Without question, I love Mexican food. There is something wonderful about the different flavor combinations that elevate any meal. There are a plethora of flavors from all over Mexico too and I am determined to try all of them. What I don’t like with Mexican food, especially the kind that is made at many of the chain restaurants or even some local places, is that Mexican food tends to made with a lot of fat, grease, or calories. While delicious, some of the ingredients can turn what should be a simple meal into an unhealthy collection of calories that can wreak havoc on the digestive system, especially for pregnant women.
I found a way to still enjoy some of the great flavors of Mexican food without adding a lot of unnecessary fats and calories. This recipe has lighter ingredients so there’s less chance of GI upset. Using lean ground meat (about 96 to 98% lean) takes away a lot of the unwanted fat and promotes the meat’s protein. Not a fan of beef? Feel free to swap out lean ground chicken or turkey. Not a meat lover? This dish can be made with vegetables like carrots, broccoli, mushrooms and spinach and still have incredible flavor and texture.
This dish can be made as bland or spicy as you wish. The amount of seasonings you use is up to you so feel free to experiment. The addition of salsa provides extra flavor and fibers (and homemade salsa is so easy to make and keeps very well in the refrigerator to use on leftovers, for snacks, or on top of chicken, pork, beef, or even tofu for another night’s meal!) The possibilities with this recipe are endless!
Better Beef Enchiladas
- 10 small corn or multigrain tortillas
- 1 pound extra lean ground beef (or chicken or turkey)
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 10-ounce can of red enchilada sauce (or tomato sauce)
- 1 cup shredded light yellow cheddar cheese
- Optional toppings or garnish: sliced black olives, chopped cilantro or parsley, fresh salsa
- Preheat the oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13 inch baking dish with vegetable spray.
- In a large skillet over medium-high heat, brown the chopped beef and onions, about 5 to 8 minutes, until meat is no longer pink and onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the garlic, cumin and black pepper. Cook an additional 3 to 4 minutes until the garlic is cooked and fragrant. Remove from heat.
- Stack the tortillas and wrap in a damp paper towel. Microwave on high for 10 to 12 seconds until the tortillas are warm and softened.
- Spread some of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish.
- Top each tortilla with 2 to 3 tablespoonful’s of the beef mixture. Roll the tortilla and place it seam-side down in the baking down. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.
- Pour remaining sauce over the rolled enchiladas and spread to cover evenly. Sprinkle with cheddar cheese.
- Bake uncovered 20 to 25 minutes until the cheese is browned and bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to cool 5 to 10 minutes. Serve alongside a green salad, yellow rice or polenta. Garnish with toppings of your choice.
Featured photo by Alexandra Golovac