03 April 2013

Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas

The picture might not look like much but this is one of my FAVORITE healthy meals to make! I've made it twice in the past week, if that gives you an idea. Onion, spinach, and mushrooms are sauteed with just a smidge of butter, some garlic, and some spices, rolled into corn tortillas, smothered in a smooth, tangy, roasted poblano pepper cream sauce, topped with montery jack cheese and baked until bubbly and golden. The end result is a very un-photogenic heaping pile of deliciousness on your plate that tastes like the zillion calorie restaurant version but is actually only 764 calories for the whole recipe, which can be two or three servings depending on how hungry you are.

I really enjoy cooking at home and finding ways of reducing the calories in my favorite meals. I order spinach enchiladas (which are usually doused in a sour cream/cheese white sauce) almost every time I go to a Mexican restaurant. The spinach makes me feel like I'm being healthy but the sauce reminds me that I most certainly am not! This super easy homemade version tastes the same but cuts out all the unnecessary calories that restaurant meals like to tack on.

|A word about the photos for this recipe- this was the first time I attempted to photograph/blog about a recipe in the house I'm currently living in. It was night (since I was making dinner), but the lighting in my house is rather dark and mediocre in general. And my walls are yellow so that makes everything else photograph a bit yellow. To counteract this I grabbed my clamp-on work light which lights my light tent and tried to use it as a lighting source. It kind of worked... and kind of not. 
Exhibit A..
..and Exhibit B

For one thing I had to keep moving it between different outlets as I moved from cutting board to stove and back. There was no good spot to clamp the light in either location so I had to hold it in my left hand while photographing with my right. It was pretty amusing, you should have seen it. A lot of the pictures still look like something with a very bright light being focused on it in an otherwise very dark room, but it was ok for a first attempt! I'm going to work on setting up a more consistent lighting arrangement for future posts.|

Note: The calorie counts in my recipes are deduced from the information on thecaloriecounter.com as well as certain brands of products (as products vary), which I will try to specify. Substitutions and variations may work but are not recommended for those watching their calories as they will alter the calorie total of the recipe.

Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas
Serves 2-3

1 clove garlic
1/4 yellow onion
10 mushrooms (about 2/3 small box of mushrooms)
6 cups (1 large bag) spinach
1 tbsp butter, divided
1/2 tsp paprika
1/4 tsp cayenne (omit or reduce if you do not like spicy food)
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2-1 tsp salt (or to taste)
1 tbsp flour
2/3 cup vegetable broth (I use Safeway O organics brand)
1/2 cup 1% milk
1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt (I prefer Fage)
1 oz monterey jack cheese
1/2 roasted pasilla (poblano) pepper (instructions below)
6 white corn tortillas (Mission brand)

To roast a pepper:
Preheat oven to 450. Rinse pepper well and dry. Place on center rack (no need to use cookie sheet, right on the rack is fine) and bake for about 5 minutes. Check for charring and blistering on the skin of the pepper and rotate to ensure even cooking. Cook for a few more minutes. When pepper is about 70% charred/blistered, remove from oven and place in a plastic bag. This will kind of steam the pepper as it cools and make it easier to remove the skin. When cool enough to handle, slice open pepper, remove seeds, and peel off outer skin, rinsing if necessary. Tada, roasted poblano pepper!

Preheat oven to 400. In a skillet, melt 1/2 tbsp butter. Roughly dice up the (1/4) onion and add it to the skillet, tossing to coat.
Mince the garlic and add it to the skillet. Cook the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes, until slightly browned and translucent.
Meanwhile, wash and dry your mushrooms. Yes, I wash my mushrooms. With water. If you don't want to you don't have to but I'm going to, cool?
Slice them up (about 1/4 inch per slice)...
...and add them to the pan. Stir them around to mix with the onions and coat with butter. The pan will probably seem a bit dry but don't add any more butter or liquid! Soon the mushrooms will relinquish all their moisture and everything will be just fine ;)
See? Let them cook until browned and tender.
When most of the liquid has evaporated, add in allll the spinach. It will be a lot in the pan (especially my tiny pan) but the steam from the mushrooms should rise up and help it wilt fairly evenly.
While the spinach is heating, get your spices together.
And once it's almost completely wilted add them to the pan. Stir it around, let it cook a bit more to git rid of excess moisture, taste and adjust seasonings, and the filling is done!
If you want, you can measure this and divide it into 6 equal portions. I just move it around the pan with my spoon into 6 kind of equal piles.
Now for the sauce. Grab a small (not teflon, not scratched up and horrible looking) sauce pan and throw in 1 tbsp flour and the remaining 1/2 tbsp butter. Heat over low heat to form a roux, whisking constantly. This will be a very dry rue, since there is twice as much flour as there is butter. This makes it twice as easy to accidentally make butter-flour dumplings and have to start over! The key is to keep the heat low, add liquid verrrry slowly, and whisk super well while you add the liquid in to break up clumps. Don't worry about getting a very dark roux, just cook the flour and butter until combined and a light golden color.

You can combine the veg broth and milk before adding to the roux or do the veg broth first. At first just drizzle in a tbsp or so at a time, whisking to combine, and then add larger portions (like 1/4 cup). Once all liquid has been added, let cook a couple minutes to thicken up slightly. It will still be pretty thin.
Dice up your poblano pepper and add it to the sauce. Remove the sauce from the heat.
Measure 1/2 cup of cool, creamy, greek yogurt. Let the sauce sit and cool for a minute or two- this is very important whenever you make a dairy based sauce, like for mac and cheese! If you add your dairy product (like the cheese in mac and cheese or the yogurt here) when the bechamel is boiling, the product is likely to break down, curdle, and get grainy. blegh. Especially if it's low fat. So make sure your sauce isn't too hot!
Urgh. Looks disgusting in this picture but is delicious, I promise! Add the greek yogurt and stir well to combine. The sauce will become much thicker and creamier.
not the best angle for my hand
Now for putting the enchiladas together. Pour about 1/4 cup of sauce in the bottom of a small rectangular glass pan (like a loaf pan) and spread it around. Wrap 6 tortillas in a couple layers of paper towels and microwave for 30 seconds. Take a hot tortilla, fill it with 1/6 of the filling, and roll it up tight. Place in the pan, seam side down.

continue with all six tortillas
Grate up 1 oz of cheese (I cut my cheese into even 1 oz cubes when I buy it so I always know how much I'm actually grating/eating. It helps!)
Then drizzle the rest of the sauce all over the enchiladas. Top with the grated cheese. You should have a LOT of sauce so it should fill all the nooks and crannys of the enchiladas.
Bake for about 5 minutes to heat through, then crank up the broiler and cook for a few minutes to brown the top and crisp up the cheese.
Serve with hot sauce (I like Sriracha. I know it's weird to put sriracha on mexican food but it's delicious. meh.) and beans and rice if you please. I usually just eat 3 enchiladas with no sides and it's a TON of food- and a very filling and satisfying dinner!

I imagine you could freeze this after you put it all together and pull it out for an easy weeknight dinner down the road as well :)

total: 764
serving (half recipe/3 enchiladas): 382
per enchilada: 127


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