Monday, October 20, 2014

Black Bean and Quinoa Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

If you've never had enchiladas before, they are remind me of a Mexican lasagne.  This is a vegetarian version, but could be "beefed" up with the addition of shredded roast chicken.

Enchiladas are great party food because you can divide the responsibilities between each person.  It is great date night food because it is low stress (I am writing this blog post while I am cooking it).  And it is great make ahead food because the quinoa and salsa verde (tomatillo sauce) can all be made ahead of time so that all you have to do is reheat, assemble, and broil when you are ready to eat.

If you have never had tomatillos before, you will really enjoy their bright tang and freshness.  The avocado sour cream and fresh tomatoes are optional but really complete the dish.

Serves 6.


1 1/4 cups quinoa, rinsed well
1 cup V8 juice
1 cup water

1 1/2 pounds tomatillos, about 15
1 serrano chile, cut in half and deseeded (or leave the seeds in if you want it spicy)
1/2 red onion, quartered

1/2 cup water
1 tsp honey
pinch of salt
one garlic clove
squeeze of lime juice
2 Tbsp fresh cilantro

15 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
12 small corn tortilla shells
1 1/2 cups Monterey Jack cheese, shredded and divided

1/2 very ripe avocado
1/2 cup light sour cream

1/2 cup fresh, diced tomatoes
fresh cilantro, to garnish


1. In a small saucepan, bring the V8 juice, water, and a pinch of salt to a boil.  Add the quinoa, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.  Set aside.

2. Remove the husks from the tomatillos.  Rinse and dry.  Place the tomatillos, serrano, and onion into an oiled baking dish. Broil on high heat for about 15 - 20 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking.  They will be brown and soft when done.

3. In a food processor, combine the cooked tomatillos, serrano, onion and juices with the water, honey, salt, garlic, lime juice, and cilantro.  Process until everything is combined.

4. Combine the quinoa with the black beans (and chicken if using).

5. Cover the tortillas with a damp kitchen towel and microwave for 30 to 60 seconds.  Fill each tortilla with the quinoa mixture and a tablespoon of the cheese, and place seam-side down in a 9 x 13 inch casserole dish.  * Place the tortillas in the baking dish and fill there.  Then, just turn them over.  If they break, it is because they are too cold.  Broil for 3 - 4 minutes.

6. Pour the tomatillo sauce over the enchiladas and top with the remaining cheese.  Broil for about 2 - 4 minutes or until the cheese is golden brown.

7. Blend the avocado and sour cream together in the food processor and serve on top of the enchiladas.  Top with the fresh tomatoes and cilantro, if desired.  Enjoy!

Shopping Tips:

1. Tomatillos are sold in most grocery stores.  I found them in two of the three grocery stores I visited.

2. Corn tortillas are sold fresh, so they will be in the refrigerated section, usually in the deli.  They are preferable because they add to the authentic flavour and don't get soggy as quickly as flour tortillas.  Use flour tortillas if you have to, though.

3. Serrano chiles look like large jalapeños.  They are green and milder than jalapeños, so even though you are using a whole one here, the dish will not be spicy unless you include the seeds.

Even if some of these ingredients are new to you, this dish is easy to throw together and the bright, fresh flavours are well worth the adventure.

No comments:

Post a Comment