I searched online for vegan enchilada recipes. Recipes looked simple enough and I have really taken a liking to Daiya Vegan Shreds, which are free of the top 8 allergens and melt like real cheese!! (If you deal with milk allergies or are vegan, you understand how much sheer joy meltability brings. Daiya really is in a class by itself here.) After a couple of failed attempts at tortilla-rolling -- I'm guessing my corn tortillas were way too small and just not glutinous enough-- I decided to ditch the rolls. I abandoned good form and just focused on figuring out how to enjoy all the ingredients. And there, the enchilasagna was born!
|It's enchilada...no...it's lasagna...no...it's enchilasagna!|
The enchilasagna has the basic components of an enchilada -- tortillas, filling, cheese, and sauce -- but instead of rolled tortillas smothered in sauce, the ingredients are layered on top of each other much like a classic lasagna. It's not authentic but for a cook who is always short on time, it works fine for me!
I opted to make my dish vegan and used a black bean and vegetable enchilada recipe as inspiration. The dish can be made free of milk, eggs, nuts, fish, shellfish, soy, and wheat. Trader Joe's taco seasoning is terrific as it is milk-free and wheat-free, which cannot be said for many other taco seasoning brands. If you are wheat-free/gluten-free, you will need to avoid the Trader Joe's enchilada sauce that I used. It does contain enriched wheat flour. Vegans, the sauce contains a strangely named "chicken style base" which is a vegan seasoning, as other TJ's aficionados have confirmed. If you need to avoid gluten, wheat, or the mysterious chicken-style base, you can use this recipe to make homemade enchilada sauce. It's probably more authentic, too!
Below are my suggestions of vegetables to use in your dish. This is a flexible dish so feel free to omit what you don't like or add more of what you love! If you want to make the rolled enchiladas, a gluten-free alternative that might be easier to use is larger brown rice tortillas. If you are okay with wheat and gluten products, you can use large flour tortillas.
Bean and Veggie Enchilasagna
1 Tbsp cooking oil
1 tsp minced garlic
3 carrots, peeled and sliced
2 zucchinis, cut into 1/4" half-circle slices
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup broccoli
1 red bell pepper, chopped
17 oz package of Trader Joe's steamed lentils or 1 can (about 14 oz) of black beans
1 tsp Trader Joe's taco seasoning (TJ's seasoning is gluten-free and milk-free -- not always the case for taco seasonings!)
2 cups frozen corn kernels
12 oz bottle of enchilada sauce* (Probably contains wheat so you may need to make your own if you are wheat-free, gluten-free)
1 package of corn tortillas
1 to 2 cups of Daiya vegan shreds, pepperjack or cheddar flavor
1 to 2 stalks of green onions, chopped
- Heat oil in large saucepan or wok. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in carrots and cook for 2 minutes.
- Add in zucchini and kale/broccoli to the carrots. Cook and stir for another 2 minutes before adding red bell pepper. Cook for another minute, stirring the vegetables to evenly cook.
- Then add the steamed lentils and 1 tsp of taco seasoning. Mix well. Continue cooking for another minute or two.
- Turn off heat. Add in 2 cups of frozen corn and mix well. Mix in 1 cup of Daiya vegan shreds with your veggie/legume mix, if you desire.
- In a 13"x9" rectangular pan, pour out 1/3 of the enchilada sauce. Spread the sauce to cover the bottom of the pan. Lay corn tortillas over the sauce and try to completely cover the bottom. I had to cut my tortillas into quarter and half circles. I still ended up with some gaps but it was good enough for me!
- Add half of the lentil-vegetable mixture in to the rectangular pan. Spread the mixture to evenly lie on the corn tortillas. Add another layer of corn tortillas over the lentil-vegetable layer. Then add enough enchilada sauce to cover the corn tortillas.
- Repeat lentil-vegetable layer, final layer of tortilla, and final layer of enchilada sauce.
- Sprinkle 1 cup of Daiya vegan shreds and green onions on top of the enchilada sauce.
- Cover pan with aluminum foil. Bake in preheated oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 45 minutes, uncovering the pan for the last 10 minutes of bake time. The dish is ready when the cheese is bubbling on top and the corn tortillas are just beginning to dry on the sides.
- Serve with a dollop of Tofutti sour cream, sliced avocado, salad, and Spanish rice to round out your meal!
Next time I think I will use less zucchini and more broccoli. I was surprised that I liked broccoli in a Mexican dish. Might have to do with the cheesy factor. I have never really eaten broccoli and cheese sauce but now I think I understand the attraction...