Nothing like kicking around an empty tortilla bag to break a girl's pride

Another blog in response! Abaw posted a great sounding recipe for enchiladas, and I tried them tonight with, as she proposes, "anything you like" tossed in. Well I found myself with a festival squash, a red pepper, a can of black beans, and a bunch of cilantro. And by golly, they were soooo delicious. Here's what I did and what you can do if you want to recreate what I did:

Halve squash, rub with olive oil, place cut side down on baking tray and roast at 400F for 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, saute chopped onion, red pepper, and garlic in 2tsp olive oil over medium heat until veggies are translucent, then add 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp red chili flakes.

In a large bowl, mix together:
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1/2 cup salsa
1 small can black beans rinsed and drained (14oz maybe?)
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup corn (frozen then thawed)
sauteed veggies
flesh from half the roasted squash (discard skin)

I used fajita size flour tortillas, and greased a 9X13ish baking pan.
Place a bunch of mixture into a tortilla, roll up and put seam side down into the baking pan. Repeat. Mine made seven rolls but I definitely could have filled them less to make more rolls.
Pour some enchilada sauce from a jar (yep, you read that right) across the tortilla rolls, mostly down the middle and leaving the very ends of the rolls dry. Sprinkle the sauce with enough cheese to satisfy you.

Cover with foil and back at 350F for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another 10 minutes.

Ooooooh yeah! We'll be making these again, and soon! It should be said that I had a minor catastrophe with a pack of corn tortillas at first, which resulted in me cursing repeatedly and drop-kicking the empty bag of useless, crumbly, asswipe corn tortillas, which only resulted in greater frustration since an empty plastic tortilla bag really doesn't feel the brunt of a forceful drop-kick motivated by sincere anger. Suffice it to say that the Vancouver city compost is going to be the unwilling recipient of 50 shards of corn tortilla, and that I had to start over again with the rolling with flour tortillas that I no longer think I should be eating because of a suspected gluten intolerance. Blah blah blah, we had amazing flour tortilla enchiladas. Really, really very good. Sorry no pics!
Go make this!

If you're interested, I used the day to prep food for the week because otherwise I resort to some pretty embarrassing eating choices when the week gets busy. So I put half the squash in the enchiladas (more would have definitely been overkill) and made a really simple and really tasty squash and carrot soup with the other half. Here's the deets.

Melt 1-2 Tbsp butter in a large soup pot.
Add 1 large onion, chopped. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover with a lid, and sweat onions for 5 minutes.
Add 3 large or 4 medium carrots cut into chunks. Stir, replace cover, and sweat for 10 to 15 minutes.
Add the flesh of half a roasted squash (any variety will do: acorn, festival, kuri, even pumpkin), and 3-4 cups vegetable broth and a dash of nutmeg. If you don't have broth then 3-4 cups water, a bay leaf, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, and possibly a drizzle of soy sauce.
Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat and simmer for 15 or so minutes. Add 1-2 tsp vinegar to taste like white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice.
Blitz until smooth with a hand blender, or in a blender or food processor. Adjust seasoning and viscosity to taste.

So we have a couple enchiladas left over and now a pot of soup that would feed four. Since there's two of us here, we have three meals in a minute to rely on during the week. Better than a kick in the head! Or certainly better than a kick at an empty tortilla bag. I promise.


A blog in response

So hey folks, my sister has started a blog! A Blog About What documents the life of an awesome sister living in Edmonton, who has two freakin cute kids, a fabulous husband, a house, a job (currently on enviable mat-leave), an attitude (a good one!), and an interest in...well, a lot of things! So check it out if you have a minute. This post is in honour of Katho, and in response to her most recent post about pot roast. I hear ya on the warm, wintry foods, but I offer up a vegetarian alternative to the large hunk of beef*. BTW, how many references to your Irish heritage were made when you boiled beef, K? Very classic.

Our gorgeous fall meal tonight began with inspiration from the cutest squash you ever did see, the gem squash. Gem squash is a variety of summer squash, although around these parts it comes into season quite late for "summer". Last week at the Vancouver Farmer's Market - the Winter market, I should add - I found these little beauties, each about the size of an apple. I knew they would find their stuffing, and all I had to do was wait.
All week I've been meaning to make a batch of quinoa carrot muffins as made by Fresh 365. It calls for 1 cup of cooked quinoa, and today, although I didn't have all the ingredients for the muffins, I decided to make a batch of quinoa, save some for the muffins, and stuff the gem squash with the rest of it. Here's how it all went down.
  1.  I washed, halved, and seeded the squash. Gave them a light coating of olive oil and put them cut side down on a parchment lined baking sheet, and roasted them at 375 for 25 minutes. 
  2. Meanwhile I cooked 1 cup of rinsed quinoa in 1.5 cups of veggie broth (like you would cook rice) for 15 minutes, then fluffed it with a fork.
  3. Also meanwhile, I roasted walnut halves in the toaster oven at 300 for about 8 minutes (a light toasting).
  4. In a bowl I mixed the quinoa (minus one cup) with about 1/2 cup of light ricotta that was hanging around, 1 tsp fresh thyme, 1/4 tsp ground sage, a few grinds of pepper, and the walnuts. 
  5. I stuffed the squash halves with this mixture, topped them with a small sprinkling of cheddar (also hanging around), and returned them to the parchment lined sheet. At this point I also tossed a few cherry tomatoes with olive oil and put them on the same baking sheet.
  6. Baked all this at 350 for 25 minutes. Oozy gooey goodness! [Well, not really oozy. Tasty, but maybe more ooze would be nice. For this I would maybe mix in an egg to the quinoa ricotta mixture, or stir in grated cheese at the same step. Good, and lighter, without those changes, but really I would have appreciated some ooze.]
  7. While they baked, I sauteed green curly kale torn into bite-sized pieces in a little olive oil, and finished it with the lightest drizzle of balsamic vinegar when the kale was almost wilting.
The result is a delicious, nutritious and hearty meal of many veg and huge protein from the quinoa, walnuts, and ricotta. We washed it down with some tremendously delicious wine. Too delicious for a Sunday night, to be honest, but what the hell! A toast to autumn feasts!

*Every. Single. Time I tried to type beef in this post I managed instead to type beer. Freudian much?
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