Tortilla-less “Enchiladas”

tortilla free enchiladas

Life in the Second Helpings household continues to be a whirlwind. Mr. Second Helpings and I are back from our grand adventure in New York City.  We are both honored and grateful that Weight Watchers gave us the opportunity to be both in New York and featured as success stories for their website.  I want to sit down and give you a thoughtful account of our trip so sit tight it will be ready soon.

In the mean time we still need to eat!

tortilla free enchiladas

Here is a little something we enjoyed for dinner.  These homemade “enchiladas” are a marriage of two of my favorite ingredient categories – leftovers and vegetables from my garden.

The leftover portion, a quinoa salad, was yesterday’s preschool lunch entrée.  To make the salad I tossed quinoa with a colorful assortment of black bean, chickpeas, vegetables, lime juice and zest, and spices (mainly cumin and salt).  To refresh the salad today, and turn it into the filling for our “enchiladas,” I added some green onion, flat leaf parsley, and smoked paprika.  Once I had the salad all perked up I shredded the breast meat of a hot-and-ready rotisserie chicken I picked up on the way home.

tortilla free enchiladas

The vegetable garden’s contribution was a bunch of mature chard leaves. Wrapping the “enchiladas” in these ginormous chard leaves was a success on many levels. Including:

  • Money saving (because I didn’t buy the chard)
  • Reduced the fat and calorie content
  • Increased the nutritional benefits in terms of vitamins and fiber
  • Highlighted the flavor and texture of the filling
  • The dish remains gluten free and can easily be made vegan without the chicken – these are not important in our home but I know it is for many of my readers.

The leaves were easy to prep for wrapping. After rinsing, I trimmed the thick stems, stuffed them all into my casserole dish, popped the lid on top, and microwaved the dish for one minute.  Heating them, covered, in the microwave made them soft enough to manipulate but not falling apart.

tortilla free enchiladas

Each leaf got a scoop of quinoa filling before I folded in the edges and rolled it up into a little bundle.  Once the dish was full I topped it with some fresh mango and pineapple salsa.  The salsa topped “enchiladas” went into the oven preheated to 425 until the internal temperature reached 165 degrees.

tortilla free enchiladas

tortilla free enchiladas

Topped with a bit of mashed avocado these were a bit sweet and a bit salty and with a little salad on the side they made a delightfully filling dinner. I wish the leaves didn’t turn that sort of dark greenish brown color but they do, so, too bad.

tortilla free enchiladas

There are many ways to get your hands on greens like I used.  Such as:

  • Your CSA box arrives with mysterious giant leaves
  • You find yourself staring at a pile of unfamiliar but intriguing vegetables at the farmers’ market
  • Or, as in my case: You went out of town and returned home to find prehistoric sized greens in your vegetable garden

Where ever you find them and which ever variety they happen to be, steam ’em up, grab some leftovers, and turn them into “enchiladas.” Your lips and your hips will thank you!

tortilla free enchiladas

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