I’m a planner. So, you can imagine how all the unpredictability that accompanies pregnancy is challenging me. But I’m learning. I’m learning that my job is not to control or even completely figure out what’s going on, but rather to listen intently and respond honestly. What a perfect lesson for parenthood! And all of life, for that matter, huh?
This being said, I’m not giving up entirely on my planner-ly ways. If I can’t control or predict the situation (as if I ever did before anyway), I want to at least be prepared for a variety of circumstances. Now, let’s wrap up this therapy session and get on with the Vegan Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas, shall we?!
I’ve been thinking about those first few weeks with baby and realizing that between feedings and utter exhaustion, cooking for my husband and I may be damn near impossible…for a while anyway. So, in preparation, I’m concocting, gathering, and testing out make-ahead, freezer-friendly recipes.First on the list: Vegan Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas! I made a big batch last night — some vegan (without cheese), some vegetarian (with cheese). They were flavorful, filling, nutritious, and we’ve got tons of leftovers. The beans are a good meat-free source of fiber, protein, and folate. The nutritional benefits of spinach in this dish are almost countless, as it supplies niacin, zinc, fiber, calcium, folate, and iron (to name just a few). This recipe’s a keeper, for sure!
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 1 yellow onion
- 6 garlic gloves
- 3-4 jalapeño peppers
- 2 portobello mushroom caps or about a dozen cremini mushrooms
- 5-7 oz baby spinach
- 1 15-oz can black beans
- 2 ears of corn (or about 1.5 cups frozen kernels, defrosted)
- 1 Tbs cumin
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 6-count packages of your favorite tortillas*
- 1 10-oz can red enchilada sauce
- 1 10-oz can green enchilada sauce
- Optional: shredded cheese & avocado
- Peel the husks off the ears of corn and spray or brush the exposed kernels with a little olive oil. Place them directly on a heated grill, and rotate until corn is cooked and some of the kernels are browned. Once cooked and cooled a bit, cut the kernels off the cob.
- While the corn is cooking, dice the onion and mushroom caps, and mince the garlic and jalapeños. Drain and rinse the beans.
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium-low heat. Add the onion and sauté for a few minutes, or until onion has just started to become translucent. Next, add the jalapeños and garlic. Toss in the mushrooms, and cook for a few minutes. Add the spinach, and mix it in until it has wilted a bit and there's room in the pan for the black beans and corn. Mix all the veggies together, and finally sprinkle with cumin and salt to taste. Remove from heat.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour some of the red enchilada sauce into the bottom of a large baking dish. Bust out your tortillas, and get ready to stuff and roll. I like to place the tortilla in the bottom of the dish to wet it with enchilada sauce before rolling.
- Pour the remaining red and green sauces over the enchiladas. Now, these are fantastic without cheese, but if you just can't wrap your mind around an enchilada without cheese, sprinkle some shreds on top. A little goes a long way, and you still get that gooey cheesy-ness without overwhelming the other flavors nor adding tons of calories.
- Throw the enchiladas in the oven for 10-15 minutes or if you're using cheese, until the cheese has melted.
- Serve and enjoy! I like to top mine with avocado and hot sauce.
- *I use corn tortillas from La Tortilla Factory. They are insane! I'm not one to get excited about something like a tortilla, but these are seriously delicious. In fact, I can't even eat other tortillas anymore. I know I sound like a crazy pregnant lady right now ranting and raving about tortillas, but you should know that I spoke this highly of them even before I got knocked up...just sayin'.
****************************Flash forward exactly 14 months after I published this post****************************
I now have a very hungry 10-month-old baby boy who loves eating what mommy and daddy are eating! He’s not quite ready for these spicy, jalapeño-filled enchiladas, and his forking and cutting skills are nonexistent, so I adapted our grown-up enchiladas into Baby Enchiladas!
This recipe has some fantastic nutritional components for babies. If you’ve read any of my other posts that feature bean-based recipes, you know I have mad love for this ingredient. They’re an excellent source of plant-based protein, folate, fiber, and iron, to highlight just a few of their nutritional qualities. Spinach is packed (and I mean PACKED) full of vitamins and minerals. It’s also an iron and folate plant-based superstar. Avocado is loaded with healthy fats, as well as vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. As you’re chopping and prepping for the enchiladas above, just set aside the following amounts for your bugaboo.
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 Tbs chopped onion
- 1/2 c chopped mushroom caps
- 1/4 c frozen corn
- 1 c packed spinach leaves
- 1/2 c no-salt-added black beans, rinsed and drained
- dash of cumin
- 1/2 c water*
- slice of avocado
- Heat the olive oil in a small pan over medium-low heat.
- Sauté the garlic and onion for about two minutes, stirring constantly.
- Add the mushrooms, and sauté for a couple minutes more until they start to become soft. *Since we're using just a splash of olive oil, add a little water at any point to keep the ingredients from sticking to the pan and burning.
- Add the remaining ingredients, stirring constantly until everything is very tender. You can add the avocado in here, cut up little pieces to put on top, or let your baby practice feeding himself with larger slices of avocado.
- Pulse the mixture in a food processor until the consistency meets your baby's preference/chewing/slurping ability, allow to cool, and watch proudly as your little one chows down on spinach like a boss!