Vegan Enchiladas wrapped in Collard Greens with Tomato Sauce

butterfly Serves: 4-6

Written By Eydie Desser


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We have collard greens growing in the garden. It’s chilly and I was in the mood to make something warm and comforting.  This savory enchilada dish was born.  Adding chipotle spiked water to the black beans when blending lends a warming smoky and spicy note.  Lime juice brightens it up. Butternut squash, red onions and brown rice hits all the notes on your tastebuds. Top it with tomato sauce and you’re going to want to say, “I ate the whole enchilada”!  And you can because it’s healthy and low in calories!


For the Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 sweet onion, finely diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 13.8 ounce box Pomi tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons unsweetened oat milk
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
For the Enchiladas:
  • 1 small butternut squash
  • ½ teaspoon. chipotle powder (divided)
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder (divided)
  • 1-2 limes, juiced  (divided)
  • 1 red onion, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 1 dried chipotle pepper (for chipotle water-see below)
  • 1 tablespoon, lime juice
  • 1 can no salt black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup brown rice
  • 4-6 small to medium sized collard green leaves


Make the Tomato Sauce:
  1. Dry saute the onion:  Heat a heavy bottomed  3-quart saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute.  Add diced onion, turn the heat down to low and stir the onion for about 1 minute.  Cover the pan and let the onion steam and release its oils and juices.  Lift the cover and add garlic, stirring to combine.  Cover once again and cook for 2 minutes or until onion is translucent. 
  2. Lift cover and stir in the diced tomatoes, cumin, chili powder, maple syrup,  tomato paste and oat milk.  Raise the heat to medium high and bring the tomato sauce to a simmer.  Cook for 10 minutes. Stir in maple syrup.
  3. Remove the pan from heat and reserve the sauce.
Bake the Butternut Squash and Red Onions:

Preheat the oven to 400℉

  1. Prepare the Butternut Squash:  Peel the butternut squash.  Slice in half from top to bottom and remove the seeds.  Slice each half into ¼-inch thick slices.  Stack the slices and slice into 2-inch long sticks and place in a bowl.
  2. Prepare the Red Onions: peel and cut the onion in 1/2 from root to stem.  Slice, very thinly lengthwise (root to stem).  Add the onions to the bowl with squash.
  3. Season the Vegetables:  Sprinkle with1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/2 teaspoon chipotle powder and1/2 teaspoon garlic powder.  Mix to combine and place on a parchment lined sheet-pan.
  4. To Bake:  Place the seasoned vegetables on a parchment lined sheet-pan large and cover with another piece of parchment paper.  Place silver foil on top and crimp all around the edges to seal.  Bake for 25 minutes, or until the butternut squash is tender.  Remove the cover and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes or until the veggies begin to brown.
Make the Chipotle Water and Black Bean Spread:
  1. Place the dried chipotle pepper in a 1 cup glass measuring cup.  Pour in 1 cup boiling water and soak the pepper until it’s soft and the water has cooled, about 10 minutes. Using your hands, squeeze the chipotle pepper of its liquid over the measuring cup of water to flavor the water.  Strain the water through a fine mesh strainer into another measuring cup, and discard the pepper pulp.  
  2. For the Black Bean spread:  Rinse black beans with water and drain.  Place in the container of a high speed blender. Pour ½ cup chipotle water in with the beans, add 1-2 tablespoon of lime juice. Blend until smooth.
  3. Make the Brown Rice: follow the directions on the package for microwaving.
Make the Enchiladas:
  1. On each of the 4-6 leaves, spread the black bean mixture, add a few slices of red onion and butternut squash and top with a tablespoon of cooked brown rice.
  2. Roll the prepared leaves like an enchilada, folding in the sides, first, then rolling away from you to form the enchiladas.
  3. Pour tomato sauce in a baking dish and nestle enchiladas on top. Place in the preheated oven and Ccook for 20 minutes
  4. Serve with delight
butterfly Cook's Notes:

The enchiladas taste great with an avocado, tomato and mango salsa:  Combine one medium sized avocado, peeled and diced, 1 small Alfonso mango, peeled and diced, and 1 medium size tomato, seeds removed and diced. Add lime juice and cilantro and serve with the enchiladas and tomato sauce.

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