Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas with Sour Cream, Cilantro and Green Onions

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas with Sour Cream, Cilantro and Green Onions

It happened to me on the day I met my daughter…

My water broke in the morning. I was in the middle of my contractions, scared but excited of becoming a mother for the first time.  Suddenly, I realized that I was dying for some good old Mexican food. Yep, that is me – thinking about food at the most inappropriate times.

I had been warned about a no-food policy for women in labor. Getting to the hospital too early meant meeting my daughter on an empty stomach.  Getting there too late meant going through a rather painful labor without the epidural.  I was faced with a very difficult decision to make.  So, with the frequency of my contractions down to only 5 minutes, my husband and I headed to a local burrito joint. There, I bought the largest steak burrito on the menu and gobbled it down in less than two contractions. Later that night, Mika was born.

Yes, I really like Mexican food. I love burritos, tortilla soups, enchiladas, guacamole, fish tacos, salads, you name it…. Before children, we frequented Mexican restaurants and taquerias, often indulging in hearty but not so healthy cuisine.  Since then, I have adapted many Mexican dishes to make them both kid friendly and healthy. I make to-die-for vegetarian enchiladas, a super-authentic-but-half-the-salt tortilla soup and a gimme-seconds-please veggie taco salad.

Here is a recipe of the delightfully unique healthy enchiladas that my son loves just as much as I do (or maybe even more.) This recipe makes a lot (leaving you with over 2 days worth of leftovers.) You can make the sauce 2 days in advance and assemble everything the day you serve these delicious baked wraps. Or, if you don’t want to make so much all at once, you can roll the entire batch in advance and bake portions over several days.

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas with Sour Cream, Cilantro and Green Onions

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas with Sour Cream, Cilantro and Green Onions

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas

Adapted from The Gourmet Potluck
Serves 12

Ingredients

Chunky Tomato And Bell Pepper Sauce

Enchiladas

  • 15 large fresh whole wheat tortillas
  • 4 lbs zucchini, coarsely shredded
  • 2 (2.5-oz) cans sliced black olives (I used organic kalamata olives)
  • 3 cups shredded Cheddar cheese or a mixture of Cheddar and Monterey
  • 1 pint sour cream, for garnish (optional) (I used nonfat Greek yogurt)
  • ½ cup minced cilantro, for garnish

Serving Equipment

Directions

For Sauce

  1. Heat the olive oil in a 3-quart pan over medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and peppers and sauté until soft, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add the remaining sauce ingredients and stir to combine.
  4. Simmer for 30 minutes, until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  5. Removed the bay leaf. (If making ahead cool and refrigerate. Then just before assembling the enchiladas, warm over medium heat until hot.)

For Enchiladas

  1. Put tortilla on a plate and place a heaping 1/3 cup of grated zucchini, a few slices of olives and 1-2 tablespoons of cheese in the middle.
  2. Roll the tortilla up and place it seam-side down in 1 of the casseroles.
  3. Repeat to fill the remaining tortillas, laying them side by side in the casseroles.
  4. Pour the sauce over the tortillas, laying them side by side in the casseroles. Pour the sauce over the tortillas and sprinkle the top with the remaining cheese. (If making ahead, the enchiladas can be covered and refrigerated at this point, up to 12 hours. Allow the casseroles to return to room temperature before baking, about 1 hour.)
  5. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 40 minutes, until bubbling hot. Serve hot from the oven or warm. Or cool to room temperature, cover, refrigerate, and reheat on site.
Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas with Sour Cream, Cilantro and Green Onions

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas with Sour Cream, Cilantro and Green Onions

Wine Pairing

Even though I am not much of a beer drinker, beer compliments these mild cheese enchiladas very well. I would suggest Santa Fe Pale Ale for a southwestern touch. But if you still want a glass of wine, try Parducci Small Lot Blend Chardonnay Mendocino County

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas

Zucchini and Olive Enchiladas

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{ 9 comments… add one }
  • Mags September 24, 2010, 2:02 AM

    This recipe looks absolutely fabulous. Healthy and delicious!

  • Mika September 24, 2010, 9:16 AM

    Thanks for your visit, you have such a nice blog here!!!
    I read the story, you must be really in love with food!! so nice!!
    I never tried enchiladas, I eat them in restaurant but never cooked them…I have to try, I really have…
    Tomorrow I will go shopping to make them sunday…I will let you know!

  • Faina September 24, 2010, 3:01 PM

    I am so glad you like my blog and I’d love to know how you like this recipe! (I do LOVE food!!!)

  • Mika September 30, 2010, 6:35 AM

    I cooked your enchiladas, they were super super delicious!!!!!! They are super delicious!
    My boyfriend don’t like olives and zucchini and he loved them so much..thanks for the recipe!!

  • Cucee Sprouts September 30, 2010, 4:23 PM

    I am so happy that you and your boyfriend loved a healthy variation on traditional enchiladas! Thank you for a wonderful review!

  • Dafna December 29, 2010, 10:45 PM

    I REALLY need to try making these! So many of my favorite ingredients. Plus, I could eat Mexican food three meals a day. :) One question though: when I’ve cooked with shredded zucchini before, I found that it contains so much water, and some recipes call for draining/pressing the zucchini before adding it to the dish so it doesn’t turn out soggy. Do you find the need to do this?

  • Faina December 29, 2010, 10:55 PM

    These enchiladas never really turned saggy on me if I served them the same day. They do get saggy the next day. Next time I make them, I will I sauté zucchini first. This should also reduce the baking time significantly. I will post my findings here

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