Love Mexican food but not the heavy carbs and calories? You might like these vegetarian enchiladas packed with fresh corn, black beans, mushrooms and pasilla peppers, sauteed with garlic, cumin and chili powder, then rolled in thin slices of summer squash, nestled in a bed of zesty red enchilada sauce and topped with pepper jack cheese. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melty and the sauce is bubbling. Yum! You won’t miss the tortillas (or the calories).
These enchiladas are seriously good! I made them twice. The first time (above) I used corn, mushrooms and pasillo peppers. You can see that the zucchini slices were harder to roll. (*See TIPS) The second time I added black beans and black olives. I loved both versions but preferred the second one but I happen to love beans. I understand that some people don’t like or can’t tolerate beans. It’s pretty easy to adapt this recipe to your tastes. The addition of beans (of any type) boosts protein as well as adding fiber and important vitamins and minerals without adding loads of calories. Even without the beans, the corn, mushrooms and peppers have quite a bit to offer. Corn has gotten a bad reputation nutritionally speaking because it’s a carb but corn contains certain B vitamins and vitamin C, as well as magnesium and potassium. Corn also contains a large amount of insoluble fiber which helps get the bowel going and feeds ‘good’ bacteria in the gut. For more information on poor maligned corn, read this great article 5 Myths About Corn
I added a dab of ricotta for creaminess and a sprinkle of pepper jack for cheesy deliciousness but these cheeses are optional for those who want to cut dairy or calories. This is a vegetarian recipe but it is easy to veganize. My favorite ricotta is made by Kite Hill, a vegan ricotta made from almond milk rather than cow’s milk. It’s slightly salty taste and creamy texture complement the veggies and sauce in this dish. I use it for everything!
There are plenty of vegan hard and shredded cheeses available for use instead of traditional pepper jack. Vegan readers, please message me your favorites and how you like to use them and I will give them a try. I love using new products and I am slowly moving away from dairy.
TIPS: This recipe calls for yellow squash because it is softer and more pliable than zucchini. If you do use zucchini, you might try salting it after slicing and letting it sit for about 10 minutes to soften. This is also a good trick if you like your ‘tortillas’ to brown as the salt draws out excess water. If you can only find small squash, use 4 slices instead of 3 to make your tortilla wraps. Fresh corn is fabulous but you can also use frozen corn. I don’t recommend canned corn unless that is your only option.
VEGGIE ZUCCHINI ENCHILADAS
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 Tbsn olive oil
- 2-3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 2 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup criminy mushrooms, sliced
- 1 medium poblano pepper, seeded and diced (or small can diced green chilis)
- 1 16 oz can or 1 1/2 cups red enchilada sauce
- 4 large yellow squash (or zucchini) *see TIPS
- 1 cup ricotta (optional)
- 1 cup cheddar, jack or hot pepper jack cheeses, shredded
- sliced black olives as garnish (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350º. Saute onion in large skillet over medium heat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, cumin, and chili powder.
- Add corn, pepper and mushrooms, saute several minutes until mushrooms release their water. Remove from heat and stir in beans.
- Using a mandolin or vegetable peeler, slice squash lengthwise into thin strips.
- Arrange three zucchini slices, slightly overlapping, and Spread a Tablespoon of ricotta along the center, if using.
- Place a spoonful of veggie mixture on top and a sprinkle of shredded cheese.
- Spread 1 cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Roll up and transfer to the baking dish, open side down. Repeat with remaining squash slices. Spoon any remaining corn mixture into ends of enchiladas.
- Top with remaining enchilada sauce, cheese and olives, if using.
- Bake until cheese is melted and the sauce is bubbling, about 25-30 minutes.
Veggie Zucchini Enchaladas