Although I have (sadly) never been to Mexico, Mexican cuisine is absolutely one of my favourites- the combination of spices, lime, corn, coriander, beans and rice is something that I often crave and always enjoy. Delicious whole foods at its best. For years we have made burritos (and they are always a birthday meal celebration request here) but – finally- I made enchiladas last week. Zucchini, kale and black bean enchiladas to be exact.
Now I just want to start off by saying that these zucchini, kale and black bean enchiladas are not intended to be a traditional recipe. After reading many recipes and trying very hard to find out what authentic Mexican enchiladas are meant to taste and look like I was sadly disappointed by the lack on content online. I scrolled and scrolled… but found not much. Having never been to Mexico I can’t even say that these delicious enchiladas come close to what you’d find there BUT I can tell you they are packed full of flavour, have many traditional Mexican flavours and they are quick and easy to put together. So lets call them Mexican-inspired!
If you want to make some real, authentic enchiladas here is one recipe that I found.
- this recipe for Enchiladas Rojas (or Red Enchiladas) by Mama Magies Kitchen. which has an authentic family recipe for enchiladas that I hope to try soon. Mama Maggie fry’s the enchiladas, dips them in a rich chilli sauce and then fills them with cheese. Yum!
If you’re wondering what the difference between a burrito and an enchilada is- I was too.
In a nutshell, this is what I found.
Burritos are usually made with a wheat tortilla and are designed to be a finger food. Enchiladas on the other hand are made with a corn tortilla and are made to be eaten with a fork and knife. Both have similar sauces and fillings but these two points are the main difference.
What ingredients you’ll need for the Zucchini, kale and black bean enchiladas
- Zucchini or courgette. I prefer to use small to medium ones as they have more flavour and a lower water content, so choose these ones when buying your produce.
- Extra virgin olive oil or your oils of choice. From my research this is not a traditional ingredient for the most part in Mexico, however it is the oil I prefer to cook with.
- Black beans (frijoles negros). You can either use canned or precooked beans. I like to cook a big batch of beans and freeze them into small portions so for recipes like these all I have to do it defrost them the night before. Black-beans have a unique flavour and are the preferred choice here as they are the preferred bean (alongside pinto beans) in Mexican cuisine.
- Kale or cavolo nero. Again, this is not a traditional ingredient but since its growing in my garden at the moment I added it. Kale is a great source of vitamins and minerals, and can be found at most supermarkets and green grocers.
- Corn tortillas. a must for enchiladas. I like to use this brand who make corn tortillas in the authentic way.
- Herbs– fresh oregano, cinnamon and cumin
- Fresh coriander (cilantro). This is an absolute must unless you’re one of those people who hate coriander!
- Avocado– this is optional, but so good on top of your cooked enchiladas.
- Lime juice. Lime is so essential in bringing all the flavours together, and adding a zing and freshness. There is really no substitute but if you absolutely cannot get fresh lime you could use lemon juice.
- Cheese of choice. There are so many choice for these, and this guide to Mexican cheese might help you choose a more traditional cheese than I used (which was this dairy free one).
- Chilli Arrabiatta. This is a Whole Cherry Tomatoes Arrabbiata Pasta Sauce sauce by Sacla is made from cherry tomatoes, chille and other flavours. It works so well in this recipe, having a rich tomato flavour and hint of chilli that is not too powerful (you can add more spice if you like it hot).
We hope you love this Mexican-inspired Zucchini, kale and black bean enchiladas as much as we do. If you try them we would love you review below, or any comments or questions you may hav. Your feedback helps others find and enjoy this recipe too.
If you want some other wholesome vegan dinner ideas, you might like to try:
- North Indian rajma masala
- Vegan baked sweet potato with tomato pesto chickpeas
- Easy vegan pumpkin mac and cheese
- Vegan smokey chilli beans
These Mexican-inspired Zucchini, kale and black bean enchiladas are packed full of so many delicious flavours- seasonal vegetables in a chilli read sauce, wrapped up in corn tortillas and topped with cheese, coriander (cilantro), lime, charred corn and avocado.
3–4 medium (appor 650g) zucchini
3 Tbsp (60ml) extra virgin olive oil
3 cups (or 2 x 400g cans) cooked black beans
100g kale (Cavolo Nero), esteemed and roughly chopped
1/2 cup (25g) loosely packed fresh oregano, leaves only and chopped
1 Tbsp jalapeños, optional
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 cup cheese of choice
2 corn cobs
1 avocado, flesh only and cubed
1 bunch coriander
3–4 limes, quartered
2 green chilli, optional, thinly sliced
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Cut zucchini in half lengthways, then slice Ito 1/2cm wedges. Place onto a large baking tray and drizzle with olive oil. Bake for 25-30 mins, tossing at the half way mark. The zucchini is ready when it is tender and starting to brown.
- If you are using canned black beans drain and rinse well.
- While the zucchinis cook prepare the filling and sauce. In a small blender (you could use a large bowl and a stick blender if you prefer) place the Arrabiatta sauce, half of both the chopped kale the oregano, the jalapeños (if you are using them), salt cinnamon and cumin. Blend until smooth. Taste and add more jalapeños if you like. Set aside.
- Remove the corn kernels from the cob. The easiest way to do this is to hold the cob in a large shallow bowl resting the base of the cob on the bottom of the bowl. Using a sharp knife, start at the top of the cob and cut the kernels off in a row, ensuring you are cutting away from your hands at all times as it is easy to slip with the knife. Set aide.
- Heat a medium skillet or frypan. Once hot add a few drops of olive oil, reduce the heat to low, and fry each tortilla for 1 minute on each side. Add each warmed tortilla to a plate and cover with a clean tea towel to keep warm while you fry the remaining tortillas. Once you have fried each one set the tortilla aside while you follow step 5.
- With the skillet/frypan still on a low heat add the corn kernels are fry for 3-4 minutes, tossing regularly. They should have little flecks of black on some parts of the kernel when ready. Turn off heat and set aside.
- Wash the coriander well (otherwise you may end up with dirt/grit in your food). Set aside.
- Remove the leaves and discard the stems. In a Large bowl place the beans, half the coriander, the remaining kale and oregano, and half tomato sauce and the zucchini once it has cooked. Use a wooden spoon and combine well.
- Set aside a large, deep baking side. Take one tortilla and spoon filling into the centre. Lightly wrap the tortilla Ito a cylinder, placing the overlapping edges facing downwards. Repeat with the remaining 9 tortillas. Once you have filled and rolled all the tortilla pour the remaining sauce on top along with the cheese. Bake for approximately 25 minutes (uncovered). They will be ready when the tortilla are just starting to brown and crisp up. while they cook.
take the freshly baked enchilada from the oven. Serve immediately topped with etc charred corn, coriander, avoid, lie and optional chilli.
Keywords: Mexican-inspired, enchiladas, blackens, whole foods, tortilla.