Thursday, December 25, 2014

Lazy Enchilada Casserole (Vegan, Gluten-Free)




Lazy Enchilada Casserole (Vegan and Gluten-Free)

I am all for wonderful lazy casseroles (one of my faves is lazy cabbage rolls)-- this enchilada casserole means that you get the same wonderful flavour and texture without actually having to mess around with making the enchilada rolls (unless you are really great at doing them, in which case, go to it!).  You just put down a thin layer of the vegan cheese (queso or kay-so) on the bottom of the casserole pan (either covered already covered with parchment, or oiled), a layer of tortillas, the enchalada filling, a top layer of tortillas, and then the rest of the queso!  You can see how it is pretty much a piece of cake / pastel(?)  Have fun, and enjoy this luscious recipe!  It makes a fantastic potluck entree that will be much appreciated!

To make this again I would start by assembling the ingredients the day before, and I would cook the beans (separately, the white beans and the pinto beans) and put them in mason jars (or other containers) in the fridge, ready to go!  The next thing I would do is to make the Vegan Cashew-White Bean Cheese.  This can be done on the day of the making the casserole, but before you actually get going with all the other prep.

How to Make the Vegan Cashew-White Bean Cheese/Queso:
Put the following into your blender carafe and mix up together until smooth and silky.  If it is not quite as pourable as you need it to be (like thick melted cheese, a little thicker than hollandaise sauce), then add another 1/2 C. of non-dairy mylk.

  • 269 g / 1.5 C. soft cooked White Beans (I use a small piece of *kombu while cooking)
  • 70 g  /    .5 C raw Cashew pieces (the pieces are less expensive than the intact nuts)
  • 24 g /    1/4C Nutritional Yeast
  • 120ml/   .5 C.Non-dairy Mylk 
  • 1 tsp.             Chili Powder or Chipotle Powder
  • 1 tsp.             Celtic Sea Salt
  • (optional: 1-2 T. of chopped chillies or pickled jalapeno-- if you know how they taste)
Set aside the Queso in the Blender Carafe if you have a food processor available to make the tomato sauce, otherwise, pour the Queso into a pitcher.

Making the Enchilada Casserole:
*Preheat your oven to 350F /180C, and either oil an 11x8 inch (28x20cm) pan, or lay parchment down (makes cleanup so much easier!)

*Assemble the following ingredients:
  • 2 T. Coconut Oil
  • 1 large Onion, minced
  • 2 small Red Bell Peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 3-6 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Cumin seed, ground in your Coffee Grinder
  • 1-2 tsp. Chili Powder or Chipotle Powder
  • 4 diced fresh, ripe, organic Roma Tomatoes (or 1 1/2 C diced Tomatoes)
  • 1-2 T. Celtic Sea Salt
  • 2 - 15-oz (425 g) each cans of Pinto Beans, or 3 Cups if you've cooked them yourself
  • 1 diced Zucchini (about 1 1/2 C.)
  • 12 6"/15cm Corn Tortillas
  1. In a Wok or griddle, SAUTĒ the onions and the bell pepper for 5 minutes in the Coconut Oil on medium heat.  Add in the Garlic, Cumin, Chili powder, for a minute more.  Then add in the Tomatoes and cook, uncovered on medium, for about another 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer all of the sauté to a Food Processor, and PROCESS until smooth, adding in Celtic Sea Salt-- add extra to your taste at this time.
  3. MIX the tomato sauce and the Zucchini and Pinto Beans in a large mixing bowl.
  4. POUR a thin layer of Queso onto the Parchment in the casserole pan and spread around.
  5. POUR the Tomato, Bean, and Zucchini Mixture over the thin layer of Queso in the pan, and even out, into the corners, etc.
  6. Place the rest of the Tortillas evenly  (overlapping is fine) over the Enchilada Filling.
  7. POUR the rest of the Queso over the top of the Tortillas.
  8. COVER with Aluminum Foil
  9. BAKE until heated all the way through, 30 - 45 Minutes
  10. SERVE with a tender greens or cabbage salad, and GARNISH with chopped Cilantro.
This recipe is an adaptation of the "Inside-Out Enchilada Casserole" in The Great Bean Book by Kathy Hester.  All bean-lovers and new vegans need to get hold of this excellent cookbook!

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