This is my take on Deena Kastor’s avocado enchiladas recipe that I found in Fitness magazine. Who is Deena Kastor, you ask? Well, she happens to be the fastest female marathon runner in America – ten minutes faster than anyone else – and the 2004 Olympic bronze medalist. However, since we mortals don’t run 100 miles a week, we don’t need the massive amounts of (good) fats present in her original recipe. The version in Fitness was already lightened up, but I took it further (and made it much more wallet-friendly) by reducing the amount of avocado and replacing it with beans and bell pepper, and of course omitting the cheese. One thing I couldn’t feasibly do is halve the recipe—with so many canned goods and whole vegetables, it would have wasted far too much food. So no matter how long it takes me, I will be eating every last one of these babies. I’ve got no complaints, and you won’t either.
1T canola oil
1 small (or 1/2 large) yellow onion, diced
2+ garlic cloves, minced
4T ground cumin
3T dried oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 can or bottle of beer
1 cup water or vegetable broth
1T balsamic vinegar
3 ripe avocados, peeled, seeded, and chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 small (or 1/2 large) red onion, diced
1 small green pepper, diced
1 jalapeño, seeded and diced
3/4 tsp salt
20 corn tortillas
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the yellow onion and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the garlic, sugar, cumin, and oregano and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the tomatoes, beer, and water or broth, turn the heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scoop out and chop the avocado flesh…
…toss right away with the lime juice, and then add in the beans, cilantro, red onion, green pepper, jalapeño, and salt.
Gently (you’re not making guacamole here) mix everything together with a large spoon. This filling would also be amazing mixed with cooled cooked brown rice, or eaten plain as a dip for tortilla chips.
Add the balsamic vinegar to the simmered sauce and remove from the heat. Spread 1/2 cup sauce on the bottom of a greased baking dish. (I ended up using two dishes, a 9×13 and an 11×7, and they fit exactly 20 enchiladas.) Dip the tortillas in the remaining sauce to soften—I found the best way to do this is to submerge about four tortillas at a time in the warm sauce, and then fish each one out as needed with a pair of tongs. Spoon about 3T of the filling onto each tortilla, one at a time, and roll them up gently.
Arrange them in rows, seam sides down, in the baking dish(es). Spoon some extra sauce over the top, but be sure to save some sauce for serving.
Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove foil and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes.
Spoon the reserved sauce on top, and serve plain or garnished with additional chopped cilantro. The tortillas drink up the sauce and become meltingly soft. The tender filling, though warmed throughout, retains the cool freshness of the cilantro and avocado. Thanks to all the luscious monounsaturated fat, these enchiladas are extra-satiating and -satisfying. Who even needs cheese?!
Yield: 20 enchiladas. Per serving (2 enchiladas): 308 calories, 12.6g fat (1.7g sat), 43g carbs, 12g fiber, 8g protein.
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