Sunday, March 3, 2013

Shredded Beef Enchiladas & Black Beans

My plate: Shredded Beef Enchiladas with Kass Soy Pepper Jack Cheese & Hot Sauce

My hubby's plate: Shredded Beef Enchiladas with Colby Jack Cheese & Low Fat Sour Cream

I've mentioned before that I have cheat meals every now and then (no more than once a week).  I'm not on a diet with an end date, so I try to look at the big picture.  I eat healthy at least 90% of the time because when I do I just feel better.  My body functions better when I'm eating clean...but I'm still human!  I have my vices, and having a cheat meal every now and then helps me satisfy cravings without making an impact on my health/fitness. 

This enchilada recipe is inspired by one I found a few years back: 

My Mother-in Law was born and raised in Mexico, so the bar was set pretty high when it comes to authentic Mexican food.  I've made mine a little healthier and added a few things to the recipe.  I don't think I've sacrificed any flavor for the sake of being healthier ;)  The least healthy part of the recipe is the chuck roast.  You can substitute a leaner cut of beef, but 2 lbs of a lean cut of beef might get pricey.

I have the recipes listed in the order that I prepare them.  The shredded beef takes the longest to cook, so start there :)

Shredded Beef Recipe:
-2.5 lb Chuck Roast (fat trimmed and cut into 1 to 2 inch cubes)
-2 TBS Ground Cumin
-1 1/2 TBS Chili Powder
-4 Garlic Cloves (minced)
-1 Yellow Onion (diced small)
-1 Jalapeno (seeds removed/diced small)
-4 Dried Bay Leaves
-1/4 Cup of Your Favorite Salsa

Combine all ingredients in a large stock pot.


Cover with just enough water to cover the meat). 

Bring to a boil.  Cover and reduce heat to medium/low (you want it to be just under a boil).  Tilt the lid on the pot so that it's vented on one side.  You want to vent it a bit so that the liquid can evaporate slowly.  Simmer for 4 hours, stirring about once an hour.  By the end of the four hours the beef should have pretty much shredded itself.  If there's too much liquid left at this point just remove the lid and increase the heat to boil off the excess.  See below for Enchilada recipe/assembly instructions. 

Enchilada Recipe:
-20-24 Small Tortillas (taco sized). 
-Prepared Shredded Beef (see recipe above)
-1 (28 oz.) Can of Enchilada Sauce
- 3-4 Cups of Shredded Cheese of your choice
- 2 Avocados (diced small)
-Optional Toppings: Shredded Lettuce, Diced Tomatoes, Low Fat Sour Cream, Taco Sauce

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.  Use about 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the baking dish.  Heat tortillas in batches of five or six by wrapping them in a paper towel or dish cloth sprinkled with about a tablespoon of water.  Heat for 30-60 seconds (until they are pliable enough to roll without cracking).  Fill each tortilla with a few tablespoons of shredded beef, a tablespoon of enchilada sauce, a tablespoon of cheese and a tablespoon of diced avocado. Roll the tortilla and place seam side down in the prepared baking dish.  Repeat until you've used up all of your tortillas.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the rolled enchiladas, and then top them with the remaining cheese.  Bake for 20-25 minutes (until cheese is melted and the edges of the tortillas are crispy).  Remove from oven and cool for 5-10 minutes (if you take them out too early they tend to fall apart a bit).  Serve topped with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro and/or the toppings of your choice.  Enjoy!

Black Beans:
-1 (14.5 oz.) Can of Whole Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
-1 Tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
-3 Garlic Cloves (Whole/Smashed)
-1 TBS Cumin
-1/2 Tsp Ground Black Pepper
-1/2 Tsp Garlic Salt

Place all ingredients in a saucepan. Stir to combine ingredients, and then simmer on low to medium heat for 5-10 minutes. This is super fast and easy, so you can do it while the enchiladas are baking :)

* One of the great things about enchiladas is that you can customize them without adding a bunch of extra work.  I use Kaas soy pepper jack in/on my enchiladas, but my hubby doesn't have lactose issues so I use regular cheese in/on his.  If my Mom was having dinner with us I'd fill hers with black beans, avocado & cheese because she's a vegetarian.
* If you prefer chicken enchiladas to beef (or don't have 4 hours to spare cooking shredded beef) you can substitute shredded chicken.  Click here for my easy shredded chicken recipe.
* There are tons of different varieties of tortillas out there.  Low carb, whole wheat, low have to pick the type that fits your needs best.  READ THE NUTRITION INFO and compare a few to find the best one for you.
* I like these tortillas because they are kind of the best of both worlds.  Flexible like a corn tortilla, but made with whole grain corn meal too...




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