Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas

by Andie Mitchell on February 1, 2011

black bean and brown rice vegetarian enchiladas

 

 

You may not know this about me, but I eat a mostly vegetarian diet. Yes, I love love love the succulence of a perfectly seared steak, the sweet smokiness of  pulled pork, and the way lamb seems to melt on my tongue after a day of slow cooking, but truthfully I could go days, weeks, even months without ever really missing those tastes.

Day in and day out I eat nuts, seeds, nut butters, beans, tofu, tempeh, and generally anything that would make my mother cringe. Oh, and cheese. Lovely, lovely cheese. And butter. It’s my sustaining life force here in Seattle.

 

vegetarian enchiladas

 

In fact, if it weren’t for this blog and my nagging urge to diversify the dishes I share with all of you, I wonder how often I’d really buy or make chicken. I wonder how often I’d share cake for breakfast. Pie for lunch. Trade water for hot cocoa.

I know that there are volumes to be written about the merits of going without meat even once a week. The impact on health, wealth, and the environment. But I’ll let others write those pages. Sometimes I wonder if we haven’t missed at least one aspect of the point behind letting go of meat-centricity. What if instead of praising our smaller carbon footprint and going easy on our arteries, we simply said, “Hey, did anyone realize that plant-based dishes can be different and absolutely delicious?” The point being that we don’t need to find the reason why we’re stepping out of the box, but instead the reason why we’ve limited our culinary creativity in the name of tradition. Not the why, but the why not?

 

black bean and brown rice enchiladas

 

I get that kobe beef will always taste as luscious as butter and that turkey, carved on Thanksgiving, will be nostalgically and physically satisfying. But the frontier for vegetable exploration is still fairly unsettled in my book. Who says lentils aren’t as lovable? Grilled portobello mushrooms as “mmm” inducing? Well, no one.

I’ve experimented up a storm. A few failures of note. A few, “Let’s never try this again.” The hard part isn’t pleasing my palate, but the one belonging to my boyfriend, Daniel. Convincing him that tofu isn’t a savory marshmallow has been grueling. Perhaps trickery was involved. A wink as I placed the top bun on our “burgers.” Fingers crossed behind my back while presenting a bowl of chili missing the carne. Whatever white lies I may or may not have told have been worthwhile. Our kitchen now is a much more adventurous place. And not just because I have a penchant for throwing pots and pans and swearing.

Daniel is totally in love with these enchiladas. They’re one of the few vegetarian dishes that he requests all the time. And I hope Sandra Lee will forgive me for stealing her thunder, but…they’re sort of semi-homemade. Delicious and eeeeeeeaaaasssssyyyy to boot.

A few recommendations: Never buy enchilada sauce again; it’s completely unnecessary when salsa is a world more flavorful and the chunkiness adds such great texture. And you must embrace those packets of taco seasoning, as long as they’re a kind that doesn’t have 57 tablespoons of MSG and funky ingredients galore. Trader Joe’s makes a fabulous version. Also, Mexican blend cheese is tasty tasty tasty.

Dinner is served.

 

black bean and brown rice vegetarian enchiladas

black bean and rice enchiladas

In a large bowl, stir together 2 cups brown rice, 1 can of black beans, a bag of defrosted pepper strips, 1 packet taco seasoning (I recommend the one from Trader Joe’s because it’s got a short, identifiable ingredient list), and 3/4 cup medium salsa. Mix well.

black bean and brown rice enchiladas

black bean and brown rice enchiladas

Lay your tortillas on a clean work surface and divide the rice and bean mixture evenly among the center of each tortilla.

black bean and brown rice enchiladas

Roll the tortillas tightly and place, side by side, into a greased casserole dish with salsa covering the bottom. Some of the filled tortillas may have to fit horizontally. Spread remaining 1 1/4 cups salsa evenly over the top of the casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.

black bean and brown rice enchiladas

Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serve with sour cream and hot sauce!

Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas

serves 6

2 cups cooked brown rice

1, 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 16oz bag frozen pepper strips, thawed and drained of excess water, or 3 cups sauteed peppers

1 packet taco seasoning

2 1/2 cups medium salsa, divided

12, 6” flour tortillas

1 ½ cups shredded Mexican blend cheese, divided

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a large, 13×9″ casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1/2 cup salsa all over the bottom of the dish.

In a large bowl, stir together rice, black beans, peppers, taco seasoning, and 3/4 cup salsa. Mix well. Lay your tortillas on a clean work surface and divide the rice and bean mixture evenly among them. Roll the tortillas tightly and place, side by side, into the prepared casserole dish. Some of the filled tortillas may have to fit horizontally. Spread remaining 1 1/4 cups salsa evenly over the top of the casserole dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for about 18-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted.

Nutrition info for 1 serving:

Calories: 491.8, Fat: 15.1g, Fiber: 9.6g, Sugars: 2.6g, Protein: 19.6g

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

RUTH DUNFEE-LASH July 15, 2011 at 8:04 pm

JUST FOUND THIS AND WILL TRY MAKING THIS TASTY SOUNDING
DISH NEXT WEEK. REALLY, REALLY SOUNDS LIKE THE TEENAGERS WILL ENJOY THE PICK-UP MEAL.

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benefits of black bean October 27, 2012 at 10:40 am

Thank you a bunch for sharing this with all people you really recognize what you’re talking about! Bookmarked. Kindly additionally visit my web site =). We will have a link alternate agreement among us

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Debbie October 14, 2013 at 5:47 am

I just found you blog about 4 am and have not stopped reading it. I saw this recipe and I am one who can do without meat in my meals and this looks very appetizing to me. I know I will have to have a meat as a side with this meal for the men in my house but I will be happy to have only this. Thank you for your wonderful blog and your honesty. I also suffer with depression and fibromyalgia which is greatly effected by stress. Thank God I am not a compulsive eater but with all the meds I am on I have added many pounds. Most days I am not mobile. In June my depression really kicked in and has not ended with the loss of my only son at the age of 36. I found that I am not hungry and most times only eat 1 meal a day and can not finish it in one seating. But I also loved the motivation that your mom & you have given me to try to loose some weigh if my meds do not jeopardize it.

I will continue reading your blog from this day forward. <3

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