Quick Mexican Meals

Tortillas give cold winter days a decidedly sunny outlook. This month, we're sharing a selection of Mexican-inspired dishes that are easy to prepare and quick to cook. A trio of great recipes that are all on the table in less than an hour. Mix up a margarita and you are in the business of relaxing!

Tortilla Manicotti

  • 6 flour tortillas
  • 3 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 oz. chopped prosciutto - thinly sliced
  • 2 clove garlic - minced
  • 2 cups ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese - grated
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil - chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley - chopped
  • 15 oz. (about 2 cups) marinara Sauce

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the prosciutto and garlic and cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the ricotta, parmesan, basil and parsley; season to taste.

Place the warmed tortillas on a work surface and spoon 1/2 cup of the filling down the center of each. Place them seam side down on an 8x8 inch greased baking dish. Spoon on the marinara sauce and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.

Bake until heated through, about 20 minutes.

  • Yields: 6 servings
  • Preparation Time: 35 minutes

Microwave Vegetarian Enchiladas

  • 1 small onion - sliced
  • 2 Tbsp. water
  • 2 cups fresh mushrooms - sliced
  • 1 tomato - chopped
  • 10 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1 cup carrots - peeled and julienned
  • 1 green pepper - chopped
  • 2 cups zucchini - julienned
  • 1/2 - 1 1/2 oz. package taco seasoning mix
  • 1 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese - grated

Place the onion and water in a microwave-safe 2 quart casserole. Cover and heat on High for 2 minutes or until the onions are tender. Add the remaining vegetables and taco seasoning. Microwave on High for 13-15 minutes, or until the vegetables are slightly tender. Set aside.

Wrap the tortillas tightly with wax paper and microwave on High until the tortillas are warm, approximately 45 seconds to 1 minute. Place 1 heaping tablespoon of the vegetable mixture on one end of the tortilla and sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of cheese.

Roll up the tortilla and place it seam side down in a 12 X 8 inch microwave-safe baking dish. Pour the remaining liquid from the vegetables over the tortillas. Cover them with wax paper and microwave on High for 5-6 minutes. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

  • Yields: 5 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes

Cheese Enchiladas

  • 4 corn or flour tortillas
  • 1/2 cup fat free ricotta cheese
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped green onions
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander
  • 1/3 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. chile powder
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup mozzarella cheese

Lightly spray an oven baking dish with nonfat cooking spray.

Wrap the tortillas in aluminum foil and warm in a 350 degree F toaster oven for 10 minutes, or until they are warm and soft. Remove the tortillas, set them aside, and increase the toaster oven temperature to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the ricotta cheese, green onion, coriander, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and lemon juice and mix well.

Spread 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture in the center of each tortilla and fold 1 side over the filling. Place the tortillas in the baking pan; cover it with foil and bake for 20 minutes.

Uncover the pan, sprinkle the enchiladas with mozzarella cheese and bake for 5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted. Serve immediately.

  • Yields: 4 servings
  • Preparation Time: 30 minutes