Two Lives, One Lifestyle

The Spaghetti of Mexican Food by Katie
July 26, 2010, 2:04 pm
Filed under: Dinner, Katie

John’s favorite meal when we go out is a big plate of cheesy enchiladas.  Since my mom had never made enchiladas and I learned to cook mostly from her, by default I assumed they were complex.  I reserved them as a indulgence worthy of a restaurant trip (we rarely ever went out to restaurants growing up, it’s pretty impressive on my mom’s part now that I realize what cooking every night after work and driving around 3 kids would take).

Anyway, tangent over.  Enchiladas are to “Mexican” food as spaghetti is to “Italian” food in terms of  easy pantry items.  All you need are tortilla shells, meat or beans, cheese, and enchilada sauce.  Just like spaghetti sauce, you could make your own more time-consuming enchilada sauce.  However, many jarred enchilada sauces have the same minimal ingredients as tomato sauce.

First, cook some chicken. This could be done ahead and then marinated in a bit of enchilada sauce.  Use a little thinned out (add water) sauce to coat the bottom of a baking pan.  Then, roll a bit of chicken with a tiny sprinkle of cheese in a tortilla and place seam-side down in a pan.  Cover with the rest of the sauce and sprinkles of cheese.  Put it in the oven.  Since the chicken is pre-cooked, decide when the cheese is melted and bubbly enough for you.

Making enchiladas at home where you can control the amount of cheese and oil makes them infinitely healthier than most restaurants.  Unless your home is with Paula Dean. I used a few tablespoons of guacamole and Greek yogurt (sour cream) to finish mine off.

On the side I made black beans.  I saw some delicious looking black beans at the Whole Foods hot bar recently and instead of buying them, read the ingredient list. Here’s what I used:

  • 1 can black beans
  • few shakes of chili powder
  • ~1 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 c. chopped onion, sauteed
  • 2 Tbsp chopped jalapeno, seeded and sauteed
  • 1/8 c. orange juice

I brought it to a boil and then reduced it to medium to simmer.  The orange juice is what I remembered from the WF ingredient list- it gave the beans a really nice citrus sweetness!

John said that the meal looked like it was from a restaurant which I took as a great compliment!  So glad I have leftovers for lunch too!

5 Comments so far
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I adore me some enchiladas and those look awesome!

Comment by Tina

I actually made them/the post at the end of last week and I’m already thinking I should make them for dinner again!

Comment by Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle

love the title of your post. and yes, you make enchiladas look JUST as good as restaurant enchiladas.

Comment by lisaou11

WOOOOO!!!!! Congrats on being published!!!! What journal??? Send me the article 🙂 I’d LOVE to read it! I was seriously STOKED when I was published I think I went to Pubmed 100 times in that first week just to see my name 🙂

Congrats again! XOXOX

Comment by Lauren @ BIOCHEMISTA

It’s in the process…. Not completely done! Between comments and edits etc, takes too long! Someday it’ll be offic and I’m sure I will be searching my name over and over 😉

Comment by Katie@ Two Lives, One Lifestyle

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