To the first year class: a recipe for success

Dear MS16,

Congrats on finishing Orientation! We hope you’re excited to officially begin classes today. While embarking on this journey may incite many feelings of unknown and uncertainty, we wanted to provide you with some comfort in the saucy, spicy, cheesy form that we know best.

These veggie enchiladas are a great go-to recipe for any first-year-of-med-school occasion. Whether you make these for dinner for your anatomy group after a long week in lab, for a potluck dinner to feed an army of hungry classmates, or keep a pan of these in the fridge or freezer to have yourself a filling lunch or dinner during a busy week (note: we’ve done all of the above!), we guarantee these enchiladas will never fail you. They’re a high pass in our book, shall we say.

In addition to being tasty, this recipe is extremely med student budget-friendly and just one batch will feed an entire crowd (or one hungry med student over the course of a few days). The veggie version we’ve made pleases all palettes, but if you’re among omnivores, adding cooked chicken or ground beef are also delicious options.

We wish you the best of luck on your first day of classes! We will be here for you, for any support, study tips, and sustenance that you may need!

Sending our lovin’ from the oven,

Joanna and Kate

Veggie Enchiladas

Vegetable filling:

1 poblano pepper

Olive oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 bell pepper, diced

1 zucchini, diced

1/2 bag frozen corn (recommended: Trader Joe’s fire roasted)

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

2 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper

Roast poblano pepper over gas flame or under broiler until black on all sides. Remove from flame and place into paper bag to loosen skin. Remove skin and chop pepper into small pieces. Set aside.

In large skillet, heat about 1 tbsp olive oil. Saute onion for about 2 minutes. Add pepper and zucchini and saute another 5-7 minutes, until vegetables are slightly softened. Add frozen corn and beans and cook for another minute. Add cumin and salt and pepper to taste. Set aside filling.

Enchilada Sauce:

1 large onion, chopped

2 T olive oil

3 gloves garlic, minced

1 28 oz can crushed or diced tomatoes

1/3 c water

1/2 c salsa

2 T tomato paste

2-3 chipotle peppers from a can of chipotles in adobo, chopped

2-3 T sugar

salt, to taste

In a large skillet, saute onion in olive oil over medium high heat until onion is soft and begins to brown. Add garlic and cook another 2-3 minutes. Add all other ingredients and combine well. Allow mixture to simmer about 10 minutes until everything is bubbly. Taste to adjust flavors. Remove from heat and puree in small batches in a blender or food processor (immersion blender is ideal for this job). You don’t want the sauce to be completely smooth but don’t leave any big chunks.

To assemble (Coax a friend into helping out with this part. Teamwork is key to swift enchilada making!):

20 corn tortillas

Shredded Mexican blend cheese

Preheat oven to 425. Grease a 9×13 baking dish and a 9×9 baking dish (this recipe makes a ton!) Place 1 1/2 cups of enchilada sauce on the bottom of the 9×13 baking dish and 1 cup of sauce on the bottom of the 9×9 dish.

Combine vegetable filling with 1 cup of enchilada sauce and 1/2 cup of shredded cheese.

Heat a burner on the stove. Working with one tortilla at a time, cook it over the burner, about 30 seconds per side, to warm it and add a little bit of color. Move tortilla onto a work surface and place 1/4 cup of veggie filling in a line down the center, leaving about 1 inch of space on each end. Roll tortilla around filling and place seam side down into baking dish. Repeat this process until all tortillas and filling are used up. Be sure to pack enchiladas tightly in the baking dish so the filling doesn’t come out.

Once all the filled enchiladas are in the dishes, top with remaining enchilada sauce and a healthy sprinkling of cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, removing the foil in the last 5 minutes so that the top gets golden brown. Serve with your choice of toppings. Our favorites include avocado, cilantro, lime, sour cream, and salsa.

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