Thursday, May 19, 2016

Spicy Black Bean Enchiladas with Spanish Rice!

This is day 50 of the Reluctant Plant Based Diet of a Home Cooking Fanatic. I really can't believe I've made it this far. For any diet, or lifestyle change, we all need some results to keep us motivated. I haven't had my cholesterol checked, but I'd really like to. But one of the first things I noticed, about three to four weeks in, was that my resting pulse dropped dramatically. I don't really know what that means, except that my physician husband says that it means that my heart is not working as hard to pump blood throughout my body as it used to. My resting pulse used to hover anywhere between 80 to 100. I've never had a pulse below 80.   I first noticed the change in my pulse at the gym, when my usual cardio workout would immediately drive my pulse up to around 130. All of a sudden, I struggle to get past 108 - 110. A recent visit to my physician confirmed that my resting pulse is now in the low 60's! We have a blood pressure cuff at home, and it confirmed my lower pulse. This benefit was totally unexpected, but most welcome! My blood pressure has always been pretty good, around 120/80 (perfect) although will spike on occasion to 140/90. My last blood pressure reading at the Doctor's office (two weeks ago) was 108/70!

In one of my recent posts, I mentioned that I learned that the most satisfying plant-based dishes I've found were those that didn't try to imitate the usual meat and dairy ingredients. This dish celebrates that idea, while bringing the same savory flavors we've come to expect from the usual meat and dairy-laden dishes. This is my tried and true enchilada recipe, just without the meat and cheese. It does take some prep work, but the leftovers make great tacos the next day, so you're actually ahead of the game...


For the Enchilada Sauce:
1/4 C El Pato Spicy Mexican Tomato Sauce

1/2 Can diced tomatoes

1 C veg broth

1 and 1/2 tsp salt

2 Tbsp chili powder

2 tsp cumin

1 Tbsp Onion powder 

1 Tbsp Garlic Powder

2 tsp Sugar

Mix all ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to a boil over medium-high heat, then turn heat down and simmer until slightly thickened, about 10 minutes. Set aside, off heat, until ready to use.

For the Filling:
1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 half of a small red onion, chopped

2 Tbsp chopped fresh garlic cloves

2 Tbsp canned diced green chilies

1 Can black beans, drained and rinsed

1/2 Packet taco seasoning mix (or 2 tbsp of your own mix)

1/4 C veg broth

Saute the onion and garlic in the olive oil until softened. Set half aside for the rice. Add the green chilies, black beans, seasoning, and veg broth to the skillet and mix well, stirring over medium heat until sauce thickens, about 10 minutes. Set aside.

Corn tortillas (about 6)

To Serve:
Guacamole (one ripe avocado mashed and mixed with 2 tsp lime juice, 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp salt)

Spanish Rice (saute 1 C white rice with the reserved onions and garlic, add 1 Tbsp diced green chilies, 1 tsp salt, and 1/4 C of the enchilada sauce. Add the other 1/2 can diced tomatoes, 1 and 3/4 cups veg broth, bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from heat, still covered, and let sit for 5 more minutes.) Can be made ahead, refrigerated, and reheated to serve.


Once the rice is cooking, preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease a 9 X 9" baking dish lightly with olive oil and spread about 1/4 C of the prepared enchilada sauce in the bottom.

Heat the tortillas in the microwave until pliable, about 45 seconds (turning halfway through). Place about 1/4 to 1/3 C of black bean filling mixture in the middle of each tortilla, roll up, and place in the baking dish, seam side down. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce.

Bake in the 350 degree F oven for 20 minutes. By this time the rice should be done.

Serve the enchiladas with the rice and top with the guacamole.

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