Sunday, November 2, 2008

Spaghetti Squash & Mushroom Enchiladas

I got the idea for these enchiladas from the nutrition/cooking class that I am an assistant to.  I just started assisting a chef and a nutritionist in teaching the group of low-income seniors a few weeks ago, and I am in love.  They are the spunkiest, funniest, most perverted group of sixty and seventy year olds you could ask for. What more could you ever want?

For a group that are living in senior housing, many of whom have trouble getting around and some suffering from chronic conditions, they talk about sex an awful lot. There's no way around it. But it is very life affirming- these are not people who are sitting around waiting to die. 

Oh no. They are waiting for the Friday night dance, to see who's making the moves on who. It is awesome.  

We are teaching basic nutrition and healthy cooking skills, and I am happy to say I feel like they are embracing a lot of the principles.  Sure, people might always prefer to make a sweet potato pie rather than bake some sweet potato fries, but at least we are offering new ideas.  

Last week we made spaghetti squash, which a few people had never seen before. It is one of nature's wackier veggies, isn't it? 

I was inspired to make these enchiladas, which do best when complimented by sides of refried bean, rice and salsa.  They are protein-less when eaten solo, so do add some bean somewhere to the dish.  But they are surprisingly filling, and quite healthy.  

Spaghetti Squash & Mushroom Enchiladas 

Ingredients:

12 corn tortillas, softened in a heated skillet (30 seconds per side)
1 TB olive oil 
1 onion, chopped 
5 cloves garlic, finely minced 
jalapeno, or other pepper, to taste
1 lb assorted mushrooms
3 c spaghetti squash*
salt and pepper to taste
1 28 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 14 oz can green enchilada sauce
1/2 c shredded mozzarella cheese 

* to prepare spaghetti squash, split squash lengthwise in half.  Scoop seeds out of squash with a spoon or your hand.  Line a baking sheet with foil. Spray foil with cooking spray.  Place squash flesh down and bake in a 450 oven for about 30-40 minutes.  When finished cooking, use a spoon or fork to scoop out flesh.  

Preparation: 

Spray a 13x9 inch pan with cooking spray, and set aside.  Preheat oven to 400. 

In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat.  Add onion, and garlic and saute until softened. Add jalapeno (or other pepper) and saute until softened. Turn heat down to low, and add mushrooms to skillet.  Cook until mushrooms have release most of their liquid, about five to seven minutes.  Remove mixture from heat. 

In a large bowl, combine mushroom mixture and spaghetti squash.  Allow mixture to cool ten-fifteen minutes. 

Pour tomatoes into 13x19 inch pan.  Spread evenly.  Take one tortilla, and lay on counter.  Spread 3-4 TB of mushroom mixture across center of tortilla. Roll tortilla up, and place seam down in enchilada pan. Continue preparing tortillas; there will be two rows of six tortilla rolls. 

Once all tortilla rolls are in pan, pour enchilada sauce over middle of each roll, and down sides of pan.  Top rolls with cheese. Bake at 4oo degrees for about 20-30 minutes, or until cheese is golden.  Serves 6.  

1 comment:

John said...

Wow. This looks dynamite! I'll have to give it a whirl on monday.
Chef assistant in a quirky geriatric bin? Nice work---you secretive sister you.
I went down to the PDx farmers market today; got some baby beets, parsley, fingerling pots, bunch o carrots, buffalo (local, grass fed, happy) and a few leeks---stew time in pdx.
Obama! Can you believe it!?
Love,
Bro