Cooking delicious and healthy dishes always seems easier to me in the summer. The days are longer, offering just a little more time to grocery shop and prep ingredients, and the foundation of each dish is simple: whatever fresh produce the abundance of summer has provided. I absolutely love the fruits and vegetables that arrive with the warm summer season. I can’t wait to get my fill of blueberries and peaches in the next few months (not to mention cherries, and apricots, too). The treasures to be found at my neighborhood farmer’s market inspire a host of new and creative combinations – though most require little more adornment than a drizzle of olive oil or dollop of whipped cream.
This enchilada dish perfectly highlights these fresh flavors of summer. It packs in two of the season’s most abundant vegetables: fresh corn and zucchini. When paired with hearty black beans and a vibrant salsa verde, these two veggies form the perfect filling for enchiladas. I have to admit: this is my first attempt at making this dish. I absolutely love Mexican food, but tend to get my fix at my favorite taqueria in the Mission neighborhood of San Francisco. In my own kitchen, I haven’t really ventured beyond basic quesadillas and homemade guacamole. Last week, however, I felt inspired, especially when I realized how simple this Mexican dish could be.
I’m usually someone who likes to make all parts of a recipe from scratch – either because I think that the resulting dish will be more tasty, or because I enjoy the challenge of preparing a complicated component myself. Sometimes, however, it can be smart to employ the help of a prepared sauce or other similar shortcut. This is especially true if doing so encourages you to experiment with a dish that you wouldn’t otherwise attempt! I picked up a jar of salsa verde from Trader Joe’s that became the inspiration for these enchiladas. This salsa contains only a handful of ingredients, primarily fresh tomatillos, green chili, and jalapeños. It’s super healthy, and we only need a handful of other ingredients to prepare a delicious pan of homemade enchiladas!
Simply sauté some veggies, then stir in canned beans and the salsa for an (accidentally) vegan filling. This combination is light enough for summer, yet quite filling and packed with lots of nutrients and fiber. The fun part comes next: rolling up the filling in softened corn tortillas for the cutest little enchiladas! This process isn’t as complicated or difficult as it might seem, I promise. Seriously, this is the easiest dish to whip up on a weeknight – after about twenty minutes in the oven, dinner is served! As an enchilada novice myself, I can pledge that this dish is the perfect example that homemade dinners can be easy, healthy, and quite delicious, all at once.
Summer Vegetable Enchiladas
Makes 4 servings
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 2 ears corn, husked
- 2 zucchinis
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 12-ounce jar salsa verde, divided
- 8 corn tortillas
- avocado slices, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges, for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°.
- In a pan, melt coconut oil over medium heat. Meanwhile, cut corn kernels from ears and slice zucchinis into small rounds.
- Add corn and zucchini to pan and sauté, stirring regularly, until lightly browned and softened, about ten minutes.
- Add beans and 1/2 cup salsa verde. Cook until warmed through, about five more minutes.
- Spread another 1/2 cup salsa verde on the bottom of a glass baking dish.
- To soften tortillas, sprinkle each with a little water and warm on an ungreased skillet for about a minute.
- Top each tortilla with about 1/2 cup filling, then roll it up and place in the baking dish, seam side down. Cover enchiladas with remaining salsa verde.
- Cook until warmed through, about twenty minutes. Serve with avocado slices, chopped cilantro, and lime wedges (for squeezing).
*Let me know in the comments below: what are your favorite recipe shortcuts? What products (from Trader Joe’s or elsewhere) do you rely on for speedy weeknight dinners?*