It’s not quite Cinco de Mayo yet but I thought it was still appropriate to share a Mexican-inspired recipe for those who might still be searching for something to serve on Wednesday. And in honor of the Meatless Monday campaign I thought I would share something meat-free. I love the idea of Meatless Mondays even though I haven’t talked about them in awhile. Basically it is a nationwide initiative backed by John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health to encourage personal health by skipping meat one day a week. I routinely do this without trying because while I do still enjoy and eat meat, I’ve found it doesn’t always have to be at the center of my plate. I also feel pretty passionately about buying meat that lines up with my social values, which for me means getting it from a local producer I know that uses sustainable and human practices without chemicals whenever possible. (In Boston that meant being a member of this farm’s awesome CSA.) Of course this also means that the meat is usually MUCH more expensive than what you would find at the typical American grocery store, so eating meat as a special occasion food, rather than an expected everyday staple is part of how I’m able to buy meat this way and still keep my costs in line. Complete digression, sorry! It’s something I feel passionately about so it often comes out whether I’m intending to talk about it or not.
My meatless Cinco de Mayo recommendation is to make these Avocado & Black Bean Enchiladas. Adapted from a recipe in Eat, Drink & Be Vegan, these enchiladas may skip the meat, but leave nothing to be desired. The filling of beans, avocado, and mushrooms is both filling and flavorful and gets a nice textural boost from cashew pieces. While the combination may be unorthodox, it was delicious, so much so that I had to eat leftovers for breakfast because I didn’t have the willpower to make it to lunch. I’d round out the meal with a glass of my favorite homemade horchata or you could even have horchata cupcakes for dessert. But whatever you serve these with, I’m sure you’ll find them incredibly satisfying and unique.
-9-10 (6-inch) corn tortillas
-1 cup thinly sliced onions
-1 tablespoon taco seasoning
-Sea salt to taste
-Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
-2-2 ½ cups baby bella mushrooms, sliced
-14 ounces cooked black beans
-1/2 cup cashew pieces
-2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
-Flesh of 2 medium avocados
-¼ teaspoon sea salt
-1 28 ounce can enchilada sauce
-1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
-½ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped (for garnish)
-Sour cream, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place tortillas (frozen or at room temperature) in an 8×12-inch baking dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil, and place in the oven to soften for 5-10 minutes while preparing filling. Coat a frying pan with cooking spray and place over medium heat, onions, taco seasoning, salt and pepper and sauté for 2-3 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, add mushrooms, beans, and cashews, and sauté for 5-6 minutes, tossing once or twice. Immediately toss in lime juice and remove from the heat to slightly cool. In a large bowl, mash avocado and salt (can be chunky). Add onion mixture to the avocado mixture and mix to incorporate. Remove tortillas from oven, transfer to a plate, and cover with a tea towel to keep warm. In the same baking dish, pour half of the enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom. Place 1/4-1/3 cup avocado-veggie mixture in the center of each tortilla. Roll tortillas up, tucking in the sides as you go, and place seam-side down in baking dish. Pour remaining sauce over top, and cover with aluminum foil. Bake for 16-18 minutes, then uncover and bake for another 4-5 minutes, until bubbling around the edges. If adding cheese, sprinkle on after casserole has baked for 15 minutes, and then bake for another 6-7 minutes to melt cheese. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with sour cream.
I’m also submitting this dish as my entry for My Legume Love Affair #23, which was conceived and continues to be maintained by the fantastic Susan of The Well Seasoned Cook. It’s easy to join in the fun. Just post a recipe between now and May 31 that features a legume (or legume-based product/food) as an ingredient and then email Susan with your information (more detailed info is available on her blog). Believe it or not, a pretty broad array of things count so head over to Susan’s blog if you need some suggestions. And if the challenge of concocting something fun with legumes is not motivation enough, there are also fabulous prizes up for grabs. For my ideas, check out some of the things I have previously maded for MLLA like Chickpeas in Indian Cashew Sauce, White Beans, Caramelized Onion, and Vegan Sausage Pizza, and Sweet Pepper Coconut Corn Chowder.