How to Make Spinach Enchiladas and Black Bean Chili
Credit: mjpyro

I could eat some type of Mexican food every day of my life I believe. However, I would not recommend it because the basic ingredients involved in most recipes are high in calories and fat.

If you are looking for a great combination of foods for dinner, here are three of my favorites that will please your dinner guests. Cooked in combination, they will take about an hour, although there is a little more time required for preparation, especially considering you need to soak the black beans in water the night before so that they cook faster the next day.

First up, the following enchilada recipe is made with ricotta cheese and spinach.

Spinach Enchiladas

This enchilada recipe can be modified to include chicken or beef along with the spinach. I have also made it with kale. If you are turned off by the taste of kale, the baking process improves the taste.

  • 1 tbsp. of butter
  • 1/2 cup of sliced green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Roughly 10 ounces of chopped fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 10-12 whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 can of enchilada sauce

Spinach Enchilada Recipe

First, preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan over medium heat on the stove. As the butter melts, toss in two minced garlic cloves and ½ cup of sliced green onions. Allow to cook for several minutes in the butter making sure that it does not brown. Slowly stir in the chopped spinach and cook for five minutes.

Remove the sauce pain from the heat and stir in a cup of ricotta cheese, sour cream and 1 cup of cheddar cheese.

Dampen two paper towels and place the whole wheat tortillas in between them on a plate and microwave for about 20 seconds, or until they are flexible.

Remove the tortillas from the microwave and start scooping some of the mixture from the sauce pan into each one. You should add no more than a quarter of a cup else it will not roll up correctly.

After you add the mixture inside, roll the tortilla and place the seam down in a 13x9 inch glass baking pan.

Before placing the pan in the oven, pour the can of enchilada sauce all over the rows of tortillas wrapped side by side. Sprinkle two cups of cheddar cheese over the top and place it in the oven.

Bake for 20 minutes or until the enchilada sauce is bubbling and the cheese is brown and melted. Serve immediately.

How to Make Spinach Enchiladas

Pyrex Bakeware 4.8 Quart Oblong Baking Dish, Clear
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This type of glass pan is the best to cook this type of dish in my opinion. I have several in various sizes.

Black Bean Chili

Black Bean Chili
Credit: Badagnani via Wikimedia Commons

Here is what you need to make some delicious chili to go with your spinach enchiladas. It is best made with a Dutch oven in my opinion, but use whatever you have.

Also, the black beans need to soak overnight in water so that they will cook faster the next day. Simply put them in a large saucepan and cover them with water. The next day, drain the pain, add more water and bring to a boil. Let them simmer uncovered for one hour before you begin the rest of the recipe.

  • 1 red sweet pepper chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 small onion chopped
  • 12 ounce pack of Meal Starter Grillers
  • 6 ounce can of tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes diced
  • 1 green chile
  • 1 can of vegetable broth
  • 1 can of vegetable juice
  • ½ tspn of crush red pepper
  • 1 tbsp. of cumin
  • Hot pepper sauce
  • 4 cups of dried black beans

Start with a medium sized bowl and combine the red peppers, celery and onion, and season with salt and pepper as desired. Set that mixture aside for now.

Coat a large pot, or Dutch oven, with nonstick spray. Add the meal starter grillers and cook over medium heat until they turn soft. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato paste, the vegetable broth and juice to this mixture and stir allowing to cook until it starts to bubble. At that point, reduce the heat to a simmer.

Next, stir in the crushed red peppers, cumin and a dash of hot pepper sauce from the brand of your choice.  Allow this mixture to simmer uncovered for about an hour. Make sure you stir it every 15 to 20 minutes.

After the mixture has cook for almost an hour, add 4 cups of dried beans. Allow to cook another 15 minutes, and then serve immediately.

How to Make Black Bean Chili

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Taco Green Peppers

Tacos with green peppers
Credit: mjpyro

Here is what you need to make a delicious twist on the traditional taco. I have substituted yellow and red peppers as well as pinto beans for some of the ingredients below. Use can beans if you are in a hurry so they cook faster.

  • 1 lb ground beef or chicken
  • 1 pack taco seasoning
  • 3/4 cup of black beans
  • 1/2 cup of sour cream
  • 1 cup of salsa
  • 4 medium green/red/yellow peppers
  • 1 tomato diced
  • 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese

Brown the chicken or beef in a skillet over medium heat, then drain any fat before adding the taco seasoning and a half cup of water.

Add the beans and bring everything to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes so the sauce thickens. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

While the mixture is thickening, prepare the peppers. Slice them in half and spoon out any core, seeds and stems. Boil them in water for 5 minutes, then rinse over cold water to stop the cooking process.  Now they are ready to add the taco mixture.

Spoon out enough of the taco meat to fill each half of the pepper then place in a pan in the oven for 15 minutes. Remove and top with sour cream, add tomatoes and shredded cheese and serve immediately.

McCormick Taco Seasoning, 1.25 Ounces
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