Saturday, July 18, 2009

Enchiladas with Brown Rice, Lentil and Zucchini

Mexican food was on the agenda today. I felt like something from south of the border today, and needed to make something my 80-year parents wouldn’t think was too “weird” as is sometimes the case with the food I make for weekend dinners. Enchiladas are something that everyone likes so I went with that idea tonight. I prepared the rice and lentils in the morning and made the vegetables later in the day and combined them with the rice and beans and filled them about an hour before serving.

This dish was very popular with the omnivores, much to my surprise since it so clean. But both of my parents had seconds, so I guess you can say this is an omnivore approved vegan recipe.

This dish has plenty of flavor from the herbs and spices. I considered adding a little tofu sour cream topping, but it didn’t need it. I do however think it needs the fresh salsa to make the entire dish a little summery. I did not measure the ingredients for the salsa. I kept adding items to the bowl until I liked the taste. The components are detailed at the bottom of the recipe.

We (my husband and I) thought this recipe was quite good. If we were making it just for ourselves we would have doubled the hot crushed peppers in the recipe. Overall I think this is good recipe if you are making something for a crowd that includes both vegans and omnivores. It is a healthy recipe, yet very filling and substantial.

Enchiladas with Brown Rice, Lentil and Zucchini
Serves 7


1 cup of brown basmati rice, uncooked
1 cup of brown lentils, uncooked
water necessary to cook rice and lentils
1 teaspoon of canola oil
1 red onion, finely diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced (allow to stand 10 minutes before cooking so that allicin can develop)
3 large zucchini, finely diced
14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon of hot crushed peppers
2 teaspoons of cumin seed
2 teaspoons of oregano, dried
2 teaspoons of thyme, dried
1 teaspoon of chili powder, ancho or chipotle
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
1 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper
½ tablespoon of no salt seasoning (Costco brand)
7 whole wheat roll ups/flat breads (Damascus Bakery brand)
14 ounce can of tomato sauce


Cook brown rice until done. Also cook lentils until tender. Combine rice and lentils in a bowl large enough to hold the filling. If you plan to cook the rice and lentils ahead (which I do), be certain to choose a bowl with a tight fighting lid. I sometimes make the rice and lentils the day before I plan to make the enchiladas. It extends the baking time (due to the cold) but makes preparation easier the day of baking.

Cook the onion and garlic in the canola oil until soft. Add the remaining ingredients to the onion pan, canned tomatoes through no salt seasoning, and cook until the vegetables are soft.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and spray a large baking dish with pan spray and set aside.

When the vegetables are soft combine them with the rice and lentils. Taste for seasoning and adjust as desired. Place 1/7th of the filling into each whole wheat flat bread and roll it up. Put the filled wrap into the baking dish seam side down and continue filling and rolling.

Cover the filled tray of enchiladas with the tomato sauce. I sprinkled a few cumin seeds and chipotle chili powder on top before baking. You are only cooking the enchiladas to heat the filling, since everything is cooked. How long they need in the oven will depend on whether the filling was warm or cold when it went into the oven. I would use a thermometer to test the internal temperature. I pulled mine when it reached 160 degrees.

I served my enchiladas with a fresh salsa of diced tomato, diced cucumber, diced avocado, purslane, hot crushed peppers, grated garlic, wine vinegar, drizzle of canola oil, fresh cilantro, dried oregano, chipotle chili powder, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper. You could just as easily add any salsa recipe you like. The important part is the cold crunch this adds to the dish.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 307.95
Calories From Fat (14%) - 44.08

Total Fat - 5.6g
Saturated Fat - 0.89g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 958.07mg
Potassium - 795.47mg
Total Carbohydrates - 55.9g
Fiber - 14.31g
Sugar - 7.35g
Protein - 17.87g


This recipe got thumbs up all around. If you like food that is Mexican inspired you will like this dish. The fresh salsa component is important. It cools the dish, but also adds a lot in terms of texture.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Related Posts with Thumbnails