Last Sunday morning, at the breakfast table, Mom presented me with a torn out page from the latest Oprah magazine with the exclamation, “This looks so good!” I saw two rolled up, straw-golden tortillas stained cherry red by the sauce that gathered in a pool on either side of the plate. Fluffy dots of fresh cheese and soft herbs balanced delicately on top of the enchiladas, slowly melting into their rich sauce. I could imagine a silver fork fogging up with anticipation as it approached the hot dish, then slip easily into the tortilla’s delicate exterior and reveal what’s inside. I agreed, “This looks sooo good.”
So I set out to make a healthier version of Oprah’s Goat Cheese and Red Pepper Enchiladas with Mole Recipe. First off, Mom hates goat cheese so I switched that to feta and I decided to add ground turkey and black beans for more bulk. I planned to make the sauce exactly as described, even though it would be a bit of a project. Browsing Whole Foods later that day, I found an organic enchilada sauce with all-natural ingredients. I almost turned up my nose and laughed off the pre-packaged stuff, but then I considered, “This would make things so much easier.” So I threw caution to the wind and bought two.
Back home with my groceries, all I had to do was fry up a diced red onion, add the ground turkey, salt, and a ton of spices (granulated garlic, chili powder, oregano, cumin), then throw in a can of drained black beans. After toasting a couple whole wheat tortillas until their flat exterior collapsed, I was done with all the cooking. I just had to assemble and bake. My prediction was correct: “That was so easy.”
I rarely cook from jarred or packaged foods because the ingredients are often unnecessary or impossible to pronounce. But that enchilada sauce from Whole Foods was worth the breach of principle. I was excited about what I was cooking rather than challenged. I had time to dance in the kitchen to Dolly Parton while the enchiladas baked because there weren’t many dishes. We sat down to eat a little earlier that night, with extra time for conversation in between mmms.
Dinner isn’t just about cooking, it’s about eating and enjoying. Thanks to the pre-made sauce, I cut down on onerous steps without sacrificing flavor. At least, no one at the table noticed any flaws in the meal; we were too busy loving it. Did I mention the pre-packaged salad I served on the side?
One-Skillet Turkey and Black Bean Enchiladas
Time: 20 minutes prep, 20 minutes cook
What you need:
- 1 medium red onion, diced (about 1-1.5 cups)
- Olive oil, as needed
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt, more as needed
- Your favorite enchilada spice combo. Mine is: 1 tablespoon mild chili powder, 2 tsp granulated garlic, 2 tsp cumin, 1 tsp oregano
- 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes (preferably fire-roasted)
- 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 6 whole wheat tortillas
- Your favorite store-bought enchilada sauce. Mine is: Simply Organic Red Enchilada Simmer Sauce
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
- Cilantro or parsley, optional, for serving
- Avocado, optional, for serving
What you do:
-Make filling: Preheat oven to 400. Sauté onion in olive oil in a 12-inch, oven-safe skillet for 5 minutes until translucent and soft. Add ground turkey, 1 tsp kosher salt, and all of the spices. Cook about 5 minutes until turkey is browned, breaking up meat with the back of a wooden spoon as it cooks. Add black beans, canned tomatoes and another 1 tsp salt. Simmer on medium for 6-8 minutes until the liquid from the canned tomatoes has reduced. Transfer black bean and turkey mixture to a large bowl.
-Heat tortillas: Meanwhile, toast your tortillas on each side over the open flame of a gas burner or on a skillet. You just want to heat them through until soft and pliable.
-Assemble and bake: Spread 1/3 of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the skillet. Working with one tortilla at a time, spoon some of the turkey and black bean mixture into the middle (about 1/2 cup per tortilla) and roll. Place rolled tortillas seam-side down in skillet with sauce. Repeat with remaining tortillas. If you have extra turkey/black beans, just scatter it over everything. Top with the remaining enchilada sauce, then 1/2 cup of feta cheese. Bake for about 20 minutes or until bubbling. While it’s in the oven, have a dance party. You barely have any dishes to do.
-Enjoy: Top with remaining 1/2 cup of feta cheese and chopped cilantro or parsley. Serve with avocado slices.