Vegan Enchilada Casserole

 in Kitchen

You are out of tomatoes. Your corn tortillas are a week old and getting hard. You want to use more whole ingredients. You never knew how to use the dried chilis you see at the markets. Your random assortment of veggies are looking sad and need to be used up. You need an easy but delicious vegan dish. You made a new years resolution to make more casseroles (oh maybe that one is just me.) No matter what the reason, this casserole is here to help.

Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Ingredients:
4-5 dried chilis (or 3 T ground chili pepper)
4 cloves garlic
¼ t cumin
¼ t oregano
2 cups water (or broth)
2 T flour (any or gluten free)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method:
Remove the seeds from the dried chilis and break into smaller pieces.
Boil the dried chilis in 1 cup of water.
Place the chilis and water in a blender with the rest of the spices.
Blend and pour into a small sauce pot.
Blend the second cup of water (or broth) with the 2 T flour of choice and add to the pan.
Whisk together completely. Bring to a boil and reduce to low, simmer for 10 minutes whisking continuously.
The sauce will thicken slightly, and the flavor will change and deepen as you cook it. 

Note: If using pre ground chili pepper you can skip the first boil, it will blend well without that step. 

Use the enchilada sauce immediately, or keep up to 3 days in the fridge. 

Enchilada Casserole Recipe

Ingredients:
1 week old tortillas
Mushrooms
Black beans
Spinach
Carrot
Poblanos
Red onions
Corn (optional)
Vegan Cheese (make my whole foods cream here)
Cilantro (optional)
White onion (optional)
Lime (optional) 

Method:
Make the enchilada sauce above first, or buy from the store. 

Make the filling:
Any of your favorite veggies will work or anything you happen to have in the fridge or garden.
Chop ½ onion, 1 poblano, 1 carrot and saute until soft in a cast iron pan.
Chop the mushrooms into slices. Chop the sinache small. Keep both raw.
Drain the liquid from black beans (find how to cook beans here)

Layering the casserole
Cut the corn tortillas in half.
In the bottom of a casserole dish place a few ladlefuls of enchilada sauce (recipe above) you should put enough to cover the bottom of your baking pan but the tortillas sound not to be fully covered in sauce when you lay them down, this is about ½ of your sauce. Place 1 layer of tortillas, overlapping only a little as if making a lasagna. Cover the tortillas with vegetable filling, black beans, raw mushrooms and spinach. Layer cheese and then another layer of filling and veggies. Repeat. 

The layers should look like this:
Enchilada sauce
Tortilla
Vegetables and beans
Vegan cheese
Tortilla
Vegetable and beans
Vegan cheese
Tortilla
Vegetables and beans
Enchilada sauce
Cheese 

Bake covered in an oven at 375*F (190*C) for 35 minutes.
Let sit for 10 minutes before serving. 

Serve topped with chopped white onion, cilantro, lime and avocado. (optional). This also pairs great with a fresh side salad. 

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