Meatless Monday

From time to time friends looking to incorporate more veggies (especially kid-friendly veggies) ask me for recipes. So in honor of Meatless Mondays (a concept I love but live more fully than 1x/week) I have decided to post veggie recipes on Mondays.

Up this week: veggie enchiladas & red chili rice

Teen has been asking for enchiladas but some days are too full… this menu takes time as it has several steps. At least I make my own sauce and I make a hearty rice side dish. This time I also roasted veggies + made two pans of enchiladas: one with cheese and the other with refried black beans and roasted veggies (guess which one the kids preferred?). You could make the sauce ahead, but I didn’t have time yesterday. So I did it all today and it took just over an hour. Really, not bad.

Enchilada sauce (loosely based on Emeril):
3 Tbsp veggie or olive oil
1 Tbsp whole wheat flour
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 c veggie stock
10 oz tomato sauce (you can use some or all tomato paste but I never seem to have it on hand when I want it.)
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp salt

In a medium saucepan heat oil, add flour, and stir with a wooden spoon for 1 minute. Add chili powder and stir for 30 seconds. Add the rest of the ingredients and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes stirring occasionally. Remove from heat.

Roasted veggies: Sorry, no hard and fast recipe for this one. Get out your roasting pan. Start dicing veggies and tossing them on the pan until you’ve got a full, but not too full, pan. I used 1/2 red onion, 1 small head of broccoli, summer squash, and zucchini, all chunked smaller than if they would be served on their own but not so small that they burned. Just try to cut them to comparable size so they cook at the same speed. Lightly toss with olive oil and sprinkle with a) salt and pepper or b) garlic powder and red chili flakes. Roast at 450 for 20-30 minutes, tossing occasionally, until veggies begin to brown.

Red chili rice (based on Coyote Cafe):
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 c onion, minced
2 c brown rice
2 c veggie stock
3 c water
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1.5 tsp salt
1/3 c chili powder
1 c fresh or frozen corn kernels (optional)
1 15 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained (optional)
4 Tbsp fresh chopped cilantro (optional)

In a large pan, heat oil and then saute garlic and onion for 6-8 minutes. Add rice and saute 1-2 minutes. Add remaining ingredients (minus optional ingredients), bring to a boil, and cook for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and simmer for 20-25 minutes until liquid has evaporated. If using optional ingredients, stir in just before done so they will heat up with the rice.

Enchilada assembly:
I usually make enchiladas as a casserole, layering ingredients. If you’re an enchilada purist, by all means warm up your tortillas and individually fill each one.

Additional ingredients:
Tortillas (I used corn tortillas for cheese enchiladas and whole wheat tortillas for bean/veggie enchiladas but you can use whatever floats your boat)
Shredded cheese
Refried beans (I used refried black beans, but another type could work just as well)
Green onions, chopped

Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a pyrex dish. Layer sauce, tortillas, and cheese for cheese enchiladas (repeat as needed). Layer sauce, tortillas, refried beans (heating them slightly makes them easier to spread), and roasted veggies for bean/veggie enchiladas. Coat top layer of tortillas with sauce and sprinkle green onions. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes until warmed through.

Another option: skip roasting the veggies. Chop a whole mess’a veggies – zucchini, squash, onion, bell peppers, black olives, whatever suits your fancy, plus a can of black or pinto beans or both, drained and rinsed. If you eat cheese, toss some shredded cheese with the veggies and add to enchilada layers. If you’re off cheese, refried beans add that yummy gooey texture that you crave in an enchilada.

Yet more options: Roast the veggies anyway but serve on the side. Add a little enchilada sauce to the red chili rice.

Tween tells me the rice was really, really good. He’s asking for it in his lunch tomorrow. He will eat roasted broccoli like candy, but wasn’t a huge fan of it in the enchiladas. I thought it added a delicious new flavor layer. But you know your family best, and there should be enough options here to suit most everyone.

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