I wanna taco ’bout Mexican Food… Paleo Beef Enchiladas

Hola muchachos y muchachas! How are y’all livin? There’s something about Tuesdays that really makes me love Mexican food…. I just can’t quite put my finger on why I would love, say… a taco, on a Tuesday.

My hometown is so rich with Latino culture, it’s amazing. I feel like a lot of people take it for granted. From living here I was able to learn fluent Spanish, bust out some mean pico de gallo salsa, and appreciate some good ol’ Reggaeton music. The mushroom industry is huge here and it employs a lot of the Mexican population, and they are some of the hardest working people who are so loyal to their family and their faith. Let me tell you, there’s nothing that beats their FOOD, though. Mexican restaurants are always within walking distance, and their homemade tortillas, sauces and spices… just so good.

One interesting thing about Mexican culture is how transparent they are in fusing their faith in their daily lives. To be religious is pretty casual but still very important; they hold their faith in high regard. While they aren’t common here around my hometown, there are curanderos in Mexico, or spiritual healers, who serve vital roles in people’s spiritual and medical lives.

The practice of curandurismo, or holistic healing, combines, psychic healing, prayer and herbal remedies as modalities to cure illness. They can incorporate Catholic elements into their healing, such as holy water of pictures of Saints, but most remedies involve natural elements, or even adding herbs to your food to help nourish yourself or cure any ailments.

This is why Cumin became such an important staple to Latino cuisine, and shares roots with other deeply spiritual cultures in the Middle East. It has been known to be used in a poultice, a diuretic and can even help settle your stomach. I love the delicious spicy smell to it – which is why I had to make an amazing paleo alternative to one of my favorite dishes at my favorite Mexican restaurant….I hope you enjoy it as much as I do 🙂

 

Paleo Beef Enchiladas

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Prep time: 30 min

Cook time: 30 min 

Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground beef. If you feel fancy, you can use a nicer cut of beef and chop it.
  • 1 medium yellow onion, minced
  • 1 cup cremini mushrooms, minced
  • 1 can of petite diced tomatoes with green chiles
  • 1 can of no-salt-added black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 brown rice tortillas
  • 1 8oz can of Refried beans
  • 2 tsp taco seasoning, more to taste
  • 1 tsp salt, more to taste
  • 1 tsp pepper

 

Enchilada sauce*:

  • 3 tbsp ghee or coconut oil
  • 2 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 3 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 8 oz can of  tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken or vegetable stock

*Note: leftover enchilada sauce can be stored in a jar in the fridge for up to a week.

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. In a saucepan, melt the ghee or coconut oil over medium heat. Add tomato paste and chicken stock and whisk until combined, allowing mixture to bubble. Continue to whisk, adding chili pepper, garlic, cumin, oregano, salt, onion powder.
  3. Cook for approximately 5-6 minutes, and then turn to low heat. Add arrowroot powder, and whisk to ensure the right consistency. Once mixed, set aside on low/simmer, stirring occasionally to prevent it from cooling down and getting too thick.
  4. In a larger frying pan, add ground beef and minced onion. No need for any oil – the beef should have enough fat to keep the pan contents from sticking. Stir occasionally, ensuring beef is thoroughly cooked and browned.
  5. Once cooked, add beans, mushroom, taco seasoning, salt and pepper. Continue to stir and cook on medium high heat for another 4-5 minutes until the mushroom is cooked and remove from heat.
  6. Using a clean workspace, spread refried bean mixture across top of tortilla, covering the entire thing. Add scoop of beef mixture, and tightly roll the enchilada up. You want to work quickly, as the rice tortillas can dry out more so than a corn or flour one.
  7. Add a large spoonful of enchilada sauce to the bottom of a greased baking dish. Arrange the enchiladas side by side. My baking dish fit 4 across and 2 perpendicular next to them, so you can get creative with how you arrange them if they come out bigger than expected.
  8. Add enchilada sauce, using enough to cover all of the tortillas and bottom of the pan. Drizzle over edges of enchiladas to prevent them from burning. Cover with foil and bake for 15 min, removing foil for last 5 min until edges are golden. It’s alright if the tortillas don’t remain intact — they’re still tasty 🙂

Best served with a nice side of rice, or a side salad.

Enjoy!

-S

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