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I’m a carnivore. I eat meat.

Last week I decided to challenge myself to a meat-free week. And I love a good challenge. So I scoured my old stack of Cooking Light magazines and came across one that sounded like a great kick in the flavor department that would be delicious as much as it was healthy. One can be a vegetarian and not eat the healthiest of foods so I was delighted to find this recipe that wasn’t 100% cheese.

I remember fondly when I lived with my parents how mom would crave enchiladas and I would happily oblige. With enchilada sauce from a can, shredded chicken, cheese and tortillas. No brainer. But this recipe that I borrowed from Cooking Light, features a sauce made from scratch. Im still getting used to shopping in an actual supermarket as opposed to an online grocer like I was used to in Queens. I am often left to improvise right there on the spot which can be difficult when the supermarket is packed with produce and customers.

Black Bean and Cheese Enchiladas with Ranchero Sauce

2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded Chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped
2 cups water
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 cup chopped sliced yellow onion
5 garlic cloves, sliced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups organic vegetable broth Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons chopped fresh   dried oregano
2 tablespoons no-salt-added tomato paste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice Lemon Juice
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups (8 ounces) pre-shredded reduced-fat 4-cheese Mexican-blend cheese, divided
3 thinly sliced green onions, divided
Cooking spray
8 (6-inch) corn  flour tortillas
6 tablespoons light sour cream

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Preheat oven to 400°.

Add onion; saute 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium; add garlic and salt. Cook 5 minutes or until golden, stirring occasionally. Add broth, chiles, and next 3 ingredients (through cumin); cook 8 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.

Pour onion mixture into a blender. Blend until smooth; stir in lime juice and red pepper.

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Combine the beans, 1 cup cheese, and half the green onions in a bowl.

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Spread 1/2 cup sauce in the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Warm tortillas according to package directions.

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Spoon 3 tablespoons bean mixture down center of each tortilla; roll up.

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Place, seam-side down, in prepared dish. Pour remaining sauce over filled tortillas.

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Top with the remaining cheese. Bake at 400° for 15 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Sprinkle with remaining green onions; serve with sour cream.

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I skipped the last step and dove right in. SOOO damn spicy… and if you read my directions and THEIR directions you will see I deviated slightly from their instruction. partially due to the fact that I added too many chipotles.

This made for a satisfying dinner with a side salad or some steamed veggies.

When I was down to my last two enchiladas, I decided to have some homemade brunch and added a perfectly fried egg on top. I don’t know why I didn’t think of it sooner!

Happy Meat Free week to me!

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