Friday, April 20, 2012

Vegetarian Enchiladas (So good you won't miss the meat)

First off I want to say: Yes, I'm aware that these are not the most appetizing pictures. I didn't take them right away, this is a left-over enchilada after the microwave... and all I really wanted to do was eat it, so I didn't bother with getting good pictures. SO there it is. The cheesy blob of deliciousness that is the vegetarian enchilada!

This is another of the recipes I cooked for my PBL group in med school. I doubled this recipe and made about 23 enchiladas. This obviously tuned out to be way too many for 8 people, but they were great left over, and they were easy to make!

Now, Ben is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. I don't mean that he isn't adventurous (because he'll try anything), or that he doesn't like vegetables (he even likes broccoli... yuck), but... he does LOVE his meat. So I knew it was a big complement when he told me "These couldn't have been any better, even with meat in them."

Without further delay: Veggie Enchiladas

Enchilada Filling
  • ~ 2 cups cooked brown rice 
    • Usually a little less, I use the 5 minute instant brown rice and the servings work out so it's slightly less than 2 cups once cooked, which is perfect. I find 2 cups to be a little too much rice
  • 15 oz can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 white onion sliced up into strips or roughly chopped
  • One red pepper, one yellow pepper, one green pepper sliced into strips (not too long)
    • Some Grocery stores have the frozen pepper mix-about 16 oz bags work great for this! Less cutting for you!
  • Fresh Baby Spinach... I use about 1/2 a bag for a single recipe
  • 1 packet taco seasoning (~2 Tbl.)
  • 3/4 cup salsa
Saute the onion and peppers for a minute or two just to soften them, or defrost them if they are frozen. Mix the rice, peppers, onion, beans, salsa, and taco seasoning all together in a pot, or a pan with tall sides and stir together. Stir in the spinach and let it cook just until the spinach is barely wilted. Filling is done!

Fill your 6 inch flour tortillas with the filling and put in your baking dish. Usually fills about 12 tortillas of this size (maybe 10, I tend to over-fill my enchiladas)

Enchilada Sauce
  • 2 Tbl. vegetable oil
  • 2 Tbl. flour
  • 2 Tbl. chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 8 oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/3 tsp garlic powder (or to taste, if you like more)
  • Tiny little pinch cayenne pepper if you like a little heat-JUST  A LITTLE! You don't want to overpower the delicious filling
  • 1 tsp salt (or to taste)

I don't like canned enchilada sauce, and this is super easy so I use it. If you're cool with canned or you have your favorite brand of enchilada sauce, by all means go for it, if it saves a little time. But, really, this cooks up in just a few minutes while you're making the filling.

Just warm the vegetable oil over medium heat, add in the flour and chili powder to cook for a couple minutes (2-4 min). Add in all the other ingredients and stir well to mix it all. Bring it to a boil and then simmer over medium heat for about 10 min until it thickens up a little. It won't get very thick, but it's enchilada sauce, you don't want it super thick.

Once your filling is done and your enchiladas are all rolled up, pour the sauce over top. Top it with some cheese, I like the shredded white Mexican cheese blend. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes until all warmed through, cheese is melty and sauce is bubbling!

They really are delicious, and super easy. Actually, I didn't even think about it till afterward, but they are pretty darn healthy too. Lots of veggies, very little fat (omit the cheese if you're REALLY worried... but, that just doesn't happen with me)!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Slaw

Simple weeknight dinner. Fish Tacos! So medical school is kind of busy. On top of that, It's my second year and I am preparing to take boards in just a little over a month. This mean that I don't really have a lot of extra time to make fun, new, time consuming recipes. This one is SOOOO simple and quick. It only takes as long as it takes to cook the fish. Assemble, scarf, back to studying (unfortunately)!

What you need (or at least what I use)
  • Frozen Parmesan Encrusted Tilapia
    • At Sams Club they sell big bags of frozen parm crusted tilapia... it's quick and relatively healthy so I usually always have it on hand. 
    • The parmesan crust in this adds a nice extra crunch almost like it's fried fish in the taco... without the extra deep fried calories (and mess)
  • Cole slaw/ shredded cabbage mix (from a bag)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Sliced fresh green onions
  • Lime juice (preferably from a real lime, not a hollow plastic lime)
All I do
  • Season with a little onion powder, chili powder, and cayenne (a little goes a long way)-bake according to directions
  • Mix together cole slaw mix, chopped fresh cilantro, sliced green onions, lime juice, and olive oil
    • For every half bag of cole slaw I use about a cup of cilantro, 4 green onions, the juice of half a lime, and a couple tablespoons olive oil
    • Do the lime juice first so the acid can coat everything, then drizzle a little olive oil to mix in, season with pepper if you want
    • It will taste pretty limey, but it's REALLY good on the tacos!
  • Once the fish is done, chunk it up with forks, put in in tacos with the slaw, cheese and your favorite fish taco sauce. 
    • Our favorite Mexican restaurant is right across the street so I use theirs, but if you don't have a go to fish taco sauce try this creamy jalapeno ranch sauce 
    • I'm also a big fan of home made guacamole or sliced avocado on these tacos!
  • Wrap everything up together in a nice warm flour tortilla! MMMM
If you don't have the parmesan crusted tilapia, or don't want that extra breading, baking non-breaded tilapia in a little lime juice with the same spices would work great!