I picked up some tortillas the other day with a hankering for enchiladas.  Having never made them or ordered them or anything them before, this craving was a bit of a surprise.  But I went with it anyway.

I knew that enchiladas were like skinny burritos (without the refried beans), baked in a sauce and served warm.  And they’re soft when they come out of the oven and ha!, what a perfect way to welcome September.  After all, comfort foods and oven baking define much of fall/winter cooking.  Goodbye green salads, hello tender morsels.

So I investigated my cookbooks and found 4 vegetarian enchilada recipes from “The Enchanted Broccoli Forest” by Mollie Katzen.  Then I hunted around in my fridge and found a huge tub of Costco cream cheese (which had never been opened) and got to work.  I modified one of the recipes to suit my tastes and energy level, and here is the outcome:

1 cup cream cheese

1/2 cup chopped kalamata olives

1 cup minced red pepper

1 minced green onion

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup minced white onion

1/4 cup raisins

handful of chopped fresh basil

1/2 bottle of La Consentida Salsa Verde (or if you prefer to make a homemade sauce, go for it… I didn’t have the energy and this Salsa Verde is perfect for the job)

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix cheese first (to soften) and then mix in everything else.  Assemble the enchiladas by placing about 1/2 cup of filling on one side of the tortilla.  Then roll them up (I used five tortillas by the way).   Pour a small amount of sauce into baking pan (I used a cast iron frying pan) and then place the rolled tortillas on top.  Pour the remainder of the sauce over the rolls, cover with tin foil, and bake for 30 min.

Could it get any easier??

Easy Enchiladas

Easy Enchiladas

Now I know this isn’t fat-free or anything like that and believe me, I had guilty doubts about making these enchiladas.  I wanted to explore this recipe though and to try using cream cheese as a main ingredient.  I haven’t appreciated cream cheese in the past, I’m not the biggest fan it, and I did co-buy that bucket (literally a bucket!) from Costco… so I thought: why not?

As it turns out, I will likely be using another main ingredient next time. I thought the cream cheese was good, but it was a bit too cheesy and heavy for me.   Some thoughts for future enchiladas: cottage cheese or crumbled tofu or a mix of both.  I generally try to avoid a lot of cheese, as it hurts my system, so I’m always trying to find ways to cook without it, without noticing that it’s missing.  I have noticed that a lot of recipes call for a lot of cheese (and tomato sauce too) and so the challenge is to minimize the quantity without compromising the taste.