On days when 8 mile runs seem like too much to bear.  When all I can really fathom doing is sitting at my desk with a jar of cookie butter and a spoon.

I have to remind myself that this is a war.  And when I shoot…I aim to kill.


Regular, run-of-the-mill bullets don’t work against adipocytes, though.

They won’t tear through your genetic predispositions to central obesity, high blood pressure, type II diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease.

And they certainly are not going to keep you from having to take Lipitor at the age of 50.

No, no.  This is a new kind of war we’re waging.  And if we’re going to fight, we need to break out the big guns.

Our ammunition is the steps we’ve taken.  The vegetables we’ve eaten.  The sugar and butter and flour that we’ve said, “No thanks, not today” to.

Every generation wants to take what their parents have done, achieved, become. And surpass it.  But this?  I want it so bad it hurts.  I don’t want to live my life from a couch, so overweight that it’s killed my desire to get up and DO things.

I want to push myself to my limits.  Every. Day.  And never just accept a life that I’m not happy with.


Sometimes, it’s about the small battles, though, and less about these big overarching dreams.

This weekend, I ran a 4 mile race.  At an average pace of 7:58 minute miles.  It was breathtaking.  I haven’t been that fast since fall of 2009.  When really, I was speedy by virtue of being borderline underweight and not because of anything I had really done.

But this? This, I worked for.  I built the muscle.  I looked at my genetic pool, my family history, at every sign and omen and pointed finger.  And I fought.  Hard.

And on Sunday morning, at 8:30 AM.  I won.

I saved my life.

At least, for that day.  Because when you’re essentially waging a war against yourself. Against your cells. Against two sets of chromosomes that are dead set against you.  There is no winner.  There are just moments and choices and what you do with them. Whether you choose to fight.  Or throw in the towel.

And while I may be a pacifist at heart.  I’m not willing to lose on this.  It means too much.


Exercise is one way to fight fate, but eating vegetables is another.  And if there’s one thing that this enchilada casserole is chock full of (other than deliciousness, obviously), it’s nutrient density.  It’s the perfect {healthy} choice for Cinco de Mayo this weekend, or any other time you’re craving Mexican flavor but don’t want all of the take-out grease.

Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas
Serves 4, adapted from The Roasted Vegetable via Perry’s Plate


  • 1 poblano chile, cut into matchsticks
  • 2 red bell peppers, cut into matchsticks
  • 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, halved and slivered
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (or other heat-safe oil)
  • 1 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt and black pepper
  • 1/2 cup minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 cups salsa
  • 2 oz chopped kale (2 big handfuls)
  • 2-10 corn tortillas, halved
  • 4 oz shredded cheese (I used leftover quesadilla cheese but cheddar or monterey jack would also work!)
  • sour cream and thinly sliced scallions for garnish, if desired


  1. Preheat the oven to 425. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silpat.
  2. Place the poblanos, red bell peppers, cauliflower, sweet potato, and onion in a large bowl.  Drizzle the oil over the top along with the cumin, garlic, salt and black pepper.  Toss together until well-mixed.  Spread onto the baking sheet in as even a layer as possible.  Roast for 30-40 minutes, until the vegetables are tender and begin to brown in spots.  Shake the pan every 10 minutes or so to get an even roasting.  Remove the pan from the oven and lower the temperature to 350.
  3. Prepare an 8×8 or 9×9 inch casserole dish/baking pan with nonstick spray.  In a small bowl, stir the cilantro into the salsa.  Spread about 1/4 cup salsa onto the bottom of the pan.  Add a layer of tortillas so that the salsa is completely covered.  Top with 1/3 of the veggie mix, a handful of kale, and 1/3 of the cheese.  Make a second layer of tortilla, salsa, kale, veggies, and cheese.  Top with a layer of tortilla, salsa, veggies, and cheese.  Cover with aluminum foil (or, um, parchment paper if you’re out).  Bake for 20 minutes.  Remove the foil and bake for another 10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and everything is heated through.
  4. Let sit for 5 minutes.  Cut into squares.  Garnish with sour cream and scallions, if so desired.

For more Cinco de Mayo-esque recipes, check out these:
Green Goddess Enchiladas
Vegetable and Rice Burritos with Quesadilla Cheese
Chocolate Turtle Bean Tostadas
Green Posole
Coriander Tofu Tostadas with Refried Beans and Grilled Fennel
Parsnip, Red Bell Pepper, and Ramp Burritos
Butternut Squash Enchiladas with Red Mole
Mexican Sweet Potato Risotto

I know it’s quite ironic for me to go from drill sergeant healthiness to chocolate, but that’s the way it goes sometimes.  Mother’s Day is coming up and rather than get your mom some run of the mill box of chocolate from CVS, might I suggest this Breakfast in Bed collection from Chuao Chocolatier?  Filled with such unique flavors as Java, Maple Bacon, Orange Bliss, French Toast (my personal favorite), and Rose Garden it’s definitely sure to please any mother figure in your life.

In spirit of the holiday, Chuao is also currently offering a 20% discount to all of my readers that is valid from today through June 30, 2012!  Just enter the code: MAMA when you check out.


You are reading this post on Eats Well With Others at Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to the author and or owner of Eats Well With Others. All rights reserved by Joanne Bruno.
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108 Responses to Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas {}

  1. This was so enjoyable to read. I feel the same way when I run. Some days I just don’t feel like getting out of bed! It’s raining outside now, and I am currently trying to convince myself that I LIKE running in the rain. The brain is weird…also, loooove this pasta! Yum!

  2. Look at all this enchilada-y goodness!! I made deconstructed enchiladas this week and, well, they didn’t look this good!! Love all the veggies you cram in here.

  3. Excellent post. I agree with all of the above! And I want some of this enchilada dish like right now. 🙂

  4. Lynn says:

    You’ve done it again! This looks delicious.

    I can’t run (bad knee), but I quite enjoy walking. It’s often hard to incorporate it into the week, but I am managing to get at least five three mile walks in per week. But I want to continue this time and not let life get in the way – it’s so important to keep moving.

  5. Danielle says:

    This looks amazing – I love this take on an enchilada.

  6. That is a big, fat, colorful, beautiful stack of goodness right there! I would be overjoyed with that meal any day! And yes on those chocolates, as well – they sound SO good.

  7. OohLookBel says:

    That’s an enchilada CAKE! I like it very much.

  8. bellini says:

    This is a thing of beauty Joanne!!! Love all the roasted veggies and cheese!!!!

  9. Sam says:

    My mom used to make something like this that she called “Mexican Lasagna”…tortilla chips, meat, cheese, a can of tomatoes all baked together. This looks much healthier (and much tastier!)

  10. Great job on your fast run – that is amazing Joanne!

    LOVE this dish.

  11. Hotly Spiced says:

    That’s a wonderful and inspiring post Joanne. Congrats on how well you’re doing with your running. You sound incredibly focused and disciplined. And this vegetable stack looks amazing and is so full of good things. Even I could run a bit faster after a plate of this! xx

  12. kelsey says:

    YUM! This looks super good! Congrats on the run girl!! 🙂

  13. marie says:

    Just found your gorgeous blog and am bookmarking it for sure, your food looks right up my alley. I’ve made the s’mores cupcakes you blogged about, everyone went nuts over them. I love veggies so looking forward to making this stack.

  14. Mary says:

    Absolutely STUNNING enchilada plate. I made some chicken enchiladas last night, that I thought were perfect. But now I’m craving this rainbow colored plate of vegetables! Great post as well. It really is about what we do each and every day to save our own futures! Have a blessed day. Congrats on that awesome run!!

  15. Wow congrats on that speedy race! I love knowing that for every workout I do, for every plateful of veggies I eat, not only do I feel better and look better for it, but it’s also helping me live a longer, healthier life. Great post.

  16. Nicole, RD says:

    YOU ROCK! SPEED DEMON!!! You should be so, so proud!

    These enchiladas look amazing…and way easier than that whole rolling of the tortillas business! These will be made – I am officially a lover of veggie enchiladas 🙂

  17. stacked is definitely the appropriate word! LOOKS so delicious. Nothing clever to say other than I want it

  18. Cathleen says:

    This has totally inspired me to start running. It seems like I am becoming less in shape by the second, and this has definitely got to change.
    Also, the vegetable stack looks fantastic! I could sink my teeth so far into this..

  19. Fantastic meal you have here, Joanne. It looks so mouthwateringly delicious. My vegetarian parents would LOVE this, as would I. Thanks for sharing!

  20. I might be making this for dinner next week… love! I think I’ll toss in some black beams, too!!

  21. Love the enchilada’s! We’re eating more vegetables, this would go over very well. Maybe a little enchilada sauce on the side for me.

  22. Pam says:

    This post inspired me! I am off to jump on the treadmill. Thanks Joanne. Oh yeah, the enchiladas look AMAZING too!

  23. I was stuck between making a similar veggie enchilada casserole and my mom’s famous chicken-soup-mix chicken enchiladas. I decided to go with the chicken because my theme for May is Food My Mom Makes as a Mother’s Day tribute.

    I love veggies though, and Mexican-inspired flavors, so I’m sure I’ll be trying this sometime soon 🙂

  24. RecipeGirl says:

    I love your story (man, that’s totally fast!!!) and I love this dinner idea. Keep up the great work- I’m off to the gym to run NOW!

  25. Jenna says:

    My word–that dish looks amazing. Colorful, healthy, the works. And I like your perspective on fighting every day. Sometimes it certainly feels like a struggle to say no to those fries, or to get up earlier so that I have time to make my veggie juice . . . but I know it’s worth it in the end!

  26. Shannon says:

    Great job on that race!! and i love veggies most days, too 😉 Way to wrap them in an even tastier package 🙂

  27. Stacks of vegetables, war, genes…this post has it all!

  28. Suzi says:

    Kudos to you and all your hard work and you won. Great meal to celebrate with, packed with all those veggies and very little cheese. Looks delish.

  29. Natalie says:

    Glad you liked these! Thanks for linking up 🙂

  30. Kristen says:

    7:58 mile pace? You go girl!!! That is so awesome! You deserve it for all of your hard work :). I’ve made this recipe before too. So yummy!

  31. Loved this post, Joanne–you’re so inspiring! I love your description of waging a war against being overweight and unhealthy. Good for you for winning, every time you do. The enchiladas are sooo beautiful, I would probably admire them until they were cold if they were sitting in front of me. All those colors. A visual smorgasbord.

  32. Fantastic pace. Very proud. The enchiladas look great as well, though don’t consider me a whimp when I leave out the cauliflower. And I may just sub something for the kale. MnMs? No, not MnMs.

  33. Perfect timing – picked up the CSA box today – not exactly the same but will substitute perfectly.

  34. Katie says:

    Seriously this sounds insanely awesome and photographs are beautiful, too!

  35. Stunning – vegetarian, delicious beyond compare and perfect for the upcoming holiday 🙂
    Thank you!

    Choc Chip Uru

  36. Shana says:

    So glad you shared this! This was one of the first dishes I tried when converting over to a whole foods, plant based diet. It’s a favorite staple around our house. And I think EVERYONE needs to know about it. 🙂 As always, your pics are awesome and make me wanna eat it. Like right now. *rummages through fridge to find veggies*.

  37. vianney says:

    What a healthy boost, love anything stacked..yum!

  38. Ooh my detoxers will love this one for cinco de mayo, just have to lose the cheese and we’re good to go! Gonna share here –

  39. Shannon says:

    Of course you post this on the day I’m making your green goddess enchiladas – choices, choices!

  40. Ranjani says:

    I’ve got a great dinner all prepped and ready to go, and now I’m just thinking about eating enchiladas instead. This dish looks fabulous!

  41. Margarita says:

    I cannot imagine ever being able to run that fast. You are a superwoman Miss Joanne! These enchiladas look super delicious, even meatlovers would not miss the meat at all. P.S. Those chocolates look like heaven.

  42. Amy says:

    Ugh. I’ve been so tired lately…haven’t exercised all week. And, of course, when I don’t exercise, I eat like crap. Lose, lose. But sometimes. Sometimes sleep just wins. And hopefully I’ll be better off for it next week. Or maybe I just need vegetables at my finger tips all the time, instead of, you know…Oreos.

  43. Lora says:

    The perfect Cinco de Mayo party healthy food. they loook amazing!

  44. Christine says:

    In the spirit of altering my lifestyle eating patterns, I’ll be making more of your recipes from now on. This looks delicious! Just found out the Mexican restaurant that has the only salsa that doesn’t burn the daylights out of my mouth actually sells it on the side! Can’t wait to make this (minus poblano). 🙂 Great recipe Joanne, you’re so creative!

  45. Reeni says:

    I just made veggie enchiladas too but they pale in comparison to these! I started drooling on sight! Congrats on the race and your great time!

  46. Robin says:

    ooh! ooh! This looks absolutely fantastic! Love the post. I’m a runner, too and training on the weekends (again)- this type for another half marathon in Brooklyn. Meals like this will help get me through! Thanks for the recipe! Great shots, too.

  47. Wow, this dish is CHOCK full of veggies, just the way I like it!

    Good for you for exercising regularly…and for your amazing pace!!! Must be all that healthy food fueling you 🙂

  48. beti says:

    these are way different from the ones I’m used to eat, but I like they way they look and the fact that they are vegetable enchiladas

  49. Megan says:

    Love all the veggies in here! I had a ratatouille pizza yesterday and it was jam-packed with veggies like this.

  50. War it is and this is beautiful and delicious ammunition!

  51. Natalie says:

    i’ve made these and i think they’re one of my all-time fave meals..ever!

  52. Congrats on the race! Must be all of these veggies making you run so fast 🙂

  53. What an inspirational post. Congrats on winning the race. You rock!

    I’ve been running everyday, at least 4-5 miles, but my legs have been giving out. It’s just getting so hard to keep running throughout the week since I’m so exhausted from work. And I’m so damn competitive with myself so I’m always trying to top my fastest avg, which is near impossible. Ugh. Anyway, just had to share.

    As for the stacked enchilada, I love it! I made one last year and it was amazing. You don’t even get a chance to miss the meat!

  54. MyFudo™ says:

    I am with you every step of the way…I went back to running just a few months back and I have not regretted doing so. Even with the busy schedule and the stackload of chores to do, I cannot just give up running. All the more I must admit that I have to continue running so I can have the equilibrium needed. After I gave birth and after shedding all the pounds I have gained, people are surprised after seeing me get back to shape very quickly. I say it is willpower and it is a battle that cannot be won sitting down. Get up and fight and bring this dish with you. 😉
    I love reading your post!

  55. CONGRATULATIONS!! What a wonderful accomplishment. I am not sure when I have seen a recipe lately that I wanted to make as much as this one. Really I am getting ready to make the list of veggies that I need to pick up for this and am going to make it for us tonight! Thanks so much for always sharing such awesome recipes with us!

  56. daphne says:

    You go SISTA! Go Go Go! Fighting for health is the way to go. And I am loving such a warm hearty dish with FULL of vegetables. And a chocolate everyday, hey, we all deserve a treat. As long as we enjoy it and it is not a binge! So good quality chocolate all the way!

  57. Patsyk says:

    Joanne – I am so happy for you! You definitely earned every bit of that speed and the pride that comes along with it! Love those enchiladas!

  58. sally says:

    You had me at the first photo! This dish looks amazing!

  59. Cara says:

    I love this post, not only have I always been enamored with Natalie’s enchilada recipe but what you say completely resonates. People wonder why I lift weights (there’s no equivalent of a fun little competition like a 5K) or eat healthy when I’m not trying to lose copious amounts of weights. It’s all about the health, people! I’d like to have kids. And see them have kids. And not be bound up with a walker and a tote bag full of meds while doing it.

  60. That Girl says:

    I don’t know about cookie butter, but I do know that now I’m going to have to go pick up those chocolates next time I’m at Chuao.

  61. Karen says:

    That is a gorgeous looking pan of goodness. Did you say chocolate?!

  62. That’s amazing Joanne! You did amazing! WHat a fab idea to treat yourself to this afterwards. I looks amazing.

  63. Sarah says:

    First of all the enchiladas look amazing! Second of all thank you for the timely inspiration. I’m running another half marathon this weekend and that is a powerful thought, knowing that at least for Sunday I will have won, no matter what the time my bib indicates will certainly be something to keep running for.

  64. Sarah says:

    First of all the enchiladas look delicious! Second, thank you for that rather timely inspiration. I am running another half marathon on Sunday and really needed a powerful thought like that. Congrats on your recent running successes as well! 🙂

  65. Mary says:

    What a beautiful meal! These sound delicious, Joanne. Congratulations on that time. Have a great day. Blessings…Mary

  66. Nina says:

    That looks so colorful and delicious.COngratulations to you!

  67. kellypea says:

    I’m with yah, girl! I’m lucky enough to have good genes, or I’d have been more overweight than I’ve been a very long time ago. Good for you! Can’t say my knees would hold up to the running, but I’m getting my long distance walking in regularly and improving time when I think about it. Like you, I’m out there for my health. Period. The nice side effect is losing weight 🙂 I love this casserole and think the hubster will be very glad to see it on the menu. Gorgeous!

  68. Okay I just wanted to let you know that I went to the store today and bought the ingredients that I didn’t have so that I could make this. It is awesome!! Really it is so delicious! Thanks so much for the recipe!

  69. Gloria says:

    love this Joanne, look yumm!

  70. Camila Faria says:

    Joanne, those enchiladas look A-MA-ZING!!! Can’t wait to try it!

  71. Blond Duck says:

    1) Stacked enchiladas are the only way.
    2) I run a 9:33. SO slow.

  72. Dawn says:

    Wow I love roasted veggies – but in a enchilada stack? To die for! Hey….how did you get that little side bar with the facebook and twitter etc icons? I need that! [email protected]

  73. Catherine says:

    Dear Joanne, It is good that you are aware of your health and that you are making good choices early in life. Bravo!
    This is a dish I would LOVE! It looks delish! blessings dear, Catherine xo

  74. Dining Alone says:

    That looks so good!! I made the leek and cabbage gratin last night and it was phenomenal!

  75. Katie says:

    Two fantastic ways to save your life, that’s for sure! I’ll join you in the veggies, but I’m going to have to find another option than running every day, I think!

  76. Carolyn Jung says:

    Stacked is my fave way of making enchiladas, too. A little easier and faster. And heck, even looks a little prettier. 😉

  77. Blond Duck says:

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  78. Thank you so much for always cheering us on to better, healthier lives, Joanne. I really appreciate it. 🙂 xo

  79. Faith says:

    You are amazing, girl — such an inspiration in so many healthy ways! Love the look of these stacked roasted veggie enchiladas…they sound so much better than the heavy version my mom makes, lol!

  80. Looks so fabulous, Joanne! Way to go on a great run! I saw a quote recently that was like ‘if you don’t make time for exercise now, you’ll need time for sickness later’. Ouch!

  81. Claudia says:

    Oh my – I want this in my life. Dinner tonight!

  82. Katerina says:

    I don’t know Joanne sometimes I feel like everything I do for me and my family just goes to waste! There are so many things that besiege us every single moment of our lives that food seems to have an impact but rather a small one compared to all the harmness we get from our environment. I don’t know I am just thinking that this is a battle I will not be able to win. I am just being pessimist sometimes. But you my friend you probably can win this and I will be happy if you do. This enchilada is packed with flavor and I am sure eating it would make me fearless too!

  83. This looks freaking amazing and I have The Roasted Vegetable! I really need to start making more stuff from it.

  84. I am determined to make this. This looks extremely delicious and perfect way to eat all veggies for my kids. Using the roasted vegetable is a brilliant idea!

  85. Holy moly – these look stunning!!! I am falling in love with your site! 🙂

  86. Erica says:

    Wonderful meatless dish!It is full of flavor and packed with fantastic veggies!!!

  87. Joanne,
    That is the healthiest lasagna I’ve seen in my life! Good going.

  88. grace says:

    this is tremendous! i would keep eating this til my tummy burst!

  89. Jeanette says:

    Love this vegetarian enchiladas – beautifully healthy!

  90. This is a landmark event: you’ve just caused me to deviate from tonight’s dinner plan because I refuse to wait another day to make them. This from a household that plans every single meal a week in advance. It’s perfect, though; we picked the first of this summer’s poblanos yesterday and hadn’t yet factored them in to our menu.

    On the exercise side of things, I don’t know whether to be jealous of how far and how fast you can run, or proud that I’ve been running, daily, for five weeks now without a day of excuses or letting my husband lure me away with “wouldn’t it be nicer to just watch a movie/sleep in?” Five weeks isn’t long, and two miles isn’t far, but I may just have enough discipline now to hang on and improve this time. Here’s hoping so.

  91. Lori says:

    Holy crap, I love that quote!! That is awesome! And congrats on that fabulous time. You are inspiring! Now I’m going to focus on veggies and try making this. It looks amazing.

  92. Oh that looks gorgeous and so full of veggies. I love the quote too–so true! 😉

  93. Beautiful dish Joanne – I LOVE how many veggies are shoved in there. What a great post! Great job on your running time!

  94. Johanna GGG says:

    I love your ways with vegetables and mexican food – I keep having yearnings for mexican food but just don’t feel it comes naturally to me – I always come back to tomatoes, guacamole and sour cream – I need some more nimble thoughts when it comes to tortillas! (nimble wins the war? right?)

  95. Chris says:

    Be careful….all this “war” talk will get North Korea to launch a triple cheese, quadruple cream, extra calorie laden lasagna 😉

  96. Candace says:

    Vegetables have never looked so good!

  97. Deborah says:

    You are seriously inspirational! And those enchiladas? Breath-taking!

  98. You really are amazing Jo. Such an inspiration!

  99. Lauren Aiken says:

    Made this last night, and it’s one of the tastiest recipes I’ve tried in a while! Thank you!!

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  104. Valerie says:

    Wow!! I love this roasted vegetable lasagna! I absolutely love the variety of veggies that you have included – I knew I had to try it as soon as I read cauliflower in the ingredients. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing!
    I have a roasted vegetable lasagna that is pretty tasty too 😉

  105. Erica says:

    Oh this is DELICIOUS, thank you!!

    Awesome run time, I’m working to get under 2 hours on a half and trying to get tons more filling veggies into my husband while he trains for iron man. This is serious fuel for our week!

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