Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas

I picked up 8 ounce packages of baby bella mushrooms at Aldi this week for 99 cents each. Such a good deal. I’m becoming a big fan of Aldi, which is owned by the same company that owns Trader Joe’s. Aldi doesn’t have much in way of variety, but they have good prices, especially on produce. I got organic bananas for 69 cents a pound and a seedless watermelon for $2.99 this week. Just don’t get too attached to any one product at Aldi. The products are constantly changing.

We will be eating a lot of mushroom dishes this week. This is a variation of my Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas with a Creamy Tomatillo Sauce recipe. In this version, the sauce is different. I incorporated some of the mushrooms into the creamy enchilada sauce. It’s delicious.

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas 2

Creamy Mushroom and Spinach Enchiladas

3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, chopped
8 ounces baby bella mushrooms (or mushrooms of your choice)
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 packages (9 – 10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (squeeze as much liquid as possible)
salt and pepper, to taste
4 ounces pepper jack cheese, grated (or Monterrey Jack)
1 cup water
1 vegetable bouillon cube (I use Knorr brand)
2 tablespoons corn starch
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
8 corn tortillas

Preheat the oven to 350° F.

In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. Saute the onions and mushrooms in the butter until tender. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute longer. Remove half of the mushroom mixture to a bowl and set aside.

Add the spinach to the mushroom mixture and cook until all the liquid in the skillet is gone. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in the pepper jack cheese and turn the heat down to low. Keep the mushroom mixture warm while you prepare the enchilada sauce.

In a saucepan, bring the water and vegetarian bouillon cube to a boil. Whisk the corn starch and garlic powder into the sour cream and then whisk into the boiling liquid. Whisk until thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the reserved mushroom mixture and the cilantro.

Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.

Wet several paper towels and wring them out. Wrap the corn tortillas in the damp paper towels and microwave for 45 seconds or until warm and pliable.

Divide the spinach and mushroom filling evenly between the 8 corn tortillas and roll up (not too tight) to enclose the filling. Place the enchiladas seam side down in the baking dish. Top the enchiladas with the creamy mushroom sauce. Bake the enchiladas in the 350 degree oven for 20 minutes or until hot and bubbly.


Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas with a Creamy Tomatillo Sauce

IMG_2250 (640x480)

I had mushrooms, jalapenos, tomatillos, and Mexican crema in the fridge that needed to be used and this is the dish I came up with to utilize all of those ingredients. I started by making my favorite tomatillo hot sauce and adding Mexican crema to make the enchilada sauce. The crema added enough richness that the enchiladas didn’t even need cheese. You can find Mexican crema in the refrigerated section of some grocery stores. You can substitute heavy cream if you can’t find crema but it won’t quite be the same. Here’s a picture of the Mexican crema I used:

IMG_2244 (480x640)

I was happy with the way the Creamy Tomatillo Sauce turned out. Seriously, you could put that stuff on anything and it would be good. The spinach and mushroom filling wasn’t bad itself. There was just enough to fill 8 tortillas. If you are a spinach lover, I think you could get away with adding an additional package of frozen chopped spinach.

Spinach and Mushroom Enchiladas with a Creamy Tomatillo Sauce

2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
8 ounces mushrooms, rinsed, stems trimmed, and chopped
1 jalapenos, seeds removed, minced
1 package (9 – 10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained (squeeze as much liquid as possible)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
8 corn tortillas
1 batch of Creamy Tomatillo Sauce (recipe below), warmed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until they start to soften. Add the mushrooms and jalapenos cook about 5 minutes more. If the mushrooms release their liquid, just cook until most of liquid is gone. Add the chopped spinach and ground cumin and cook until the spinach is heated through. Season the enchilada filling with salt and pepper and keep warm.

IMG_2240 (640x480)

 

Wet several paper towels and wring them out. Wrap the corn tortillas in the damp paper towels and microwave for 45 seconds or until warm and pliable.

Spread 1/2 cup of the Creamy Tomatillo Sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.

Divide the spinach and mushroom filling evenly between the 8 corn tortillas and roll up (not too tight) to enclose the filling. Place the enchiladas seam side down in the baking dish. Top the enchiladas with the remaining Creamy Tomatillo Sauce. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake the enchiladas in the 350 degree oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Creamy Tomatillo Sauce

4 fresh jalapenos, stems removed (you can remove the seeds if you wish)
1 pound green tomatillos, husks removed and washed
1 medium onion, chopped
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1/2 cup water
2 T. olive oil
1 T. vinegar
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
1/2 cup Mexican crema
salt, to taste

In a medium saucepan, add the jalapenos, tomatillos, onion, vegetable bouillon cube, water, olive oil, vinegar, and garlic.

IMG_2228 (640x480)

Gently simmer for 30 minutes, turn off heat, and then let cool a bit. Add the cilantro and then blend with a stick blender (or blend in a food processor or blender). Stir in the Mexican crema and add salt, to taste. Keep sauce warm over low heat.

IMG_2234 (640x480)


Spinach Dip

IMG_7006 (640x480)

I love this spinach dip! I had it at a party years ago and the hostess shared her recipe. She served her dip in a pumpernickel bread bowl with additional bread for the dip. I like the dip with raw veggies and Ruffles potato chips. This dip also make a nice spread for sandwiches and wraps.

IMG_7004 (640x480)

Spinach Dip

8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup sour cream
1 envelope (1 ounce) ranch salad dressing mix
1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained completely
1 can (8 ounces) water chestnuts, drained, chopped

Beat the cream cheese in a medium bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sour cream and ranch salad dressing mix and beat until well combined.

Microwave the frozen chopped spinach for about 3 minutes (until it is defrosted). Drain the spinach in a colander. When the spinach is cool enough to handle, squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Stir the drained, chopped spinach and the chopped water chestnuts into the cream cheese mixture. Cover and chill in refrigerator for at least an hour before serving. Serve with raw veggies (carrots, celery, bell peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, etc…), crackers, and/or (toasted or not) pumpernickel bread.


Lentil and Vegetable Soup

I’m loving the cooler weather and it has gotten me in the mood for soup.  Well, honestly, I’m always in the mood for soup, but I’d rather eat it when it’s not in the triple digits and oppressively humid outside. This is a nutritious soup with just a little kick.  It’s quick and easy enough for a weekday.  Serve with crusty bread and a simple salad for a complete meal. If you don’t like your food spicy, leave out the jalapeno and cayenne. You can use red lentils instead of regular ol’ brown lentils in this recipe, but watch them, they cook up a bit faster.

Lentil and Vegetable Soup

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks celery, diced
2 medium carrots, peeled and diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno or serrano, seeds removed and minced (optional)
2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

6 – 8 cups vegetable broth (depending on how brothy you like your soup)
1 cup lentils, picked through (rocks and broken lentils removed), and rinsed
1 cup fresh spinach, chopped
2 medium zucchinis, diced

Saute onion, celery, carrots, jalapeno, and garlic in the olive oil in a pot until veggies are tender.  Add potatoes and spices and saute 1 minute more.  Add broth and bring to a slow boil.  Add the lentils and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the zucchini and spinach and continue to simmer until lentils are completely cooked, 5 to 10 minutes.


Pork Chops with Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce & Garlic Orange Spinach

Valentine’s Day Dinner

.Pork Chops with Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce
.Garlic Orange Spinach
.Baked Potatoes
.Chocolate and Coconut Cream Fondue

This is the meal I made for Valentine’s Day.  It was a nice, as well as easy meal.

Pork Chops with Raspberry-Chipotle Sauce

4 pork chops, trimmed of fat
1 T. oil
salt and pepper to taste

2 T. finely chopped shallots
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 12 oz. bag frozen raspberries
1 cup dry red wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 canned chipotle chile in adobo sauce, minced
2 T. butter
salt and pepper to taste

Rinse pork chops and pat dry.  Season with salt and pepper.  Heat 1 T. oil in a skillet over medium high heat until hot, but not smoking.  Add the pork chops to the skillet and cook, turning once until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes.  Remove pork chops to a plate and cover with foil; set aside.

Add shallots and garlic to skillet and saute for about 30 seconds (you may have to add a dash of oil).  Add the raspberries and cook, stirring for another 30 seconds.  Add the red wine, scraping any bits on the bottom of the pan.  Reduce the mixture over high heat until about 3/4 cup liquid remains.  Add the stock and chipotle.  Reduce over high heat until about 2 cups of liquid remains.  Strain the mixture into a clean saucepan and heat to boiling.  Remove from heat and whisk in the butter and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Spoon some of the sauce onto a plate and place a pork chop over it.

Garlic Orange Spinach

1 10 ounce bag of spinach leaves, washed with stems removed
1  clove garlic,  thinly sliced
2  T.  olive oil
3  T. fresh orange juice
1  T. orange zest
salt & pepper to taste

In a large pot heat oil over med. high heat, add garlic and cook stirring constantly until it begins to brown, about 30 seconds.  Add orange juice and cook until reduced about 30 seconds.  Add spinach and orange zest and saute until spinach wilts.  Remove from heat and season with salt & pepper.


Artichoke-Olive Spread

Artichoke-Olive Spread

 

From October 28, 2005:   I made this sandwich spread that my friend Robin posted the recipe for in her feral vegetarian group and it turned out delicious.  I used a mix of green and black olives and left out the oregano artichoke and olive spread(I’m not a big fan of oregano).  I used the spread to make a fabulous sandwich which consisted of the spread, shredded carrots, and fresh baby spinach on a sourdough baguette.  The artichoke-olive spread is also great on a toasted slice of baguette (great dish for a party).  The addition of sour cream would make this spread into a wonderful dip.

Artichoke-Olive Spread

cream cheese [8 oz.] softened
1 jar [6 oz.] marinated artichoke hearts, drained and chopped*
* reserve marinade from the artichoke hearts.
1/4 cup [packed] chopped black olives
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. oregano
3 Tbs. reserved artichoke marinade

Mix the cream cheese with an electric mixer until soft and smooth. Stir in artichoke hearts, olives,
seasonings, and reserved artichoke marinade. Cover and chill.

Yield: 1 1/2 cups