Updated: Sep 27, 2019
One of my favorite dishes to cook and eat is Enfrijoladas. They are warm tortillas covered in a black bean sauce, topped with fresh cilantro, onion, tomato, Serranos, sour cream and queso fresco (cheese). Sometimes a warm slice of ham will be rolled up in the tortilla as well. This is one of those dishes that you may not find at every Mexican restaurant even though it's very popular in Mexican households.
Health Benefits of Beans
It's important to know that black beans are highly nourished with fiber, protein, vitamins and minerals. They are high in soluble fiber which helps lower cholesterol and insoluble fiber that enhances the body to stay regular. They are enriched with high levels of folate which is essential for pregnant women and women of reproductive age.
To be sure that you are getting all of the goodness that beans have to offer soak them overnight before cooking them. Soaking them will help to remove the phytic acid and oligosaccharides that make them difficult to digest.
Mostly plastic free
Beans can be found in bulk at your local health food store and the vegetables can be found unwrapped in most super markets. Getting the tortillas, sour cream and cheese plastic free is our challenge.
You can make this a completely plastic free meal if buy the tortillas from a tortilleria, otherwise they will come wrapped in plastic. A tortilleria is a shop where fresh tortillas are made. In Mexico, there are shops dedicated to only making tortillas. In the States you'll usually find that a tortilleria is located inside a Hispanic food market and they will usually also sale prepared food like tacos.
This being a vegan recipe, we can choose to completely omit the sour cream and cheese and replace them with avocado and walnuts or we can make our own out of nuts. We also have the option to bite the bullet, buy vegan sour cream and cheese in plastic containers and reuse or recycle the containers.
I will be posting a recipe for vegan sour cream and cheese soon. :)
- 1 lb. black beans (soaked overnight)
- 3 garlic cloves (chopped in half)
- 1 large onion (1/2 in boil, 1/2 as topping)
- 1 bundle of cilantro (chopped)
- 3 serranos (sliced or diced)
- 3 tomatoes (chopped)
- 2 avocados (sliced, if not adding cheese or sour cream)
- 1 cup walnuts (chopped or broken up, if not adding cheese and sour cream)
- Vegan sour cream and cheese (optional, I like to get Violife Feta or Heidi Ho's vegan goat cheese as they are the most similar to queso fresco).
- 1 - 2 tablespoon(s) salt
- 2 teaspoons cooking oil
1. Soak the beans overnight and then discard the old water in the morning.
2. Put the beans in a large pot, cover them with water so that the water is about 2 to 2.5 inches over the beans. Add all of the salt, 1 teaspoon cooking oil, garlic and 1/2 of the onion in large pieces. Bring to a boil and then lower to a simmer for about 30 - 45 minutes or until beans are fully cooked. A fully cooked beans' outer layer will begin to peel off when blown onto [see picture 1 below].
3. Meanwhile, chop the other half onion, serranos, cilantro, tomatoes, walnuts if using them, and slice the avocado.
4. When the beans are ready ladle them into a blender or food processor making sure not to add too much of the liquid. If the beans are hot, be sure to pulse so that the heat doesn't build up as much. You want the bean sauce to be the consistency of pancake mix. If you add too much liquid just pour the sauce into a pot, simmer and allow the extra liquid to evaporate.
5. When you are ready to serve, brush a small amount of cooking oil onto the tortillas before putting them on a warm skillet over medium heat. Keep an eye on your tortillas making sure that they don't get crispy. You want them to be malleable so that they don't crack when folded but you don't want them to get tough. Cook them for about 1 minute, more or less on each side.
6. Fold them in half and then in half again. Grab one at a time with some tongs and dip each tortilla into the bean sauce covering them completely. Place them on your plate, add the toppings and enjoy.