Monday, July 21, 2008

Easy Enchilada Stir-Fry

As I've mentioned before, I love Mexican food. I especially love enchiladas, in particular enchilada sauce. It is super easy to make at home and you can control the ingredients. I used to cook mine and then strain out the solids, but now I just saute the veggies then throw everything in my Blendtec and run it until it is totally smooth and delicious. There are three benefits to this. One - you don't lose the fiber that you would otherwise be straining out. Two - you end up with a greater volume of sauce. Three - it is wayyy less time consuming. I like the recipe from Cook's Illustrated Family Cookbook, and if I remember correctly it is vegan with out having to substitute anything. Actually, I really like all their cookbooks even though they are pretty much the furthest thing from vegetarian because they include detailed discussions on why they choose the ingredients and cooking method they employ for each recipe. I find it pretty easy to substitute vegan alternatives, especially when I know what function a product serves in a particular recipe. But I digress.

This recipe came about because I was craving enchiladas but I didn't want the calories and fat usually included between the oil, tortillas, and fillings. It is totally delicious and you can feel good about eating it (my favorite kind of food!). You could make "regular" enchiladas and use this as a filling, but I served it over lightly sauteed kale for a low calorie, (mostly) low fat, very filling meal. It keeps well as leftovers too.

Easy Enchilada Stir-Fry with Guacamole

1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 med onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
1 poblano pepper, seeded and diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp chili pepper
2 medium zucchini, diced
1/2 cup fresh or frozen corn
1 29oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
3 cups home made enchilada sauce
1/2 cup chopped cilantro for serving

Preheat a 12" saute pan over medium heat. Lightly oil or spray with non-stick spray and add butternut squash. Cook, stirring every few minutes until squash is fork tender and beginning to brown lightly, about 10 minutes. Remove to a plate and return pan to heat.
Turn up heat to medium-high, spray with non-stick spray and add onions, red and poblano peppers. Cook, stirring frequently until veggies start to soften and get some spotty color, 3-5 minutes. Move them to the edges of pan, spray middle, and add mushrooms. Cook a couple of minutes, stirring once or twice, until mushrooms start to take on some color. Stir in veggies on the edge and continue cooking 3-5 minutes longer stirring frequently, until mushrooms have released water. Add in jalapeno and garlic, stir to combine and cook 1 minute more. Add in chili powder and stir to coat everything in pan. Add reserved butternut squash, zucchini, corn and beans and stir to incorporate. Cook 2-3 minutes, stirring frequently. Pour in enchilada sauce, stir to coat, back heat down to low and simmer about 5 minutes. The zucchini should be cooked but still slightly crunchy.

Serve with guacamole and cilantro.

Makes 6 big servings.

Perfect Guacamole
I love this recipe because it really lets the avocado shine.

2 avocados
1 sm shallot, minced or grated
1/8th tsp granulated garlic (or to taste)
1/4 tsp salt (or to taste)
juice of 1 small lime
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro

Place one peeled and pitted avocado in a medium bowl and mash with a fork until creamy and the large chunks have disappeared. Add the shallot, granulated garlic, salt, lime juice and cilantro and mix to thoroughly combine. Cut the second avocado into a small dice (I find this is easiest to do while it is still in the skin and then scoop out the cubes with a spoon) and place in bowl. Mix gently to incorporate, taking care not to break up the chunks too much. Serve immediately or cover directly with plastic wrap to prevent browning.

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