I once imagined the term 'vegan enchiladas' to be an oxymoron. But the other night I had a plethora of friends coming over at the last minute...and was trying to imagine what I could possibly make from the random vegetables but well stocked cabinet/freezer. I knew I had plenty of spices, canned tomatoes, tortillas, brewers yeast, cashews....and some beautiful adobe chili's I had picked up at the local Mexican market. Oh, my! Enchiladas with vegan cashew cheese are a great way to feed a crowd. I even had a small casserole dish left over to freeze for a quick dinner.
You may use any combination of vegetables you have and even a very small amount of many vegetables works well. I suggest having at least three different items as your stuffing and up to six or seven. I used tempeh as the protein source but you could also use beans, tofu, or only vegetables. Vegetables plus rice served as a side will provide all the amino acids. The tempeh and mushroom combination give a very meaty flavor.
Start the sauce first as it needs to simmer on the stove at least an hour. Then fry the filling meanwhile make the cashew cheese. Plan on an hour and a half plus to make this dish if you are socializing while doing it. It could be executed in 30-60 minutes solo depending on cooking experience (professional versus inexperienced).
4 3/4 cups tomatoes (2 large cans and one regular size, BPA free)
3 dried adobe chilis
1 t chili powder (or any pepper powder)
2-3 t coriander powder
1 1/2 t cumin powder
3-4 cloves garlic
2 t dried oregano leaves
4-5 ounces mushrooms (4-6 mushrooms)
1 package tempeh
1 yellow squash
1 patty pan squash
1 cup organic cashews
1/2 cup brewers yeast
1 cup filtered water
1/4 t sea salt
- Saute onion till softened.
- Add to tomatoes in a large saucepan.
- In a skillet with some oil blister the de-seeded adobe chilis. The chilis can be left whole for this step as the final sauce will be blended. When the skin bubbles a bit flip and sear the other side. Add the chili's to the tomato sauce.
- Fry the other spices in oil as well in order to release and brighten their flavor.
- Add garlic to sauce towards the end of cooking (minimum of thirty minutes on higher heat, lower heat can be an hour).
- Add 2 t dried or 1 T fresh oregano.
- Use an immersion blender to puree the sauce.
- Dice all the vegetables and add to pan as they are chopped
- This was the order here, but pick an appropriate order of chopping dependent on the amount of time it will take for the vegetable to reach a slightly soft state.
- Remember that the vegetables will be cooked again so do not over fry.
- Order: mushrooms, beet, tempeh, carrots, squash
- Blend ingredients of cheese sauce, using more or less water to reach desired consistency. A thinner sauce will go further with each enchilada.
- This dish makes one large casserole (11 x 3) and one half size (8 x 3) casserole pan.
- place a layer of tortillas (undipped) in the bottom of pan. Spread a layer of tomato sauce over this.
- Dip each tortilla in the sauce and place in pan.
- Fill with a spoonful of filling and a teaspoon of cheese sauce, roll up or fold over.
- Line enchiladas up vertically and place two or three horizontal in the bottom space. Pour or spoon a thin layer of tomato sauce on top.
- Drizzle cheese sauce on top of the tomatoes. Use a spatula to spread thinly. You may think you need more cheese sauce but a small amount is perfect for the flavor profile.
- Repeat with second casserole. This may be covered with foil and frozen before cooking if desired. To reheat place directly in the oven and cook at 400 degrees until heated through.
- Bake at 350 till done. I can't tell you how long exactly because all proportions are approximate...but 15 -30 minutes till warmed all through should do the trick.