Enchiladas a la Abuela (sort of)

Along with dairy and gluten I have slowly been trying to get corn out of my diet. Culturally, this is very difficult as Mexico and corn have deep ties to one another, but the sacred grain we used to worship has little to do with the genetically modified crap that has finagled its way into just about everything we eat today.  Whatever your view on the health impacts of GMOs there is no denying that Monsanto is a soul sucking colonizing business that is destroying lives and livelihoods. My ultimate goal is to get them out of my kitchen, but who knows how feasible that actually is.

But I digress…sometimes SXSW happens and you end up with a bag of 200 tortillas in your fridge that sits there for a really long time. Also, sometimes, your roomie give you an old(ish) big head of purple cabbage and being you (me) you don’t want to throw it out.


(And yes my hair is often this messy)

Then I remembered I had some dried New Mexican chili peppers in the pantry and decided to get creative. I would make northern style red enchiladas, but replace the cheese with cabbage. Brilliant!

I really love this recipe because it was one of the first things my grandmother taught me to make. I’ve always loved cooking with her because she is so creative in the kitchen. This is a woman who can make delightful feasts out of leftovers and does it all with love and music. I think she’d be happy that I modified it so that it honors my body’s needs.

What you will need:

Bag of whole dried chili peppers (often found in “latin section” of grocery stores)
Head of cabbage
Kale (optional. My friend came over with some so we added it. Yum!)
Spices (I used oregano, cumin, and rosemary)
Oil for frying (I used coconut)
Optional thickening agent if the sauce is too watery (I used yuca flour)


1-Put on some tunes. Something danceable is nice, but you can never go wrong with Billie Holiday.

2-De-seed and de-vein the dried peppers. This makes them tolerably spicy. Here is a little tutorial if you are concerned about not doing it right.

3- Discard/compost seeds and veins and put the dried peppers in a stockpot and cover with water. Add garlic, salt, and spices and bring to boil, then let simmer for about 20 minutes.

4-While the peppers are doing their thing chop the onion, cabbage and kale. Sautee the onions until they are translucent then add in cabbage and kale (and extra garlic if you like)

5- Once the pepper is ready place in a blender with skin and some of the juice. Make sure it cools down a little otherwise you will have a large mess. Blend together and if it is too watery add in thickener.

Not a smoothie

Not a smoothie

6- In a seperate pan heat up cooking oil. Lightly fry tortillas before covering them entirely with sauce.

7- Fill sauced tortillas with cabbage/kale/onion mix and roll into enchilada shape.

If you use stale tortillas the shape may not come out quite right.

If you use stale tortillas the shape may not come out quite right.

8- Chef gets to eat first rolled enchilada with their hands. This is my grandmothers rule and I always follow it. This time there were two of us so we split one.

9- Spoon some extra sauce on top.

10-Enjoy with friends and loved ones.

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as I do!

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