Archive for the 'enchiladas' Category

17
Mar
10

Enchilada casserole tutorial

 A few weeks ago we had  a party at our place  and I made a vegetarian “chicken” enchilada casserole.  Everyone loved it!  Some people were very confused, saying “I thought you guys were vegetarian; there’s chicken in here!”  Well, yeah, but no.  There wasn’t any dead yard bird in there, just good ol’ Trader Joe’s Chickenless Strips.  I’ve posted a picture of the box a few posts back.  I like using those things.  They are so handy when it comes to doing recipe reduxes involving chicken.  Trying to make mostly vegetable heavy meals now days, I like to indulge in some processed stuff once in a while.  Moderation in everything, right?

The night before last I decided to make the casserole for dinner.  Since it was such a hit at the party, I thought I should share it with my blog audience this time.  So here goes:

The first layer

This is made like a lasagna, in layers.  The first layer I spooned in some green enchilada sauce (yes, from a can!), two corn tortillas (or what ever fits in your dish), sprinkle a little grated cheese (I used pepper jack and cheddar), chopped onion, sliced olives, chopped jalapeno, and chopped Trader Joe’s Chickenless Strips (I sauted these first in a little olive oil, added garlic powder, cumin, salt and chili powder to taste).

Layer two more corn tortillas

Ladle more green enchilada sauce on top

Add a little grated cheese

Add the chickenless strip chunks, sliced olives, chopped jalapeno, chopped onions

Load the top up with cheese

And bake it until it looks like this!  Preheat your oven while you are building your casserole to 350 degrees.  Bake for about 30 minutes, until it is browned and bubbling.  The other night when this was baking I made Spicy Quinoa instead of rice and refried black beans.  I’ve shown you in past posts how I make refried beans so I’m not going to get into that this time.  I am, however, going to show you  a little step by step action with the quinoa.

Before you heat the pan, have a measuring cup with the liquid ready.  I have a 1 cup plastic measuring cup that has all of the cool markings on it.  I put 1 – 2 tablespoons of chili paste or salsa into the cup and add water or stock up to the 3/4 cup  marking.  Add a small amount of olive oil to a small sauce pan.  Heat over medium high heat, saute a couple tablespoons chopped onions, add some salt, cumin and chili powder to taste and 1/2 cup quinoa.  Stir often until quinoa starts to brown a little.

  Add your liquid and reduce heat to low and cover pan with lid.  Cook until all of the liquid has evaported, about 19 minutes.  Fluff with fork when done.

And this is what it looks like when it is done!  My lighting is a little strange here, so don’t freak if you make this and it isn’t this color, okay?

Add a  green salad and you’ve got yourself a nice balanced meal.  This is better than any Mexican restaurant and a lot lower in fat.  The whole thing takes less than an hour from start to finish.  And, yeah, we really eat meals like this almost every day.  Just ask Katie!

10
Nov
09

Vegan Enchiladas

I love Mexican food.  Especially enchiladas.  There’s something comforting about that plate of cheesy enchiladas, spicy rice and garlicky refried beans that warms my soul as well as my belly.  And speaking of bellies, mine has taken to expanding a bit these days, so I came up with this next recipe to ease my waistband, but still give me plenty of flavor that I so dearly crave.

You remember all those pesky green tomatoes from my garden?  Well, there are still a few hanging around.  I usually just use canned sauce for my enchiladas, but I thought the green tomatoes might just lend a nice flavor to a home made sauce.  Turns out I was right.

Red and green tomatoes, garlic, jalapenos and habaneros

I cut up both red and green tomatoes, about 4 or 5 cloves of garlic, three jalapenos and one habanero and spread them on a sheet pan.  I drizzled the whole thing with olive oil and seasoned to taste with kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper.

Then I roasted the tomatoes for about an hour at 350 degrees.  I pulled the pan from the oven and after taking a quick photo, placed the hot mixture into the food processor and pureed until I had a nice spicy, thick sauce.

Earlier in the day I took advantage of the nice fall weather and started up the grill outside.  I grilled Portabella mushrooms and some peppers.  I planned for two meals:  Enchiladas one day and chili rellenos the next.

While I was busy grilling in the backyard, I had the oven going  inside baking an acorn squash.  I chunked up the squash after it was cool enough to handle and cut the grilled Portabella up into bite size pieces, readying them for their place in the enchiladas.

Normally I would just make refried beans to accompany my beloved enchiladas, but I decided they were going to a part of the filling this time. 

 I sauted onions, red bell pepper, ground cumin to taste and jalapenos in olive oil until soft.  I added an undrained can of black beans, cooking and mashing until they were a nice consistency.  I put a large clove of garlic in the press, and squeezed the garlic into the beans.  I like adding the garlic after the beans are hot because it gives it a better garlicky flavor and doesn’t actually cook the garlic.

OK, so once all of these components are ready,  I heated corn tortillas on a griddle, spraying each side of the tortilla with non stick spray, until it was soft enough to roll.  I spread some of the beans on the soft tortilla, then added mushroom bits and squash chunks.  I rolled the enchiladas and place seam side down, in an oiled lowed rimmed dish.  Once all of the enchiladas were in the pan, I poured some of the sauce over the top, evenly coating  each one.  I made sure to save some sauce for plate finishing.  The enchiladas were then popped into a 350 degree oven and baked for about 20 – 25 minutes, until very hot.

Here is the resultant meal.  I thinned the remaining sauce in the pan with a little water and poured it over the plated enchiladas.  Spicy Mexican style rice and a little fruit salad completed my healthier version of a Mexican meal.  The acorn squash gave the enchiladas a nice mouth feel and we didn’t miss the cheese at all!  The beans and rice gave us our complete protein and the fruit helped cool the mouth from the burn of the habanero and jalapeno in the sauce.

If you don’t have green tomatoes, you could use tomatillos or just use all red tomatoes.  Either way, it’s a great little sauce, tasty and simple.

 




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