Friday, June 3, 2011

Throwback Thursday: Black Bean Casserole in Enchilada form

As you may recall, my Throwback Thursdays are a new addition to 2011 blogging where I attempt to dedicate my Thursday night meals to a previous recipe post. It was a way to resurface old recipes but what I found was that it has become more of a way to reinvent them.

Initially, I had a meeting scheduled for this evening so I had not intended to cook dinner. Meeting fell through, so I needed a meal plan. I first looked at Gina's blog and found a Zucchini Enchilada recipe - it looked intriguing, so thought I'd try it out. Reading it though, I thought about the Black Bean Tortilla Casserole I made from Cara's Cravings blog and how much we loved that. From there, this recipe was born. I decided to take parts of that dish and make it into an enchilada version.

This is a fun one, but tailored more for the adventurous eaters. However, my advice to you - if you know you are feeding picky-ish palates, just don't tell them what you are serving. That's how my friend Julie got me to love the inspiration for this dish in the first place - she made the casserole for us and just served it, no questions asked until after a few bites. It was awesome and I had to know how she made it. Simply seeing it in a magazine somewhere, I don't think I would have gravitated to it on my own.You don't like bell pepper? No prob, can't tell it's in there. Hate onions? You would not know one bit. You kinda have to like squash, that one is a prominent bite.

Here's my reinvented dish for this Thursday's throwback edition, black bean zucchini enchiladas.

Grocery List:
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced (I chose yellow this time because it is summery and sweet!)
  • 1 zucchini squash, chopped (I tried to make small bitesize bits that would fit well in an enchilada bite)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Cumin
  • Chili powder 
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (I used 3/4 can for the enchiladas and the 1/4 of the can for my salad)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes and chipotle peppers (tomatoes with green chilies work too - I only used 1/2 can for this and saved the other 1/2 for the enchilada sauce creation)
  • 2 oz. cream cheese
  • Whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup tomato sauce (I used Hunts from a can)
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp. adobo sauce (to turn up the heat just a bit)
  • Low fat Mexican Cheese blend
Start by heating your oven to 400 degrees and a skillet on medium-high. Add the onions to begin sauteing, followed by the yellow bell pepper. Cook for about 5 minutes until veggies are softened.

Add the zucchini and garlic. Cover and let cook to soften the zucchini, but frequently stir to prevent garlic and onion from burning.

Start shaking it to your hearts content - the cumin and chili powder that is. Grind a little salt and pepper for good measure. Stir it all together to coat the veggies the best you can to really pack in the punch of flavor.

Now add 1/2 the can of tomatoes/peppers and 3/4 can of the black beans. Nom, nom, nom.

I cut up 3 cubes of low fat cream cheese, let the heat melt it and mix it together to form a creamy consistency. I then added two more small slices because I wanted too.
Creamy....perfect enchilada filling

As I waited for the cream cheese to soften and stir in, I went ahead and started my red enchilada sauce. In a medium sauce pan, add the other 1/2 can of the diced tomatoes/peppers with 1 cup tomato sauce. Let simmer on medium heat. Next add 1 tsp. of adobo sauce (from a chili peppers in adobo can), 1/4 cup cilantro and another small chunk of cream cheese to assist with the creamy texture. (If you are measuring your chunks right, you will have now used 2 oz. of cream cheese, roughly 1/4 of the bar)

Line your casserole dish with the sauce - if you feel that you need more sauce for the size of your dish, add the additional tomato sauce to the pot, mix with the rest and you're set.

Grabbing a wheat tortilla, add about 3-4 spoonfuls, roll and place seam-side down in your baking dish.

Top the enchiladas with the remainder of your sauce...

And smother it in a mexi-blend cheese with some fresh cilantro. Pop it in the oven for about 10-12 minutes.

As the enchiladas were becoming perfect in the oven, I whipped up a simple Mexi-Texi Salad using romaine lettuce, diced bits of a Roma tomato (my preference), the remainder of my black beans, sweet yellow corn, diced chunks from 1 avocado and tossed it all together in a fat-free smoky chipotle ranch. Yum.

When the timer dings, check your 'ladas. I tried to make that word work. I don't think it did... yet I don't delete. Remove from the oven and inhale, yummm and exhale sigh out.

Dish it out and serve it up. Your taste buds will be singing, it is just packed with flavor, your tummy will be full and happy. Happy dining, friends!

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