Happy Monday friends – I had a successful dinner creation with my leftover foods tonight so I thought I’d share. Tonight I did a Meatless Monday dish – as most of you know I eat plant-based 100% of the time and I try to do meatless 2-3x each week for my family. That being said I feel like many meat eaters are scared to try and go meatless once in a while….they’re afraid they’ll be hungry perhaps? Miss the meat maybe? My big secret ingredient to a successful Meatless Monday that everyone likes??
It’s true. My husband would be starving if I didn’t have plenty of carbs with dinner. Don’t get me wrong, they’re GOOD carbs. But I do find people have a hard time sticking with a plant based diet if they’re only allowing themselves salads and veggies….your body does need more. If it’s not getting its energy from animal proteins you need to include plenty of healthy carbohydrates IN ADDITION TO your plate full of veggies. This dinner I made tonight had whole wheat tortillas and brown rice – plenty to help the hubs feel full and satisfied even without meat.
People ask me all the time if I cook a full meal every night….and the answer is….sort of….?
The thing is…I cook pieces every night, but I’ve learned how to stretch parts of it out over several nights to save me some work. For example – I may broil or grill some chicken breasts for one night, and then use them the next night in a chicken pot pie and then use them again to make chicken fajitas.
I do the same thing with a pot roast. Cook a roast and veggies in a slow cooker and eat it as is the first night. Then I use it the beef and shred it for barbecue one night and another night I may throw together a beef stew (if it lasts that long).
Other times I do this with the vegetables – say I make a lot of red potatoes with the roast….we have lots of those left over but the roast is all gone? So I’ll use the potatoes with some chicken or pork chops a different night – or warm up, add some veggie broth or milk, and make mashed potatoes to go with something else…make sense?
Tonight’s dinner was the perfect example of this. I made Mexican type foods this past weekend….I had made some black beans in my Instant Pot (SO yummy but you could totally use canned black beans). We had eaten the black beans with some “fajita” type grilled veggies (onions, bell pepper, mush & zuch), some vegetarian tamales from TJs and some delicious red wine sangria :). So, I had leftover beans and veggies that I needed to do something with. An easy dinner would have been to grill up some taco meat, shred some lettuce and make tacos for dinner (just to give you an idea) but I decided to make some Vegetarian Enchiladas for a Meatless Monday dinner. They were a hit so I thought I’d share. I try to stay away from store bought sauces….honestly they’re full of JUNK and usually pretty simple to make.
First up – I made the enchilada sauce:
SUPER SIMPLE ENCHILADA SAUCE
- 2 Tbsp butter or olive oil
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (can use gf or spelt)
- 1 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp onion powder
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 sm can of tomato paste (8 oz)
- 1 1/2 cups veggie broth
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
In a medium saucepan melt the butter or heat up the olive oil. Add the flour and allow to thicken a moment. Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Add tomato paste and veggie broth – I used a whisk to get all all clumps and continued to whisk until smooth. Cook until it thickens up and season with salt to taste…you can also add more “kick” by adding more cayenne or whatever spices you like (this one, made as is, is very mild and even my kids enjoyed).
For my Enchiladas you will need:
- 6-8 whole wheat flour tortillas
- black beans (one can?)
- grilled veggies, raw spinach, whatever fillings you would like
- shredded cheese.
Cover the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish with a little bit of the enchilada sauce. Then add fillings to each tortilla – I add raw spinach to these….the taste is really not anything you notice and why not take the chance to get more green veggies in, right?
THIS is where it gets fun and you can totally customize. I did half of ours with only black beans/spinach/cheese (as I have one picky child who is NOT happy about seeing bell peppers and mushrooms lol). If you really wanted meat you could add some ground beef/turkey/chicken to yours….or even just in half. On these I did cheese on half and on a couple I skipped the cheese and added more of the grilled veggies. Again, just edit for your family right?
As I fill the tortillas I fold them over and place, seam side down, in the 13×9 dish and cover with the rest of the enchilada sauce
I baked this dish for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees – until the cheese was nice and bubbly. I served it with a side of brown rice, some shredded lettuce and some sliced avocado – obviously it was a big #success as this is all that was left.