My whole family did the vegan/vegetarian thing for a while when I was a kid. It was a lot harder to do back then. My mom was looking for some relief from her auto-immune issues. Sad to say that she has since given up on being plant based. But looking back I can see how having a family of five complaining about every meal as you work your way through the vegan learning curve would turn you off. I remember barley burgers needing a TON of ketchup and choking down powdered soy milk over whole wheat Chex!
This recipe was a surprising gem from our vegetarian days. I remember complaining to my mom about how I hated cooked spinach as she prepared this meal. My brother and sister, I am sure, did the same. But to our surprise, we all enjoyed it! It is now a family fave in my home, and my mom is happy to have a recipe she knows will please everyone when we vegans come over for dinner!
I am not sure where she got the recipe from, likely a church member, so I am not sure who to site as the original resource. I have, however, made a few modifications to ensure the recipe is plant-based and gluten free.
The most important thing about making the filling for this recipe is to drain as much water out of the veggies as you can, and then cook off as much of the remaining liquid as you can! If your filling is too wet, you may end up with some soggy tortillas!
As you can see above, there is very little liquid in the pan even after adding the beans and salsa. Your filling will still be a bit moist, but not wet.
Once you have your filling prepared you can start filling your tortillas! This is a very easy process if you are using flour tortillas. All you have to do is put a portion of the filling and a little vegan cheese (optional) on the warmed tortilla and roll! I had allowed my tortillas to reach room temp, but some GF flour tortillas can be a bit fragile so warming them a little in the microwave with a moist paper towel might be needed. If you are using corn tortillas you will have to get a little messier! Corn tortillas break very easily if they are not heated properly, and kept warm. I have found that warming the enchilada sauce and dipping the tortillas in the warm sauce helps with the rolling. (Just pour some of the sauce into another baking dish to make things easier.) A bit messier, but a bit cheaper too if you need to be GF!
After rolling your tortillas, pour the remaining sauce over the top and pop them in the oven. I do not usually make my own sauce, but I need to! My family does not like the heat that comes with even the "mild" canned sauces--so now you understand why there is sauce on only half of my enchiladas in the top picture!
An alternative to enchilada sauce, and this is how my mom makes them, is to omit the cheese on the inside and top the filled tortillas with your favorite salsa and put the cheese on top!
Spinach and Broccoli Enchiladas
PREP TIME 15 | COOK TIME 30 | TOTAL TIME 45
Chopped Spinach, thawed 10-12 oz
Chopped Broccoli, thawed 16-20 oz
Onion, diced 1/4 cup
Garlic, minced 1 Tbl
Chili Beans 1 15 oz can
Salsa 1/2 cup
Cumin 1 Tbl
Salt to taste
Tortillas, GF 8
Vegan Cheese 1/2 cup
Enchilada Sauce/Salsa 1 15-20 oz can
Oil or cooking spray
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Cut a small opening in the packages of defrosted spinach and broccoli and squeeze as much water out as you can.
In a large skillet over medium-high heat, saute the diced onion in about a tablespoon of oil until translucent. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the drained spinach to the pan and stir to separate any clumps and coat in the onion and garlic. Cook out any excess moisture that was not drained. Add the broccoli and do the same.
Once the vegetable mixture is relatively dry add the remaining filling ingredients. Stir to ensure that all the ingredients are incorporated evenly. Continue to cook, stirring periodically, until the moisture from the beans and salsa has evaporated. This can take several minutes. Reduce the heat if necessary to avoid burning.
While the filling is cooking prepare a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray and warm the tortillas* if needed.
Once the filling is ready, lay out a tortilla, fill it with the spinach and broccoli mixture, top with a little vegan cheese (optional) and roll. Place your enchilada seam side down in your greased baking dish. Once the pan is full, pour your favorite enchilada sauce* on top and bake for 30 minutes.
*Please see the blog post for more information about warming flour tortillas vs. corn tortillas.
*An alternate topping is discussed in the blog, but basically you will save the cheese for the top, either over salsa or sauce.