorite dinners and this was the perfect meal to enjoy out in the backyard after graduation!

It was so much fun having my family stay with Boom and I for a few days. My mom and brother each brought a dog along with them, so my little house was bursting at the seams with the extra people and canines, but we had a great time. Many more great recipes from the weekend will be on the way!

Vegetable Fajitas

Ingredients

  • 1 tbl. olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and sliced
  • 1 red pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 yellow pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 15oz. can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 flour or corn tortillas
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  • Guacamole
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream
Directions
  1. Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat then add the carrots and saute for a minute. Add the onions and stir until slightly translucent. Stir in the red and yellow peppers, and cook for about 2 minutes. Add the black beans to the vegetables and cook until the beans are hot but the vegetables are still crunchy.
  2. To heat the tortillas, wrap them in a paper towel and microwave for one minute. Or, if you like them crispy, you can heat a skillet with a teaspoon of olive oil. Wipe the skillet with the oil to lightly coat it, then cook the tortilla for about 30 seconds on each side to heat it up, then fold in half to give it some shape while you cook the next tortilla.
  3. Serve with cheese, sour cream, guacamole and/or salsa.
Makes: 4-6 servings
Source: Original Recipe

Tortilla Soup

Whenever I have a busy week coming up, I always make a big batch of soup on Sunday evening. Soup re-heats really well and that way I have delicious, healthy meals all week without having to put much thought or time into it. One problem I have with a lot of broth based soups is they aren’t very filling, but this Tortilla Soup is full of beans and vegetables so that isn’t an issue here.

The first time I made this recipe I used the original variety of Ro-Tel which turned out too spicy for me, but I’m a bit of a wuss when it comes to spice tolerance. The next time around I used the mild variety and that was the perfect amount of heat for me. Feel free to use the original, or even the hot variety if you’re brave! If your batch turns out spicier than you’d like, try mixing some sour cream or plain Greek yogurt into it, that’ll help cut down the heat.

Tortilla Soup

Ingredients

  • 2 cans (10 oz. each) Ro-Tel
  • 1 can black beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained
  • 1 can kidney beans (15 oz.), rinsed and drained
  • 1 can corn (15 oz.), drained
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1 packet (1.25 oz.) taco seasoning
  • Tortilla chips
  • Sour cream
  • Shredded cheese
Directions
  1. Add the Ro-Tel, black beans, kidney beans, corn, onion, broth and taco seasoning to a crockpot and stir to combine. Cook over high heat for 5 hours, or low heat for 8 hours.
  2. Serve with tortilla chips, sour cream and shredded cheese. Enjoy!
Makes: About 6 servings
Adapted from Miller Musings

Southwestern Salad

I eat a lot of salads for dinner, they’re delicious and healthy and they don’t require much effort when I get home from a long day. One of the things I struggle with when I have salads is that they usually aren’t very filling, especially if you’re going vegetarian and not including any sort of meat. This southwestern salad is is a great solution to that, the beans add some protein and they also help you feel like you’ve had a real meal, not just a super-sized side salad. This has so much flavor from the beans, onions, salsa and guacamole that I don’t think a salad dressing is necessary, but feel free to use one if you’d like!

Southwestern Salad

Ingredients

  • baby spinach (or other salad greens of your choice)
  • 1 can black beans
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 tbp. olive oil
  • salsa
  • shredded cheese (optional)
  • guacamole
Directions
  1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan, when it’s hot add the onions and cook them over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until they start to become soft but still have some texture. Add the beans and cook until they are warm. Add salsa to taste.
  2. Place a layer of spinach on a dinner plate followed by a few spoonfuls of the bean and onion mixture and the guacamole. Add another spinach layer on add with more beans and guacamole. Top with cheese and/or salad dressing if desired.
Makes: 2 large salads

Guacamole

Most guacamole recipes I see call for all kinds of spices and extra ingredients, but I think that when it comes to guacamole, the simpler the better. With just a few ingredients, the flavor of the avocado and lime can really shine through. This guac is great with chips and salsa, on fajitas, salads, etc.

A few thoughts about this recipe

  • I prefer to use a sweet onion, but any type will work
  • To store the guacamole, put it in a bowl or plastic container and press a sheet of plastic wrap down tightly against the surface of the guac to prevent air from touching it, this will minimize the amount of browning that will occur. Using this method I can usually keep the guac for up to 2 days.
Guacamole
Ingredients
  • 2 avocados
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 1/3 c chopped onion
  •  1 t coarse salt (to taste)
Directions
  1. Remove the pit and peel from the avocados (the easiest way to do this is to cut the avocado in half and then scrape out the inside). In a bowl, mash the avocado with a fork or pastry cutter until it reaches your desired consistency. I prefer mine fairly chunky, but you can mash it smoother if you’d like.
  2. Add the lime juice, chopped onion, and salt. Stir to combine.