There is this awesome natural foods grocery store just a few blocks from my house that I run into from time to time to pick up something I need. I never do my weekly shopping there because the produce tends to be astronomically priced. A few weeks ago, week 30 to be exact, I was all ready to do my weekly pregnancy update when I realized I was lacking the required large butternut squash.
I headed down a few blocks to the store and grabbed the squash that looked the most baby-like (creepy, right?) and took it straight to the checkout counter. “That will be $9.66” says my cashier. I’m sorry, what? For one squash? Ten dollars seemed worth it to not have to get into the car and drive to another grocery store, and it was a HUGE squash, but I couldn’t help but think at the time, we will be making something extra delicious with this pricey squash…
Ten dollars turned out to be well worth it when this latest creation hit the dinner table. But first, another short story!
I had it all set in my head that I wanted to make enchiladas, and so I made a point to grab a jar of enchilada sauce at Trader Joe’s during last week’s shopping trip. And just like I always do when buying something new, I took a quick peek at the ingredients list just to make sure nothing scary was hiding in there.
One of the listed ingredients was “chicken-style base” which didn’t seem to list any actual animal products, but still threw me for a loop. I found myself dialing Casey for his opinion, and as I rattled down the list of 20+ ingredients, I realized perhaps – vegetarian or not – this sauce might be better homemade.
And so a two-part recipe was born, delicious enchiladas with a made-from-scratch enchilada sauce! Let’s start with the sauce, since that’s really what you’ll want to make first…
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Ingredients: (makes 3 cups of sauce)
- 1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
- 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
- 3 tablespoons chili powder
- 12 oz tomato paste
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tsp (or 3 cloves) minced garlic
- salt to taste
Instructions: Heat oil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Add flour and stir until completely dissolved and smooth. Add chili powder and stir for 1 minute to cook.
Add tomato paste, vegetable broth, onion powder, cumin, and garlic, and stir to combine. Sauce should become thick! Salt to taste, and then stir over medium heat to cook for a few minutes.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Serve along with…
Roasted Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchiladas
Ingredients: (makes 6-8 large enchiladas)
- 1 large butternut squash
- 2 small onions (or 1 medium onion)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- salt to taste
- 6-8 whole wheat tortillas
- 1 batch homemade enchilada sauce (recipe above)
Instructions: Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Then carefully peel, de-seed, and cube the butternut squash.
Toss squash with a bit of oil and salt, and spread evenly on a sheet pan. Roast for 45 minutes or until soft, stirring once during cooking.
While squash is cooking, this might be a good time to make your sauce! The squash should be slightly browned and very soft when finished.
Transfer cubes to a large mixing bowl and mash with a potato masher or a fork.
Set squash aside to cool. Dice onions and sauté until brown and soft. Add beans and cook for a minute or two until warmed.
Transfer beans and onions to the squash bowl, and then season with spices and salt. Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of a 9×13 glass baking dish. Scoop squash filling evenly onto tortillas and then loosely roll…
Place filled tortillas seam side down in the baking dish.
Top tortillas with the remainder of the enchilada sauce. Make sure to use a spatula to get the sauce all around the sides of the pan and in between each tortilla!
Bake uncovered for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. If you prefer, you can also top with cheese before baking, but we opted to eat ours naked.
Serve with a side of your favorite salsa for dipping. I chose salsa verde, mmmmm.
Roasting the butternut squash brings out a wonderful caramelized flavor, that when combined with onions, beans, and spices – make this dish a delicious addition to your dinner menu.