Birthday Enchiladas

birthday enchiladas

A sign of true compatibility: I just realized that Will and I both ate enchiladas for our birthdays. Of course, for my birthday I demanded we go out for dinner, because as much as I enjoy cooking, I don’t usually want to do it on my birthday. So we went to Milagro and drank sangria and ate enchiladas and it was delicious. Whereas when I asked Will what he wanted to do for dinner on his birthday, he requested my cooking, which is a total compliment. I gave him a multitude of options, and he picked enchiladas. Bonded by our love of saucy and cheesy foods!


birthday enchiladas
These were going to be black bean and feta enchiladas, because I know how delicious black beans and feta can be together. But um, that can of black beans I could have SWORN was in the cupboard wasn’t there! So I compromised and used lentils. Lentils are amazing and protein filled and fast cooking, and best of all they don’t need to be soaked before cooking like other beans. To the lentil mixture I added spinach (so these are basically health food) and feta (so these are super delicious).

birthday enchiladas
One note about cooking lentils – I was an idiot and left mine uncovered and they took FOREVER and used way more water than they originally called for. Do not be like me. Cover your lentils and they will only use the 3 cups this calls for! (of course, if you test your lentils after the 30 minutes and they’re still not soft, add a bit more water and keep cooking!)

birthday enchiladas

Birthday Enchiladas

I know the ingredient list looks daunting, but it’s mainly taken up with spices! Plus the filling and sauce both need onions and garlic, so just chop those together.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup brown lentils
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, stems removed and cut into ribbons
  • 1 cup crumbled feta
  • 1 tsp salt

Enchilada sauce:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 650 ml jar of tomato sauce (works out to be around 2 2/3 cup, I used a fire-roasted tomato one)
  • 4 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 6 medium tortillas
  • 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • to top: diced avocado, quartered cherry tomatoes, sour cream, cilantro

Start with the lentil filling. Cook the onion in the oil over medium heat until softened, then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Add the lentils and the chili powder and oregano, plus 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, then turn down to medium low, allowing the lentils to simmer for 30 minutes.

For the enchilada sauce, heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions  until softened. Add the minced garlic and flour, cooking for a minute to remove any floury taste. Add the tomato sauce and the spices and cook over low heat for few minutes until the sauce is heated thoroughly. Check for spicing at this point – you may want to add a touch more heat or salt! Once you’re happy with the spicing, cover and set aside.

Preheat the oven to 350. Check the lentils for doneness, and once they are soft, take them off the heat and add the salt, spinach and 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce. Cover and set aside for a few minutes until the spinach wilts. Stir and add the feta.

Pour 1.2 cup of the sauce in the bottom of a baking dish. Add a little over 1/2 cup filling to each tortilla, roll up and place seam-side down onto the dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas, squeezing the tortillas together. Top with the rest of the sauce and the cheddar cheese and bake. After 10 minutes of baking, turn the oven to boril and cook until the cheese is melted and bubbling.

Serve with the toppings of your choice.

birthday enchiladas
This could be subtitled: eff yeah avocados on/in everything.

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