Thursday, June 21, 2012

Vegetable Enchiladas

One of my favorite food tricks to play is serving the vegetable version of a typically meat-based dish to people and then having them tell me how much they like it.  I have done this twice in one week to my own father. "Hey, dad I'm making vegetable [and by vegetable I mean zucchini is the noodles and quinoa is the meat] lasagna tonight."  "What's in the oven?  Oh, stuffed [stuffed with quinoa and vegetables and sunflower kernels] peppers!"  Both of those recipes are later to come this week.

To reiterate, I'm not anti-meat.  I love a good burger every now and again.  I am just pro-veggies and pro-eating-locally-raised-meat.  So I've scoured my favorite vegetarian and vegan blogs to learn how to turn meat dishes into veggie laden meals, like this one:

Vegetable Enchiladas with Alex's Guacamole
(I went to high school with a girl named Alex who makes the BEST guacamole ever)
adapted from Oh She Glows

For the enchiladas
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
  • 1.5 cups of soaked and cooked dried black beans (or 1 can black beans)
  • 2 cups pasta sauce (or store bought enchilada sauce)*
  • 1.5 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 4 whole grain tortilla wraps (I used wraps from Trader Joe's that I had in the freezer)
  • chopped green onions for garnish
For the guacamole
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • 1/2 garlic glove, minced
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cook chopped sweet potato in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.
3. While sweet potato is cooking, saute onions in a large skillet with olive oil for 3-4 minutes.
4. Add garlic, cooked sweet potato, bell pepper, spices, and cooked black beans to skillet and saute for about 3 minutes.

5. Add pasta or enchilada sauce and spinach to skillet, cooking until heated through and sauce begins to bubble.

6. Spread about 1/4 cup of the veggie mixture in the bottom of your baking dish.
7. Fill each tortilla with the remaining mixture, wrap, and lay seam side down in the baking dish.

8. Finish with a scoop of veggies spread over top of the four enchiladas.

9. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
10.  While baking, mash all the ingredients for quick guacamole together in a bowl.  I usually add 3 drops/shakes of Tabasco sauce.  
11. When finished baking, top with green onions and guacamole.

*I make this recipe when I have leftover pasta sauce or a bunch of wraps left in the pack that I need to use before they go stale.  The seasonings help transform any pasta sauce into an enchilada sauce-- I've never used the store bought kind.

There you have it-- your chicken or steak enchiladas made vegan friendly! Of course, you can always add cooked chicken or beef into the mix instead of, or along with, the black beans.

Photography by Ryan Double D Photos.  I just made that up haha.  He may or may not chop off my head for that :)

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