Veggie Enchiladas with Black Beans and Greens

I don’t know about you, but I love enchiladas. Anything with a bunch of melted cheese inside or on top, rocks my world. However, since I’ve been trying to eat healthier these days, I’ve had to restrain myself from using too much cheese in my dishes. I’ve also been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my recipes too, which tend to make meals way more “calorie friendly.” This veggie enchilada recipe, for example, contains only 400 calories for two, whole enchiladas, which isn’t bad for enchiladas.

What I love most about this tasty enchilada recipe, other than the fact that it’s low in cals, is that it’s super easy to make. The total prep time for everything was about 20 minutes and the baking time was only 15 minutes. If you have your enchilada sauce made beforehand, it will speed up the process even more. Enjoy!

Veggie Enchilladas

Black Beans and Greens Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 cup cooked, dried black beans (if you use canned beans, just rinse them before using)
  • 2 1/2 cups raw, chopped veggies of your choice (I used shishito peppers, kale, and red pepper)
  • 1/4 cup of cheese
  • 2-3 green onions, finely sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • cilantro for garnish (optional)
  • small corn tortillas (I used La Tortilla Factory hand made style corn and wheat tortillas – only 80 calories per tortilla)
  • 6 tablespoons of enchilada sauce (see recipe below, or you can just use store bought sauce)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-high heat and add the garlic and shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Then add the chopped veggies, black beans, and salt and pepper to the pan and saute for about 3-5 minutes.

Fill each tortilla with about 3 tablespoons of filling, roll, and place seam side down in a small baking dish. Please keep in mind that by using small tortillas, they might be a bit tricky to roll. Just use a small enough baking dish so that you can tightly pack them all in. You can also use medium sized tortillas for this recipe if you wish. Just add more filling to each tortilla.

Pour about 6 tablespoons of sauce evenly over the top of the rolled tortillas, then sprinkle with cheese. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, then top with green onion and cilantro. This also goes well with a dollup of sour cream and sliced avocado.

Enchilada Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 can tomato sauce, 8 ounces
  • 2 tablespoons chicken broth (you can skip this if you don’t have any and just add water)
  • 1/2 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • salt to taste

This recipe calls for about 6 tablespoons of enchilada sauce. If you’re short on time, then just buy a bottle or can of enchilada sauce at the store. Trader Joe’s makes a good one.

Directions:

Stir in the tomato sauce and chicken broth on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes, until the sauce is hot and starts to bubble a bit. Then add in the rest of the ingredients and stir until everything is mixed together. Feel free to add more chili powder or cumin if you feel that it’s lacking flavor. I normally don’t measure out these ingredients. I just experiment with it until the flavor is just the way I like it.

Serves: 2-3

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Zucchini Bake with Layers of Sauce and Cheese

I’ve been trying to eat healthier these days in preparation for my upcoming trip to Thailand in April. Woohoo! My goal is to shed about ten pounds prior to the trip, but it’s been quite the struggle. I work out pretty regularly — I practice yoga, I hike, and I run, but I still haven’t had much luck with the weight loss. If only I weren’t so obsessed with food.

I started tracking my calories on this cool little website called My Fitness Pal. They have an online calorie and exercise tracking tool that you can use, or you can download the app on your phone. It’s pretty cool! And I’m already starting to notice a difference on the scale. Yay!

I don’t want to deprive myself of food, but at the same time, I know that I’m capable of making healthier choices when it comes to my eating habits. This zucchini dish, for example, is a great alternative to eggplant parmesan, without all the calories and carbohydrates.  And it tastes delicious!

Zucchini Bake

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large zucchinis, thinly sliced (1/4 inch thick)
  • 1 26 ounce jar of your favorite tomato sauce (I love Trader Joe’s Tomato Basil Marinara)
  • 1 15 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, cut up into small chunks (you can add more or less, depending on how “calorie friendly” you want this to be)
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • basil (optional for garnishing)
  • salt and pepper

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Heat a small drizzle of olive oil in a large, oven proof pan over medium-high heat (I used my non-stick Scan Pan for this). Pan fry the zucchini in batches, until golden brown on both sides, about two minutes per side. Add more oil in between batches if needed so that the zucchini doesn’t burn or stick to the pan.

Once all the zucchini has been cooked and removed from the pan, take the pan off the burner and put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the pan. I like a chunkier version of sauce, so I like to mix a jar of my favorite tomato sauce in with a can of diced tomatoes. This works out especially well for this recipe and makes the sauce super thick and rich. Please note that you won’t end up using all of the sauce in this recipe.

Next, layer some of the zucchini pieces over the sauce, then top with some mozzarella and parmesan. Then do another layer of sauce, zucchini, and cheese, like you would layer a lasagna.

Once you’ve layered all the ingredients, put the pan in the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes, until the cheese and sauce is bubbling. Garnish with fresh basil or serve as is.

Serves: 2-4

Breakfast Potatoes with Garlic and Fresh Herbs

I have to admit, breakfast, by far, is my absolute favorite meal of the day. Coffee, fresh squeezed orange juice, french toast, oatmeal, eggs over easy, bacon, breakfast potatoes; what is there not to love about breakfast? If only I were more of a morning person, I would make fancy breakfasts for myself every day of the week. But since my Monday through Friday work schedule forces me to get up at 6:00am every morning, I end up eating my usual; instant oatmeal with blueberries. Maybe that’s why I love breakfast so much. It’s that “special occasion” type of meal. I only treat myself to it every once in a while.

I can’t really say that I have a favorite breakfast dish, because honestly, I love them all. But I will say, that I’m a sucker for breakfast potatoes. I’ve made so many versions of breakfast potatoes and they are all absolutely delightful. I’ve tried just about every potato that I can think of, and so far, I’ve found that fingerling potatoes are probably my favorite. They always seem to cook to perfection; slightly crispy on the outside, and soft on the inside. And don’t they look pretty too?

 

Breakfast Potatoes with Garlic and Fresh Herbs

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pound fingerling potatoes, halved
  • 3 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 green onions, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano
  • Freshly ground pepper and grey salt (or kosher salt)
  • 2 pinches cayenne pepper (more or less- depending on how spicy you want your potatoes)
  • 2 teaspoons finely shredded gruyere cheese (optional)

Directions:

Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the potatoes, stirring every now and then so they don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. Sauté for about 10 minutes, or until the potatoes start to brown. Season the potatoes with ground pepper, grey salt, and a couple pinches of cayenne pepper. Add the garlic and sauté for 2 minutes, then add the green onions. Cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the fresh oregano, stir, then remove from heat.

Top the potatoes with fresh parsley and gruyere cheese.