more cheap eats / enchiladas / i only speak hungry

what are those words? i'll never know.

what are those words? i’ll never know.

Two recipe posts in one week mean they both need to be quick and to the point. Kind of like this dinner. Our lives have been full of living lately- but in the best way. That also means that what we eat needs to be quick and easy to make, as well as sustaining. This meal is just that – you only get one pan dirty, it takes 30 minutes or less from start to finish, and it’s packed with protein and delicious flavors, and if you want them: Chips! Another favorite food of mine.

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We’ve had this twice in the past two weeks and it’s evaporated from the pan with alarming speed, thanks to my husband (we’ve talked about his eating habits here before). In some ways, it’s flattering and amusing that he loves the food I make so much, that he feels the need to eat all of it. In one sitting. Every night. In some ways it can be frustrating because: 1. All the food is gone 2. His weight/waistline never goes up. But it’s cool. I’m not bitter or jealous or anything. I’ll just go jump on the treadmill, no big deal. But in all seriousness, I love to cook and he loves to eat, so I guess we really found each other.

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Just to clear the air about “Mexican” food. I speak English and absolutely nothing else. I took a couple of Spanish classes in high school and barely scraped by in an intro to Spanish course in college. My brain just doesn’t work that way. I really wanted it to, but it just doesn’t. I’ve accepted it and moved on. I actually had to look up “enchilada” to make sure I was calling these by the right name. In addition to eating, speaking Spanish is one of my husband’s talents. Again, we found each other.

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The adaptability here is endless. If you don’t want to go to the trouble of wrapping and baking your enchiladas, cook the meat and add the other ingredients to the pan. Stir till warmed through and serve over chips. Corn tortillas or chips make this gluten free. If you’re not into dairy, just leave out the cheese. If meat isn’t your thing, leave it out, add twice as many beans and stir in some cooked rice or quinoa, or maybe both, and now its vegetarian and protein packed! This would also be delicious with ground pork or shredded chicken, whatever you have on hand! If you are having a party with friends who have more than one food allergy/aversion, go the serve over chips route and have all the ingredients in separate bowls: easiest dinner party ever. What makes this cheap is that it’s kind of a hodge-podge of whatever you’ve got laying around, wrapped in a tortilla and baked into delicious submission. Plus you can always change up the volume of these ingredients based on your taste or what’s in your pantry: more meat, more beans, less salsa. Do what you want!

It likely serves 4 well-behaved adults, but we’ll never know. It will greatly depend on what ingredients you use, but this meal usually costs us $13-15.00, or less.

Enchiladas:

1/2 pound of ground beef (if you bought 1 pound of beef and used half of it on the previous post, you can use the other half here)

Corn or flour tortillas, about 8 small ones, or half as many large ones

Feta, cheddar, or a mixture of whatever cheese you have around, about 6 ounces

Salsa, homemade or store bought, about 15 ounces, plus more for topping. (we used homemade salsa the first time we made this. However, Herdez makes a really yummy brand of salsa that doesn’t seem to have any scary preservatives and is just spices and vegetables: it’s delicious! We buy it at Kroger)

1 15-ounce can of black beans, drained but not rinsed

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Get out a 9×9 baking dish.

Brown your meat in a large iron skillet or pan until done: all the pinkness is gone. Remove from the heat. Dump in the rest of your ingredients: cheese, beans, salsa, rice, whatever you’re working with. Stir. Fill your tortilla with a couple of spoonful’s of the mixture and gently roll it, placing it in the pan with the edges facing down. Top with extra cheese and salsa, and bake for about 20 minutes, or until all the ingredients are warmed through and the edges have reached your desired amount of crispiness. Serve warm and then hide the rest, if you want any leftovers.

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