Flicks & Food With The Domestic Diva: FOOD, INC. Vegetarian Enchiladas With Homemade Enchilada Sauce

IMG_5216 It's the time of year again when I'm reminded about just how much the Oscars suck. 

Sure, everyone's deserving, blah, blah, blah, insert more P.C. B.S. about the Iraq war here to justify giving best picture to The Hurt Locker when we all know it's got more to do with politics and the fact that everyone hates James Cameron.  But despite the Academy Awards' pedigree - and their self-importance - they never seem to get it right.  At least, not most of the time.  So today, I'm dedicating this column to the film that I believe should have Best Documentary:  FOOD, INC.

I don't want to get up on my high-horse and preach, but if you see this film, not only will it change what you eat, but it will change how you view the entire food supply system.  The biggest crisis in America today isn't economic - it's gastronomic!  That's right - what we eat is slowly rendering our population a very sick one in need of vast amounts of health care that we can't afford.  Diabetes, a mostly preventable disease, is the fastest growing illness in the U.S. today (it used to be referred to as "adult onset diabetes," but much to the consternation of doctors, it's afflicting children in record numbers).  If you ask me, the Big Food lobby is worse than the Big Tobacco lobby on its worst day.  How could that be?  It's simple logic - not everyone, even back in the old days, smoked.  And I'll reckon that a five year-old chain-smoker was a rare thing.  But we ALL eat.  Every single one of us, including our children, so we are ALL affected by this crisis.

There isn't space in this column to go into all the negative consequences of what we've done to our food supply -  all I can do is urge you to see FOOD, INC.  It does a tremendous job of laying out the basics about what you should know about where your food comes from.  The rest is then up to you.  This film will change your life.  And I can urge you to read my blog, Domestic Divas, which features healthy recipes made with local, sustainable ingredients.  On my blog, I write weekly recipes for Meatless Monday, a non-profit organization which helps people cut out meat one day a week both for the sake of our health the the health of our planet.  This is also featured in FOOD, INC. at the end of the film as an easy steps that everyone can take to improve their diets. 

In support of the movie, FOOD, INC., and also our collective health, here's one of my favorite meatless recipes:  Vegetarian Enchiladas With Homemade Enchilada Sauce!  Instead of the traditional meat filling, I pack these enchiladas with organic vegetables and tofu and smother them in my homemade sauce.  They're so delicious, that I promise you won't even miss the meat!

FOOD, INC. Vegetarian Enchiladas With Homemade Enchilada Sauce
Serves 5 people (makes about 10 enchiladas)
Cooking time: 60 minutes

10 corn tortillas
1/4 cup grapeseed or canola oil
1/4 cup queso fresco or goat feta cheese, crumbled
2 tablespoons cilantro

1 cup green beans, chopped
1 cup zucchini, chopped
3/4 cup fresh corn kernels (if not available, can substitute frozen)
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach
1/2 cup firm tofu, diced
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, peeled & chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper

1 14.5 oz can Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes
1 onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled & chopped
1 jalapeno, seeded & chopped
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 tablespoon cumin
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon organic sugar or agave nectar
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt & pepper

To make the enchilada sauce, heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and saute until softened and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the jalapeno and garlic and saute for another minute.  Next, add the chili powder, cumin and cinnamon and stir to combine.  Cook for another minute.  Add the tomatoes and the sugar and stir to combine.  Bring to a simmer and cook uncovered for 20 minutes.  Once it's cooked, remove the sauce from the heat and allow to cool.  Working in batches, puree the sauce in a blender.  Finally, season to taste with salt and pepper.

To make the enchilada filling, heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat.  Add the onion and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add the garlic cloves and cook for another minute.  Then, add the green beans, zucchini and the corn and cook until softened, about another 8 minutes.  Add the spinach and tofu and cook until the spinach is wilted, about another 3-4 minutes.  Season to taste with salt & pepper.

To make the enchiladas, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spread a little sauce over the bottom of a Pyrex baking dish. Meanwhile, heat the grapeseed oil in a cast iron or frying pan over medium heat.  Place a corn tortilla in the oil, and lightly fry on each side.  Remove to paper towels to cool.  Spoon some of the filling into the tortilla and roll it up.  Place the rolled up enchilada in the baking dish.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas, laying the rolled up enchiladas next to each other.  Then, spoon enchilada sauce over the top and sprinkle with a the queso fresco.  Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes.

To serve, place two enchiladas on a plate and top with the chopped cilantro.  Enjoy!

Wine Pairing
Alright, I have to go with Mexican beer on this one.  I'd recommend my favorite, Negra Modelo.  But if you must have wine, I'd suggest a spicy California Syrah like Copain's Hawks Butte Syrah.

DD profile pic About the Author
JENNIFER DAWN ROGERS … A graduate of Harvard University and a former film development executive, Jennifer cooks and writes in Los Angeles. In 2009, she launched her blog Domestic Divas (www.domesticdivasblog.com), which focuses on local, organic cooking, restaurant and wine reviews.  She is currently writing her first novel.

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