Variations on Enchiladas

The seasons begin to turn, and I have been craving a little Mexican food this past week. It’s a fundamental part of my diet since I grew  up in a Southwest border town. But I also wanted to use a meatless variety choice, so I went for this adapted recipe for enchiladas. Just cheese in these logs of tortillas is common and can be found in most Mexican restaurants, so a little twist or two on the recipe makes it a more interesting and flavorful combination. This version is destined to become one of my favorites for a Meatless Monday or any time you want a light dinner.

For my ingredients, I used Great Value Fiesta Cheese mix, found at Wal-Mart, which includes four varieties of Mexican cheese and is really low in carbohydrates. You can select other cheese mixes or just Monterrey Jack cheese. I also used Jalapeno Cheese, which adds just a little kick. The butternut squash is a delicious, but mild stand-in for meat and adds a little substance to the dish.

Other add-ins could include chopped olives, chopped green chiles, green onions, chopped and cooked tomatillos, and additional seasonings such as cumin, cayenne pepper, and cilantro to adjust it to your preferences. Also, I made this batch with red enchilada sauce, but you can use green chile enchilada sauce or green chile salsa. Each change will affect the overall Carb count though. Anytime you are making Mexican food, you can expect the net carbs in the dish to push toward the 10 net carb mark, so figure any changes into the meal.

Photo: Enchilada cut open.
Enchilada cut open to reveal the cheesy interior. I served mine with a apple, kohlrabi, and cabbage coleslaw

Butternut and Cheese Enchiladas

4 ounces Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cups Salsa
1/4 cup Onions, chopped
1/2 cup Jalapeno Jack Cheese, grated or shredded
1 cup Butternut Squash, cubed
1/2 cup shredded Monterrey Jack cheese or Mexican Cheese Mix
6 7-inch Low Carb Tortillas
1 cup Red Enchilada Sauce
1/2 cup shredded Cheddar Jack Cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F.)

Cook the butternut squash cubes for 1 to 2 minutes in a microwave until they are just tender. Set aside.

In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and salsa and beat it to mix together. (I used a wooden spoon to work it together, but you can also use a hand mixer.) Add the onions and 1/2 cup Monterrey Jack or Fiesta Cheese and mix together well, then stir in the butternut squash. This is the filling for your enchiladas.

In a baking pan or a oven-safe skillet, add 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce to the bottom of the pan. Spread 1/6th of the filling down the middle of a tortilla and roll it into a log over the filling. Place seam down in the pan. Repeat with the next 5 tortillas, fitting them snugly into the pan or skillet. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with 1/2 cup Cheddar Jack or more Mexican Cheese Mix.

Photo: Enchiladas in a pan.
Six enchiladas just out of the oven in a square copper skillet.

Bake for 25 to 30 minutes until the cheese is melted. Let sit for a few minutes, then use a spatula to remove each enchilada to the plate. Serve with a salad or Spanish riced cauliflower.

Makes 6 servings.

You might also like Chicken Enchiladas with ZucchiniCast Iron Skillet Enchiladas, and Apple, Kohlrabi and Carrot Slaw.

Photo: Info for Enchiladas

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