Monday, December 5, 2011

mexican. meatless. monday.

there are, what seems like, millions of food blogs out there. and they all have their own area of personal interest or expertise. 

just desserts.
cooking with a tight budget.
crockpot recipes.
college student. :)

you name it, there's a food blog out there about it. and each is different in the way it is set up. however, there seems to be one recurring theme.

meatless monday.

so in lieu of joining the cult and obsession that is writing a food blog, i figured i'd follow the crowd on this one.

but i'm taking this one step further and donning this "mexican meatless monday."

oh yes.

did i mention this was an all day affair?

one class on mondays means pinterest and foodgawker are my morning rituals, which corresponds well with planning my dinner adventures. i had also gone grocery shopping which pretty much always gets my imagination and creative juices flowing.

guac for lunch?

yes please.

ok for all the avocado newbies out there, this is a convenient step-by-stepper for you.

1. run your knife around the fruit (yes, i meant to say fruit...) from top the bottom. guide it around the pit in the center, don't just chop the whole sucker in half, it won't work.
2. lightly, and safely, toss the knife into the pit.
3. make sure the knife is secure and so is your grip on the avocado and the knife. then slowly turn the knife in order to loosen the pit from the flesh.
4. pit is removed! now the trick is to get that slippery pit off the knife without slicing yourself open.

5. take a spoon and insert it into the flesh right under the skin. if the avocado is ripe, the flesh should come out in one nice chunk. if it's not ripe, good luck. :)

after all the avocados had been pitted and skinned, i mashed them into a chunky mess.

mm. there's something about avocados that i love. well maybe a few things.

what other type of vegetation can you think of that is creamy all on it's own?

what other type of vegetation can you slice onto sandwiches and mash up and spread onto a sandwich?
what other type of vegetation is this good for you? (ok so a lot. whatever.)

anyways, after some skillfull mashing, i squeezed in the juice of a full lime, along with probably a tablespoon of lemon juice.

those juices are on double duty: the acid keeps the avo from browning and adds some flava flave.

next i chopped up half of a sweet onion and threw that in.

onto the romas.

oh roma tomatoes. you are my favorite. i honestly could just eat these like apples if their juicy, seedy insides would stop oozing all over my chin and shirt. it's a love-hate relationship we have.

p.s. the easiest way to cut a tomato is with a serrated knife! little restaurant trick for all you "normal" people out there who have never had the joyous opportunity to slice a 20 lb. box of tomatoes in one sitting.

ok let's run back through this easy schmeasy recipe.

lime juice.
lemon juice.
guacamole anyone?

psst. there's still some in my fridge.

ok so with the guacamole out of the way (and my not-so-meatless turkey, guac and greens pita had been consumed) i was on to dinner plans.

black and pinto beans sitting in my cabinet and tortillas sitting in my fridge got my enchilada taste buds whirling.

and with all that protein-y goodness from the beans, who needs to worry about defrosting chicken at this time of the day?

i found this recipe out there on the blogging world and must say, they are quite possibly the easiest and most delicious enchiladas ever. and very college student-friendly, i must say.

i started out by cooking some brown rice. once it was cooked, i added in some salsa.

my lovely vegetarian dinner guest drained the black and pinto beans and added those in too. i also decided to chop up half a red bell pepper so i tossed that in too.

then we added a full packet of taco seasoning. now you could stop there if you like, but my lovely vegetarian dinner guest and i decided we wanted it spicy. so i also eyeballed in about a teaspoon of cayenne. keep the spoons away, cuz this would be a great side dish all on it's own.

at this point, we grabbed a baking pan and threw in some salsa to cover the bottom in a thin layer. i filled the tortillas with some of the filling and rolled them up. 

once my pan was full, i smushed some more of my leftover filling on top of the prepared rolls. then for the cheeeeeeeese. probably about a cup of shredded cheese would work, but i had a little extra, so that got thrown on there too.

a little extra cheese never hurt anyone... at least no one i know.

into the oven it went until the cheese was totally melty and beautiful. 

these are addictingly vegetarian.

try them and you'll see the wonders of mexican meatless monday.

Basic Guacamole
3 avocados, pitted and skinned
½ sweet onion, finely chopped
3 Roma tomatoes, chopped
2 tbsp. lime juice (or the juice of 1 lime)
1 tbsp. lemon juice
Salt and pepper

Mash the avocados until most of the large chunks are gone. Add in the lime and lemon juices and stir. Add in the chopped onion, Roma tomato, salt and pepper. Taste and adjust seasonings. Serve with tortilla or pita chips.

Vegetarian Black Bean Enchiladas
2 cups brown rice, cooked
1 cup salsa
½ red bell pepper, chopped
I can black beans
1 can pinto beans
1 packet taco seasoning
1 tsp. cayenne (optional)
5-6 flour or whole wheat tortillas (depending on the size)
1 cup shredded Colby jack or cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a baking dish with nonstick cooking spray and spread 1/4 cup of salsa over the bottom. Lay your tortillas out on a clean work surface.
In the pot you cooked the rice in, mix in the beans, peppers, taco seasoning, cayenne, and 3/4 cup salsa. Divide evenly among the tortillas. Roll each tortilla tightly and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish. Pour the remaining filling evenly over the tops of the rolled tortillas in the baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the cheese has melted. Serves 3-4.