September 1, 2010

Beef and Rice Enchiladas

I think part of the reason it's hard to eat healthy, is because it takes a lot of work "remodeling" old recipes. This dish is based on a few I had found from my pile of "to be organized" clippings, and unfortunately weren't the healthiest versions. So, I added a bit of this, a little of that, and tried substituting organic, low-sodium foods. It's important to purchase organic when you can, especially meat. I didn't used whole wheat tortillas because they tend to be on the soggy side when baked in this recipe, so use your favorite brand.

I also used milder spices since we have a few "wimps" in the house (one of them is me!) You can make this to your liking, using hot peppers and stronger seasonings. You'll probably have some filling left over, which I love to heat and serve as a side dish later in the week.

Beef and Rice Enchiladas
serves 4

4 large soft tortillas
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 medium red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped chiles (or your choice of pepper)
1/2 lb. organic ground beef
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tablespoons taco or cajun seasoning (low sodium)
1 small can of petite diced tomatoes (8 oz.)
2 - 8 oz. jars of salsa
1 cup grated monterey jack cheese (or pepperjack, colby, cheddar)
1/4 cup of water
1/4 cup chopped cilantro or parsley
olive oil
hot pepper sauce

Cook the brown rice according to package directions and set aside to cool. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large pan, saute the onion in a little olive oil,
then add the chilies and garlic. Saute together until soft. Add the beef and brown evenly. Sprinkle on taco seasoning, then add the black beans (drained/rinsed), and the small can of diced tomatoes. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Add about 1/2 cup of salsa, then the rice.
 If mixture seems too dry, add a small amount of the water, and a few shakes of hot pepper sauce.
Preheat a medium sized skillet on the stove. Warm both sides of each tortilla, place on a plate and cover with a damp paper towel.

Spread about 1 cup of salsa on the bottom of a 13x9 pan.
Place a tortilla on a flat surface, and spread a generous amount of filling down the center (1 cup or more).
Add the cheese on top!
Now, fold one side of the tortilla over,
...and do the same with the other side. Place the enchilada seam side down in the pan.
Continue this with the remaining tortillas. Pour the rest of the salsa over the top, then add more cheese! Sprinkle with cilantro or parsley.

Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. (Set your timer!) Uncover, then bake for 15 minutes more. Serve with salad and chips with guacamole!

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