Uhhh hey Monday. Life is getting the best of me these days. But it’s CINCO DE MAYO tomorrow so I think we’re all in dire need of a few margaritas and some feel good Mexican-inspired food, don’t you think?
Tomorrow it’s supposed to rain, but I’m dying to meet one of my best girlfriends for drinks and some authentic mexican food here in Chicago. You’d be surprised by how many good places there are and I’m in desperate need to get out there and do some more exploring of my favorite cuisine. If you have any recommendations, I’d greatly appreciate them.
While I realized Mexican food isn’t geared towards vegetarians, I wanted to create something with delicious flavors for all my vegetarian eaters out there. Meat has been the last thing on my mind lately, and it’s always nice being able to take advantage of seasonal, fresh veggies at the local farmer’s market. I highly recommend checking one out near where you live; you can’t beat the prices and much of their produce is organic or made without pesticides. WIN!
I picked up a few of my favorite veggies from a market down the street and decided to roast them with some chili powder, cumin, oregano, olive oil and salt and pepper. I wasn’t really quite sure where I wanted to take this recipe, but decided that a casserole tortilla pie seemed delicious and easier than rolling everything up into tortillas. Just layer, repeat, then bake. Sometimes simple things turn out to be the most delicious.
I remember when my Mom used to make enchiladas for me as a kid, she always used refried beans in the filling; you know how they get all warm and creamy when you heat them up? Well, just imagine them in a tortilla smothered with melty cheese and enchilada sauce.
SUCH good comfort food.
Another wonderful perk to this dish? You can use whatever veggies you have available to you. Plus you also get to make a homemade enchilada sauce, which might turn out to be your favorite thing to put on eggs, tacos, burritos, etc. It’s wonderfully spiced and made without any cornstarch, flour or other weird ingredients you find on store labels. Yasssssssss.
I don’t know about you, but I’m ready to hunker down with this, tortilla chips, some guac and maybe a margarita or two.
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- Serves: 6 servings
- Serving size: 1/6th of recipe
- Calories: 356
- Fat: 12.8g
- Carbohydrates: 46.9g
- Sugar: 11.6g
- Fiber: 15.5g
- Protein: 18.1g
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
- 2 bell peppers, seeds removed and diced
- 1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped
- 1 zucchini, sliced in half and quartered
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- pinch of cayenne pepper, if you like some heat
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- For the enchilada sauce:
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, finely diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 1 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 3 cups tomato sauce
- 2/3 cup water
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 (15 oz) can vegetarian refried black beans (any kind will work)
- 4 low carb or whole grain tortillas
- 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese
- Toppings, if desired: avocado/guacamole, cilantro, hot sauce
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Add all veggies to a large bowl and drizzle olive oil on top. Sprinkle chili powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper on top. Use your hands to toss the veggies to evenly distribute the spices and oil. Dump veggies onto a large baking sheet and evenly spread out to the edges. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes. Once done roasting, reduce oven heat to 350 degrees F.
- While the veggies are roasting, prepare the enchilada sauce: In a large saucepan or skillet, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add in onions and cook, stirring frequently until they become translucent, about 5 mins. Add in garlic, chili powder, cumin, and oregano and cook for 30 more seconds. Add in tomato sauce and water; stir well to combine. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer sauce for 20 minutes or until thickened up a bit. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Spray a 2 quart circular dish, cake pan or spring foam pan with nonstick cooking spray. Add 1/2 cup enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan and add a tortilla, spread about 1/2 cup of refried beans on the tortilla then top 1/4 of the roasted veggies, add 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce then sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese on top. Repeat 3 more layers, then pour remaining enchilada sauce on top with remaining cheese.
- Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until cheese is melted and a little golden around the edges. Let the casserole sit for 5-10 minutes before serving. I love topping mine with avocado or guac, cilantro and a little hot sauce. Serves 6.
To make gluten free: Use corn tortillas instead. You may need to layer them a bit and use a few more since corn tortillas are typically much smaller. Check out this recipe as an example of how to layer them.
Feel free to use whatever vegetables you have on hand, this is great for mixing and matching. Corn would be delicious as well as any seasonal squash during the winter months.