For my first post-Christmas-post (thanks for allowing me the long vacation!) I’m reporting on the White Enchiladas recipe from Everyday Happy Herbivore. We all know how much I love the Happy Herbivore, so the sequel was my instant Christmas present to myself. Totally worth it. Her recipes are always easy, good, and adjust quickly to your needs and desires.
I did make a few changes, of course. Since I wanted to make this casserole style, I layered it all instead of rolling the tortillas. And I didn’t use the–gasp–microwave (bake at 350 degrees for 25 mins). Yikes! I had a whole jar of salsa verde, so I used it like a secondary enchilada sauce. And I added daiya and olives on the top, and peas to the beans (to increase the protein factor). Oh, and don’t forget the avocado and lime for garnish!
All in all, I’d say my changes were pretty successful, and the finished dish was something my husband really wanted us to eat again.
The name chalupa scares me, because all I think of are creepy tacos from Taco Bell, and a small dog insisting that I try them. Anyone else remember that? I’m terrified of Taco Bell because of both their mystery ingredients, and the way their food makes me feel after I eat it. UGGGGH.
But the Chalupa recipe from the Engine 2 Diet was undeniably amazing. Really. Of course I made a few changes to it (easy, easy changes). But I can’t express the joy this dinner brought to me. One bite of it was like being a kid again, at some favorite mexican restaurant with my family, eating something simple that a child would love: tortillas, refried beans and lettuce. See? Completely simple and easy.
So, to review the changes (or “upgrades” as I like to think of them) to this recipe:
Use two corn tortillas (I got a 12 pack from Trader Joe’s that were great) and sprinkle a tablespoon of cheddar daiya cheese in between. Then, broil following the steps in the book.
Salsa isn’t necessary. At all. I just topped ours with some additional green onion, lime juice and Tapatio. That’s all you need.
See? I’m pretty sure I actually made this easier than the original recipe, since you don’t have to go to all the trouble of making fresh salsa, or destroying this with jar salsa (ugh!). Also, I know this was a total success because my husband did not suggest that I put green chilies on it, and he wants green chilies on EVERYTHING.
I’ve always been nervous about portobello anything, which is weird, really. Because I love mushrooms, really and truly love them. But replacing any meat with giant mushrooms just seemed–sad. Let the mushrooms be mushrooms!
That being said: I was wrong. Let the mushrooms be fajitas! Because this recipe from the Engine 2 Diet was so amazingly good. I will say this: I think it should only be attempted in a cast iron skillet. I’ve never had fajitas turn out this good. They were practically restaurant quality, but with only sprayed-on oil and no seasonings. None. Not even salt.
I made their sour cream sauce (using cilantro and lemon juice) and it was fairly standard. I also added rice and beans on the side, just to make for a little extra protein. And, of course, I threw in some avocado. BONUS! I finally found the Ezekiel 4:9 tortillas! I love those things. I’ve been eating Ezekiel bread exclusively for sometime now, but I was having a really hard time locating any of their other products. The problem? I was looking in the wrong part of the grocery store. Uh…yeah. Smart.
You have to admit, even if this recipe from the Engine 2 Diet didn’t taste good, it looks beautiful. Also, I got to eat an entire half of an avocado! I haven’t had that much avocado in one sitting in ages…so good. I partially decided to make this because it sounded so strange. Mango? Sweet potato? Balsamic Vinegar? Lime juice? Cilantro? It was a weird mishmash of different textures and tastes–mostly sweet and sour–that ended up working really well together. The only problem–too much cilantro. Normally I love the stuff, but it fought with the other flavors. Still–for a dish with no seasoning–this was amazingly flavorful. I’d for sure make it again, but I’d cut back on the pepper (so much bell pepper!) and, of course, the cilantro. Nice job, E2!
After long debates with myself about calling this “Mexi-corn Pizza” I decided that was a) too racist, and b) too…corny to be posted on the blog. So, Southwest Pizza it is! Which is really more honest, anyway, since this doesn’t exactly resemble Mexican food in any fundamental way. Except for the cilantro and corn. And avocado.
This was one of those meals where I thought, “vegans get to eat this? And it’s healthy?” but it totally is. It’s weird when something feels sinfully good, but is also incredibly good for you. I suppose that’s what veganism is all about.
Now, roll out your dough. Have I given instructions about how to make pizza before? Yes! The real difference between this pizza and the link is that you order the toppings different: salsa, onions, garlic, squash, corn, then beef. Bake until the squash is done, being careful not to overcook the crust (so if you need to turn down the temp a little, that’s fine). Add the daiya, and cook for 3 to 5 more minutes, until it’s nice and melted. Let the pizza cool and add the cilantro, avocado, and hot sauce.
Other toppings that would taste great: black olives, green onions (sprinkled on with the cilantro), green peppers, and diced green chilies.
My husband gave this pizza a rating of: “It made both my stomach and mouth happy.” Good enough for me!
Oooh, pretty! I actually made these chickpeas into tacos (instead of taco salad, like last time). This October has been so summery feeling here in Kansas that I’m still craving summer foods. And nothing says summer like tacos! The arugula seriously complements the flavor of the roasted chickpeas, so I recommend it. I feel like I’m getting really into different kinds of lettuce–when did I become that person?
So, I’ve made the Buffalo Tempeh in Appetite for Reduction, and it didn’t seem right. I think part of the problem is our tempeh–it’s crumbly and weirdly hard, instead of being soft and sturdy. So the texture was always super weird, and the flavors seemed to be fighting each other all the time. Enter my brilliant idea–awesome dry-fried tofu, marinated in buffalo sauce! Bonus: comes with crunchy bits, just like the buffalo chicken you might be missing.
Buffalo Tofu (makes 4 servings)
1 block firm or extra firm tofu, pressed and drained
1/2 cup Frank’s Red Hot (you can use other hot sauce, but you shouldn’t!)
1/2 cup veggie broth
Can you believe that’s all the ingredients? Crazy, right? Anyway, slice your tofu into 1/4 inch thick slices. You can fry them up that way, or cut them into whatever fancy shapes you want. Even dinosaurs! Or buffaloes! Now, mix your hot sauce together with the broth. Use 1/2 cup of this mixture to marinade the tofu in for half an hour (reserve the leftover marinade). When that’s done, heat up a large skillet over medium-high heat with enough oil to coat the bottom of the pan. You don’t want your tofu to stick! Place the tofu in the pan, and fry until it is nice and crispy on both sides (obviously flipping once during cooking). When it’s done to your liking, pour all of the leftover marinade (should be about 3/4 of a cup left, total) into the pan. Cook until the liquid is reduced into a thicker sauce, about 5 minutes.
Today, I served this up with Avocado Potato Salad from Vegan Brunch, and Ranch Dip from the Happy Herbivore. And with carrots and celery sticks, of course!