Monday, May 30, 2011

Enchilada. Vegan Enchilada.

The other night, when presented with my usual 7 p.m. question "so, what do you want for dinner?" my partner responded with "I don't know...something Mexican-y?" I, not being in the mood for tacos, and just having had chili two nights before, had to think of something different. "Quesadillas?" he offered, but no, I did not want quesadillas. However, the thought of tortillas presented me with another idea. Enchiladas!! But not just any enchiladas. I found a crazy cream cheese jalapeno sauce and chicken recipe that sounded like it would be pretty delicious and creamy....without the cream cheese or the chicken. So, I set about to make vegan versions of these tasty-sounding enchiladas. For a non-creamy filling, I also decided to use the vegetables in my refrigerator along with some black beans to make some spicy bean and veggie enchiladas too. To top them off, I made some enchilada sauces. But did I stop there? No. There must be dessert! So I came up with some enchilada-like pineapple coconut layer cake creation. Here, at this post, you will find all of these things. Two types of enchiladas, enchilada sauces, and pineapple coconut enchilada "cake"! So, check it out and enjoy!

We'll start with sauces, because you will need these prepared by the time you bake your enchiladas.

Spicy Habanero and Mint Green Tomato Salsa
 (this salsa is really good as just a normal salsa for chips too)

3 green tomatoes, diced
2 cloves of garlic, diced
1 habanero, diced
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
2 leaves of mint, chopped
1/2 of a jalapeno, diced
1/2 of an onion, diced

Mix everything in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth (but still slightly chunky). Enjoy! (note: this salsa tastes best if you let it sit in the refrigerator for at least an hour, as this gives the flavor time to intensify)

Spicy Tomato Cocoa Enchilada Sauce

3 tablespoons chili powder
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon oregano
3 cups of water
2 red tomatoes diced up and pureed in a food processor (or 1 can of tomato sauce)
1 teaspoon each of red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne

Combine all of the dry ingredients, add enough water to make this a thin paste (about 1 cup). Now, pour into sauce pan, add the rest of the water, and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly. Add the tomato puree. Bring to a boil over medium heat--still stirring constantly. (You can add more spices here if you like). Remove from heat and set aside for enchiladas!

Vegan Jalapeno Cream Cheese and Spicy Tofu Enchiladas

Jalapeno cream cheese and tofu with red sauce, same with green tomato sauce, and then black bean and veggie filled with red sauce

2 large jalapenos, diced
1 onion, diced
1 8 oz package of vegan cream cheese 
1 teaspoon each of: cayenne pepper powder, garlic powder, paprika, chili powder, and cumin
1 teaspoon of hot sauce of your choice (I use Caribbean hot sauce)
2 tablespoons of vegan butter
7 wheat flour tortillas
1 block of tofu

1. Prepare the tofu. I freeze mine first and then let it thaw. After this, dice it into cubes and mix up a bowl of soy sauce (1/4 cup), vegetable oil (1/2 cup), garlic powder, red chili pepper flakes, cumin, cayenne, chili powder, and onion powder. Now, soak your tofu in this marinade for about 30 minutes. Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes.

Tofu marinating, pureed tomatoes, and onions and jalapenos diced  
2. Now, heat the butter in a frying pan on medium heat. Cook the onion and jalapenos in the butter for about 5 minutes, until the onions are translucent. Add the cream cheese in chunks and stir until it becomes creamy and not so solid. Now, add the spices (to your taste--I tend to always use lots of spices). Stir well, cook for another couple of minutes. Add the baked tofu, and mix well. Remove from heat.

3. Now, prepare two baking dishes: one with a little of the green tomato salsa in the bottom and another with the red sauce in the bottom (or you can just choose to use one of the sauces, use your store-bought sauce, or however you want to do it, really). I was able to fit 3-4 tortillas in each baking dish. So, what you will do now is pour a strip of filling down the middle of your unfolded tortilla, then roll up the bottom ends and then roll up from right to left, keeping the already folded ends rolled inside (like rolling a burrito). Place each enchilada in the baking dish with sauce, folded edge down. Now, pour sauce on the top of your enchiladas. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.

Black Bean and Vegetable Filled Enchiladas

1 can of black beans
1/2 of a zucchini, diced
3-4 mushrooms, sliced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
2 tablespoons butter
4 tortillas

1. In a sauce pan heat the butter on medium heat, then add the onion, jalapeno, zucchini, and mushrooms. Cook for about 5-6 minutes, until the zucchini are soft and the onions are translucent. Now, add the black beans, cook for about 3 more minutes, stirring occasionally.

2. Prepare a baking dish by pouring a small amount of the red tomato sauce in the bottom. Now, place a strip of filling down the middle of your unfolded tortillas, and then fold like a burrito (as described previously). Place each tortilla folded edge down in the sauce. Pour sauce over the top, bake for for 30 minutes at 350 degrees, and enjoy!

Finally, DESSERT!

Vegan Pineapple Coconut Cream Cheese Enchiladas

5-6 small corn tortillas
1 cup of pineapple chunks, slightly pureed (still chunky), or 1 can of chunky pineapple puree
3/4 cup of coconut shreds
1/2 cup of sugar
4 oz of vegan cream cheese
1/2 cup of raisins

Mix the cream cheese with 1/2 of the pineapple mixture, add the raisins, and 1/2 cup of coconut.
In a sauce pan, heat up the remaining pineapple puree, add sugar and bring to a boil, stirring consistently, over medium heat.
In a baking dish, pour some of this pineapple puree mix.
Now, fill the middle of each small corn tortilla with the cream cheese and pineapple mixture, and roll it up. Place each filled and rolled tortilla, folded edge down, into the pineapple sauce. I layered my tortillas, 3 on the bottom and then 2 on the top, in a crisscross pattern. Now, pour the remaining pineapple sauce on top, sprinkle with the remaining coconut and bake at 350 degrees for about 25-30 minutes (until the tortillas on top become slightly browned and the coconut is slightly toasted).

Enjoy your enchilada feast!!

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