Lately I’ve been challening myself to eat a mostly plant-based diet after reading the fascinating work of Dr. T. Colin Campbell in The China Study. While I am by no means a vegan and could absolutely NOT live without eggs, cheese, or yogurt, I do get bored of the same ol’ chicken breast, turkey burgers, and seafood dinners, so I am challenging myself- or rather, enjoying experimenting- with adding more beans and legumes in my meals.
These Butternut Squash Black Bean Enchiladas were a quick and easy product of my forray into a plant-based diet, and lucky for me, the whole batch was all mine to enjoy (who else is living with a no bean eater?).
What I love about this recipe is the ease in which it lends itself to meal prepping. I took advantage of a low-key weeknight to peel, dice, and roast my butternut squash, so that these enchiladas would come together in a snap the night I planned to eat them. And, bonus (!) there was plenty of leftover roasted squash ready to be added to other lunches and dinners throughout the week.
Butternut Squash Black bean Enchiladas- serves 2-3
1.5 cups peeled, diced, roasted butternut squash
1 cup black beans
1/2 3 oz. can diced green chiles
2.5 cups washed spinach
6 small corn tortillas
Sauce of choice- enchilada, taco, or salsa verde
Optional toppings- crumbled cheese (I used feta, but goat or Mexican queso fresco would also work beautifully), chopped cilantro, pepitas, or pomegranate seeds
Roast squash the night before or earlier in the evening. To roast, I simply seasoned the squash with a bit of olive oil and cumin, then baked at 350 degrees until fork tender. In a bowl, combine squash, beans, and chiles. Toss to combine and set aside.
Wash spinach and toss directly into a warm saute pan to wilt. You could even add in some minced garlic for more flavor and boost in antimicrobial power.
For the assembly, coat the bottom of a baking dish with your sauce of choice. Warm tortillas in the microwave for 10-15 seconds until pliable and keep wrapped in a towel during assembly process- I skipped this step and ended up fighting dry tortillas that wanted to split open at every roll- do not skip this step!
Now you are ready to roll. Place a small amount of spinach on to a tortilla first, followed by 2 scoops of your squash mixture. Gently roll tortilla and place seam-down into the prepared baking dish. Repeat rolling with remaining tortillas and nestle closely together in baking dish. Spoon sauce over enchiladas, then transfer dish into oven to bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.
Remove enchiladas from oven, top with cheese and assorted bits, serve, and dig in!