Thursday, September 5, 2013

Pumpkin, Bean, and Chicken Enchiladas

Yes, it's only September 5th and it's still hot outside in Tennessee, but I'm pretty ready for fall. Ready to pull out the colorful leaf wreaths and buy some funky pumpkins and drink some chai tea. Oh, and try new pumpkin recipes! Yes, please.

This is a different sort of pumpkin recipe than I usually try - it's a savory one. And I loved it! It messed with my husband's mind a bit ("I keep wanting it to be sweet!") but it was a total win for me. It's a pretty healthy recipe, too, though I added a bit more cheese and salt than the original recipe called for. I mean, you want it to taste good, right? ;)

Oh, and don't be looking for "pumpkin beans" at your farmer's market like my mom's cousin was going to do. It's pumpkin comma bean. =)

Pumpkin, Bean, and Chicken Enchiladas
Adapted from Ladies' Home Journal Family Favorites Volume 6
Makes 4 servings
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2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion (1 medium onion)
1 fresh jalapeno, seeded and finely chopped (optional - I left this out and added more chili powder)
1 15-oz. can pumpkin
1 1/2 to 1 3/4 c. water
1 tsp. chili powder (use more if not using jalapeno)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt (may need to taste and add more)
1 c. red kidney beans, drained
1 1/2 c. chopped or shredded cooked chicken breast
1 c. shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
8 6-in white corn tortillas, softened
Pico de gallo or salsa (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside. In a medium saucepan, heat olive oil on medium high heat. Add onion and jalapeno, if using; saute' until tender, about 5 minutes.

Stir in pumpkin and add 1 1/2 c. of water. Cook and stir in chili powder, cumin, and salt. If needed, add more water to reach desired consistency.

Soften tortillas in the microwave between paper towels - or heat them individually in a nonstick pan. My tortillas were already soft and extremely pliable, which made them become too soft when the enchiladas were cooked, so I found it necessary to heat them a pan to crisp them up slightly.

In a large bowl, slightly mash the beans. Stir in half of the pumpkin mixture, the cooked chicken, and 1/2 c. of the cheese. Spoon a generous 1/3 c. of the bean mixture onto each tortilla. Roll them up and place them seam side down in the prepared dish. Pour the remaining pumpkin mixture over the tortilla roll-ups.

Bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Sprinkle with remaining 1/2 c. cheese. Bake 10 more minutes, making sure that cheese is melted. If desired, serve with pico de gallo. (A quick pico de gallo is made with equal parts chopped tomatoes and onions - I used green onions for this recipe. Add jalapeno, or not - I didn't this time. Throw in some chopped cilantro and sprinkle with salt and lime juice. Easy and flavorful!)

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