These Whole30 enchiladas are out of control! Stuffed with a roasted poblano pepper and ground pork mixture, seasoned with a, wait for it… cilantro-spinach-pepita pesto and plenty of mushrooms, they’re the perfect Whole30 enchiladas recipe and they make a fantastic Whole30 dinner recipe. Topped with a rich, creamy avocado-cilantro sauce, you’ve got the best Whole30 enchiladas recipe ever… or maybe the best Whole30 dinner recipe ever? You decide.
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There are these clear stages of having a toddler that don’t maybe seem so clear at the time. They’re categorized by your communications, what the toddler cares about, what they eat (and what they won’t eat), and how much sleep you’re getting. Fluid as their growth, you can float to the next stage without realizing it, lifted effortlessly and without much notice to the next time in their tiny lives by a wave of fresh realization, brain development, discovery that Bruce Wayne is, in fact, Batman, too.
These shifts in your experience are subtle and nebulous, often only realized after the change has settled in for a while.
“Whoa. He’s really listening to everything we say, isn’t he?”
“Did my child just count to ten…? Um, he’s essentially a genius.”
But there’s an easy external marker, a barometer for these toddler times that will help you understand when a shift is occurring or has recently occurred:
What you watch on Netflix.
For the very beginning of his life, we watched, um, nothing. Sometimes, if Leo were feeling especially attached but I needed to cook dinner or something, I’d put his rock ‘n’ play in front of Baby Einstein and let him watch large, slowly moving shapes for a few minutes. And then we transitioned to Daniel Tiger, more of those large, but talking, shapes and lots of songs – Leo’s favorite. From there we moved to Curious George, and we watched it maybe, oh, 600 times in a span of 3 months. No songs, but he recognized the parts of the movie he liked, anticipated splashes in the water and the time when the Man in the Yellow Hat and George flew above the city lifted only by a particularly robust bundle of balloons. The perfect toddler movie that you somehow never even get tired of – a rarity, to be sure.
From there, though, we expanded into movies and shows more typically characterized as “kids.'” We watched Moana and Zootopia; Leo pointed out the “bad guys” (Te Kā, of course; and Te Fiti was “mommy”: giver of life, nbd) and was scared of the fly-swarmed yak, who, to be fair, does kind of look like Beelzebub if you didn’t know better. Just saying.
But lately? It’s all about truly learning shows and, yeah, Batman and dinosaurs. Leo carries around his little dinosaur figurines and his Batman doll, and the only way I can get him to get excited about cleaning up his blocks if I make Batman “hold” them and put them away and direct the little guy in my best Batman voice.
And so, with each stage as we go along, my frame of reference changes rapidly, which explains why, when I went to edit these photos, all I could think about was tree stars from Land Before Time. And that, of course, leads me to think about Little Foot’s mommmy, and that, of course, leads me to think about LITTLE FOOT’S MOMMY DYING and I’m basically crying over here as we speak.
But these poblano-pork Whole30 enchiladas with avocado-cilantro sauce remind me of longneck leaves, with their soft veins and thick stems, their dense nutrition, and their versatility in replacing tortillas and wraps on a Whole30. This recipe is then, dare I say, not paleo but jurassic?
Ugh. I know. I’m sorry. I’m the worst.
Truly, though, these Whole30 enchiladas are out of control; I wrote the recipe so freely, adding every ingredient I love and sparing basically nothing. They’re stuffed with a roasted poblano pepper and ground pork mixture, seasoned with a, wait for it… cilantro-spinach-pepita pesto and plenty of mushrooms. They’re baked with a bit of salsa verde to keep things flavorful and moist, and they’re topped with a rich, creamy avocado-cilantro sauce packed with garlic and jalapeño. Sprinkle some fresh red onion, pepitas, cilantro, and almond meal for a queso fresco fake-out, and you’ve just made every non-Whole30er wish they were Whole30ing.
Speaking of which, I can’t even believe how many entries we already have in the ultimate Whole30 giveaway! Since I published on Friday, I’ve added even more goodies:
- A Whole Inspiration box from Melissa’s Produce, and
- Humm kombucha!
Y’all. Like, you might seriously be able to survive off this box for the entire 30 days. Just add meat? Sold. Make sure you enter! ?
To make these Whole30 enchiladas, I used…
Whole30 Enchiladas with Poblano-Pork Stuffing & Creamy-Avocado Sauce
These Whole30 enchiladas are stuffed with a roasted poblano pepper and ground pork mixture, seasoned with a cilantro-spinach-pepita pesto and plenty of mushrooms, they're the perfect Whole30 enchiladas recipe.
- 1 bunch collard leaves
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 poblano pepper , roasted, stemmed, deseeded, and chopped
- 2 cups mushrooms , diced
- 1/2 cup salsa verde
- 1 tsp almond flour , for garnish, optional
- 1 tsp diced red onion , for garnish, optional
- 1 tsp fresh chopped cilantro , for garnish, optional
- 1 tsp pepitas , for garnish, optional
Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce
- 1 clove garlic , peeled
- 2 avocados , peeled and pitted
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
- 1/4 cup red onion , diced
- 1/2 jalapeño , stemmed
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 1/2 tablespoon white vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt plus more to taste
Make Cilantro-Spinach Pesto
Add all cilantro-spinach pesto ingredients to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. This pesto should be near the consistency of traditional pesto, but not quite as moist.
Preheat oven to 375º F. Prepare your collard leaves: with a knife, cut off the edge of the stem where the bottom of the leaf is. Then use the knife to very carefully slice off the round part of the thick stem, so that you have a flattened stem. This step helps you roll the enchiladas, and the stem can be quite large and tough to eat.
Fill a large saucepan about 1/2 full with water and bring to a soft boil. About 2-4 at a time, blanch collard leaves for about 60 seconds, or until they turn from a soft blue-green to a very bright kelly green. Remove from saucepan and drain.
Heat olive oil in large saucepan over medium heat, then brown ground pork, breaking up with a spoon or spatula. When pork is browned and mostly cooked through, add mushrooms and sauté until softened. Add cilantro-spinach pesto and stir to completely coat and incorporate, then add poblano pepper. Remove mixture from heat.
Working one at a time, lay your blanched and drained leaf onto a flat surface. Spread 1/2 cup or pork mixture on one side of the stem, as shown. Fold long edge over then fold bottom and tops over the mixture. Roll towards open edge then place seam-side down in a baking dish. Repeat until remaining mixture is used up, about 8 enchiladas. Top with 1/2 cup salsa verde and spread to mostly cover enchiladas.
Creamy Avocado-Cilantro Sauce
Combine all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Season with salt to taste.
Bake enchiladas for 20 minutes then remove from oven and let cool slightly.
Top with avocado sauce, red onions, fresh cilantro, and ground almonds.