This summer has gone by in a flash. I know that’s an exaggeration for most people but this summer it was absolutely true. I’ve been away from home, mostly unexpectedly, four out of the last six weeks, and that includes the week that my daughter started first grade. I had so many things on my to-do list that just never got done. For example, the laundry…and the grocery shopping.
That’s how these Chicken, Black Bean, and Red Pepper Enchiladas were born. I found myself staring into the pantry after several weeks of being away and thinking “Well, I guess we can order pizza”. But I stopped myself about mid-sentence and realized I needed to practice what I preach. I’m always going on about how you should stock your pantry to avoid these situations. I wondered if I could still pull together a family dinner with what I could manage to dig out of our kitchen.
I think this will probably go down as one of the best challenges I’ve ever taken on because not only did I love these enchiladas but everyone else did too. It wasn’t just a “mmm good” kind of love, it was an “oh my gosh this is awesome” kind of love. Not bad for a bunch of stuff I pulled out of the pantry.
My husband and kids loved having this comfort food for dinner. Because that’s what enchiladas are, right? Pure comfort food. But I loved that they were eating something so much healthier than pizza. Most enchiladas are heavy on the cheese and light on most everything else. My enchiladas are filled with lean chicken, fiber filled black beans, and crisp red pepper full of vitamin C. I skipped the layer of cheese on top (because I didn’t have any) and went with a smokey cumin flavored garlic cream sauce. Oh my goodness that sauce. I licked that spoon more than once. So there you have it, a well stocked pantry really can save the day, even after neglecting it for weeks at a time.
Chicken Black Bean and Red Pepper Enchiladas with Smokey Garlic Cream Sauce
serves 4 – 6
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 Tablespoon butter
1 medium red pepper, chopped (fresh or frozen)
1 (15oz) can black beans, rinsed and drained
3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 flour tortillas
2 Tablespoons butter
2 Tablespoons all purpose flour
1 large garlic clove, minced
1 1/4 cup chicken stock, or 14.5 oz canned
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
Step 1: Place the chicken in a pot and cover with water. Heat over medium high heat until boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer. Continue to simmer until chicken is cooked through, about 15 minutes total.
Step 2: As the chicken cooks, heat butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add red pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until red pepper is softened, about 5-8 minutes.
Step 3: Shred chicken using two forks and place into a mixing bowl. Add red pepper, black beans, Greek yogurt/sour cream, cumin, paprika, salt, and garlic powder. Stir to combine.
Step 4: Lightly coat an 11×9 baking dish with spray. (I use a Misto filled with olive oil for this.) Place about 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture into each tortilla. Roll up and place seam side down in the dish.
Step 6: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Step 6: make the sauce by melting the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Add flour and stir frequently until it turns a golden color, about 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add chicken stock, cumin, and chili pepper to flour mixture. Let cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and stir in the Greek yogurt/sour cream until well combined.
Step 7: Pour cream sauce evenly over enchiladas. Bake uncovered for 15 minutes.
Let cool for about 5 minutes then serve.
To find out more about what I keep on hand in my own pantry check out this post: How to Stock an All Natural Pantry.
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