This recipe was my first stab at healthy enchiladas.
There have been plenty of times in my life when I helped my dad make this mexican favorite. However, our version was, like most, smothered in so much cheddar that the Kraft Cheesasaurus Rex who floats down a cheese river on a rather frequent basis would be jealous.
Here is a healthy recipe for enchiladas, where creamy avocado sauce substitutes healthy fats for all that dairy.
I have made these several times now. In one version, I used zucchini instead of butternut squash but afterwards concluded that the butternut squash is a necessity. PS most grocery stores have bags of pre cut squash if you don’t want to whack the thing open and dice it yourself. You do you.
The recipe below is the tried and true absolute best ever.
Vegan Avocado and Black Bean Enchiladas
- 5-6 whole wheat tortillas (or plain white flour/GF tortillas)
- enchilada sauce (about 2 1/2 cups worth)
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can or about 2 cups of black beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup chopped butternut squash
- 2 T nutritional yeast (option but recommended…)
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- juice of 1 small lime
- salt/pepper, to taste
- Avocado Cream Sauce (recipe below)
- diced green onion and chopped cilantro (to garnish)
- Begin by cooking the squash. If you’re getting all fancy and you have a whole one, simply peel it, chop it up, and cover and steam for about 7-9 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. If you bought a bag of it pre-chopped, steam/boil it according to package.
- Next, saute the onion in the olive oil over medium to low for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until onion pieces become translucent. Now add in the garlic and reduce heat to low. Cook for a couple more minutes until fragrant. Next add in the bell pepper, cooked squash, black beans, and spinach. Cook another 6-7 minutes.
- Next, squeeze in the lime juice and pour most of the enchilada sauce into the mixture (but save a little for later!) and stir to incorporate all the ingredients. Sauce should be thick but a little runny.
- Now, taste it and see how salty/flavorful/bland it tastes. I am not sure which enchilada sauce you are using so it’s up to you to determine how much of the spices it needs, but you can definitely use the above as a guide. This is where the cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, salt, pepper, nutritional yeast come into play.
- When it’s just right (guess I’m goldilocks now?) take a baking dish large enough to fit 5 or 6 rolled tortillas into it and grease it very lightly. Spread about a cup of the mixture on the bottom of the pan.
- Place one tortilla on a plate and spoon about 3 T of the mixture onto each one. Roll each tortilla up and place it, crease side down, on one end of the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas. You should have extra mixture left. Pour the rest and the remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas and bake for about 25 minutes at 350 degrees. Check after 20 to be safe… tortillas should be slightly browned on top.
- Spread the avocado cream sauce over the enchiladas once they have cooled for about 10 minutes and sprinkle with green onion and cilantro.
Avocado Cream Sauce
- 3/4 cup avocado flesh
- 1/2 cup cilantro
- 1 lime
- 1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar (optional)
- 1 T of water (maybe a little more if you need to thin it out)
- 1/2 tsp salt/pepper, or to taste
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- crushed red chili pepper flakes or cayenne pepper, to taste
- Combine all ingredients in a food processor until a creamy consistency develops. Add more water if it’s too thick. Um…so yeah that’s it.
- If you don’t have a food processor, with (a lot) more patience, you can do this in a blender by stirring and pulsing frequently.
- If you want to try by hand, make sure to mince the cilantro very finely and then just mash all ingredients together. Mixture will look a lot like guacamole and be a chunkier consistency but fear not…the taste remains intact 😉
Recipe adapted from Angela Liddon.