Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas

A couple nights ago, my mom opened the pantry cupboard, pulled out the hatch chili powder I brought her back from New Mexico and said "you need to make enchiladas." Being the creative, obliging and indentured daughter that I am, I went ahead and concocted this delicious enchilada recipe for the following evening. It was actually perfect because I've been looking for a recipe to try Daiya's new pepper jack blend (which I happily discovered at New Seasons last week) and this was just the ticket!

I used tofu in addition to the black beans and spinach, but you could also use sweet potatoes, zucchini or butternut squash; it's all a matter of what is accessible. I wanted the extra protein kick and I haven't been cooking with tofu very much lately, so tofu it was!

Whatever filling blend you decide on to compliment the spinach and black beans, the spices are what really puts these enchiladas over the top. My mom randomly has like 3 containers of saffron in the spice cabinet (either she has started hoarding expensive spices or she keeps forgetting that she has already purchased saffron, which, ironically, I have never seen her use, and purchases more - I'm not really sure) so I went ahead and helped myself to a little of that. If you have hatch chili seasoning that is awesome, but if not you can make a blend of paprika, cumin, garlic powder, and chipotle and/or cayenne seasoning work.

Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas
Yield about 5-6 servings

For the Sauce
  • 1 bottle Trader Joe's (or other) Enchilada Sauce
  • 5 Tbsp Hatch chili powder (red)
  • 3/4 cup vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lime juice
For the Filling
  • 1 14 oz package extra firm tofu 
  • 1/2 large yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pushed through a microplane grater
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 3 Tbsp hatch chili powder
  • 10-12 strands saffron
  • 2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 4-5 cups fresh spinach 
  • 10 "handmade style" (or truly handmade if you can find them) small corn tortillas
  • 2 cups daiya pepperjack (or more if you like lots o' cheese)
  • 1/2 cup Trader Joe's Avocado Salsa Verde (YUM YUM YUM - GET IT)
Preheat the oven to 425

Combine all sauce ingredients in a small sauce pan over low heat and place on the back burner. You want to give the sauce about 15-20 minutes to simmer so the flavors can all fuse together.  

Meanwhile, in a large saute or fry pan over medium heat, crumble your tofu into small crumbles (no oil necessary!) Allow it to "dry fry" for about 5-6 minutes and then add the onion and garlic. Continue to cook for another 5 minutes before throwing in the black beans. Cook for yet another 5 or so minutes and then sprinkle in all of your seasonings, distributing equally. Finally, throw in your spinach and allow it to wilt down for 2 or 3 minutes before removing the pan from the burner to let it cool slightly.


To prepare your tortillas, take a pan that is as close in size to the circumference of the tortillas as possible. Over medium heat, heat your tortillas one at a time with the lid on the pan to produce a steaming effect.

After each tortilla is lightly steamed (about 45 seconds on each side), dip the entire thing in enchilada sauce (either straight in the pan or, if you pan isn't big enough, pour the sauce into a bowl or plate and dip the tortillas that way). Fill each tortilla with somewhere between 1/4 and 1/2 a cup of filling, roll it up like a big taquito and place into one corner of your baking pan (I used an 11"X 7" baking pan for these enchiladas)

Continue to do this with the remaining 9 tortillas until your pan is full! Pour the remaining sauce over the enchiladas and then sprinkle daiya pepperjack over the top (here is where you can add more daiya if you want a cheesier enchilada).

Cover with tin foil and place in the over for about 20-25 minutes. Remove tinfoil and continue to bake for an additional 5-7 minutes or until the cheese looks melty and gooey.

Remove from the oven and let cool for just a couple of minutes. Then use a spatula to dig some out, top with TJ's creamy Avocado Salsa Verde salsa and munch!

Don't mind the Christmas plates. I really like the size and weight of them so I use them year round. The point is the food!

Live long and prosper, loves! And always respect yo mama.

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