Saturday, March 16, 2013

Vegan Enchiladas

First of all let me say how excited I was to finally find some free time to cook a delicious homemade meal for my family.  It has been a very long time since I've had any free time to do anything but sleep and shower, but, it could not have come at a better time.  Tonight's time in the kitchen was just further proof that I need to be in a kitchen making food.  For me there is something just so wonderful about chopping veggies, listening to the sound of sauteing onions and peppers, smelling the wonderful smells that I am somehow creating, making something delicious, healthy, and satisfying for people I love... It's paradise.  

Tonight's recipe was inspired by a friend of mine and one of his family members.  (Yupp I'm going that vague.. stay with me!)  His family member was telling me the other night about some of my friend's favorite foods, he was talking all kinds of yummy sounding things but 2 stood out the most to me... Tamales and Enchiladas.  I haven't had enchiladas in probably 8 years (and have never made them... EVER), and ever since we chatted, it's all I've been craving! I looked up a few recipes but none really stood out that much too me.  As you know I'm no fan of tofu, and just having black beans in an enchilada is boring.  So I threw together some more veggies and came up with this recipe.  (Forgive me.. I didn't exactly measure anything but, I can give you approximations!) PS: this was a pretty quick recipe that I just whipped up.  I'd say start to finish it took me 45 min to an hour.

1 onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 med zucchini, quartered and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1/2 yellow squash, diced
1 tsp garlic powder
1/3-1/2 cup of frozen corn
1-15 oz can black beans, drained and divided in half
1-2 cups baby spinach
Enchilada sauce
12-16 small (6-inch) corn tortillas
daiya pepperjack or cheddar (optional)
avocado slices (optional)

 Enchilada Sauce:
1 tsp canola oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 TBS chili powder
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp sugar
2- 8oz cans tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
S&P, to taste

For the sauce: In a medium saucepan heat canola oil over med-hi heat until shimmering.  Add in onions and saute until translucent.  Add in garlic, chili powder, cumin, and sugar, cooking until fragrant.  Stir in tomato sauce and water.  Bring to a slight simmer and stir occasionally until sauce is slightly thickened (about 5-8 min).  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

For the enchilada mixture:  Mash 1/2 of the black beans with a fork until mostly smooth and set aside.
Preheat oven to 450 deg. Prepare 13x9-inch pan by spraying with veg oil spray.

In a large skillet, heat oil over med heat.  Add onion and bell pepper until softened and lightly browned.  Stir in zucchini and squash and cook until just tender.  Add in the frozen corn and garlic powder.  Add in the mashed beans and remaining whole beans and cook until warmed through.  Add in 1/2 cup of enchilada sauce and spinach, stirring until wilted. (You may need to add a little water here just to steam the spinach and provide some sauce inside your enchiladas.  Don't go to heavy!) Remove from heat but cover to keep warm.

To assemble:  Warm the tortillas so they are easier to work with. (I wrap mine in a wet paper towel and do 30-45 sec in the microwave on high...) Add 1/4-1/3 cup of filling to a tortilla and roll it up.  Lay it in the baking pan seam side down. Continue doing this until you are out of space in your baking pan, or run out of mix or tortillas. 

Spoon the enchilada sauce over all of the enchiladas.  Top with Daiya, if using.  Cover with foil and bake in the oven for about 10 min.  Remove the foil and return to the oven for about 5 min to melt the cheese.

To serve, I use 2 spatulas to scoop out a few enchiladas at a time (just to make sure no filling comes out!) Serve with a few avocado slices and you're good to go! 

This will def be made again, and probably soon.  Maybe I'll even take some in to share with my friend...


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