#52NewEats :: Week 24 :: Vegetarian Enchilada Skillet

Vegetarian Enchilada Skillet

While I was vegetarian in May, I ate a TON of Mexican recipes.  It wasn’t even really on purpose… okay, maybe subconsciously it was, but… there are just a lot of options out there for vegetarians in Mexican cuisine.  This dish has become one of the ‘keepers’ out of all the new recipes I tried last month!

I was stoked to find this skillet because a) I love skillet meals, can’t beat one dirty pan, and b) I love any opportunity to get sweet potatoes into my diet.  I just learned to love sweet potatoes in maybe the last couple of years #adulting but I still only like them certain ways in certain things.  I don’t eat them with sweet toppings, only savory.  I like them spicy, particularly with smoked paprika, or dipped in //chipotle mayo//.  But I really liked this skillet because the sweet potatoes gave it some heft without making me feel like a slug.  A lot of the vegetarian recipes I ate were so pleasantly filling!

You can find the original recipe //here//.  I tweaked it a little bit and will probably tweak it again next time I make it (next week), by using grain-free tortillas instead of corn tortillas.

🍴  I used Hatch Tex-Mex enchilada sauce and it was soooo yummy.

🍴  I also used 1 cup leftover rice, even though it’s listed as optional – I actually planned it out so that I would make my //Spanish rice// the day prior and set aside 1 cup to have leftover for this dish.

🍴  I did not use mozzarella cheese though (this is Mexican food sacrilege to me, Mozzarella is ITALIAN, if you want white stretchy cheese in Mexican food please use Chihuahua cheese or Monterey Jack cheese!) – I used a mix of Monterey Jack and cheddar.

All in all, a very good dish that I look forward to making again and again!

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#52NewEats :: Week 23 :: Mexican Street Corn Tostadas

Mexican Street Corn Tostadas

These tostadas were quite possibly my most favorite new recipe that I made when we went vegetarian during the month of May.  Oh GOSH these were so good!  Also, as a result of making this, I was inspired to create a delicious corn dip recipe, so stay tuned for that!  I have already made these twice and have no plans to drop them from my regular recipe rotation!

You can find the original recipe //here//, but I did make a couple of tweaks:

🍴  First, instead of using plain mayo, I used some //chipotle mayo// instead.  I had a batch hanging out in my fridge, and when I was making this, I remembered that one of the Mexican restaurants near me makes their street corn side dish with chipotle mayo instead of plain, and I love it.  That simple tweak made this corn concoction so flavorful!

🍴  I used refried black beans instead of refried pinto beans.  I just prefer their flavor, and I love the way corn and black beans taste together.

🍴  I used crumbled queso fresco cheese instead of cotija, as it’s what I had on hand, but either cheese would work!


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#52NewEats :: Week 22 :: Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa

Slow Cooker Enchilada Quinoa

I found this recipe on Pinterest a while ago while looking for vegetarian meals.  I wasn’t sure how ‘on board’ hubby would be with a vegetarian chili-style meal, so when we decided to go vegetarian for a month back in May, I jumped at the chance to make this!

This recipe was very, very tasty, and very filling!  You will definitely want to add chili-style toppings.  I added diced avocado and cilantro, and that squeeze of fresh lime juice really kicked it up a notch.  And the sour cream?  Oh gosh.  Just stir that in and it turns so creamy and delicious!  I was really happy I put the extra toppings on!

You can find the original recipe //here//, and I didn’t do anything to change it!  It was incredibly easy to make!

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Off-Topic Tuesday :: (Not So) Final Thoughts on Minimalism/Vegetarian May

It’s almost June!

This means that my month of vegetarianism is almost over!

But ironically enough, I am not exactly dying to gorge myself with all the meats.

I literally did not eat a single bite of meat in the last 31 days, and I didn’t miss it with the ferocity I’d expected.  I knew being vegetarian would be easy for me – Lord knows I like pasta and potatoes and rice enough to sustain me for a measly 31 days.  But what I didn’t expect was to not miss meat at all.  I have done these types of deprive-myself-of-something-for-a-month challenges before, and I always planned what I was going to do to break the streak on the first of the following month.  OMG I AM SO GETTING A COKE ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH! (when I gave up soda for a month)…  OMG I AM GOING TO WAWA AND BUYING $20 WORTH OF CANDY AND STUFFING MY FACE ON THE FIRST OF THE MONTH! (when I gave up candy for a month)…  But I have not really been planning out how I’m going to break my vegetarian streak.  I haven’t been salivating for a burger or a steak or a fried chicken sandwich or bacon or anything like that.  This is kinda strange for me.

On the other hand though, it’s not really that strange.  I was sort of unconsciously inching my way towards vegetarianism for a while.  I rarely eat chicken anymore.  I’m not even really sure why.  We just kinda… stopped eating chicken.  Once in a while I’ll poach it and shred it for BBQ or chicken salad or something, but our old reliable dinners of grilled chicken/rice or couscous/broccoli is a thing of the past.  It wasn’t intentional, I just kind of moved away from it.  And ever since I visited a pig rescue organization last summer, I haven’t been able to eat as much pork.  We used to eat pork chops weekly – it’s my daughter’s favorite.  But once I fell in love with this adorable little pig at the rescue, I just couldn’t do it anymore.  By the time we decided to go vegetarian, the only meat I was eating on a regular basis was red meat, in the form of steak once a week and cheeseburgers every so often, and the occasional cheesesteak.

With that said, I just don’t see me giving up red meat 100%.  I get it, I get the whole environmentally-conscious thing surrounding red meat, but I DO buy responsibly-raised red meat from Whole Foods.  I will never, ever purchase red meat from factory farms, ever again.  I do feel that I am doing my part to help the environment in that way.  But with that said, I do think we will be moving towards a more plant-based diet approach.  For one thing, we tried so many delicious new recipes this past month.  I can’t wait to share them with you!  One of them is even a SALAD RECIPE 😱 !  I can absolutely see us moving towards an 80/20 or even a 90/10 vegetarian meal plan.

I did consume quite a lot of grain-based foods this past month though, and I am feeling the results of that physically.  I haven’t started meal planning yet for the month of June, but I am going to look into ways to limit my grain consumption and still stay mostly vegetarian.  We’ll see how that works out.

As for minimalism, well, that journey is not over, not by a long shot.  I did accomplish a lot this month, though not everything I had hoped to.  I’m a bit of an overachiever in that way.  I unpacked all the boxes from one whole bay of my barn.  My intent was to also work on the boxes in another bay, which are all for my daughter’s room, but I didn’t get to that.  Instead I had to do massive amounts of gardening around the house!  I did get rid of several bags of trash, and donated three bags of clothes and three boxes of books, shoes, and other items to the VVA.  That was just from one bay of my barn – and it might not sound like a lot, but remember, I did donate and toss a LOT while I was packing to move.  I did suspect that I would get to the new house and still have stuff to part with, because I wasn’t in the right head space to make the decision to do so when I was packing.  So I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so far, and I am going to continue on this journey and keep working towards a more intentional life!  Someday, I hope that my house will be free of clutter and crap.  Someday, I would like to just clean my house and have it stay that way for forever.  No more closets packed to the brim, no more drawers spilling over with stuff, no more piles of clutter and paper and magazines all over my house.  Magazines – there’s where I can really benefit from minimizing!  I need to cancel like, all of my magazine subscriptions.  Except maybe Food Network.  I like that one.  But I honestly never have time to read them!  I kept thinking for a while that if I stay subscribed to magazines, it would force me to sit down and relax and read them and page through them.  But all I end up doing is letting them pile up and then instead of paging through them leisurely, I flip through them quickly, scanning, looking for recipes I might want to make someday (see: #52NewEats and #12NewTreats), rip those out, and toss the rest.  What a waste.  I think I could also benefit from some minimizing of my cooking material – books, recipes, binders, etc.  That’s another project for another rainy day.

So now that June is upon us, I’m not really sure what this month’s challenge will be for me.  I do know, from much soul-searching and working with a friend who is studying to become a life coach, that I need to start putting myself first.  I need to make myself a priority.  It’s hard for me to see how to do that, because I am typically deferring to what my family needs.  I am also typically deferring to what the house needs.  But what about what I need?  It’s no surprise I’m so darn exhausted all the time because I’m never tending to what I need.  I need to be able to sit down and relax and veg out once in a while.  Maybe even once a week!  Maybe if I did that more often, I wouldn’t be so tired during the week, I wouldn’t want to go to bed early every single night.  I have been tossing around the idea of putting together a family chore chart, because I do feel as though I carry the majority of the chores every weekend (which is why I am never on the couch vegging out).  My daughter is old enough to handle some chores now, and obviously my husband is capable.  So maybe I will work on that – spreading the responsibilities around a little so that I can have some more time to recharge.

We will see how that goes.  🙏

Please share!

#52NewEats :: Week 19 :: Black Bean and Green Chile Enchiladas

Black Bean and Green Chile Enchiladas

So here’s some news for ya – my husband and I are going VEGETARIAN for the entire month of May.  😱  *gasp*  😱  Yes!  We are!

Aaron adopted a project I did a few years ago, where instead of trying to abide by a few new year’s resolutions for an entire year, I tried to abide by a single one for an entire month – a different one every month – in the hopes of changing some bad habits and adopting a healthier lifestyle.  So far this year he has given up added salt (which was a MAJOR feat for him – as long as I’ve known him, he has salted EVERYTHING even before tasting it!), given up soda, attempted to do yoga or ROMWOD every day, and given up sugar.  I joined in with him during his yoga month and I definitely noticed a difference in how I felt!  Then we gave up sugar together – the month of Easter / Cadbury Crème Eggs – not quite sure what I was thinking there.  And this month we have decided to go vegetarian together.

In preparation for that I thought I’d try some vegetarian recipes so we had some new menu items to try this month.  This was the first one we tried and it was so good!  I’ll admit – it is hard to go wrong with enchiladas with me.  I love enchiladas.  The only thing that can really screw them up is the sauce (and I have made some questionable homemade enchilada sauces in my time).  But these were great and the BEST part about these?!  It gave me an excuse to make my daughter a cheese enchilada (there’s no way I’m getting black beans or green chilies in her at this time in her life), and she actually kinda sorta liked it!  She thought the sauce was too spicy (it was) but she liked it enough to ask me to make it again for her, but with a milder sauce.  WINNING.

So I did love these enchiladas but next time I would probably swap out manchego cheese for the topping with something a little more melty, like Monterey jack.  Or I could top with crumbled cotija cheese, another favorite.  She also mentions in her blog that she wasn’t a fan of the corn tortillas – I only had corn tortillas, but next time I would also make these with flour. This recipe is already on the Vegetarian Month menu for another round later this month!  Two thumbs up on this recipe – give it a try!  You can find the original recipe //here//.

Black Bean and Green Chile Enchiladas

12 small corn or flour tortillas* (she recommends flour and I would echo this)
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 4-ounce can diced green chilies
1 28-ounce can red enchilada sauce, such as Las Palmas (I got two 15oz cans and only ended up using one)
1/2 cup grated manchego cheese + more for topping (or sub another Mexican cheese, such as Cojita or Pepper Jack)
1/4 cup light sour cream or greek yogurt
Topping Options: Diced green onion, cilantro, grilled fajita veggies, avocado, salsa, sour cream, lime wedges, etc.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and position a baking rack in the middle of the oven.

2. Combine black beans, green chilies, sour cream and manchego cheese in a mixing bowl. Taste and add salt and pepper if desired. Set aside.

3. Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce to lightly coat the bottom of a 9×13 dish.

4. Transfer one tortilla at a time to the baking dish, scoop in 2 Tbsp of the black bean filling and roll up. Place seam side down and continue until the pan is filled – should be about 10-12 enchiladas.
Top enchiladas with a bit more enchilada sauce down the middle.

5. Top with a bit more cheese and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly.

6. Serve with toppings such as avocado, guacamole, salsa, fajita veggies, sour cream, green onion, cilantro or lettuce.

Please share!