Did we have a good weekend? Did it feel like every other day of this month?
We are still hanging in there. Kieran is definitely starting to go a little stir crazy and has even started using the phrase “I’m bored.” Which breaks my heart. When the weather isn’t good, he’s basically stuck inside all day with loads of energy to burn off and no way to do it. We do lots of kitchen dance parties and games of tag in the basement, but it’s not quite the same thing.
I just want to be able to take him to our local park and let him run around and play on playgrounds and explore all the blooming nature of spring. I’m mourning the start of Kieran’s soccer and baseball seasons. He was so looking forward to both, and we could really use an organized social activity right now. That’s definitely been the hardest part for us. Just the cooped up aspect of things.
Well, that, and not seeing any of our family or friends. That’s a toughie.
Oh, and cooking dinner every night. That one has been weighing on me extra these past couple weeks. Don’t get me wrong, I cook all the time (obviously) and love it. But dinner has been a struggle.
I am on the go from the moment I wake up in the mornings. My husband is home, but he’s working in our bedroom all day. He isn’t available to help – NOT a complaint; he’s gotta do what he’s gotta do (and he does help whenever he can). But the second the kids are up, they are ON all day long. The only break I sort of get is when Finn takes a nap in the early afternoon (he’s always been a one-nap baby. Sigh). I’m down to one kid when that happens. One kid that needs to be homeschooled while his brother is sleeping.
We do roughly an hour of formal kindergarten schoolwork each afternoon (based on what his teacher is sending home), and then I try to fill in with reading and writing practice and math flashcards and art projects.
And then I have to somehow figure out how to do things for this blog (recipe testing, content planning, cooking, styling, photography, editing, writing, uploading, scheduling — the list goes on and on) AND do photoshoots and editing for clients.
Don’t even get me started on all the leftover stuff. Laundry, meal planning, grocery shopping/ordering, cleaning our home, taking care of the dogs, feeding everyone throughout the day, and also getting regular exercise.
By the time dinnertime rolls around, I AM SPENT.
Our meals have been kind of pathetic lately. Last weekend, Dan and I ate “snacks” for dinner Friday-Sunday. There was no actual cooking involved. It was kind of hilarious. But I’m working on it! I’m giving myself A LOT of grace, trying to be as grateful as possible (we have so much to be thankful for), and shopping as mindfully as possible – letting myself have a day or two each week that doesn’t require cooking (salads for dinner or leftovers or a cheese spread). I try to plan as much as possible so that my future self is not entirely overwhelmed.
We’ve even gotten take out from our local pizza place a couple times, which made me super nervous but ended up being just fine. And it felt good to support a local business while simultaneously giving myself a break from the dinner routine.
ALL OF THAT TO SAY: meals like these refried bean enchiladas have been a lifesaver. Truly.
They come together easily and quickly. They’re made with a mix of fresh and pantry ingredients. They feed us for more than one meal (Hallelujah!!!). They’re comforting (which is exactly what I need these days). And they’re really freaking delicious.
Refried beans, believe it or not, are one of my favorite foods. They are as humble as food gets but pack a wallop of flavor and comfort in every bite. I like to make my own, but I’m definitely all for taking help from the store/pantry right now. I try to buy the vegetarian refried beans because they don’t contain any lard, but you can use whatever kind you love.
The filling for these enchiladas consists of onions, bell peppers, jalapeños, garlic, spices, canned beans, canned green chiles, and canned refried beans. That’s really it. Humble but tasty.
We load the filling into tortillas and let them swim in store-bought enchilada sauce and cheese. They bake up gooey and glorious. They taste like bean burritos but with the volume turned up.
Speaking of turning up the volume, whenever I eat something baked and cheesy like these enchiladas, I want something fresh and crunchy either on top or alongside. A salad or some kind. Or a fresh condiment. It not only breaks up the texture a bit, but it adds freshness and life to things. It brightens up all the flavors.
And that’s exactly what this fresh pico does. It’s easy to throw together but packs so much flavor and brightness. I might even go as far to say that it “makes” these enchiladas.
Sweet cherry tomatoes, red onion, scallion, vinegar, lots of lime juice, and cilantro. That’s it. So simple. But it adds so much!
It also makes quarantine meals like this one feel a little more normal. Eating fresh ingredients has been key for me. It’s a great combination of relying on the pantry for staples that you may already have on hand and filling in with fresh ingredients from the store.
These enchiladas would make for a great addition to your at-home Cinco de Mayo spread next week. I live for margaritas and chips and salsa, especially on Cinco de Mayo, but I’m thinking a comfort dish like these enchiladas will definitely be on the menu as well!
My future self is already thanking me.Print
These Refried Bean Enchiladas with Fresh Pico are the best of all worlds! They call upon pantry staples and fresh ingredients and make for a comforting combination of flavors and textures. Creamy, cheesy refried bean enchiladas get topped with a fresh pico de gallo made from cherry tomatoes and lots of fresh lime juice! It’s a fiesta for the tastebuds!
For the Filling:
- ½ tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 bell pepper, diced
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 (15-oz) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 (15-oz) can vegetarian refried beans
- 1 (4-oz) can chopped green chiles
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Hot sauce, to taste (optional)
- Nonstick spray
- 1 (8-oz) package/can of enchilada sauce (I like green)
- 10 flour tortillas
- 4 oz grated Monterey Jack cheese
- 4 oz grated sharp cheddar cheese
For the Pico:
- 2 cups halved cherry or grape tomatoes
- 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced
- ½ of a small red onion, finely diced
- 2 scallions, diced
- 1 tablespoon red wine or apple cider vinegar
- Juice of 2 limes
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
For the Filling:
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the onion, peppers, and spices. Season with a little salt and pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are starting to soften.
- Add the pinto beans to the vegetables and stir to combine.
- Place the refried beans and green chiles in a large mixing bowl. Add the warm vegetable mixture and stir to combine everything. Season, to taste, with salt and pepper. Add a dash or two of hot sauce as well if you like things spicy.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
- Pour a third of the enchilada sauce over the bottom of the baking dish and spread it out evenly.
- Place a tortilla on your working space and fill with roughly ⅓ cup of the refried bean filling. Roll the tortilla up and place seam-side down in the baking dish.
- Continue until all the tortillas have been filled and rolled.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over top of the rotrillas and spread it out evenly. Top with the grated cheeses.
- Wrap the baking dish with tin foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 10-15 minutes or until the cheese is melted and gooey and the sides are bubbly.
- Allow to cool slightly before topping with the fresh pico and serving warm.
For the Pico:
- While the enchiladas are baking, make the pico by combining the tomatoes, jalapeno, onion, scallions, vinegar, and lime juice in a mixing bowl.
- Add in chopped cilantro and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
- Prep Time: 10 minutes
- Cook Time: 35 minutes
- Category: vegetarian
Keywords: refried bean enchiladas, vegetarian enchilada recipe, vegetarian refried bean enchiladas, pico de gallo recipe, cherry tomato pico de gallo, bean enchiladas