Monday, April 1, 2013

Enchilada Bake (Paleo, Grain-Free, Dairy-Free)

I love me some mexican food. Almost a little too much for a white girl with English and German heritage. I can even stand my ground with the best of them when it comes to consuming spicy food. Did you know some people sweat like crazy when they eat spicy food? Does this mean they're out of spicy-food-eating shape? If so, I am a champ and could whip anyone's butt because I don't sweat at all.

So mexican food is lots of corn and cheese. I can do without corn on a daily basis, but I do love some corn tortillas and tortilla chips... and, well, cheese? Infatuated. But this recipe has neither. Corn doesn't bother me when I eat it, but I try to limit it due to it basically just being sugar and the fact that non-GMO corn seems to be almost be non-existent. Well, and the fact that I am doing a Whole30/21-Day Sugar Detox/Whole Life Challenge thingie right now. Cheese is off the menu due to the the last reason and because of its direct effect on throwing me back to being 16 and a face covered in pimples. Not attractive. But if you can tolerate dairy, PLEASE throw some on top and tell me how it tastes. I know it would be fantastic and I want to live vicariously through you.

Enchilada Bake

For the enchilada sauce
3 dried ancho (or pasilla) chiles
Enough water to cover chiles
1/2 yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
1 tbsp mexican oregano
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp salt

Rest of the ingredients
2 small spaghetti squash
1 rotisserie chicken (I purchase it at Whole Foods since the plain one only is seasoned with salt. Alternatively, you could cook up some chicken breasts and thigh meat)
2 eggs, whisked
1-14 oz can of black olives, sliced
1 small can diced green chiles
Green onions, diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup cilantro, chopped
Any veggies you might want to "hide" inside (spinach, kale, etc)
salt and pepper, to taste

Chiles getting cozy in the pot
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut each spaghetti squash in half and lay cut side down on a oiled baking sheet. Cook for approximately 30 minutes or until you can easily pierce the skin side of the squash with a fork. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Using a fork, scrape out the insides of each of each half and place in a large mixing bowl.

While your squash is baking, put the dried chilis in a small sauce pan and add just enough water to cover. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes. Remove from the water, but reserve the boiling water. Pull out the stems and if you don't like heat, cut open the chilis and remove the seeds. I didn't remove any seeds from my peppers and it actually wasn't too spicy, but I don't want to be blamed if you happen to get spicier peppers!

Add the boiled peppers and the rest of the enchilada sauce ingredients to a blender and mix well. If the sauce seems to thick, used the reserved boiling water and add a little at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

The final product
Now on to assembling the "bake" (I don't like the word casserole)! Grab the bowl with the spaghetti squash and pour out any water that may have collected at the bottom (the drier the squash gets, the more your "bake" will hold together). Add in the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Feel free to be adventurous and add in all sorts of veggies. To be honest, I had bought some kale that I was going to chop up and throw in and I completely forgot! Last, add about 1 1/2 cups of the enchilada sauce you prepared - feel free to add more or less depending on your tastes!

Once everything is mixed thoroughly, pour into a casserole (bake?) dish. I used one that was approximately 10"x7"3". Smooth out the top and add more enchilada sauce if you desire. And oh how I wish I were allowing cheese in my diet right now, because some shredded Kerrygold Dubliner added into the mix would be FANTASTIC. If you are using cheese, I would add it with about 10 minutes of cooking time left.

Bake for about 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from the oven and let sit about 15 minutes before serving. Garnish with more cilantro and avocado.

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