There are four things I want you to know about my eating habits:
>> I love to eat.
>> I am vegan.
>> I’m an excellent cook.
>> I love to cook meals that are delicious but not time-consuming or labor-intensive. Easy is my cooking mantra.
I often post photos and descriptions of my meals on my social media pages. Is that dorky? I mean, who cares what I’m eating, right? But I have an underlying secret mission. I want people to see how easy and tasty vegan eating can be. (Newsflash: it’s not all steamed vegetables and brown rice.)
I’m not trying to preach. Everyone has a right to make their own choice about the food they consume. But, I have to admit, I’m hoping someone might see my postings and become vegan-curious.
If I’m preaching at all, I’m pretty sure I’m preaching to the choir. Friends who eat plant-based meals see my posts, give me positive comments, and encourage me to “write a cookbook,” or in the case of my Elephant Journal friends, write recipe articles.
I want to take a moment to honor my friend Jann Dolk who encourages me to walk alongside her in offering vegan options to our readers. Be sure to check her delicious recipes out under her EJ profile: Janice Dolk.
So, here goes…
I eat my share of delicious salads and soups, hearty casseroles, and pasta dishes, but my husband and I love spicy food so I often try to spice it up.
Indian food? Yes! Thai food? Yes! Mexican food? Oh hell yes!!
So I thought I’d start my excursion into recipe posting with these delicious Vegan Enchiladas Verdes. For the Mexican food novice, this means enchiladas made with salsa verde (green sauce).
Green sauce is made from the naturally tart tomatillo (pronounced “toe-mah-TEE-yo). The tomatillo looks like a little green tomato that is covered with a husk. Salsa verde is easy to make at home from tomatillos, onion, jalapeno or serrano chilis, lime, and cilantro. But remember, my cooking mantra is “easy,” so I simply bought my green enchilada sauce in a can. You’ll find many choices in the Mexican food aisle of your grocery store.
Now, I don’t want you to get seduced away by the many cans of red enchilada sauce. In my opinion, boring! Give green a try. It’s spicier and has a much more interesting taste than the typical red sauce. I don’t want to disrespect the red sauce whose taste is, well, earthy. It has its place. But green sauce tastes fresher and more vibrant.
Here’s what you’ll need for these enchiladas:
15 ounce can enchilada verde sauce
Pack of 10 corn tortillas
½ cup TVP—textured vegetable protein aka dehydrated soy. (I like Anthony’s brand.)
Packaged grated vegan cheddar cheese (I like Violife brand)
7-ounce can of sliced black olives
One bunch of green onions
One bunch of cilantro (I’ve heard some people hate cilantro. If that’s the case, skip it.)
Here’s how to assemble:
1. Cover the TVP in water to reconstitute (it will fully reconstitute in about 10 minutes).
2. Open the cans of sauce and black olives (drain the olives).
3. Open the cheese.
4. Chop about 6-8 onions into small pieces.
5. Finely chop about ¼ cup of cilantro.
6. Heat the tortillas—two at a time—in the microwave. Do this by wrapping the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwaving for about 30 seconds. This will make them soft, flexible, and easy to roll.
7. Pour about 1/2 cup of the verde sauce into the bottom of an 8”x11.5” baking dish. Place one tortilla in the dish and let the sauce moisten it.
8. Spoon about a tablespoon of the reconstituted TVP onto the tortilla then spoon a generous amount (maybe 1-2 tablespoons) of green sauce onto the TVP.
9. Add a healthy amount of cheese, then a few onions, olives, and a little cilantro. (You can get creative here and add other things like finely chopped zucchini, spinach, kale, rainbow chard.)
10. Roll the tortilla into a tight roll and place at one end of the dish.
11. Repeat until you have the dish filled. The 8×11 will hold exactly six enchiladas.
12. Spoon a little more sauce over the length of each enchilada, sprinkle a little more cheese, onions, olives, and cilantro on top.
13. Bake for 25 minutes in a 375-degree preheated oven.
14. If you find a vegan sour cream you like, you can add a dollop when you plate your enchiladas. I like mine just as is, right out of the oven.
This recipe could serve three, but in our house, it serves two. We’re hearty eaters.