Saturday, January 25, 2014

Vegan Cheese, No Trees

My first attempt at making enchiladas happened years ago when I moved from Kentucky to Midland, Texas.  Total culture shock—tumbleweeds, dust storms, businessmen dressed in cowboy boots and suits just like J.R. Ewing.  My new neighbor, Brenda, tried to help me acclimate by making sure we had bottled water delivery (because the water is truly awful) and showing me how to make green enchiladas and jalapeño cornbread.  It wasn’t just the food and water that were strange to me, though.  I found it amusing to learn that there was a town not too far away called No Trees.  They even had a post office: Notrees, Texas, 79759. (Population: 300 +/-) And then there was Sand Hills State Park.  It was just sand—lots of sand and a few sad picnic tables.  So I took up needlepoint and English smocking and spent a lot of time indoors.  I managed to produce enough needlepoint holiday stockings for the whole family during my five-year West Texas Adventure. 

Michel has been to Texas many times on business trips to Fort Worth, Austin, Houston, Dallas, etc., but never as far west as Midland (where none other than George W. Bush and his lovely wife Laura grew up).  Michel has enjoyed his Texas food experiences and, fortunately, he doesn’t share my pessimism about cooking so-called Tex-Mex food.  Actually, I’m pretty pessimistic about my cooking skills, period.  Let’s be clear about that.  There's a good reason I'm writing about food instead of cooking it. 

Today’s dish:  Vegan Black Bean Enchiladas
(If you’re a fallen vegan, feel free to top with a generous dollop of sour cream.)

Vegan Black Bean Enchiladas

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 

You will need a package of flour tortillas.  We found fat-free, vegan flour tortillas at Whole Foods.

Black Bean Filling:
  • 1 cup black beans, soaked overnight
  • ½ can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, finely chopped
  • 1 can “Mexican style” diced tomatoes
  • 1 carton vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeño, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon coriander
  • ½ teaspoon salt

  • Heat coconut oil in 3-quart saucepan.
  • Add onion, garlic, ginger, jalapeño.
  • Sweat onion mixture over medium heat until onions are translucent.
  • Add chopped chipotle peppers, tomatoes, cumin, and coriander.  Mix well.
  • Add black beans and enough vegetable broth to cover the mixture.
  • Cook over low heat for 1 to 1½ hours until beans are tender. 
  • There should be enough liquid left to use as sauce for enchiladas.

Vegan Cheese Sauce

  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, pressed
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard (or any interesting mustard—not the yellow stuff)
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast

  • Heat coconut oil in 1½ quart saucepan.
  • Add garlic, coconut milk, and mustard. 
  • Reduce heat and add nutritional yeast.
  • Whisk over low heat until mixture thickens—only a few minutes.


  • 1 fresh tomato, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados, peeled and pitted
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 4 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ½ bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • ½ teaspoon chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.  The end.

Putting it all together:

  • Heat tortillas in microwave per instructions on package.
  • Spoon cheese mixture into center of tortilla and top with black bean filling.
  • Roll tortilla to close and place seam down in oblong baking dish. 
  • Repeat until you’ve filled enough tortillas for you and your dinner companions, or until your baking dish is filled.
  • Top with sauce from black bean mixture. Drizzle remaining vegan cheese sauce over the whole thing.
  • Heat in the oven until bubbly—about 15 minutes.
  • Add guacamole and dig in.  

No comments:

Post a Comment