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Those of you with gardens know it’s the tail end of squash season. Do you feel as though your garden has been taken over by this wildly prolific plant? Are you giving it away to friends, family, even strangers? Adding it to everything from pancakes to smoothies?

I thought I’d help you out with an idea for garden-fresh (and gluten-free) enchiladas. You can mix and match your veggies as you please. This isn’t a “real” recipe, it’s just another one of my launching pads, a way to use up your late-harvest veggies. You really can’t mess it up (yeah, I know, famous last words).

what you need

red chile enchilada sauce
I use vegetarian Bueno Red Chile sauce; sometimes the frozen version, sometimes the dried version, sometimes my own version using whatever dried red chile powder I have around. Whatever I use, I always add minced garlic to the sauce. Simple instructions will be on the package, whatever brand you buy. If the recipe calls for all purpose flour, simply substitute brown rice flour to make it gluten-free. Some recipes call for a tablespoon or two, some don’t call for any flour. I usually “doctor” up my red chile sauce with southwest seasonings like cumin, ground coriander, dried oregano, or dried thyme. Like I said, this is just a launching pad, so don’t be afraid to play with your food. Adjust amounts according to how many people you are serving.

corn tortillas (6-inch size)
Make sure they contain only corn (maize) and no wheat flour. You can also use blue corn tortillas, which add a bit of culinary cachet to your enchiladas. Again, make sure wheat flour wasn’t added into the mix. Count on 2 per person for stacked enchiladas and 2 or 3 for rolled enchiladas.

grated cheese
a mix of colby and monterey jack

filling ingredients (these are just ideas, use a mix of your favorites)
bell peppers
cremini mushrooms
corn (small can or scrape it off a cooked cob)
black beans or pinto beans (15 ounce can, rinsed and drained)

what you do
1. Prepare red chile sauce according to package directions, simmer on low.
2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
3. Drain and set aside corn and beans (don’t roast with the other veggies). Wash and dice the other veggies, toss in a small amount of olive oil. Spread out on a rimmed cookie sheet, lightly salt, and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Veggies should be tender and browned in spots. Remove veggies, transfer to a large bowl and add the corn and beans. Toss gently. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees.
4. Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a small skillet. Quickly fry one tortilla at a time, turning once. Drain on paper towels.
5. Using tongs or two forks (this takes some manual dexterity), dip prepared tortilla in red chile sauce to coat. Place red chile covered tortilla on an oven-proof plate, spoon about 1/3 to 1/2 cup of veggies on tortilla, top with small amount of grated cheese and place another red chile dipped tortilla on top. Add a couple of spoonfuls of sauce and some grated cheese and place in the oven for 5 to 10 minutes to heat thoroughly and melt the cheese.

* This is a traditional New Mexican stacked tortilla method, which I really like. But, if you’re making more than two or three servings, this individual method becomes time consuming and a little more difficult. You can also prepare rolled enchiladas by spreading about 1/2 cup of the sauce in a 9 x 9 inch (or 9 x 13) baking dish. Using the briefly fried tortillas (draining on paper towels) — place about 1/3 cup of roasted veggie mix down the middle of the tortilla. Cover with 1 to 2 tablespoons of red chile sauce and a small amount of cheese. Roll up to enclose the filling. Adjust amounts so they roll up and close. Place seam side down in baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, placing them side by side. Spread the rest of the sauce and filling over the tortillas, sprinkle with cheese and bake uncovered for about 15 minutes.

* For a dairy free version, just skip the cheese.

garnish ideas
diced tomatoes
shredded lettuce
sliced avocado
fresh cilantro
black olives

Oh, by the way, Denver area GF bloggers, Pete and Kelli, will be teaching a GF cooking class (FREE) at Whole Foods in Littleton on October 29th. You can read more about it on their blog, noglutennoproblem. If you live in this area, check it out!

In good health,

8 Responses to “garden-fresh enchiladas”

  1. Lo! says:

    I love veggie enchiladas! They’re really a great way to use up what remains of the harvest. And what could be better than a dish that’s tasty AND healthy?

  2. Kim says:

    I love enchiladas and mexican food is a great way to eat gluten free with veggies. Thanks for the inspiration!

  3. Kay says:

    I really miss corn on the cob, corn tortillas and corn chips! Your enchiladas look tasty. I stick to Mexican rice bowls and chip-less taco salads.

    I decided to use my last garden produce in a zucchini lasagna. It’s easy to go Italian without corn.

    I’m overstocked on little tabasco peppers. I may try to whip up my own hot sauce. That should spark up my rice bowls!

  4. Melissa says:

    Lo! I couldn’t agree more. Nothing better than healthy and tasty.

    Kim — you’re welcome. Yes, Mexican food can be an easy way to eat gluten free. And by the way, your thyme toasted pecans are amazing! Yum!

    Kay — yes, that’s a drag when you can’t eat corn either. My daughter can’t even look at corn without having problems. Zucchini lasagna sounds like a good way to use up the remains of the harvest. I’ll have to visit your blog for the recipe. Sounds wonderful!

    In good health,

  5. I absolutely LOVE enchiladas! I’ll have to try making the red chile sauce. I usually smother mine in cheese & sour cream. Um, not the healthiest option! BTW, a squash smoothie?! Not sure if I will partake in the recipe – ha ha.

  6. Louise says:

    My family looooooves cheese enchiladas, but I never even considered using roasted veggies in them. Sounds like a great meal and a nice way to use some extra bits of vegetables that we always have on hand.

    Here’s a hint I picked up a few years back: instead of dipping the corn tortillas in the oil, lay them on a cookie sheet, lightly spray with canned canola oil, and bake at about 350 for about 3 minutes. Works perfectly to soften the tortillas, and in my mind, offsets the sour cream calories in the topping. 🙂

  7. Shirley says:

    Ooooh, these sound good. I love roasted veggies. I usually rely on an enchilada casserole recipe I have, so I could adapt this recipe to that method as you mentioned. In my recipe you just layer the corn tortillas, so there is no frying and you don’t get a true enchilada effect, but it’s still mighty tasty.

  8. Melissa says:

    Maureen — Yeah, that comment about squash smoothies was just to make a point. You’re right, it doesn’t sound all that good, does it! But the red chile sauce is divine and sooo easy.

    Louise — good idea about the corn tortillas!

    Same with your tortilla layering idea, Shirley!

    I love getting new tips on how to make life in the kitchen easier and more fun.

    Thanks everyone!

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