Vegetarian Enchilada recipe: filled with savoury herbs and additions

There are some things we really miss about our carnivorous past – OK, not that many things. But it is challenging to find a vegetarian enchilada on any menu. What will you fill the tortilla with, right? Here’s your answer: beans. Beans, and lots of ’em. This recipe combines traditional refried beans with a cluster of natural ingredients to form a savoury filling that is, well, filling.


  • 4 tortillas
  • 1 can of refried beans or 1/2 cup homecooked navy beans, mashed
  • 1 small tomato or 5 cherry tomatoes, diced
  • 1/4 of a large onion, chopped (regular or red)
  • several leaves of cilantro, chopped
  • dash of oregano
  • 1 lemon for squeezing juice
  • 1 small block of cheddar cheese
  • taco sauce


  1. Mix chopped tomatoes, onions and cilantro in a bowl. Add a dash of oregano and squeeze a lemon over top.
  2. Add refried beans to mixture and mix together. Add a light spritz of taco sauce.
  3. Spoon desired amount of now-flavoured refried beans down the centre of a tortilla.
  4. Fold the tortilla and drizzle a little more taco sauce over top. Grate cheddar cheese over top as a garnish.
  5. Repeat for select number of tortillas.
  6. Heat in toaster oven at 275 convection until cheese is lightly melted. Serve with sour cream/Greek yogurt or guacamole.

Makes 4 enchiladas

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Mexican rice dish—ready in minutes

Mexican night at my house isn’t complete without a tasty rice dish. Why buy store-bought when you can make it better at home—and in only 25 minutes? This dish looks impressive too; your friends don’t have to know how easy it was to make!

Variation: For Mexican Rice Lasagna, repeat this recipe so that there is a layer of cheese in the middle, like a lasagna. Yum!

This must-have dish is so easy to make!


  • 1 cup white rice (or whole grain, if we’re going to be good!)
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1 cube (2 tbsp) of cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 stalk of green onion, sliced


  1. Put rice in pot, add enough water to cover the rice and set to boil. Cook for about 15 minutes, or until rice is soft (not crunchy!).
  2. Let the rice cool, then “pour” the rice into a casserole dish and mix in the salsa.
  3. Smooth out the top surface of the rice casserole and sprinkle on the cheddar cheese. Sprinkle the green onions on top as a garnish. You may choose to mix the green onions in with the rice and salsa, if your guests do not object.)
  4. Set the toaster oven to broil and cook the rice dish until the cheese has melted. Serve hot!

Serves 5 with some leftovers

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Mexican Rice Salad: so delicious & bursting with veggies

Load up on fibre, protein and healthy vitamins! This Mexican rice salad  makes a savoury snack or side dish. Serve with refried beans and a side of salsa and Greek yogurt for snack, or with quesadillas to make a meal. You can personalize the rice salad to match any leftover vegetables lying about the house.


  • 1/4 cup rice, cooked (healthier to use brown rice)
  • 3 tbsp niblets (or corn kernels)
  • 2 stalks green onions, chopped
  • 2 small slices jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 1 sprig cilantro
  • 1 tsp taco seasoning
  • 1/2 cup refried beans
  • 1/4 cup salsa
  • 1/4 cup Greek yogurt


  1. Place rice in pot and fill with water. Boil until rice is cooked. Mix with niblets and heat for 5 minutes. Mix in taco seasoning.
  2. Place rice and niblets in bowl and add green onions, jalapeno pepper and cilantro. Mix.
  3. Place refried beans into a pan and heat with a touch of water.
  4. Serve refried beans, salsa and Greek yogurt alongside Mexican rice salad. Each spoonful bursts with a different taste!

A different angle of deliciousness.

Nutrition information:

Calories: 341
Fat: 1.4 g
Saturated fat: 0.1 g
Trans fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 0
Sodium: 945 g (too much, try to find low-sodium beans)
Carbohydrates: 69.7 g
Fibre: 9.3 g (excellent! now imagine it with brown rice)
Sugar: 7.2 g
Protein: 18.2 g (incredible!)
Vitamin A: 14%
Vitamin C: 10%
Calcium: 12%
Iron: 24% (That’s 1/4 of your daily quota)

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    Creamy Avocado Taco: rich in good fats and fibre

    This take on tacos (my favourite food) lets the avocados shine. This recipe offers a great opportunity to finish off your supply of Yves veggie ground leftover from the vegetarian shepherd’s pie. It also covers up the Yves flavour, if that’s not your favourite. Enjoy the health benefits of avocados and deliciousness in one meal!

    Creamy avocado tacos (photo credit: iStock).


    • 1/2 cup Yves veggie ground, cooked (recipe here)
    • 1/2 avocado
    • pico de gallo (follow this easy recipe)
    • 2 tbsp Greek yogurt
    • 3 tbsp salsa
    • 2 leaves lettuce, shredded
    • 1 large whole wheat tortilla


    1. Cook the Yves veggie ground according to this recipe. (Very simply, you will place Yves and water in a pan and cook for a few minutes, adding taco seasoning if desired.) Then mix with this pick-me-up pico de gallo made of tomatoes and onions.
    2. Line the middle of the tortilla with the Greek yogurt. *Note: Greek yogurt is replacing sour cream. One full serving (175 g) of Greek yogurt contains 20 grams of protein, so it’s very healthy!
    3. Scoop the Yves veggie ground and pico de gallo mixture onto the Greek yogurt.
    4. Peel the avocado, place in a bowl and mash the avocado with a spoon or fork. You may choose to add lemon and garlic as in this guacamole recipe or keep it simple and leave as is.
    5. Scoop the avocado onto the Yves veggie ground, then add the salsa and lettuce.
    6. Fold the tortilla and eat immediately, or cut in half, store in a container and heat quickly at work. It makes a great packable lunch!

    Daily food group servings:
    Grain: 1
    Fruits&veg: 2
    Protein alt: 1
    Dairy: 1

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    Read more about the health benfits of avocados.

    Black Bean Burrito recipe: the best I’ve ever had

    I have officially achieved the perfect black bean burrito. I no longer have to buy a burrito because this one is amazing and oozes with fresh, healthy ingredients. OK, so I’ll still eat out for Mexican food now and then, but this black bean burrito is seriously amazing! Try it; it makes a great lunch at work.

    Most amazing black bean burrito ever. (Photo credit: iStock.)


    • 1/4 cup black beans, cooked
    • 1/4 cup rice, cooked
    • 2 tbsp pico de gallo
    • 1 tbso Greek yogurt
    • 2 iceberg lettuce leaves, shredded
    • 2-3 tbsp salsa
    • 1 large whole grain tortilla
    • optional toppings: avocado, alfalfa sprouts and cheddar cheese


    1. Place the beans in a pot and fill with water. Cover pot overnight. The next day, cook the beans in water for about 1.5-2 hours until cooked.
    2. Boil water with 1/4 cup rice and cook until rice is ready (usually 15 minutes for white rice and 30 minutes for brown). Optional: add salt for flavour.
    3. Line the middle of the tortilla with the Greek yogurt (it’s a protein-packed substitute for sour cream) to start off our bed of rice.
    4. Place a layer of rice on top of the Greek yogurt, followed by black beans, pico de gallo and lettuce. Top with salsa when ready to eat (to avoid sogginess).
    5. Fold the burrito carefully and package for work or eat immediately. Delish!

    I thought up this recipe last night, made it this morning, packed it up and brought it to work. Imagine my happy surprise when I took that first amazing bite and tasted success!

    Daily food group servings:
    Grain: 2
    Fruits&veg: 1
    Protein alt: 2
    Dairy: 1

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    Quesada Mexican Grill restaurant review: can’t get my mind off it!

    I had been planning on buying a veggie dog outside the ROM as a quick dinner but when I found the street hot dog vendor-less, I was left with three options: Quesada Mexican Grill, Subway or McDonald’s. I’ve eaten McDonald’s about five times in my life and I can’t think of many exciting veggie options there. Subway is delicious, but I had been wanting to try Quesada for a while. And, boy, was it worth it.

    Vegetarian options 9/10

    Mexican cuisine is very vegetarian friendly thanks to its inclusion of beans. I’m always surprised when I confess my love for tacos and someone asks, “But what do you eat?” Beans, of course! Tacos, burritos and the like are just as easy to prepare for vegetarians as they are for meat-lovers.

    Quesada Mexican Grill offers burritos (bean or grilled veggies), veggie tacos, veggie quesadillas, soups and snacks (think chips with salsa or guacamole). They will even serve a burrito on a bed of lettuce if you’re watching carbs, but don’t forget carbohdyrates are just as important as protein and good fats! Opt for a whole grain tortilla with your burrito or taco.

    More good news: you can choose between black beans or pinto beans. Yay: choice!

    The Food 8.5/10

    A vegetarian is sure to find her or his fair share of options here. The only downside is that while tacos, quesadillas and burritos can come vegetarian-style, only the burritos give the option of beans over vegetables. Perhaps if we ask, they’d be willing to put beans in the tacos?

    My meal: the small bean burrito, $5.07 (with tax)

    Burritos are my Mexican go-to because they have everything I want: beans, rice, vegetables, salsa, sauces and all the goods rolled into one tortilla. I was offered a white or whole grain tortilla and very happily pounced on the opportunity to eat whole grain (kudos to Quesada Mexican Grill!). I also had black beans, rice, tomatoes, mild salsa, sour cream, corn, lettuce and cheese. Delicious!

    Grain: 1 (whole grain)
    Fruits&veg: 2
    Protein alt: 1
    Dairy: 1

    Prices 8.2/10

    Quesada Mexican Grill is basically competing with other semi–fast food “restaurants” like Mucho Burrito (which I don’t like very much). It’s expected that the prices will be higher than that of a fast food chain like my favourite Taco Bell (almost $4 for a burrito) and lower than that of a restaurant’s burrito (usually around $8-12), so keeping that in mind, $5 is very reasonably priced.

    On the other hand, I ordered a small burrito. But then, a large bean burrito only costs $1 more! This seems alright.

    Service 8.5/10

    Service is difficult to rate at a place where no one, well, serves you. But the workers behind the counter were amusing, indeed. It was my first time ordering at Quesada so I wasn’t sure which toppings were part of my burrito order and which would cost extra (though it did say on the menu…).

    I experienced a Rat Race moment as the man working behind the counter was a new employee, aided thankfully by two experienced co-workers. I say “thankfully” not because he did a bad job of making my burrito (he didn’t), but because I wasn’t sure which toppings were at my disposal and as the man was new too, neither of us knew who should take the lead. When I asked for guacamole, one of the woman warned me that it costs 75 cents extra, so I promptly cancelled the demand just as the man was dipping a spoon into the avocado blend. I was eyeing the cheese and lettuce when one of the women informed me that cheese was $3 extra but just as quickly said that she was joking. I explained, “I was ready to believe you because cheese is so expensive!” In future, they may not want to confuse a new customer…

    Then, my burrito was ready. The man wrapped it up only to have his female co-worker explain that there was a more efficient way to treat the burrito. My two friends were standing nearby waiting for me. I looked on patiently as my burrito was wrapped and re-wrapped three times—there’s the Rat Race moment!—only to then have me wait for it to be grilled. But it was worth it!

    Atmosphere 8.5/10

    The place was relatively empty but seemed like a comfortable, clean place to eat.

    Would I go here again?

    Yes! My burrito tasted good and the ingredients felt and tasted so fresh and pure. I already wanted another one after I’d finished mine. I definitely want to eat here again!

    Note: If your stomach is sensitive to Mexican food, good news: this burrito did not cause any stomach pains.

    Taco Pizza recipe—easy to make and protein-nutritious!

    Taco pizza. Personalize with your favourite toppings! (Photo credit: iStock)


    • 1 tortilla
    • 1/4 cup refried beans, uncooked (fresh from the can)
    • salsa
    • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
    • Yves veggie ground, cooked
    • green onions, chopped
    • 3 tbsp sour cream


    1. Preheat toaster oven to 325ºF convection.
    2. Apply a smooth layer of refried beans to tortilla.
    3. Cover in a layer of salsa and sprinkle cheddar cheese over salsa.
    4. Add a few spoonfuls of Yves veggie ground and green onions for topping.
    5. Heat taco pizza in toaster oven until cheese melts.
    6. Top with a dollop of sour cream in the centre, slice with a pizza cutter and enjoy!

    Serves 1 (Meal), 2 (Snack)

    Daily food group servings
    Grain: 1
    Fruits&veg: ½
    Protein alt: 1 to 1½
    Dairy: 1

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