Who Knew an Enchilada or Fish Taco Could Fight Inflammation?

Build the right enchilada, and you have a heaping helping of antioxidants coming to  assist stressed-out professional women fight post-adolescent acne. Avocado and tomato salsa together pack a double power punch of inflammation fighters to ward off cancer and boost immunity. Use the enchilada recipe as a jumping-off point for a fish taco, and you have the California surfer’s favorite and healthy fast food plus the benefits of Omega-3 fatty acids. All women, including those who plan to become pregnant, will find these ingredients beneficial:

Avocado is a rich source of vitamins E and C.

Tomatoes are loaded with health-protective antioxidants such as lycopene, vitamin C, and vitamin A.

Beans and seafood are zinc-packed inflammation-fighters.

Onions offer several health benefits, mostly due to their high content of antioxidants.

Garlic is loaded with a bacteria-killing chemical called allicin that fights inflammation.

Fish is famous for Omega-3 fatty acids that are potent antioxidants.

Check out this enchilada recipe that comes from The Arthritis Foundation. Their recipe calls for prepared salsa to speed and ease preparation; you may want to make your own.

Easy Black Bean and Goat Cheese Enchiladas

Made faster with jarred salsa, these enchiladas burst with the flavor of tangy goat cheese and creamy avocados. Smoother varieties of salsa work best. Take the time to soften the tortillas, as instructed. It makes the rolling process much easier.

Time: 20 minutes active time

Makes: 4 servings

  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
  • 2 (12-ounce) jars salsa
  • 1 ripe avocado, peeled and chopped into ½-inch pieces
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (optional)

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Blend the beans, 3 ounces of the goat cheese, 1/2 cup of the salsa, and about 3/4 of the avocado pieces in a mixing bowl creamy, until and set aside. Wrap the tortillas in a damp cloth and microwave on high for 1 minute (or wrap cloth in foil and heat in the oven for 5 minutes) to make them more pliable.

Pour about a cup of the salsa into a wide, shallow bowl, and spread another cup or so on the bottom of a 7-inch by 11-inch (or similar) baking dish. Dip one tortilla into the bowl of salsa on both sides, add about 1/4 cup filling at one end, wrap the tortilla around the filling, and place it in the baking dish, seam side-down.

Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling. Spread the remaining salsa (what’s left in the jars and in the bowl) over the enchiladas, spreading it to the edges of the tortillas, and bake for 30 minutes, until bubbling. Scatter the remaining goat cheese, avocado, and chopped cilantro on top, and serve hot.

Tomato Salsa

  • 2 medium tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 jalapeño, halved lengthwise, seeded and cut crosswise into half moons (optional)

In a medium bowl, combine the tomatoes, onion, garlic, cilantro and jalapeño (if using).

Fish Tacos

To convert the enchilada recipe into one for tacos adapted from The New York Times, add these additional ingredients:

  • ½ cup fine-milled flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup peanut oil, plus a splash more for greasing pan
  •  Pat of butter
  • 2 limes, 1 halved and 1 cut into wedges
  • ½ cup milk
  • ¼ cup peanut oil, plus a splash more for greasing pan
  • Pat of butter
  • 1 pound any firm white-fleshed fish such as flounder, tilapia, snapper, cod, mahi mahi, or catfish , cut across the grain of the flesh into strips about 1/2 inch wide by 3 inches long
  • 12 6-inch fresh corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage

In a medium bowl, mix together ½ cup flour, 1 1/2 teaspoons each of kosher salt and black pepper. Pour one-half cup milk into another medium bowl, and place the fish into it. Pour 1/4 cup of the peanut oil into a 12-inch frying pan and place over medium-high heat until it shimmers and is about to smoke.

Remove the fish pieces from the milk bath and dredge them lightly through the flour mixture, shaking to remove excess. Add a pat of butter to the pan. Place some fish pieces in the oil, without crowding them, and cook until deep golden brown on one side, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn carefully and cook for 1 minute more. Remove to a warmed, paper-towel-lined plate and sprinkle with salt. Repeat with the remaining fish.

Or, you can grill the fish. Brush the fish with oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill over moderately high heat until lightly charred and cooked through, about 10 minutes.

Blend the beans and 3 ounces of the goat cheese and about 3/4 of the avocado pieces in a mixing bowl until creamy.

Lightly grease a skillet with a drizzle of oil and set over medium heat. Heat the tortillas, one or two at a time, until they are soft and hot. Keep them warm, wrapped in a dish towel.

Fill each tortilla with 3 pieces of fish, browned side up, followed by tomato salsa, remaining avocado and a pinch of cabbage. Drizzle with the creamy bean, goat cheese and avocado mixture. Serve 2 to 3 tacos per person, with lime wedges and hot sauce on the side.

See the Arthritis Foundation enchilada recipe here and the original The New York Times fish taco recipe here.

 

 

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