Goat Cheese Enchiladas
Sometimes the best ideas come from a place of necessity, and when we least expect them.
Although I took a bit of a hiatus from writing recipes, that does not mean that the cooking has stopped, and certainly not the ideas. I found that I was deep in a place of “working” on my personal work because I felt I ‘should’, because I ‘had to’. So I decided to take a break and return when I was ready to create from a place of joy. By allowing joy to fuel my work, I not only feel more fulfilled, but also create work that is completely genuine.
On this particular Saturday, I woke up with a desire to cook something that was both nourishing and delicious (and let’s be honest, I also just had a hankering for enchiladas). I had recently thrown together a chilaquiles-like dish using goat cheese and corn, and I couldn’t get the flavor combination out of my mind. So I decided to elaborate on it: spread corn tortillas with goat cheese, fill them with sweet & savory plant-based goodness, and bake with more cheese on top. What could go wrong? Well, in this case, nothing.
The beauty of this dish is you can totally make it your own. After all, no recipe is written in stone (well, OK... except if you're baking, which doesn't happen to be my forte for obvious reasons). Want to take this dish all the way vegan? Make it without cheese or use dairy free cheese replacements. Not in the mood for beans? Leave ’em out. Prefer brown rice to quinoa? Swap it. Feel like adding an animal protein? Go for it! The only thing you definitely don’t want to miss is, well, this dish...
It’s a perfect balance of sweet and savory, with bursts of sweet potato and corn balancing out earthy mushrooms and beans, and a smokey chipotle sauce blankets the enchiladas before they are baked with sharp cheddar on top. When I say this is what dreams are made of, I really mean it. This is ACTUALLY what my dreams are made of. If you find yourself dreaming about enchiladas too, then get cooking because I promise - this dish will make all of your enchilada dreams come true. It's literally, the whole enchilada!
Roasted Vegetable Goat Cheese Enchiladas
1 medium sweet potato
1/2 cup loosely packed cooked white quinoa
1/2 med-large zucchini
1/2 large yellow onion
1/2 cup frozen sweet corn
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
4-5 Baby Bella mushrooms
1/4 tsp adobo seasoning
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
Sea salt to taste
Flavorful salsa of your choice (I used Brad’s Organic Salsa but also like La Esquina’s Salsa Roja)
1 small can Goya Salsa Chipotle or similar Chipotle Marinade or Enchiladas Sauce (not to be confused with Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce)
1 small log herbed goat cheese (or vegan alternative like Kite Hill Chive Spread or Treeline French Style Herb-Garlic)
2-3 slices sharp cheddar (or vegan alternative like Daiya slices)
6-8 tortillas depending how many you’re serving
Additional toppings optional: Fried egg, sliced radish, fresh cilantro, avocado, Pico de Gallo, crema
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. We’re going to start by prepping all of our vegetables. Remove the skin from the sweet potato and cut down first into rounds, and then down further into fourths. In a bowl, toss the sweet potato with a splash of extra virgin olive oil, roughly 1/4 tsp sea salt and 1/4 tsp adobo seasoning. Lay your sweet potato pieces onto a baking sheet in one layer, which will allow them to cook evenly and get perfectly crispy. Bake on the top rack of your oven for roughly 15 mins. You want the sweet potato to be golden and crispy, so leave it in a little longer if it doesn’t look ready after 15 minutes. I do recommend setting a timer though so you don’t forget to take your sweet potato out while you’re prepping your other ingredients!
In the meantime, you can get to work on dicing the onion, zucchini, and portobello mushrooms. If your quinoa is not already cooked, this would also be a good time to throw it in a pot and cook according to box directions. To keep my quinoa nice and tender, I like to add a splash of extra virgin olive oil to the water after it boils and before I let it simmer.
In a bowl combine your cooked quinoa, diced zucchini, and mushrooms. Keep your onion, corn, and black beans to the side.
Over medium heat, add a heaping tbsp of extra virgin olive oil to a deep sauté pan. Once the olive oil starts to shimmer and heat up, add your onions and let them cook down. They should start to soften and become transparent. Next you can throw in your rinsed black beans, corn and the rest of your spices. Here I encourage you to add salt to the eye - trust your gut - but if you’re really unsure, start with a 1/2 tsp. You can always use a spoon to taste and add salt later if needed (just remember if you’re cooking for others, not to double dip). After 5 or so minutes of letting the ingredients cook together, add the quinoa and vegetables. Stir everything together thoroughly so that you combine all the flavors in the pan. You can turn the heat down a bit here so as not to overcook any of your ingredients. This is a good time to give your filling a taste and adjust the flavors as needed. Add more garlic powder if you love garlic, more salt if it’s bland, or more cayenne if you like more heat. Then turn the burner off and put the pan to the side.
Prep a baking dish by brushing or spraying with a little olive oil (you can also use coconut or avocado oil if you prefer).
Now we assemble! Before you start, notice if your quinoa and vegetables have become overly dry in the pan. If they have, you can always add a small glug of olive oil and mix, to loosen it up.
To soften your tortillas, dampen a paper towel and wrap around the tortillas. Place them on a microwave safe plate and hit them with 30 seconds. When you pull them out, they should be steamy, soft and pliable. Now, taking 1 tortilla out of the paper towel at a time, we quickly coat (or spray) one side of each tortilla with olive oil, or your cooking oil of choice. Flip over and smear the other side with a little goat cheese. Add a few pieces of your roasted sweet potato and a tablespoon of your filling, being careful not to overfill your tortillas.
Carefully roll, and place into the baking pan, seam side down. Continue until all your tortillas are filled and rolled. Keep in mind that it's okay if a little of your filling spills out as you transfer them to the baking dish - they don't have to be totally perfect. You can always nudge the filling back in using a spoon.
For the sauce, if you cannot locate the Brad's Organic Salsa or Goya Home Style Chipotle Sauce (https://www.walmart.com/ip/Goya-Home-Style-Chipotle-Sauce-7-oz/199898824) that I used, you can also look in the International Aisle of your local grocery store for any red enchilada sauce and a salsa that appeals to you, and mix them to taste! You can also opt to make your own if you’re feeling really ambitious.
To mix, pour into a measuring cup 1/4 cup of Brad’s Organic salsa, and then fill the rest of the way to 3/4 cup with Goya Chipotle Sauce. Mix together, and then pour over tortillas as evenly as possible. Place 1 slice of cheddar cheese on top of each rolled tortilla. Place in the oven and bake on 400 for 20 mins, or until cheese is bubbling and golden.
You can serve with a fried egg to make this a delicious brunch, and top with any of your favorite toppings: radishes, crema, avocado, guacamole, pico de gallo, or fresh cilantro. The world is your oyster!