Sunday, November 6, 2011

Vegan Enchiladas

These were a special request from my non-vegan (but heavily veggie) 17-year-old daughter for her family birthday party.  I've made them twice now and they are delicious!  It is Ayinde Howell's recipe featured in the New York Times made a little healthier.  When I first made them, I figured the calories and came up with 900 per serving!  Yikes!  When I made them the second time, I was able to reduce that to about 500.  Not "diet food" but definitely better!!!  

What I will do next time is actually DOUBLE the sauce recipe.  That will increase the calories slightly, but I'm going to keep the oil at the same amount and see how that does.  The calorie increase will be kept at a minimum that way.  

Vegan Enchiladas

For the sauce:

1 tbsp vegetable oil (I use olive or grapeseed)
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced 
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded (if you're chicken) and diced
1 1/2 tbsp cumin
1 1/2 tbsp chili powder
8 oz tomato sauce
3/4 cup water
sea salt to taste

In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering.  Add onions, garlic, and jalapeno pepper.  Saute until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add seasoning.  Add water and tomato sauce and bring to a boil.  Cook on medium, stirring frequently, for about 15 minutes or until sauce is thickened.  

For the filling:  

1-2 tbsp vegetable oil (I used one - if you see you need more, you can add another)
1 pound firm tofu, drained and loosely crumbled (I prefer Wildwood's sprouted tofu in extra firm or super firm)
10-12 flour or corn tortillas (we don't like corn, so we use flour or a mixed grain tortilla)
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded (if you're scared) and diced
1 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 tbsp Pampered Chef Southwest Seasoning (or you could sub 1 1/2 tbsp cumin and 1 1/2 tbsp chili powder)
2 tbsp soy sauce
sea salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375°.  In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat oil until shimmering.  Add crumbled tofu and seasoning and cook, stirring frequently, until browned and somewhat crispy and any liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes.  

Add 2/3 of the onion and half of the bell pepper.  Add garlic and jalapeno.  Cook about 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften.  Add cilantro and soy sauce.  Mix well.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.  

While the tofu mixture is cooking, wrap the tortillas tightly in foil and place them in the oven for about 10 minutes to warm.  Keep them wrapped until you are ready to assemble the dish.  

To assemble, in a shallow casserole dish large enough to hold the enchiladas in one layer, add about 1/3 of the sauce to coat the bottom of the dish.  Unwrap the hot tortillas and spread one side with the sauce, about a tablespoon.  Add a few spoons of the filling and roll the tortilla tightly.  Place seam side down in the casserole dish over the sauce.  Repeat with the remaining filling.  Pour remaining sauce over the top and sprinkle with the remaining onion and bell pepper.  Bake for about 15 minutes.  Garnish with chopped green onions and black olives, if desired.  

See.  Mine needed to be just a wee bit more "saucy."  But they were SO good!  The birthday dinner was at my in-laws and was one vegan dish besides all the meaty tacos and fajitas.  I'm the only vegan in our family.  But even still, we only brought home one for Brooke's lunch the next day.  The rest were devoured!  

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