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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Vegetable Enchiladas

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As time goes on, I have found that many of my friendships have changed over the years. I have developed friendships at work, my church friends are practically family, and I have, nerdy or not, "met" a lot of people through this blog that I also consider friends. Through it all, however, I have stayed friends with a few core groups of people, including a handful of girls from high school as well as a few girls from college.

The week before Christmas I had the chance to have a few of my best college girlfriends over for dinner. Although three of the four of us still live in the St. Louis area, it's near impossible for us to coordinate our crazy schedules and I don't see them as often as I'd like. Settling in for an evening of chatting, I was reminded just how thankful I am for these three friends. I truly believe the college years are pivotal, or at least were for me, in who you become as a person. These were the girls who were on that journey with me...the girls who held me when my heart was broken, forced me to shut the textbooks when I got too caught up in school, and taught me the ropes when I-the baby of the group-finally turned twenty-one.

Our night together a few weeks ago was more about the company than the food, but these enchiladas did not go unnoticed. I intended to add chicken to the vegetable mixture but skipped it when realized I only had one tiny chicken breast. Even without meat, these were perfectly filling. Making enchilada sauce from scratch (super easy!) was definitely worth it. I actually had enough filling to make a 9 x 13 pan plus 2 other small pans. I froze them all and baked them straight from the freezer before I wanted to serve, which worked out perfectly. (Note--to freeze, I covered in foil and an airtight lid. I baked at 375F for about an hour with the foil on top)

Here's to good food AND good friends!

One Year Ago: Portobello Mushroom and Almond Pesto Lasagna (one of my favorite pasta dishes to date!)
Two Years Ago: Raspberry and Amaretto Trifle

Chicken and Vegetable Enchiladas
adapted from Dishing the Divine

for the sauce-
-1 tsp canola oil
-1 onion, finely chopped
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-2-3 tbsp chili powder
-2 tsp ground cumin
-2 tsp sugar
-2 (8 oz) cans tomato sauce
-1/2-3/4 cup water
-salt and pepper

for the filling-
-1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
-1 tbsp canola oil
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 red or yellow bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
-1 zucchini, halved lengthwise, seeded and chopped
-1 cup frozen corn
-3 cloves garlic, minced
-1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce (above), divided
-1 cup crumbled feta cheese
-1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
-1/4 cup drained chopped canned green chiles
-salt & pepper

for assembly-
-12 (6 inch) corn tortillas
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-lime wedges, for serving

1. To make the sauce, heat the oil over medium-high heat in a saucepan. Add onion, cooking until soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in the garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, cooking about 30 seconds (until fragrant).
2. Add the tomato sauce and water. Bring got a simmer and cook until thickened (about 5 minutes). Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
3. Preheat the oven to 450F. Mash half of the black beans in a bowl until smooth. Set aside. Heat oil over medium-high in a saucepan. Add onion and pepper, cooking until softened slightly (5-7 minutes). Add the zucchini and corn, cooking an additional 3-5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cooked chicken, cooking just until fragrant (about 30 seconds).
4. Add the mashed and remaining whole beans and cook until warmed through (about 2 minutes).
5. In a large bowl, stir the veggie mixture in with 1/2 cup enchilada sauce, feta, cilantro, and green chilies. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Warm tortillas in the microwave for a few seconds to make them easier to roll. Place 1/3 cup of filling in the center of each tortilla. Roll tightly and place, seam side down, in a 9x13 pan. Top with 1 cup sauce, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 10 minutes, until enchiladas are heated through. Remove foil and continue baking until cheese melts (3-5 more minutes). Sprinkle with additional feta and cilantro if desired. Serve warm with lime wedges.