Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada

Okay, so you know that moment when you discover that the blog post you started writing has disappeared?  I know, shame on me.  But, I was in shock, nonetheless.  So now I have the delightful task of trying to recreate my previous effort.  I don’t know if it can be done, but I will try.  If anything, this might force me to be more succinct.

I will continue to deny that this is a cooking blog.  I do not consider myself a “foodie”, but I do enjoy food.  I married my husband because he cooks – I bake (though I have, suspiciously, been able to shirk my end of our deal).  However, once I started Weight Watchers (again), I knew that I needed to start cooking more.  Granted, I still call in the “resident expert” when I need help, such as advice with seasoning.

I do have a few trusted sources for recipes – one of them is Skinnytaste.  Actually, the blogger has written a cookbook – if you are a cookbook lover, you might want to check it out.  I do not have it yet (disclaimer: I was not paid to recommend it nor do I even think she knows that I am writing about her). In any rate, I find her recipes consistently good – which, for those of you who acquire random recipes online or from friends/magazines, you know that this really means a lot.

The recipe I am highlighting today can be found here.  And, I will forewarn you, her pictures are MUCH better than mine.  Oh well, same delicious results, so I will stop the photo envy.

This recipe requires a bit of prep, but don’t let that scare you away (note, I am a big fan of the crock pot and prefer the throw-and-go style of cooking). Here are my takeaways:

First, using pre-cut squash was worth the splurge.  The second time I made this recipe I did DIY cutting (and peeling) – and, oh my, what a pain it is to get the skin off of butternut squash – there probably is a better way for me to research.

Second, I skipped the jalapenos.  Please don’t tell my husband that, he would be disappointed.  I like my “spicy” food on the milder side. But, I thought they had ample flavor and I didn’t see him add any Tabasco sauce, so it must have been okay.

Third, both times I made this recipe I got more than eight enchiladas – be prepared!  I mean, that’s good, but you don’t want to end up with precious filling going to waste.  I still stuffed them all into my large pyrex baking pan.

Fourth, cheese made with 2% milk melts much better than I remember it used to. You can use full fat cheese (and I do love cheese), but, like the caprese tarts, I don’t think it would change the flavor.  If you are counting calories, use lower fat cheese and have dessert.

Lastly, and maybe most importantly, don’t start preheating your oven until the squash and bean mixture is more than halfway finished cooking on the stove.  Do make sure that you stir it occasionally, as you might need to add a bit of water towards the end to keep the mixture from burning or sticking to your pan (this was the case once for me).  And, once your squash cuts easily with a spoon, it’s done and can be measured into the tortillas.  Neither time did I need to cook the mixture for the full recommended time – guess I diced my squash pretty small or I have a magical stove.

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This is a delicious and versatile meal.  The seasoning was spot-on for me – but if you like a little extra kick, add in that jalapeno pepper.  While I typically think of butternut squash as something to be eaten in fall or winter, I can really see us eating this year-round.  I can promise you that I will enjoy these with some margaritas over the summer!

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