An unseasonably cool day today in southwest Arkansas had me firing up my oven and going on an all day baking spree. This morning we made chocolate chip cookies and for lunch I planned to make enchiladas. (We also made kale chips and carrot cake – stocking up on the baked items to hold us for a few days once the sun comes out again and it is hot and steamy.)
Out in the epic kale row, there are some kale leaves that are really big – too big to comfortably fit in a bundle to be sold to the health food store or included in the veggie bags for my Sunshine for Dinner subscribers, mostly because they won’t fit in the baggies I pack in. I got the idea to use these to wrap my enchilada fillings, instead of tortillas. Replace a white flour processed empty food with a homegrown, never sprayed, super food! Good idea, right?
I did it and the enchiladas turned out yummy. And gluten free, and low carb, and adaptable to the Whole 30 diet and the paleo diet and the One Ingredient diet, and there are lots more ways to use this kale concept, I’m sure. Let your imagination run wild.
Here’s how to make your own kale wrapped enchiladas.
Trim out the thickest part of the stem – I wished I had trimmed a little more, there was a bit of tough stem left on a couple of my enchiladas.
Ok, now get ready to fill your enchiladas. Yesterday we had tacos and I purposefully made extra taco meat so I could make enchiladas with the leftovers, so these particular enchiladas are made with taco-seasoned ground beef, creamy cheese filling, and homemade enchilada sauce.
The cheese filling is the way my hubby likes enchiladas, and it starts with cottage cheese. I put cottage cheese (not non-fat), fresh garden cilantro, garlic and a bit of salt in the food processor and whizzed it a little till it was blended and not quite smooth. Then I added a handful of shredded cheddar cheese and gave it a pulse or two to just incorporate the cheese but not make the bits disappear.
I filled the enchiladas with taco meat, this creamy cheese filling, a handful of shredded cheddar, and if I would have had a can of black beans I would have added a spoonful to each enchilada. Sadly, today they are bean free.
Add the fillings, and wrap it up like a burrito. Fold the short ends in over the filling, and roll it up. The kale is pretty sturdy, so it should not be too difficult.
Put a bit of enchilada sauce in a pan and place enchiladas on top. You can use any enchilada sauce you like. For mine, I used Sunshine for Dinner garden tomato puree from the freezer, a can of medium spice enchilada sauce, and a can of Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Green Chilies – like organic Rotel that is soooo delicious. I let the sauce simmer for a while on the stove to reduce and thicken. Since these enchiladas do not have a grain-based tortilla, they will not absorb sauce the way the tortilla based enchilada does. I didn’t want them to come out watery. Top with sauce and cheese and into the oven they go.
Twenty minutes or so in the oven, and we had our super-food Kale Enchiladas. The big question is always – did it taste good? I am happy to say, YES! The texture of the kale is sturdy – in fact you might have to cut these enchiladas into bite sized pieces on your plate with a knife and fork – but the texture stands up to a thick and flavorful filling. I’d make this again! And it seriously improves the health of the whole dish as well as tasting good. Win-win!