We are fortunate to have a cabin high in the mountains of North Carolina. It is always a welcome time to relax and unwind with nature. Due to schedules, most of our time at the cabin is in short visits, however, I’m sure even a month would never be enough to breathe in the fresh mountain air. Cooking and eating at the cabin during short visits means strategic planning in order to not waste food. Cooking and eating at the cabin also means having must-haves in the panty for emergency meals in case of getting fogged in or snowed in. We arrived late in the evening this visit with hopes of driving into town early for provisions, but the fog had other plans.
We were fogged in with very little visibility, so no driving anytime soon. Lucky for us, we recently had some friends stay at our cabin and they left behind a frozen meal of two cheese enchiladas. Definitely not enough for the both of us for lunch. What to do?
I then remembered a fellow food waste friend who said she uses a leftover enchilada to make a cup of soup. Her brilliant, creative, idea was my inspiration. I knew I had beef stock and Mexican style tomatoes in the panty, a frozen mix of onions, peppers, and garlic, and a small frozen wedge of cheese–a bonus at this point! Lunch was on its way. This makeover my leftover transformed two little enchiladas into a whole pot of soup, which was good, considering it had to be our dinner, too! Life on the mountain is always full of surprises. Sorry for the picture quality, no pretty sunshine, only fog.
That’s it! I love a Makeover Magic of transforming one serving into four servings in 20 minutes! Once again the cabin has given me a new Makeover My Leftover recipe out of necessity, just like Grilled Vegetable Rice Salad which, coincidentally, was when we were fogged in!
Put On Your TO COOK IS TO CREATE Thinking Cap: No leftover enchiladas? Use tamales. Only have leftover chicken enchiladas? Change stock to chicken or vegetable. What other canned goods could be added? Potatoes, corn, black beans or refried beans would add a nice creaminess. Like it spicy? Add sliced jalapenos or adobe peppers. Fresh greens and herbs like spinach and cilantro would brighten the soup. Veggie lover? Add chopped zucchini and squash with onions and peppers. Want a heartier soup? Brown ground beef first or add cooked steak or chicken or even Mexican rice. Have tortilla chips? Use them for a crispy topping along with the cheese. Like sour cream, green onions, or guacamole on your enchiladas? Use them as a topping, too. Not enough sauce on your leftover enchiladas? Make some quick enchilada sauce. Love the idea of enchilada soup? How about making enchilada meatballs all the taste in one bite?
FOOD FUN: According to Wikipedia, enchiladas were first mentioned in a Mexican cookbook called, El Cocinero Mexicano (The Mexican Chef) published in 1831. The word enchilada is the past participle of Spanish enchilar “to add chili pepper to”, literally to “season or decorate with chili’. Makes total tasty sense to me now!