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.
I didn’t come up with this soup in a vacuum. It’s really a crazy mash-up of two different tortilla soups that I really like, one from the Happy Herbivore, and the other from Appetite for Reduction. I just took the two easiest parts of each recipe and put them together into one terrific soup!
Roasted Tomato Tortilla Soup (makes 4 large servings, or 6 small servings):
1 large onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1&1/2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp cumin
1/4 plus 1 cup veggie broth (keep a little more on hand if you need to thin your soup)
1 28oz. can fire roasted whole tomatoes
1 4oz. can green chilies
2 tsp liquid aminos
3 T tomato paste
1 tsp agave nectar
2 tsp hot sauce (I like Tapatio here)
1 cup pinto beans
1 cup crumbled baked corn chips
1/2 cup frozen corn
cilantro to garnish
Place a medium-sized sauce pot over medium-high heat. Add 1/4 cup veggie broth and onions. Cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and spices, stirring to coat. Now, douse with the rest of the veggie broth, the juice from the tomatoes, the green chilies, liquid aminos, agave nectar and tomato paste. Squeeze each of the tomatoes in your hand, then add to the soup. Lower to a simmer, and you can cook the soup for almost any length of time–I’d recommend at least 20 minutes.
Pour the soup into your food processor or blender when you are ready and pulse until combined. The soup will be HOT so take pains (ha) not to burn yourself. Return it to the pot, and add the corn chips, pinto beans, corn and hot sauce. Once they are nice and warm, the soup is ready to serve. Garnish with cilantro.
Mmm…Happy Herbivore’s Smoky Black Bean Enchiladas. My photo does not look a THING like hers from the cookbook–my enchiladas are always a messy, messy affair, with ripped tortillas and gooey filling and melty sauce and cheese. These were no exception, and were totally, totally rockin’. I don’t say “rockin'” very often, but I think it fits here.
Can I just say I was totally skeptical about the chocolate in the sauce? Yeah. I didn’t believe, but now I do. When I smelled the distinct, accurate scent of enchiladas wafting from the oven, I knew she was right. And the smoky tofu black bean filling! It required 2 tsp of smoke flavoring, which scared me. Two whole teaspoons? I think I put in maybe one and a half, and I should have gone the whole way. Or added a little smoked paprika, too, that would be an awesome touch.
This dinner was also made possible by Trader Joe’s, who now has two stores in the Kansas City area. Bless them. They have totally superior and cheap products, and I have driven out there not once this week–but three times. THREE TIMES. In a week. That’s like 6 hours of transit time for a little Trader Joe’s fix. But I missed them so much! When I lived in San Diego, they were just down the street. I took them for granted. No longer!
So, yeah, Trader Joe’s organic sprouted tofu is my new favorite tofu. It smells amazing raw, which I do not normally think about tofu. At all. And great corn tortillas, since making my own is sort of a pain in the butt. If I talk any more about them, I’ll want to drive out there again. Must…stop…reaching…for the keys…
The saddest part is that this is the best picture I took. This dish is amazingly delicious, and yet I could only take the most horrendous pictures of it. Poor Huevos Rancheros. Look at you: homemade salsa, homemade corn tortillas, tofu scramble, veggie refried beans, cajun potatoes, avocado and a little bit of lime. Does it get any better than that?
I would love to make this again. However, it’s what’s known as a “kitchen destroyer” in that it takes up literally every mixing bowl and pot and pan that I have. And the food processor. Good grief! This dish has about as many elements as a Thanksgiving dinner. I think the best idea is to eat it when you have leftover salsa, leftover tortillas, and then you just have to make the scramble, beans, and potatoes. Do you see what I mean? That’s still a lot of work.
Happy Herbivore says she likes to make this when nursing a hangover. How could anyone have the stamina to make this while hungover?
Should I launch into some pirate talk now? What’s that? You hate that…oh…I see.
So guess what, ya’ll?! I totally made my own tortillas. Using the superb recipe in Viva Vegan! I honestly find most of this cookbook a little intimidating still. Also, do you know how hard it is to find good, authentic latin ingredients in rural Kansas? It’s a little hard. I have a great grocery store near me, but even then I feel uncertain that I’ll find most of what this book requires. And it’s so specific about flours! Also, since I’m still on a relatively healthy kick (if I lose seven more pounds, I’ll reach my goal weight! Go me!) I’m afraid to make really delicious things that require coconut cream. You know? I’ll save that for other people to eat with me.
But, back to tortillas. I’ve struggled my whole cooking life with wanting to make these fresh at home, because they have like, five ingredients. But the grocery store tortillas? You’re lucky if they have 20! From dough conditioners to preservatives–it’s a nightmare. But my problem was two-fold: 1. My tortillas always, always, always came out dry. You couldn’t roll them out at all. 2. They were shaped like the states, or faces of Presidents, or something else not round. So they weren’t useful.
But in steps this recipe, like a tortilla in shining armor. It’s perfect. PERFECT! I made these without the chia seeds (since I didn’t have them, and since I thought a two-year-old might not eat chia seeds) this time, but I’ll probably put them in in the future. They roll out easy, stay (relatively) round, don’t stick to each other or the countertop, and brown up perfect.