I made these in the crockpot this week, and they turned out great!
Lentils are a budget staple for penny-pinched households. They’re cheap and are powerhouses of nutrition, filled with fiber and protein.
They also taste like dirt, unless you cook them right! One of our favorite ways to eat lentils is to put them inside of enchiladas, instead of chicken or beef.
This recipe makes about 20 rolled enchiladas.
1.5 cups lentils (brown or green)
1.5 cups brown rice
20-25 corn tortillas
enchilada sauce (use canned, or use my veggie enchilada sauce recipe posted at the bottom; make enchilada sauce first)
cheese (8 oz., or more if you prefer)
sour cream (optional)
Additional chopped veggies, such as spinach, chopped onions, grated zucchini, etc. if you like.
1. Make the lentil and rice filling. Dump it in a pot, add 6 cups of water, bring to a boil, then continue to cook on low for 45 minutes or until water is absorbed. I like to add cumin and garlic powder to the water (do not add salt).
2. If using sour cream, mix 8 oz. sour cream with 6-8 oz. of cheese.
3. Pour enchilada sauce into a shallow bowl or pie plate, watering it down if necessary. It should be the consistency of tomato soup.
4. Prepare your pan or crockpot by putting a little enchilada sauce on the bottom, and spreading to coat.
5. Set up your assembly line and then lock down or tie up the kids. Your hands will be getting messy! Put things in this order:
corn tortillas, bowl of enchilada sauce, work surface (I use a dinner plate), lentil filling, veggie filling (I just use chopped onions), cheese, prepared pan.
6. Dip each corn tortilla into the enchilada sauce, making sure to coat both sides.
7. Stack on your work surface. Place a spoonful of lentil filling on one third, add veggies, and then spread a spoonful of sour cream or sprinkle of cheese.
7. Roll corn tortilla up, place in prepared pan seam side down. Repeat steps 6-7 until pan is full.
Make your 6 year old take 300 pictures for your blog, before admitting that a clear shot of tortilla rolling is probably not going to happen. Especially with the 2 year old assisting in enchilada prep.
8. If using a crockpot, you’ll have a few layers. I could only get 6 or 7 rolled enchiladas in it. Pour some sauce over the layer, add a little cheese, then stack a new layer on top.
9. Pour remaining sauce over your enchiladas, and top with shredded cheese. Add chopped onions or olives if you like. Bake at 375 until heated through and cheese is melted and bubbly, or in your crockpot 3-4 hours on high.
Veggie Enchilada Sauce:
3-4 dried red chiles (from bulk bin or Mexican spice aisle; get the large ones NOT the tiny Asian ones! New Mexico or California chiles work well.)
4 carrots (or 15 oz. canned carrots)
4 cups fresh diced tomatoes (or 28 oz. can tomatoes)
The carrots add a nice balance to the spicy chiles and add fiber and vitamin A to the dish.
1. Using a sharp knife or kitchen shears or cheap scissors from Ikea, cut the stem off the red chiles. Open it up and scrape out the seeds (or, leave the seeds if you like things spicy!). Cut the chiles up, and place in a bowl or measuring cup.
2. If using canned carrots, cover chopped red chiles with boiling water, 1/2 c. per red chile (i.e., if you are using 3 dried chiles, cover with 1.5 c. boiling water). Let sit for half an hour.
3. If using fresh carrots, peel and chop. Put carrots, chiles, and water in a pot and cook until carrots are soft but not mushy.
4. Place chiles with their water, carrots, and can of tomatoes (with juices) in blender and puree. Add cumin, garlic, and onion powder to taste. This is the basic flavor of your enchiladas, so make it flavorful! Add tomato paste if you want it more tomato flavor. It’s not rocket science, so add what you and your family like. Salt and pepper to taste.
5. Add water or reserved carrot liquid until sauce is thinned, about the consistency of tomato soup. Use in enchilada recipe, or freeze.
This meal is very cheap, maybe a dollar or so for the lentil and rice filling, $1 for the tomatoes, pennies for the chiles, .35 for the carrots (or .50 a can), $2 for cheese, and about 35 cents for the tortillas. Plus you can hide leftover veggies in the filling, too!
Check out Pennywise Platter at The Nourishing Gourmet for more NT tips and recipes!
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