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Do you believe in the power of tarot?
I do. Err, I mean, I did. Sort of. Once. I’m not really sure, to tell you the truth.
What I do know is that tarot predicted my stint as a vegetarian.
Years ago, on a Friday afternoon, when this Scratch Mommy’s Scratch Hubby was just “Scratch The-Guy-I-Had-Been-Set-Up-With,” a student of mine dealt my tarot cards and advised me not to order the chicken for dinner that night. I laughed and didn’t think much of it at the time. Later that evening, when I was out on my first date with hubby, I asked him what he thought he’d order from the menu. That’s when he casually mentioned that he was a lifelong vegetarian.
I didn’t order the chicken.
Rather, as our relationship progressed, I began to turn to vegetarian options more and more, until I finally became an outright vegetarian for a couple of years. Although I have since adopted some non-vegetarian items back into my diet, I still often turn to a meal that I first started eating as a vegetarian. Enchiladas!
Enchiladas aren’t inherently a vegetarian dish, so it’s funny that I hadn’t tried them more than a couple of times until I became a vegetarian. There’s something about Mexican food, however, that lends itself so well to vegetarianism. Sure, like many cuisines, you generally need a protein in the dish, but Mexican food accepts and welcomes a good hearty bean in place of chicken, pork, or beef.
And while the meat lovers around you might say that a bean can’t stack up next to some meat, protein is not the star of a dish like enchiladas. In my personal opinion, an enchilada is all about the sauce!
Beans are excellent when made from dried – don’t be afraid to give it a shot!
Enchiladas are great make-ahead meals, great weeknight meals, and great meals for leftovers.
Why? They’re easy and fast to make (even easier if you pre-make the filling and the sauce), require little hands-on time, are simple enough that your teenager can finish off the preparation, and taste better as the sauce soaks in. It’s also an extremely versatile dish to make because you can literally sub anything that you like into the dish. I once even had enchiladas with ginger sprinkled on top! I hated them, because I’m strange when it comes to fresh ginger, but the rest of the party gobbled them up happily.
The fillings that I choose to put into my enchiladas work well together, don’t compete for attention, tend to be crowd pleasers, and are staples year-round for most people. If you don’t like mushrooms or celery, feel free to swap them out for something you like better, just remember to fill up your enchilada with hearty, delicious, and fresh ingredients and you can’t go wrong!
Here’s my vegetarian enchilada recipe. It’s a recipe that’s been making happy bellies (both meat-eating and vegetarian) for years!
- 6 to 8 – 10” tortillas
- 1 ½ c rice (any variety), dry (organic)
- 3 T avocado oil (organic, unrefined)
- ½ onion, chopped
- 1 stalk celery, chopped
- 1 small green pepper, chopped
- ½ yellow or orange pepper, chopped
- ½ cup mushrooms, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 c tomato sauce (organic)
- 1 recipe enchilada sauce
- 1 t salt (sea salt or Real Salt)
- ½ t garlic powder (organic, non-irradiated)
- 1 t chili powder (organic, non-irradiated)
- ½ cup olives, sliced (optional)
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (organic) OR cook your own
- 1 cup mozzarella, shredded (grass-fed, organic)
- Cook rice according to package directions.
- While rice is cooking, preheat oven to 400 and line a 9x13 baking dish with parchment or foil.
- Begin preparing your filling. In a heavy pan, heat 3 Tbsp avocado oil over high heat. Add onions, peppers, and celery and sauté for 3-5 minutes, or until vegetables have started to brown and pop.
- Turn down heat to medium and add mushrooms and garlic and stir.
- Add tomato sauce and ½ cup enchilada sauce (save the rest of the enchilada sauce for later). Stir. Add salt, garlic powder, and chili powder. Stir.
- Add black beans, and if adding, add olives. Stir and turn burner off.
- Add rice and combine well, making sure that all the rice is covered with sauce.
- Fill tortillas with rice mixture and then roll and place seam side down in the prepared pan. Fill pan with tortillas and then pour remaining enchilada sauce evenly over the filled tortillas. Sprinkle cheese over top of the enchiladas.
- Place, uncovered, in the oven and bake for 20 minutes at 400.
- Enjoy with sour cream, green onions, and chili peppers.