I think about you, dear readers, I really do. So, when I made these very dairy enchiladas, I thought about those of you who are lactose-intolerant. The recipe calls for eight tortillas and I had a package of ten. With the extra tortillas, I made some lactose-free enchiladas.
It was an excellent experiment. Crumbled tofu is a perfect substitute for the small amount of cottage cheese in the recipe, and the enchiladas taste fine topped with plain sauce and no cheese. Although, if you wanted to have “cheese” on top, I noticed an interesting product in the local health food store: Daiya cheese style shreds. They are OU pareve. I haven’t tried this product yet (If you have, let me know if you like it).
This recipe is adapted from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures by Jeanne Lemlin. It is similar to a recipe I was given several years ago (and posted about here), except that recipe was a lot cheesier. That recipe always came out like lasagna, which was yummy in its own way. This is a little lighter.
If you are thinking about dairy menus right now, I like to serve a Mexican themed meal, with salad, chili, yellow rice, guacamole, taco shells, some salmon and pasta or enchiladas.
Spinach, Corn and Roasted Red Pepper Enchiladas (with a dairy-free variation)
Adapted from Simple Vegetarian Pleasures. For the dairy-free version, leave out the cheeses, use 1 cup crumbled tofu instead of the cottage cheese, and use 2 cups of mild salsa instead of the salsa and cream cheese (or mix salsa with tomato sauce to make 2 cups). If you are not so into spinach, frozen chopped broccoli is a perfect substitute.
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbl. olive oil (or enough for sauteeing onion)
1/2 tsp. cumin (I used 1/4 tsp. ground cumin and 1/4 tsp. cumin seeds)
16 ounces defrosted frozen chopped spinach, squeezed dry (original recipe calls for 10 ounces, but I buy the 16 ounce bag)
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese (I used “whipped 1 % Cottage Cheese”; the original recipe called for pureeing it, but I didn’t bother, ricotta works well, too)
15 ounce can of corn, drained well, or 1 1/2 cup frozen, defrosted
1 cup of diced roasted red pepper (original recipe calls for a 7 ounce jar of roasted peppers–make sure the peppers are dried before adding them to the filling)
2 Tbl. grated Parmesan
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp oregano
pepper, to taste
8 wheat tortillas, 8″ diameter (I used whole wheat and liked it better than the regular white flour tortillas)
1 1/4 cups mild salsa
2 ounces cream cheese (original recipe called for 1/2 cup cream and 1/4 cup milk)
4 ounces Monterrey Jack Cheese, or 1 1/4 cups grated (pepper jack is a spicier choice, but really excellent)
To make the filling, saute the onions in the olive oil in a large skillet until golden, about ten minutes. Add the cumin and cook for another couple of minutes, until toasted and fragrant. Add the spinach and cook another minute or so. Let this cool.
In a medium bowl combine the cooled spinach, cottage cheese, corn, diced red pepper, Parmesan, oregano, salt and pepper. If you want to make this recipe the day before serving, you can store the filling in the refrigerator and then assemble and bake the enchiladas the next day.
When you are ready to make the enchiladas, preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Make the sauce by combining the salsa with the cream cheese (or with the cream and milk if following the original recipe; you will get more sauce, obviously, with the cream and milk)
Take a 9″x13″ pan and spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom. Set this aside while you fill and roll the tortillas.
Divide the filling mixture between the eight tortillas. Place the filling along the bottom edge of each tortilla and roll them up tightly. Line up the enchiladas on top of the sauce in the pan. Spoon the remaining sauce over the top. Sprinkle over the cheese. Cover the pan with foil.
The enchiladas can be stored in the refrigerator up to eight hours before baking. Bring to room temperature before baking.
Bake at 375 degrees, covered with foil, for 25 minutes. Remove the foil cover and bake an additional 5 minutes to brown the cheese. Rest five minutes before serving.