Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Eggplant-Almond Enchiladas

    My daughter is starting Kindergarten in 2 1/2 weeks!! Aaahhh, where has the time gone? To keep this summer fun and far from boring, we started doing an activity called Alphabet Adventure. Four days a week, we learn a new letter of the alphabet. Although my 5 year old already knows her alphabet (actually she's reading!), I made it age appropriate for her (she writes in her journal about something that starts with the letter, etc.) and my two kids have really been enjoying it! We made this Eggplant Enchilada dish on "E" day, and everybody helped make it.
Here is Hannah cutting up the tomatoes. Look at her mad cutting skills!!
The sauce is a little different from your traditional enchilada sauce; it is made from fresh tomatoes, onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder and cayenne. This meal is definitely not a "quick" one, so if you are short on time, make sure to plan on making the sauce the night before, and cut up all your veggies ahead of time. 

**The recipe is from the Moosewood Cookbook . You can find the original recipe on pg 167 of the cookbook.

 Enchilada Recipe 
Serves: Prep: 45 minutes Cooking Time: 30 minutes

 1 TB olive oil
1 cup onion, minced
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne
3 cups tomatoes, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced

1 TB olive oil
1 cup onion, minced   
6 cups (1 large) eggplant, diced
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 green or red bell pepper, minced
1 cup slivered almonds, toasted
1 cup monterrey jack cheese, grated
12 corn tortillas
salt and pepper to taste

 1. To make the sauce, add 1 TB olive oil into a large saucepan and set over medium heat. Add 1 cup onions, and a pinch of salt. Cook for 5 minutes. Add cumin through cayenne. Cook for another 5 minutes. Dump in the tomatoes and 1 cup water. Bring to a boil, and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 30 minutes. After 15 minutes of cooking, add the garlic. Season with salt and pepper. Carefully, puree sauce when done in a blender. Set aside.
2. While the sauce is cooking, pour 1 TB olive oil in a large skillet, and add 1 cup onion. Cook for 5 minutes. Add eggplant and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. The eggplant should be soft.
3. Add garlic and bell pepper. Stir well, remove cover, and cook for another 5-8 minutes. Turn off heat, and add almonds and cheese. Stir well.
4. Preheat oven to 350*F. Moisten each tortilla briefly in water, then using a 1/4 cup fill each tortilla with the eggplant filling and roll up. Lay each enchilada in a 9x13 dish (or whatever they will fit in). Pour enchilada sauce over the top. Bake for about 30 minutes.


Plan and Prep Ahead 

Here are some helpful techniques to make life a little easier once dinner time hits. These tips will especially help those that work full-time and don't have a lot of time to prepare dinner. 

~Chop all the vegetables up ahead of time and keep in fridge until ready to use. 
~Make sauce ahead of time and keep in fridge until ready to use.


Who likes to CHANGE IT UP? 

~Use smoked paprika instead of chili powder.
~Instead of eggplant, use mushrooms or zucchini. 
~Try roasting the bell pepper before adding it to the eggplant mixture.
~Use cheddar cheese instead of jack.

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