Cooking in Real Life – Mexican-Inspired Vegetarian Enchiladas

Mexican-Inspired Enchiladas

Ha ha, fooled you with that picture of Mexican-Inspired Enchiladas, didn’t I? I was just kidding. I’ve got 3 kids 8 and under, people. And they want to help cook. So here’s what enchiladas actually look like in a house like this:


And they’re called “Mexican-Inspired” because these are nothing like actual Mexican Enchiladas. They don’t look  pretty, and they’re not authentic, but they were super delicious.

I’m teaching a World Cultures class for our local homeschooling group’s “Marvelous Mondays,” which is a co-op where parents teach small classes. It’s a lot of fun for the kids to get together and learn some fun stuff.

This session, we’ve got Lego Robotics, gym, art, sewing/knitting, drama, and world cultures. Anyhow, I decided to choose one country per week for the World Cultures class I’m teaching, and we studied Mexico on the first day. Because most kids love to help in the kitchen, I thought it might be fun to make a Mexican-inspired dish with the kiddos. I say “Mexican-inspired” because of course, it’s probably not anything like an authentic Mexican dish.

Firstly, I used the wrong tortillas, because they don’t sell corn tortillas anywhere in town that I know of, and I can’t even find the proper flour to make them from scratch, either (since writing this article, I did find the proper flour, called masa harina, at Loblaws).

So we just used wheat tortillas for the enchiladas. I don’t like spicy food and neither do most of the kids, so I omitted the hot sauce and used mild salsa instead of hot salsa. There was no parsley at the store, so I used cilantro (I love the taste of cilantro).

So in other words, our Mexican enchiladas weren’t really Mexican at all, but I did tell the kids all of that, and also that recipes are starting points. It’s totally cool to get creative in the kitchen—and in this case, it’s also a bit of a necessity. The important part is that all the kids loved the dish and most of them had two helpings, which was pretty awesome. And the reason I’m writing this post is because three kids in the class asked me to give their parents the recipe. I thought that was pretty awesome, too.

A couple of the kids can’t have gluten and some of the older kids were abstaining from dairy during lent, so we separated some filling and made one of the enchiladas without the cheese. We’re very adaptable 🙂

Without further ado, here’s the recipe!

Mexican-Inspired Vegetarian enchiladas

Mexican-inspired vegetarian enchilada expectation versus reality

Feeds a family of 5 (2 large servings per person)

  • 10 tortillas
  • 1 TBSP vegetable oil
  • 2 cans red kidney beans (you can certainly make yours from dried beans, but I needed to save some time)
  • 3 jars (650 mL) mild salsa (use spicy if you like hot food) – I only used 2 jars and it wasn’t enough, as you can see in the picture above. The enchiladas are supposed to be covered in salsa.
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 green onions, finely chopped
  • 2.5 TBSP cilantro, finely chopped
  • Cumin to taste
  • Chilli pepper to taste
  • 1 cup mozzarella or your preferred cheese.

Cover the bottom of two baking dishes with salsa (about 1.5 jars) and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350 F.

Saute garlic and green onions for about 2 minutes over medium heat.

Add beans and saute for about a minute.

Add 1.5 jars salsa and cook until heated through.

Have the kids help you spoon some of the bean mixture onto about half of the tortilla. Roll up the tortilla and place it into the prepared baking dish.

Bake tortillas in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.


And because I promised I’d share what cooking looks like in real life at my house, here’s a picture of the kitchen after cooking with children (who constantly need something while you’re trying to get dinner made):

Have you made enchiladas before? How different were they from these ones?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *