We have this gigantic Swiss chard “bush,” seriously taking hold in the food garden. The leaves kept beckoning me to wrap them up with something. So, here’s an idea for gluten-free and cornmeal-free Swiss chard enchiladas that came out pretty yummy! The fresh epazote adds a nice, earthy, Oaxacan nuance, but you can substitute something like fresh thyme and still get a great fresh herbal infusion. Epazote is really easy to grow but not so easy to find at the market. Feel free to play around with non-vegan variations using queso fresco, organic chicken, and-or ground meat. Enjoy!
vegan swiss chard enchiladas with quinoa, black beans & epazote
12 chard leaves- steamed for 1 1/2 minutes
2 cups cooked sprouted quinoa (easy to get this by cooking 1 cup dried quinoa and 2 cups water in a rice cooker)
2 cups grated zucchini (about 1 medium)
1 1/2 cups semi smashed black beans
1 tsp. sea salt to taste
1/4 tsp. chipotle chile powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
2 tbsp. fresh epazote (optional, or substitute fresh thyme or other pungent herb)
Fresh cracked pepper to taste
1/2 cup vegan or other cheese of your choice (I used an aged porcini cashew cheese from Blöde Kuh)
1 cup (divided into two half cup portions) tomatillo salsa, fire roasted tomato salsa, or favorite enchilada sauce– or try this roasted tomatillo-pepita sauce!
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut the stems off the bottom of the chard leaves so that there is just thinner stem and whole leaf remaining. Steam in a pot with about an inch of water for 1 1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove and cool immediately.
Mix the quinoa, zucchini, black beans, salt & pepper, spices and herbs in a small mixing bowl until well blended. It is best to make the mixture when the quinoa is still hot, but not required. If the cheese is hard enough to grate, then you want 1/2 cup grated. If it is soft, then you would just use a spreader or spoon to divide the cheese into the enchiladas.
Arrange the chard leaves, so that you have a double-leaf wrapper for each enchilada. The steaming may cause some of them to break a little, so it works best to use two, double-stacked leaves per enchilada. This is actually better because it gives you double the awesome nutrient density available from the chard leaves. You should have six doubled-up chard wrappers in all. Arrange 1/6 of your cheese, then 1/6 of your quinoa filling at the wider end of each chard wrapper. Gently roll up the filling and cheese, so that you have an open-ended enchilada. Place the enchiladas in a baking dish. Spoon one of the half cup portions of salsa or sauce evenly over the enchiladas, just enough to glaze the top of each enchilada. Place dish in the oven and bake for 25 minutes.
Remove and serve immediately with the other half of the salsa or sauce, and-or other salsas that might contribute a great taste to the ensemble. These are also great cold, so this is and ideal dish for prepping on the weekend and then having an easy meal to grab during your busy work week.