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Black bean-avocado enchiladas

February 13, 2009

This is my take on Deena Kastor’s avocado enchiladas recipe that I found in Fitness magazine. Who is Deena Kastor, you ask? Well, she happens to be the fastest female marathon runner in America – ten minutes faster than anyone else – and the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist. However, since we mortals don’t run 100 miles a week, we don’t need the massive amounts of (good) fats present in her original recipe. The version in Fitness was already lightened up, but I took it further (and made it much more wallet-friendly) by reducing the amount of avocado and replacing it with beans and bell pepper, and of course omitting the cheese. One thing I couldn’t feasibly do is halve the recipe—with so many canned goods and whole vegetables, it would have wasted far too much food. So no matter how long it takes me, I will be eating every last one of these babies. I’ve got no complaints, and you won’t either.

1T canola oil
1 small (or 1/2 large) yellow onion, diced
2+ garlic cloves, minced
1T sugar
4T ground cumin
3T dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 can or bottle of beer
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1T balsamic vinegar
3 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small (or 1/2 large) red onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
3/4 tsp salt
20 corn tortillas

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the yellow onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sugar, cumin, and oregano and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, beer, and water or broth, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scoop out and chop the avocado flesh…

…toss right away with the lime juice, and then add in the beans, cilantro, red onion, green pepper, jalapeño, and salt.

Gently (you’re not making guacamole here) mix everything together with a large spoon. This filling would also be amazing mixed with cooled cooked brown rice, or eaten plain as a dip for tortilla chips.

Add the balsamic vinegar to the simmered sauce and remove from the heat. Spread 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of a greased baking dish. (I ended up using two dishes, a 9×13 and an 11×7, and they fit exactly 20 enchiladas.) Dip the tortillas in the remaining sauce to soften—I found the best way to do this is to submerge about four tortillas at a time in the warm sauce, and then fish each one out as needed with a pair of tongs. Spoon about 3T of the filling onto each tortilla, one at a time, and roll them up gently.

Arrange them in rows, seam sides down, in the baking dish(es). Spoon some extra sauce over the top, but be sure to save some sauce for serving.

Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.

Spoon the reserved sauce on top, and serve plain or garnished with additional chopped cilantro. The tortillas drink up the sauce and become meltingly soft. The tender filling, though warmed throughout, retains the cool freshness of the cilantro and avocado. Thanks to all the luscious monounsaturated fat, these enchiladas are extra-satiating and -satisfying. Who even needs cheese?!

Yield: 20 enchiladas. Per serving (2 enchiladas): 308 calories, 12.6g fat (1.7g sat), 43g carbs, 12g fiber, 8g protein.

If you like this, you might also like…
Chilaquiles casserole

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9 Comments leave one →
  1. Anonymous permalink
    February 18, 2009 7:52 pm

    Good job Amber! Wow your site is really amazing.~Mom~

  2. Anonymous permalink
    February 24, 2009 3:47 pm

    I had so much fun preparing this meal! I also made some spanish rice and fried plantains (which I love) to go with this. The flavor was really good, maybe a little strong for me, definitely too strong for my family, so I will tweak it a little next time.Can I just say how much I enjoy your website? I’m farely new to vegan cooking (less than a year) but I have never had more fun cooking and your website is full of great ideas. I can hardly keep up with all the good food you prepare! Thanks for sharing!G

  3. February 24, 2009 7:50 pm

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it! Can I ask you where you think the ‘strong’ flavor came from? I think I may know what you’re referring to. Personally, I think next time I’d replace the beer with vegetable broth; that might help, and I don’t care for beer anyway.This meal was quite an undertaking on its own (I just finished the last enchilada <>yesterday!<>), so I applaud you for making side dishes too! Those sound like great accompaniments. I LOVE fried plantains. I ate them every morning at breakfast on the cruise I took last November…what a delicious way to start the day.Thank you so much for reading/cooking/complimenting! I’m so happy to hear I have readers out there, and knowing that people are really making the food is a great feeling. Keep me posted on what you make and how you like it!

  4. Anonymous permalink
    March 9, 2009 2:32 pm

    So I made a seven-layer dip using the filling from the enchiladas as a base and it turned out really good. Usually seven-layer dip is full of sour cream, cream cheese, shredded cheese, etc. I started with refried beans, then the avacado & black bean mixture, topped that with cut ripe tomatoes and olives, and sprinkled cilantro on top. Very tasty!G

  5. March 9, 2009 5:54 pm

    A double-bean dish? Be still my heart! I love that idea. I bet the crunchy chips contrasted wonderfully with the creamy avocado and beans.

  6. cecile permalink
    February 23, 2011 10:19 am

    I gave it a try this week. That was great !
    I really really like the combinaison of the filling and the tomato sauce.
    Thanks for sharing this with us !

    However, I have 2 concerns (in case you’re interested…) :
    – I am not sure I could translate that canola oil the right way (is it the same as rapeseed oil ?)… cause here (in France), we believe that rapeseed oil should never be heated. It becomes toxic. So I put olive oil instead.
    – I was not fully satisfied with the tomato sauce. I should try again replacing beer by broth or with red wine ? 😛 really not sure about that beer taste.

    Thanks you again for sharing this recipe, it enabled me to satisfy both me (vegetarian) and my boyfriend (not at all vegetarian). What a challenge ! 😉

    • Amber Shea @Almost Vegan permalink
      March 2, 2011 5:52 pm

      Hi Cecile! All the way from France – how cool! I love it there.

      I’m glad you liked the enchiladas. Canola IS rapeseed, and it seems that there is new evidence every day that it’s not very healthy, so I think your olive oil substitution was a good idea. Coconut oil would work, too.

      I’m not a beer lover myself, so I understand you on the sauce! I think broth would be great. Red wine sounds intriguing, but could be overwhelming…perhaps 3 parts broth to 1 part red wine? 🙂

      Thanks for reading!

  7. vegincowcountry permalink
    February 26, 2012 1:10 pm

    Just found your blog – these enchiladas are going on my “to make SOON” list! I’m your newest follower, from the other side of State Line Road. 🙂

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