New Recipe! A Whole Lotta Enchiladas!

Who doesn’t love a good enchilada? You go to a Mexican restaurant, look at the “lite” menu, and then order your favorite dish instead. The server puts the plate down on the table and you look at that steaming plate of enchiladas covered in gooey cheese, anticipating the flavors about to hit your tongue. You know it’s bad for you, but it tastes SO GOOD!

Well, here’s a healthy version that your kids will gobble up! You can eat a lot a this enchilada! It’s healthy and delicious and your kids will love it!

With the whole vegan bit, I thought I was never going to experience cheese enchilada yumminess again. Then I decided to just go for it. It worked! I had four (non-vegan) taste testers, all of whom told me that that the dish was not only good, but they couldn’t even tell it was vegan. Score!

Here’s the recipe:

Vegan Cheese Enchilada Casserole

(Serves 4-6)

MAKE AHEAD TIP: Make the cheese sauce the night before. When you go to start dinner the night before, put the cashews in water to soak. After dinner is cleaned up, make the cheese sauce. The rest of the recipe takes 30 minutes.

1 cup of my vegan cheese sauce (Each batch makes 2 cups)

Cheese Sauce Ingredients

1 cup cashews, soaked in water for at least an hour

1 roasted red pepper (can be from a jar!)

1/2 cup nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp smoked paprika

1/4 tsp salt

1 Tablespoon lemon juice

1 cup almond milk

Cheese Sauce Directions

Put all ingredients into a blender and blend. Done!

Enchilada Ingredients

3/4 – 1 cup of water, divided

1 small yellow onion, diced (approximately 1/2 cup)

1 large garlic clove, diced

1 cup lacinto kale, chopped

1 can black beans

1 can kidney beans (14-15 oz. You can also substitute either beans with 1 can of pinto beans)

1 can enchilada sauce (10 oz)

6-8 Food for Life sprouted organic corn tortillas (or another organic corn tortilla found at your local health food store)

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Enchilada Directions

Preheat oven to 350. Spray an 8 x 8 square ceramic dish with olive oil.

Cook the onion and garlic in a medium-large sauté pan in 1/4 cup of water. Use medium heat for about 5 minutes and stir often.

Add another 1/4 cup water to the pan to keep the onions from sticking. Chop the kale while the onion and garlic cook for 2 more minutes.

Add the kale to the pan, along with another 1/4 cup of water. Cook another 5 minutes until onions are translucent, kale is wilted and water is absorbed. While the kale is cooking, drain and rinse the beans. Add the beans and enchilada sauce to the pan and mix all of the ingredients together. Then, either take half of the mixture and put it in the blender (don’t blend too much. it should still be chunky), or use an immersion blender and blend half of the bean mixture. Then mix it all again.

Place 4 corn tortillas on the bottom of the casserole dish (they will overlap).

Add the bean mixture from the pan and smooth out. Lay 3-4 more tortillas on top of the bean mixture, covering the whole width of the dish.

Pour the cheese sauce over the top of the tortillas, letting it spread out, spill over the edges and sink to the bottom.

Bake for 15 minutes. Serve with a steam bag of brown rice. (You can also make 2 casseroles at the same time and freeze one. You’ll have enough cheese sauce.)

Eat! Enjoy! Please let me know if there are any other Mexican (or other) recipes you want me to veganize or healthify. I’m up for the challenge!