Recipe: Vegetarian Pioneer Woman Enchiladas With A Bonus Leftovers Recipe

I have never had the original Pioneer Woman Enchiladas, but DANNNNNNNNG this vegetarian version I made was uh.maz.ing. I won’t say that they were “easy” (which is one of my favorite qualifiers for a good recipe), but they weren’t super difficult either. I think if I made them a few more times and they were a bit more second hand then I could probably refer to them as “easy”.

But my husband, literally, complimented me on them after every. single. bite.

Sooooo, that means that they are a keeper!

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Vegetarian Pioneer Woman Enchiladas

  • 2 Tablespoons, divided and 1/2 cup Canola or Vegetable Oil, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon All-purpose Flour
  • 1 can (28 Ounce) Enchilada Or Red Sauce
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • 2 Tablespoons and 1/2 cup Chopped Cilantro
  • 2 cans black beans, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup chopped onions (I used frozen)
  • 2 cans (4 Ounce) Diced Green Chilies
  • 14 whole Corn Tortillas
  • 3 cups Grated Colby Jack Cheese (or similar)
  • 1 cup Chopped Green Onions
  • 1 cup frozen corn

Instructions
(I’m gonna break my instructions up similarly to PW’s method cause it really does make it easier.)

The Sauce

  1. Over medium heat, add 1 Tablespoon of oil and flour and whisk together, cooking for one minute.
  2. Pour in the enchilada sauce, vegetable broth, 2 Tablespoons of cilantro, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat and simmer while you prep the beans and tortillas. (She suggested simmering for 30-45 minutes… I simmered mine for about twenty probably and it was still fine.)

The Bean Filling

  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of oil over medium heat, then saute the onions and add the black beans and green chiles for about five minutes, stirring occasionally.

The Tortillas

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°.
  2. While doing that (if you are up for a little multitasking), heat 1/2 cup of vegetable oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
  3. Set up a paper-towel-lined plate to the side.
  4. Using tongs, dip one corn tortilla at a time into the oil and allow to fry until soft. I flipped mine about twenty seconds each side. Then arrange on the paper towels.

The Assembly

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a baking pan and spread it around the bottom.
  2. Dip each tortilla into the enchilada sauce in the pan (see her link above for great pictures of this process) and lay flat.
  3. Spoon in a bit of bean mixture, a pinch of cheese, green onions, and corn in the center of each tortilla.
  4. Roll up and put it in the baking pan with the seam down until you have filled your pan or used up all your tortillas.
  5. Pour some of the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese.
  6. Bake for 20 minutes (or until bubbly) and then sprinkle with cilantro and serve with sour cream.

Feed to yourself and someone else… invite someone over cause these suckers are goooooooooood. (Even though they look anything but good in this pic… I’m not a food photographer, so think of this more along the lines of “reality food tv”.)

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Oh yeah, and the… Super Bonus Leftovers Recipe! Well, I actually made this whole recipe in half because I didn’t realize until I started making it that I had not paid attention and I got a medium sized jar of enchilada sauce… and what are enchiladas if they are lacking in sauce. So, I ended up having some of the bean mixture and sauce left over. And so I threw it together with some rice and it was a great thing to make for the hubs for lunch today! But honestly, I think I’ll make it again when we are craving the flavors of this enchiladas dish but I’m not in the mood to hassle with the tortillas.

Vegetarian Pioneer Woman Enchiladas SUPER BONUS LEFTOVERS RECIPE

  • 1 cup (or however much you have) bean mixture from enchilada recipe
  • 1/4 cup enchilada sauce mixture from enchilada recipe
  • 1 cup of dry rice
  • Vegetable broth
  1. Cook the rice using vegetable broth (if you want, or you can just use water).
  2. Heat beans and enchilada sauce.
  3. When rice is ready, stir in beans and enchilada sauce.
  4. Devour.

And yeah… you can’t make rice and beans look “pretty” in a pic, like, ever. But… here they are. Yummy!

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Recipe: UNstuffed Mexican Style Bell Pepper Casserole

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I purchased a bunch of green bell peppers at Sam’s last week intending to use them for stuffed bell peppers, but the more I thought about making stuffed bell peppers the more I just couldn’t muster up the energy to make them. They really aren’t that difficult, although the whole process of getting them to stand up never comes easily to me for some reason, but they are kind of difficult to eat. Plus, my bell peppers always end up a bit… soggy. And, well, that’s just plain ol’ gross. With this recipe because they only are in the oven for about 15 minutes, they still have a bit of crunch to them!

I remembered seeing a recipe for UNstuffed Bell Peppers, and although I couldn’t find it on Pinterest, I did find a couple of others that sorta reminded me of the basic idea, and then I made my own (vegetarian) version! It would be vegan if you just left out the cheese! I would love to try this with black beans as well, but we were out tonight.

A question for my experienced cooks: could I make this ahead and refrigerate it?

UNstuffed Mexican Style Bell Pepper Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup rice
  • 3-4 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion (frozen is fine)
  • 3 teaspoons of minced garlic (jarred is fine)
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes (regular would probably be okay too)
  • 1 can red kidney beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (frozen is fine)
  • 1/2 cup pasta sauce (I used tomato and basil but I’m sure any would be fine)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 6-8 dashes of Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 3 green bell peppers
  • 1 cup colby jack cheese, finely shredded
  • 1/2 cup feta cheese chunks (if you want… we are feta freaks and so I put it in a lot of stuff where it doesn’t make “sense” but it always seems to be soooooo gooooooood!)

Instructions

  1. Cook rice according to directions.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 350°F.
  3. Lightly spray a 9×13 casserole dish.
  4. Heat oil in large skillet on medium heat. Saute garlic, onions, dried basil, and 1/2 teaspoon cumin until soft (about 3-5 minutes).
  5. While vegetables are cooking, cut and seed the green bell peppers. Cut into 2 inch chunks and arrange along the bottom of the casserole dish.
  6. In skillet, add fire roasted diced tomatoes and let simmer for 3 to 5 minutes while the juices cook out a bit.
  7. Add in kidney beans, corn, tomato sauce, 2 teaspoons cumin, and cayenne pepper sauce. Stir to combine and allow to heat through.
  8. Stir in rice.
  9. Sprinkle 1/2 cup of colby jack cheese lightly over bell peppers in casserole dish and 1/4 cup of feta cheese on top of colby jack.
  10. Spoon the vegetable and rice mixture into the bell peppers in the casserole dish.
  11. Sprinkle with remaining colby jack and feta cheeses.
  12. Cook at 350°F for 15-20 minutes, or until colby jack is melted (feta rarely looks melted).
  13. Serve and allow to cool for 3-5 minutes and then enjoy!

As soon as I arranged the bell peppers and saw how pretty it all was, I started to get excited!

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This step is really important I think because it lets some of the flavors come together without it having to spend a bunch of time in the oven.

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I could hardly wait when I pulled the dish out of the oven. It looked beautiful and smelled DIVINE!

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Recipe: Semi-Vegetarian Chickenless Pioneer Woman Chicken Spaghetti

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Okay, no laughing at my title. I had trouble naming this stuff!

The hubs and I have been really eating pretty light lately… well, more like rabbits, lot’s of healthy type stuff involving kale, parsley, and cilantro. He’s trying to slowly transition some of our meals into juicing (we’ll see how that works, neither of us are terribly keen on cleaning the juicer cause it takes forever, so that tends to thwart our motivation at times).

Anyway, I was just fixated on Chicken Spaghetti today (or, as we used to call it at church camp, Chicky-La-La). But, not eating meat again this year sorta gets in the way for having CHICKEN spaghetti. But then I started thinking about how many recipes I have “converted” from omnivore recipes to vegetarian (or at least semi-vegetarian… meaning there might be some animal product in there somewhere), and why not Chicken Spaghetti.

So, I searched for a recipe that used cream of chicken (cause, remember, I’m not a good healthy cook quite yet) and lo and behold when this recipe popped up from The Pioneer Woman, I took heed! So, I did almost exactly what she does only I switched out her chicken for mushrooms and black beans. But, really… look at her version, she has all these beautiful pictures of her chopping everything and laying everything out, etc. It was quite helpful to me (the amateur).

My husband was a BIG fan. As in… go back for seconds… twice. So, here we go…

Semi-Vegetarian Chickenless Pioneer Woman Chicken Spaghetti

  • 1 can Black Beans, rinsed
  • 5 Mushrooms, chopped into chunks
  • 3 cups Dry Spaghetti, Broken Into Two Inch Pieces
  • 2 cans Cream Of Chicken
  • 2 cups Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Green Pepper (this was a little more than 1/4 of a large bell pepper)
  • 1/4 cup Finely Diced Onion (I used frozen… wait, no, I just realized that I entirely forgot it!)
  • 1 jar (4 Ounce) Diced Pimentos, Drained
  • 2 cups Reserved Chicken Broth From Pot (I used a chicken bouillon cube in the water I cooked the spaghetti in)
  • 1 teaspoon Lawry’s Seasoned Salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon (to 1/4 Teaspoon) Cayenne Pepper OR 10 dashes of Frank’s RedHot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • 1 cup Additional Shredded Colby Jack Cheese
Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook spaghetti, in water with a chicken bouillon cube, until al dente. Do not overcook. Reserve 2 cups of “broth” before draining.
  3. If desired, saute mushrooms in some olive oil for a few minutes until a little tender.
  4. In a large bowl, combine black beans, mushrooms, cream of chicken, colby jack cheese, green pepper, onion (if you remember), and pimentos and stir just until mixed.
  5. When spaghetti is cooked, stir it into the mixture.
  6. Add seasoned salt and pepper sauce (or cayenne pepper) and 1 1/2 cups of reserved “broth” to the mixture and stir until combined.
  7. Place mixture into a casserole dish (I sprayed mine just to be sure) and cover with remaining cup of shredded cheese.
  8. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until bubbly. (The Pioneer Woman suggests that if the cheese starts getting too cooked to cover it with foil).

She also mentions that you can cover and freeze up to six months, or cover and refrigerate up to two days! So, to my friends that are due with a baby in a couple of months… plan on having Semi-Vegetarian Chickenless Pioneer Woman Chicken Spaghetti for your meal!

Recipe: Easy Cheesy Veggie Pasta Bake

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Easy Cheesy Vegetable Pasta Bake

I love this meal… and it gets double love because my husband said he loved it too… in fact, he said it twice! And then it gets triple love because it can be made ahead and refrigerated!

I got the original idea from this baked tortellini recipe over at Real Mom Kitchen.

Ingredients
• 16 oz dried penne pasta
• 1 cup frozen broccoli
• 1 cup frozen zucchini
• 1/2 cup whipping cream (not as good but will work: whole milk or half and half)
• 1 Tablespoon of Ana’s Herbs (or other Italian seasoning mix… although if you can find some Ana’s Herbs, get some… they are awesome! Their website has stores where you can find it)
• 1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (mozzarella or colby jack)
• 1 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
• 1 jar (24oz) of spaghetti sauce (I usually use a basil and garlic kind)
• 4 Tablespoons butter, divided
• 1/2 cup of Italian seasoned bread crumbs

Instructions:
1. Get out broccoli and zucchini so they can defrost just enough to separate from each other to be mixed.

2. Cook penne according to instructions until al dente. Drain and stir in a tablespoon of butter to keep from sticking.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine spaghetti sauce, cream, Ana’s Herbs, and 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.

4. Add in zucchini, broccoli, and penne. Stir until evenly combined.

5. Stir mixture into a 9×13 casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, then with bread crumbs. Drizzle remaining butter, melted, over bread crumbs.

6. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes and let cool for 10 minutes. Then serve!

It’s really easy and I love that I can incorporate frozen veggies without having to remember an hour in advance to get them out to defrost.

I’d love to hear some other variations you think would be good (and easy) in here. I was thinking some pre-chopped mushrooms? What else?

Recipe: Enchilada Bean And Chips Crock Pot “Bake”

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This is one of the first recipes that I have ever made-up on my own, so I’ll admit that I had my fingers crossed hoping all day that it would be good! And it wassssssssss!!!

With this one, remember… just because it’s “vegetarian” (if you use two cream of celerys) that doesn’t mean we should super-chow on it. Eat when you’re hungry… until you are satisfied. Then stop. I’d even recommend serving yourself a bowl/plate of it and then immediately putting the rest of it in tupperware and in the fridge. Maybe make yourself a fruit salad to go with it… eat half of the fruit salad ahead of time and then the other half, if you are still hungry, after you finish the enchilada bake. Not trying to be preachy… more so just reminding myself of this for the next time I pull up this recipe to make! It’s always a good reminder for me of how to move away from gluttony!

Enchilada Bean And Chips Crock Pot “Bake”

Ingredients

  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of chicken soup*
  • 1 can (10 3/4 oz) cream of celery soup
  • 1 can (4 oz) chopped green chiles
  • 10 oz reduced-fat sour cream
  • 3-4 Tablespoons Frank’s Red Hot Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1/2 bag of white corn (or similar) tortilla chips
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 can (16 oz) red kidney beans, rinsed
  • 1 can (15 oz) black beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups finely shredded colby jack cheese (or similar)

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl combine: cream of chicken, cream of celery, green chiles, sour cream, hot sauce, and cumin.
  2. Crush a few handfuls of tortilla chips and spread over the bottom of the crock pot.
  3. Grab a handful of the verrrrry cold corn and “sprinkle” it on top of the crushed chips.
  4. Place a layer of black beans and kidney beans.
  5. Spread a layer of the soup mixture.
  6. Over the soup mixture, place a layer of shredded cheese.
  7. Repeat the layers again. (I repeated them twice… it might vary based on the size of your crock pot)
  8. End with a layer of chips.
  9. Cooking options: Low for 4-5 hours or on high for 2-3 hours (but you run a bit of a risk of your sour cream separating if you do this)

*Here you have the “easy/convenient” version, but you could totally make your own cream of chicken/celery, make your own tortilla chips, use fresh chopped green chiles, fresh corn, and cook your own black beans and kidney beans. Honestly, I hope to be able to do that someday but I’m not much of a cook, I don’t really enjoy cooking as some do, and I’m not good enough of a time manager to do all that with my toddler and preschooler with me!

And a quick shout out to this flavor combo… Frank’s Red Hot Sauce with ground cumin is uh.maz.ing. I use it in our black bean soup (which is double uh.maz.ing.) and now I use it in anything Mexicanish.

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Recipe: Southwest-Inspired Corn, Black Bean, & Avocado Salad

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This is one of those “sorta” recipes… it is designed for one of those days when you don’t want to spend a bunch of money to go out but you need flavors and tastes that aren’t usual and… well, you’re either feeling lazy or you don’t have time or energy to slave over the stove.

With that being said, I’m gonna be looking for a substitute for the frozen veggie mix in this recipe so that there is also an all-homemade version.

Southwest-Inspired Corn, Black Bean, & Avocado Salad

Ingredients:
• 1 bag of Southwest-Inspired Corn And Black Bean frozen veggies mix (from Target… there is a pic of the bag below)
• 1/2 avocado, cut into chunks
• 1/4 cup sour cream
• tsp lime juice
• 1/4 cup shredded Colby jack cheese

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Directions:
1. Cook bag of frozen veggies in the bag in the microwave. Let them cool for a minute or two and then dump them into a cereal size bowl.

2. Add in sour cream and lime juice and stir until combined.

3. Incorporate the avocado chunks and shredded cheese.

4. Eat!

I thought it was super yummy! And so easy and quick. I ate the entire bowl cause I was so hungry but for a normal day it would probably make two servings. This whole not eating after 7pm certainly makes me hungrier at lunch!

Well, that and the hour long walk we took this morning during some fabulous weather!

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Recipe: 7-Layer Meatless Tortilla Pie

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My husband is doing a test-run of the covenant during June, and since he’s a teacher then he’s on summer so I get to make childless treks to the grocery store. Which means, we’ll be eating well for the next couple of months! Plus, I got a cookbook from my mom for Mother’s day… The Vegetarian Bible!

7-Layer Meatless Tortilla Pie
• 2 cans (about 15 oz each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 cup PACE picante sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or 1 clove garlic, minced
• 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
• 1 can (about 15 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
• 1 small tomato, chopped
• 1/4 teaspoon lime juice
• 7 large flour tortillas or 14 soft taco tortillas
• 2 1/2 cups shredded Cheddar or Colby Jack cheese

* Preheat oven to 400°

1. Mash the pinto beans in a medium bowl with a fork or potato masher. Stir in 3/4 cup picante sauce and the garlic powder.

2. Stir the remaining picante sauce, cilantro, black beans, tomato, and lime juice in a medium bowl.

3. Place 1 tortilla on a baking sheet (or two soft taco sized tortillas side by side… to make two “towers”). Spread with 3/4 cup pinto bean mixture over the tortilla to within 1/2 inch of the edge. Top with 1/4 cup of cheese. Top with 1 tortilla and 3/4 cup black bean mixture. Top with 3/4 cup of cheese. Repeat layers twice more. Top with the remaining tortilla and spread with the remaining pinto bean mixture. Cover with aluminum foil.

4. Bake at 400° for 35 minutes or until the filling is hot. Take pie out and uncover.

5. Turn off the oven.

6. Top with the remaining cheese and put pie back in for 3 minutes or until cheese is melted.

7. Cut the pie into wedges. Serve with additional picante sauce and sprinkle with additional cilantro, if desired.

* Could add in shredded chicken or taco meat into either the black bean or the pinto mixture.

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Total time: 1 hour