For those of you who are not aware, I have been on a very restricted diet for some time now. I have pretty much been all over the place in the way of eliminations and re-introductions of foods, trying to figure out what works best for me. Beans and tomatoes have not been on my meal agenda for quite some time….I mean, for beans, we are talkin over a year! Tomatoes (nightshades) are something that I just reintroduced over the last month or so. I was sooooo excited to get those back into my diet regimen! Now I am onto beans. This is an important one for me.
The diet that my holistic nutritionist has had me on is very low in “meat” consumption…really, I have only been eating fish, and only 2-4 oz of it a day…..so I needed another protein source that my body could handle. Because my body is a special little snowflake, and likes to have issues with everything I do if I do it too quickly, this has been a long drawn out process. And FINALLY, I decided I was ready to try beans again yesterday. (Baby steps Bob) 😉
These Beans & Rice Enchiladas are what blossomed from that, oh so wonderful, decision! I wasn’t sure how I wanted to reintroduce the beans. I knew that by pairing them with rice, I would have a perfect and complete protein, so that was where my mind started tinkering with ideas. I wanted something that I could incorporate a lot of veggies with, without robbing the “expected” flavors that we have all come to know and love in certain dishes. Enchiladas was the answer! 😉 But I didn’t have any sauce, and I had never thought I would need to be making any…so the recipes started there. First comes sauce, then comes masterpiece! 😀
You will need…
- 1 cup of diced tomatoes, drained (save the juice, you will need it for the enchiladas)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- (water to thin a bit if you desire)
Place all ingredients into a high speed blender, like a Vitamix,
and process until smooth and well combined. (This may also work in a standard blender, but I haven’t tried it, so wouldn’t be able to guarantee the same consistency)
Makes slightly over 1 cup of sauce
And now that we have that part under control, lets move on to the main course! 😉
You will need…
- 2 cups water
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup carrot, shredded or sliced thin
- 1 cup zucchini, diced
- 1 cup red onion, diced
- 1 cup purple cabbage, diced
- Tomato juice from the diced tomatoes for sauteing veggies
- 1 can Eden Organic Pinto Beans
- 1/2 cup Enchilada Sauce
- Salt to taste
- 4 large collard leaves
Start by cooking your rice. Put the 2 cups of water and the 1/2 cup rice into a small pot and cook until the rice is the tenderness that you prefer. I like my rice a bit softer than most people, so I cook mine a bit longer. Once it is done, drain it and set it aside.
Next, we will work with the veggies.
Put all 4 cups of the veggies into a medium/large pot over medium heat. Add some of the leftover tomato juice from your can of tomatoes that you drained….this will help you to be able to saute/steam the veggies a bit. We want them to be tender before we add the rest of the ingredients. It shouldn’t take more than a 1/4 of a cup or so. Cover and allow them to steam a bit, stirring periodically to avoid burning. You may have to add a bit more liquid if it looks like it is drying out on the bottom of the pan before the veggies are to the tenderness that your palate desires.
Once you have the veggies cooked to your liking, add the rice that you have already cooked and stir well. (it should be a little over 1 cup of rice)
Next we will add the beans. Be sure to drain them before you dump them into the pot. 😉 Mix well.
And finally, we add our wonderful Enchilada Sauce! Make sure it is well combined…and this is where you will begin to do some taste testing. You will want to add in your salt and any other “hot” spices that you may want to incorporate. Make sure the flavor is just the way you like it before moving on to the next step.
Now we are going to take our collard leaves, lay them stem side up on the table, and get ready to fill them. You can also preheat your oven now if you would like. (400 degrees) You will want to divide your enchilada filling into 4 equal portions. Put each portion onto the collard, close to the top of the leaf, in the middle. Start by folding the top of the leaf (the side closest to you) over the filling. Then grab each of the 2 sides and fold them over as well. When you have the 2 sides folded, you can begin to roll the collard the rest of the way up. When it is completed, place it into a glass pyrex pan and complete the rest.
They will look something like this…
After all of your collards are in the pan, you will take what was left of your Enchilada Sauce recipe, and pour it over the top. Then sprinkle on a few more diced tomatoes. If I had thought about it before, I would have mixed some of the diced tomatoes into the filling as well, so feel free to do that if you desire! I think it would taste wonderful!
Bake in a 400 degree oven until the internal temperature of the wraps is over 150 degrees and the collards have softened a bit. This won’t take very long if you are baking these right after you assemble them. You can always make your enchilada filling ahead of time and store it in the fridge. If you do it this way, it will take a bit longer for the wraps to heat thoroughly, but it will still taste just as yummy!
I thought this was amazing when I combined it with some fresh avocado chunks! Be sure to try that if you are an avocado fan! 😀
So how about you…are you open to a meatless/vegetarian night with your family? Do you think that is something they would even be willing to try? If so, this recipe is sure to be a winner! 😀