Smokey Spinach & Black Bean Enchiladas

Pairs Well With… 2010 Señorío de P. Peciña Crianza Rioja or Malbec

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After a weekend of seriously derailed healthy eating due to a birthday party (that wasn’t even mine), I spent my Tuesday planning mindful meals for the next couple of days to get me back on track.

Generally speaking, I try to sneak as many veggies into my meals to amp up nutrition value.   While enchiladas in the spring may seem a bit heavy, they are quite light (but filling), low in calories and perfect for a rainy day meal.

INGREDIENT LIST:    Serves: 6 people (2 enchiladas each)                                                                              

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

3 cups vegetable broth
1/4 (or about 2oz.) cup tomato paste
1 1/2 Tbsp. whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. chipotle pepper
salt and freshly ground black pepper (as needed)

The Good Stuff (Filling)

Olive oil cooking spray
15 oz. can seasoned black beans, drained
5 oz. baby spinach, chopped (fresh is preferable)
12 oz. bag of frozen, cubed butternut squash
1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1 tbsp. Smoke flavor (optional)

3 cups reduced-fat, sharp cheddar cheese, shredded (1 1/2 C filling: 1 1/2 C baking)
12 small corn or flour tortillas, warmed (note: if you don’t warm these, they will break)

INSTRUCTIONS:

Heat the olive oil to a medium temperature in a medium sized saucepan. Add the tomato paste, flour and spices.  Pour in broth a little at a time while stirring slowly and bringing the mixture to a boil.

Reduce to medium-low heat and simmer until sauce thickens, about 8-10 minutes.

Spray the bottom of a saute pan or skillet with olive oil cooking spray (or olive oil if you prefer).  Add spinach and saute until leaves are mostly wilted.  While spinach is cooking, follow cooking instructions for steam in the bag squash, but only cook 2/3 of the instructed time. Add to pan and cook with the spinach until spinach is fully wilted and squash is cooked through and soft.

Spinach Black Bean Squash Enchilada Filling Cooking

In a bowl, combine the spinach, squash, black beans, cilantro, filling spices and smoke flavor. Blend thoroughly. Add half the cheese (1 1/2c) and stir once more.

Spinach Black Bean Squash Enchilada Filling Bowl Cheese

Preheat oven to 375 F.

Pour a small amount of sauce in your 9 x 13 baking dish to coat the bottom.  Warm tortillas.

Begin assembling your enchiladas by placing an overflowing scoop of filling into a warmed tortilla.  Place seam side down into your sauced pan.  This recipe makes approximately 12 enchiladas.

Spinach Black Bean Squash Enchiladas Filling

Drizzle sauce on top of the filled enchiladas and sprinkle with remaining cheese.  Freeze any remaining sauce for a future meal.

Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and edges of tortillas become crispy.

Garnish to your liking and serve on top of a bed of lettuce for additional nutrition – and crunch!

Spinach Black Bean Squash Enchiladas Plated Up Close

Nutrition: (per 2 enchiladas)

Adapted from: A Hint of Honey

 

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