Monday, February 21, 2011

Veggie Enchiladas

I love cheese enchiladas. Ever since I was a child I would use every visit to a Mexican restaurant as a chance to enjoy 2 cheese enchiladas. Yum! Since becoming a vegetarian I assumed this yummy indulgence would still be something I could enjoy, but I've been wrong. The trouble around here is that the restaurants have added tiny bits of ground beef to their enchilada sauce and there is just no way to get all that crap scraped off. Sigh

I finally found a fantastic set of recipes for a vegetarian enchiladas. I say set because there is one recipe for the enchilada sauce, one for refried beans and then one for some sauted veggies and the assembly of the actual enchiladas.

I had previously attempted to make enchiladas with sauce and refried beans purchased at the grocery store. The sauce had such a high concentration of sodium it just wasn't something I could stomach and the refried beans were like trying to eat a can of cat food. So so gross! Just when I thought my days of enjoying enchiladas were over I came across these recipes in one of my vegan cookbooks - and they were perfect as written.

Last week I went ahead and made all three recipes in one evening. This proved to be a huge mistake as it took 2 1/2 hours. By the time I was actually enjoying the enchiladas my body was fighting back. My neck was in all kinds of pain and beginning to spasm as a result of standing and looking down at the counter for so long. The nerves in my hands and arms were throbbing from all the chopping and stirring and washing. And, of course, my posture wasn't great during this time so my back hurt as well. Next time I make this I'll have to make the sauce and beans one day and the actual enchiladas the next.

I wanted to share these great recipes with you all.

Enchilada Sauce

1/4 C Chili Powder
1 T Paprika
1 t Garlic powder
1 t Ground Cumin
1/4 t Instant Espresso Powder

1/4 t Chipotle Powder or Chipotle sauce (which is much much cheaper)
3 T Canola or other veg oil
2 T Flour
1 Can tomato Sauce (15 oz)
1 1/2 C Veggie broth

Combine chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, cumin, espresso powder and chipotle sauce - and set aside.
Heat oil over med/high heat. Add flour and stir until smooth, bubbly and beginning to brown.
Stir in spices, tomato sauce and broth - stir
Heat until it starts to get bubbly then cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 min.

Refried Beans
2 T Butter
2 Shallots
1 T minced garlic
1/2 t ground cumin
1/2 t paprika
1/2 t dried oregano
2 cans pinto or black beans with liquid

Chop the shallots, mince the garlic and measure out the spices. Melt butter in large frying pan or cast iron and add the shallots and garlic and saute them until brown (3-5 min).

Stir in spices and cook for 1 min. Add beans with their liquid from the cans and heat until bubbly. Reduce heat to med/low and simmer uncovered for 15 min - stirring occasionally.
Remove from heat and beat until desire chunkiness. You can mash them by hand if you wish but using a hand mixer makes much lighter work.
Veggie Enchiladas

Cooking Spray

2 T Extra Virgin Olive Oil

8 oz sliced mushrooms

1 Red bell pepper - diced

2 Shallots - chopped

1T garlic - minced

1/4 t ground cumin

1/4 t dried oregano

1/4 t black pepper
12 corn tortillas
refried beans
12 oz Mexican mix shredded cheese
enchiladas sauce
20 slices of jarred nacho style jalapenos (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees, coat a 9x13" baking dish with cooking spray. Slice the mushrooms, red bell pepper and shallots. Mince the garlic and measure out the spices. Heat oil in a frying pan over med/high heat. Add the mushrooms, bell peppers, shallots and garlic and saute for 10-12 min.
Stir in cumin, oregano & black pepper. Remove from heat and set aside. Add desired amount of beans, cheese and veggie mixture of the center of the tortillas. Roll up the tortillas and place them seam down in the baking dish. Spread enchilada sauce evenly on top of the tortillas. Sprinkle cheese on top and jalapenos if you want.
Bake for 30 min.


  1. OMG YUM! This looks great! As I was reading about how much pain you were in from all the prep and cooking, it so reminded me of myself. I don't cook things that take a lot of work anymore, as it does cause pain in various places. At one point about 3 years ago, I couldn't even chop vegies. The pain was excruciating. I think I also would have to split it up into a 2 day process, as I still get bad back, hip, shoulder, and neck pain from spending any time in the kitchen.
    The recipe does look so worth any extra work it may involve! Thanks for sharing this with us!

  2. Yum!

    Can you just make some and ship them to me!?! Haha!

  3. They look wonderful!
    It is a whole circus act to cook without exacerbating symptoms isn't it!
    But what a great meal!

  4. If I use vegetarian refried beans then NO MAMMALIAN MEAT! Yeah - looks delicious!

  5. It really was yummy! I wish I could have shared it with all of you.