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Who Said Mexican Food Can't Be Healthy?

Posted by Rachel Goodman

10/25/13 5:29 AM

butternut_squash_enchiladasThis week's penultimate CSA included a hefty butternut squash--one of my all-time favorite fall foods. Although acorn squash will always have the number one place in my heart thanks to my dad's brown sugar and butter-roasted acorn squash recipe that made an appearance every fall while I was growing up, butternut takes a close second.

Even though I had some older produce lying around that I probably should have used up first, I love butternut squash and wanted to dig into it ASAP. It also didn't hurt that the day was also one of the coldest yet--even though the sun was shining you could still feel the cold edge of impending winter in the air all day long. That type of weather only means one thing: snowy days are coming, and with them, hearty dishes, stews, and roasts galore. 

I'm not typically a big fan of enchiladas. Don't get me wrong: I love mexican food- enchiladas just never quite did it for me, though. They weren't as crispy and deliciously fried as tacos, they didn't have as much cheese as burritos or quesadillas, and they just weren't as scrumptiously terrible for me as nachos. One bite of this deconstructed butternut squash enchilada, though, and I'm a convert. From start to finish, the whole dish, including making enchilada sauce, took about 45 minutes. Sounds like a weeknight meal winner to me. Here's the recipe:


Butternut Squash Deconstructed Enchiladas 

2 teaspoons EVOO
medium yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-2 canned chipotle chilies (depends on how spicy you want it!)
3 cups 1/2 inch diced, peeled butternut squash
1 cup baby spinach leaves
1 1/4 cup enchilada sauce (recipe here!)
(if using store-bought enchilada sauce, add 3 tbsp chili powder and 1 1/4 tsp ground cumin)
1 can (15 Ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
6 small white corn tortillas, cut into 1/2-inch wide strips
1/2 cup crumbled queso fresco or feta
1 green onion, chopped


What to do

I didn't have any enchilada sauce, so instead of having to put on real clothes and go back out to the grocery store, I made my own. Surprisingly, it was quite easy--and quite delicious. If you are using canned enchilada sauce, skip to the next section. If not, check out this recipe.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large skillet. Dice onion, garlic, and chipotle chilies, then add to the oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the onions become translucent and garlic is fragrant. At that point, toss in your cubed squash. Cook, pot lid on, for 8-10 minutes: the goal here is for the squash to be slightly tender, but not at all mushy.

Once your squash is ready, add the black beans, enchilada sauce, corn tortilla pieces, spinach, and crumbled queso fresco or feta. Stir to make sure everything is evenly mixed in, then reduce the heat and simmer for an additional 5-7 minutes. Once your enchiladas are sufficiently simmered (some of the enchilada sauce should have cooked down but the squash should still just be tender), you're all done! Garnish with the chopped green onion, add any additional feta you'd like, and dig in!


Topics: vegetarian, fall, gluten-free

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