Sunday, July 25, 2010

16 Spice Shredded Beef Enchiladas with Zucchini and Onions

Tacos are one of my fast and easy "go to" meals.  I have always used ground beef until I recently tried cooking a beef chuck roast in the crockpot for my taco meat.  Check out the Tacos de Barbacoa recipe here.  I wanted to use the same concept but with a different spice rub.  I chose Bobby Flay's 16 Spice Rub.  I made this spice blend a while back and still had a lot left.  It was perfect for this meal.  I know 16 spices looks a little intimidating, but many of them I already had.  You could use any spice mixture that you want and still make these enchiladas.  But, I challenge you to make the 16 spice rub sometime.  It is really delicious.  It has some heat but also some warm and earthy flavors from the allspice, cinnamon and cloves.

I made this recipe up as I went along.  I don't post many of the meals that I make simply because they are usually just thrown together.  I had a good feeling about this one so I actually wrote things down as I cooked. 

My husband was skeptical when he walked in the kitchen and the enchiladas did not look like the usual covered-in-cheese-and-meat ones we have cooked for the past 15 years. These were plain on top.  I decided to bake the enchiladas without sauce on top because I knew the salsa I planned on using would make them soggy as they baked.  They were not filled with the old standard meat and cheese of the old days.  These were filled with shredded beef, onions, peppers, a little sour cream and cheese, and guess what...zucchini.  Yes, zucchini.  I've learned that zucchini can be a great filler and make a meal go a lot farther.  AND add some nutrition.  They don't have a lot of flavor so they are perfect for this. These enchiladas are stuffed full, but not with a lot of fat and bad-for-you stuff.

These enchiladas were a hit!  My husband even apologized later for judging and jumping to conclusions before he had eaten them.  WOW!  (That doesn't happen too often and it made me feel good).  He ate them for lunch the next day and said they were great reheated, too. 

The roast that you cook is enough for two meals.  I made tacos one night and these enchiladas the next night. 

Bobby Flay's 16 Spice Rub and Roast

3 tablespoons ancho chile powder (heat level: 4)
3 tablespoons pasilla chile powder (heat level:4)
3 tablespoons ground cumin
3 tablespoons ground coriander
3 tablespoons ground ginger
2 tablespoons garlic powder
2 tablespoons onion powder
1 tablespoon allspice
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground cloves
1 tablespoon ground fennel seed
1 teaspoon chile de arbol – can substitute cayenne (heat level:7)
3 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (heat level:8)

4 lb beef chuck roast
1 large onion, sliced
1/2 cup water or beef broth

In a small bowl stir all spices together.   Rub on all sides of the roast; rub in with your fingers. If you can, put it in the refrigerator for a while (I let it sit for about 2 hours).

Place in a 5 to 6 quart slow cooker with broth. Add sliced onions on top of the roast.  Cook, covered on low-heat setting 10-12 hours or until tender. (I cooked mine for about 8 hours and it was perfect).

1 cup chopped onions
1 cup zucchini, chopped fine
1/2 cup poblano pepper, chopped
1 jalepeno, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1-2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup lowfat sour cream
1 cup cheese, grated (cheddar or monterey jack)
12 corn tortillas
4 cups of salsa
Preheat oven to 350F.  Heat a large nonstick pan to medium high heat.  Add olive oil.  Add onions, zucchini, and peppers. Cook for about 7 minutes or until the onions start to turn translucent.  Stir in the garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.  Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove from heat.  Stir in cheese and sour cream.  Set aside. 
Cover two cookie sheets with foil or spray with nonstick spray.  Lay out tortillas on the pans in a single layer.  Spray lightly with cooking spray.  Place pans in the oven and cook for about 4 minutes. 
Spray a 13x9 baking dish with nonstick spray.  Spread about 2 tbsp of zucchini mixture on one of the warm tortillas and add some of the shredded taco meat.  Roll up the tortilla and place in the pan seam side down.  Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.  Cover pan with foil and bake for 30 minutes. 
Serve the enchiladas with warm salsa on top. 

I have linked up this post to Just Something I Whipped Up at The Girl Creative.

The Girl Creative


  1. These look perfect! I'm trying these for sure! I love the 16 spice rub, I'll have to try that. You're right about zucchini, I call it my "free food". It has very little calories, lots of nutrition and it takes on taste of whatever you put it with. I've been putting it in a lot of things. Great recipes, it's always a hit when hubs is happy! Thanks!

  2. Oh, was there anything special about the salsa you used over these? Did you home make it or anything? Just curious.

  3. Thanks Sue! They were quite yummy!

    Debbi- thanks! I made my own salsa but I'm not posting the recipe yet. I need to tweak it a little. I was thinking some good quality store bought salsa would be good. I will work on the recipe and post when I have it done.

  4. These sound like something special with that spice mix! And I love the zucchini in it. I am all for sneaking in extra nutrition wherever you can.

  5. So I want to make these, does the meat in these have a better flavor than the meat in the tacos de barbacoa? There seem to be a TON of spices in this but not too much in the other one? Let me know asap if you can! Thanks!

  6. Hi Debbi. Make the tacos de barbacoa first. They are really good and much simpler than this one. The flavor is great in both but if your looking to prepare it quickly the barbacoa would be the winner.