Mondays are crazy at our house this semester. We begin with a 7 a.m. sectional for the French horn player in the family, which means The Boy and his dad have to leave the house half an hour earlier than usual. From there we move on to the usual craziness of a full day of classes, followed by a run for The Foodie—Monday is one of the days sandwiched between my twice-a-week boot camp, one of the few days when running is even a possibility—and, finally, The Girl’s weekly dance lesson. This was only our second week of dealing with the manic Monday schedule, but it’s already clear to me that making a fresh, nutritious vegetarian meal in observation of Meatless Monday will be something of a challenge.
So: why not use Meatless Monday as an occasion to plan a meatless meal for later in the week instead?
Last night I looked through some of my favorite recipes and thought about how I could transform them into something slightly different. These Veggie Enchiladas can be made with any assortment of vegetables you happen to have hanging around in your vegetable crisper, freezer or cupboard—what I’m suggesting here are the vegetables I normally have on hand, but feel free to substitute. Whatever combination you choose, you’ll want to end up with about 4 cups of the filling.
The sauce in this recipe will look familiar if you’ve tried my Chicken and Black Bean Enchiladas recipe. This time around I’m using vegetable stock in place of chicken stock, in keeping with the meatless theme, but otherwise it’s essentially the same. Remember to move the pan off the heat before adding the Monterrey Jack cheese—don’t just turn off the burner. Otherwise, you’ll end up with a grainy sauce when the melting cheese breaks into curds and whey. And here’s one final caveat: don’t skip the coriander. If you don’t have a jar of it in your spice rack, wait to make this recipe until you do.
Veggie Enchiladas with Sour Cream Sauce
For the Filling:
2 T. butter
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 10-oz. package frozen spinach, thawed, squeezed dry of excess water
1 can (4 oz.) diced green chilies
½ cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
For the Sauce:
2 T. butter
2 T. flour
2 tsp. coriander
2 cups vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 cup sour cream
12 to 16 6-inch tortillas
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Over low heat, melt 2 T. butter. Sauté the onions and garlic for two minutes, then add the red pepper and sauté for three or four more minutes. Scrape this mixture into a large bowl. Add the corn, green chilies, thawed spinach, and the ½ cup shredded cheese. Stir everything together and set aside.
In the same sauté pan, again over low heat, melt 2 T. butter and whisk in the flour. Add the coriander, whisk again, and cook 2 or 3 minutes, until thick and bubbly. Add the vegetable broth slowly, whisking to keep the mixture smooth. Bring the sauce back to a slow bubble and allow it to cook for 5 more minutes, whisking occasionally to keep everything thick and smooth. Move the pan off the heat, then stir in 1 cup of the shredded cheese and the sour cream. Keep the sauce off the heat while you assemble the enchiladas. (Don't worry about it getting cold; the entire pan of enchiladas and sauce will heat up in the oven.)
Lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch pan with cooking spray. Add ½ cup of the sour cream sauce to the vegetable filling mixture and stir one more time. Spread about ¼ cup of the filling mixture down the middle of a tortilla; roll each side over the filling and place in your prepared pan, seam side down. Repeat this process with the remaining tortillas and filling. You'll want to place the enchiladas fairly close to each other, but leave enough room for the sauce to get between them. Don't worry too much about their arrangement in the pan—as long as they're close enough to keep each other from coming unfolded, you're fine.
When you've finished rolling the enchiladas, pour the sauce evenly over the pan and sprinkle with the remaining ½ cup of shredded cheese. Bake the enchiladas for 25 minutes, until the top is browned and the sauce is bubbly.