Recipes

Pumpkin Spice Enchiladas

These are very pumpkin-y and taste like Fall (in Mexico)? Super easy and nutritious with a few key ingredient swaps, these make a good weeknight meal when served with veggies (I chose corn) or a salad.

Pumpkin Spice Enchiladas

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. light cream cheese  (about half a small container)
  • 1 1/2 cups pureed pumpkin (fresh or frozen — I used fresh!)
  • heaping TBSP pumpkin butter
  • dash of nutmeg
  • packet of taco seasoning (only need a tablespoon or so, to taste)
  • 1 can (7 oz.) diced green chilis
  • 1 can (10 oz.) green enchilada sauce, mild
  • 1 can (15.5 oz.) fat free black beans, rinsed
  • 2 cups Mexican blend shredded cheese
  • 1 package whole wheat tortillas (small or large)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 and get out a 9×13 glass baking dish.

In a mixing bowl, combine the pureed pumpkin (use frozen if you don’t have fresh) with the cream cheese (brought to room temperature) and stir to blend. Then, add the taco seasoning mix, chilis, and black beans (rinsed). Stir until just combined. Last, add the pumpkin butter and nutmeg and mix by hand until just blended.

In my opinion, the pumpkin butter really MAKES this dish and gives it the flavor punch it needs to be special. Without it, though, the enchiladas will turn out just fine, so don’t let one ingredient deter you.

Assemble each enchilada one by one, cupping the tortilla in one hand while scooping a few spoons full of the pumpkin mixture into the center, adding cheese on top. You’ll use about half your cheese inside the enchiladas and the rest on top of the dish before it goes into the oven.

Place the tortillas folded-side down in the pan; you can probably squeeze about 7 in one pan. Top them with enchilada sauce, taking a spoon to spread it in between and beneath each one, and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.

Bake for 30 minutes or until the cheese starts browning. Serve warm.

I made some key choices to keep this healthier: whole wheat tortillas, low-fat shredded cheese, fat free black beans (which I rinsed under cold water to reduce the sodium content), lite cream cheese, and serving this with veggies on the side instead of tortilla chips, and without sour cream (it’s creamy enough already!) I also reduced the amount of cheese I typically bake on top. One of these enchiladas plus a full serving of veggies, like the frozen corn I used here, is a much healthier choice than using “Mexican night” as an excuse to overload on fried chips, fatty condiments and beer!

If you liked this, check out my butternut squash enchiladas, and my spinach-ricotta enchiladas — two more vegetarian options that are just as easy and delicious.

Recipes

Spinach & Artichoke Macaroni and Cheese

Who doesn’t love spinach & artichoke dip? This recipe combines everyone’s favorite appetizer with comfort-food favorite mac n’ cheese, with delicious results. This recipe is a Rachael Ray classic that I follow to the letter. No need to change a thing about it.

Ingredients

  • 1 pound whole wheat penne
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • Butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, grated or diced
  • 3 TBSP flour
  • 1/2 C white wine (a generous splash in the pan)
  • 2 C milk
  • nutmeg, to taste (about 1/4 TSP)
  • 1 10 oz. box frozen chopped spinach, thawed
  • 1 10 oz. box frozen artichokes, thawed
  • 1 1/2 Cups fontina cheese, shredded (plus some for sprinkling on top)
  • 1 1/2 Cups parmesan cheese, grated (plus some for sprinkling on top)

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 and set the pasta water on to boil. The recipe from Rachael Ray calls for salting the water, which I don’t typically do; here, though, the bland white sauce could overwhelm unsalted pasta, so I would lean toward salting the water. If you do this, add it when the water is at a rolling boil just before you add the pasta, otherwise it will sit in the bottom of your pan and possibly corrode the pot before dissolving. The most important thing with the pasta for mac n’ cheese is to undercook it a bit; if you cook it fully or (like I once did) overcook it, the penne will turn to mush when you bake it.

While the pasta is boiling, prepare the other ingredients so they’re ready to go.

Place a medium pan over medium-low heat and swirl with olive oil and butter until melted. Add the onion and garlic and cook until soft, about 10 minutes.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and sprinkle the flour into the pan. Cook for a minute, then whisk in the wine until the alcohol burns off (about another minute).

Whisk the milk into the pan and bring to a bubble.

Add the nutmeg, spinach, artichokes, salt and pepper. Simmer until thickened and warm, just a few minutes.

Add a cup of each cheese to the sauce and stir until melted.

Add the drained pasta to the prepared sauce and transfer to a casserole dish. Add some more of both cheeses on top and bake for half an hour or until the cheese is melted and the top is golden brown.

Voila!

Substitutions

  • For the fontina, which is a soft, grate-able and very melt-able cheese, you could also try gouda or gruyere, as well as mild provolone.
  • For the whole wheat penne, almost any other type of tubular pasta such a ziti, rigatoni or macaroni would work. A “shaped” pasta, like farfalle, wagon wheels or rotini, would also be fine because they’ll hold on to the sauce well.

Here’s another recipe for Spinach-Artichoke Mac n’ Cheese that uses sour cream and cream cheese, more like the dip. See which one you like better! I’m going to try this one as well, just for comparison and to see if there’s any way of improving my usual recipe.

CSA 2011 · Recipes

Harvest vegetable pasta

I created this after roasting a bunch of root vegetables together with nuts and raisins in a (failed) attempt to make something compelling. Luckily, even though they bored me as a standalone dish, these harvest veggies tasted excellent once I tossed them with rotini pasta and a nutmeg-infused sauce. Easy as pie….kind of tastes like pie too, actually.

INGREDIENTS

  • Red potato, sliced into quarters (unpeeled)
  • Turnips, sliced in half
  • Pumpkin, peeled and cubed
  • Squash, peeled and cubed (or buy this way)
  • Raisins (I used about one small box)
  • Carrots/parsnips, sliced (unpeeled)
  • Almonds (handful)
  • Vegetable broth (enough so an inch or two coats the pan)
  • Cinnamon to taste (be liberal with it!)
  • Nutmeg (generous spoonful)
  • Ginger (to taste)
  • Honey (about a half cup)
  • Kosher Salt
  • Pepper

Directions

Preheat the oven to 375. Prep all the chopped ingredients (or do this a day ahead). Toss with olive oil, nuts and raisins on a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle with cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger and drizzle with honey. Season with salt and pepper. Add an inch or two of vegetable stock to the bottom of the pan. Roast in the oven, uncovered, for about 20 minutes or until tender.

Meanwhile, boil your pasta — I used rotini because it can “grip” chunky sauces like what you’re making.

You can use premade white sauce (I bought a great nutmeg sauce at Dave’s Fresh Pasta in Davis Square that I used as a base); or, you can make a simple white sauce by whisking butter, flour and then cream together over low heat, and then add the nutmeg in. Here’s a great example. I also added some leftover cream cheese into the pan to thicken the sauce even more (I never claimed this was health food). Combine the veggies, pasta and sauce in a large pot with a dash of pasta cooking water to help it all stick together! You can loosen it up with some more milk (I like almond milk) if it looks too thick or sticky.

This reheats well, but I’d recommend pouring a dash of  almond milk (or whatever kind you use) into the tupperware container and also putting a pad of butter on the top of the pasta when heating up leftovers to re-moisten things in the microwave and to keep it all from turning sticky.