This time last year we decided we wanted to eat less meat, we didn’t want to go full on vegetarian because we still like to eat meat occasionally and God help anyone you comes between my daughter and her bacon sandwich! We just wanted to cut back, make more use of all the veggies I always seem to over buy and eat more beans and lentils too. So it went well, we all have our favourite veggie meals and we even had a couple of weeks a month were we went full on veggie, these weeks were always planned and we enjoyed them but they were never a naturally occurring event. Until last week…
Most weeks I write a meal plan for the week, list the meals and then do the grocery shopping accordingly. If we are all around at the time I usually ask which meals everyone would like. Last week was one of those weeks, but a funny thing happened, all the meals that made the list were veggie based meals! This is a first for us as usually my daughter puts in a request for fish tacos, but not this week, this week we went full on vegetarian! Without even thinking about it! Now, this is not to say that we are now vegetarian, it just means that after a year of making an effort to cook better veggie based meals it has worked. Not that I’m on a secret mission to turn my family into vegetarians, I’m not, I just wanted to squeeze more veggies and more beans and lentils into our diets. Why? Because it’s good for us!!
The list of veggie meals that we have on a regular basis has grown slowly but steadily over the past year and these spinach and black bean enchiladas have been one of our favourites, especially with my daughter who seems to have a developed a deep love for Mexican food! Don’t ask me why, she has never been to Mexico and has only ever been to one Mexican restaurant, but I think it’s because tacos and fajitas are more fun, she gets to build her own tacos, kids like eating with their hands, it’s a bit messy and anything messy is fun when your 10 I guess 😉 I never go too far with the spices and the heat when I make this, but I am slowly increasing the heat a teeny bit every time and she likes it. We have had some disasters though, like the time when I added too much chilli and I was the only one who could take the heat! That didn’t deter her though, and yes I still hear about it!
These spinach and black bean enchiladas started out from a recipe I found on BBC GoodFood, these Chicken and Bean Enchiladas, and I have adapted that recipe quite a bit it over time. Now, there is an unwritten rule in food blogging that if you change 3 ingredients of a recipe you make it your own, and I agree with that to a certain extent but I also think it is a little bit flaky to share a recipe with you and not explain where the inspiration came from or how I adapted the recipe. Every single recipe (apart from cakes) I have made from either cookbooks or blogs, I have adapted to suit our own tastes, that doesn’t mean I have developed a new recipe! So I’m always going to tell you where the inspiration has come from.
So these enchiladas are super easy to make and I have kept the original method of not cooking the sauce before hand, this saves time and is perfect for a weeknight dinner like this one. I’ve added chipotle paste to the sauce to give it a smoky flavour, I went with 1/4 of a teaspoon so as not to burn anyone’s mouth off! But if you have older kids or like more heat go with 1/2 – 1 teaspoon of chipotle paste. I also served this with chopped avocado, spring onions, and sliced Jalapeno peppers (for me) but you could leave these out if you wish. Traditionally enchiladas are served with rice but these are quite filling so we just have them on their own.
This is a great weeknight dinner, it’s fairly quick to make especially with the no cook sauce. It’s super tasty, satisfying and comforting and even meat lovers will enjoy it. Just a note on the tortillas, I use whole wheat tortillas, you can go with corn or plain flour if you like. Some recipes suggest griddling the tortillas before you fill them, I’ve tried this a few times and actually find that the end result is softer without the griddling. However if you want to give that a go, heat a griddle pan to high then cook each tortilla both sides for a couple of minutes, wrap them in a kitchen towel to keep them warm. Enjoy x
Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas
- FOR THE SAUCE:
- 400 ml passata
- 2 cloves of garlic , minced
- 1 slightly heaped tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 1 tsp castor sugar
- 1/4 tsp chipotle chili paste
- FOR THE FILLING
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 yellow onion (140g), sliced
- 1 fat clove of garlic minced
- 1/2 red chilli pepper , finely chopped
- 1/2 a red pepper and 1/2 a green pepper (80g each), cut into thin strips
- 1 small bunch of fresh coriander , leaves removed and stalks chopped, ave some leaves for serving
- 1 x 400g can black beans
- 1 x 165g can of sweetcorn
- 80 g spinach
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground coriander
- 150 ml passata
- 8 small whole wheat tortillas
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- A small pinch of sea salt
- 75 g grated cheddar cheese
- 2 tbs sour cream
- To serve: more coriander leaves , chopped avocado, chopped spring onions, lime wedges, chopped jalapeno peppers, optional.
Make the sauce - add passata to a bowl, add the garlic, spices, chipotle paste and sugar and stir, set aside until you are ready to use it.
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, I use a fan assisted oven please adjust to your own oven.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large pan, add the onion and cook over a medium heat for about 5 minutes until the onions are a little softened. Then add the peppers, red chilli, coriander stalks and garlic and cook for about 5 minutes. It shouldn't, but if you feel the mixture has dried a little add a tablespoon or two of water.
Now add the spices, stir and cook for about a minute or two, then add the spinach. Wait for the spinach to wilt down a bit then add the reserved passata, black pepper, sea salt and coriander leaves stir well and cook for about 5 minutes.
Pour most of the sauce into a large baking dish, keeping back about 4 tablespoons.
Divide the bean and spinach mixture between the tortillas, roll up the tortillas and place in the baking tray.
Pour the remaining sauce over the middle of the tortillas, top with the sour cream, and grated cheese. Bake in the oven for 25 - 30 minutes until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted.
Remove from the oven and let it sit for a few minutes before serving.
Serve with chopped avocado, slices of jalapeno peppers, chopped spring onions, lime wedges and coriander leaves.
This time last year on The Last Food Blog – Garlic & Herb Mini Hasselback Potatoes