Lately I’ve been a big fan of Mexican cuisine. I just love everything that has spices in it, hot or not. I love tomato sauce, beans, avocados. I may not be too mad about rice (sorry), but it doesn’t really spoil the pleasure of having enchiladas.
I became ultimately obsessed with them in December, and in the weeks coming up to Christmas I must have eaten at least one batch of enchiladas a week. I tried it all: Enchilada kits, Vegan Enchiladas from The Wicked Kitchen in Tesco, some other enchiladas… I can’t even remember. But I remember that in one particular week I have tried three different types of enchiladas and decided to try making my own, just for the sake of comparison.
It turned out that making enchiladas is quick and very versatile! You can throw in them almost anything you have in the fridge, as long as you enjoy them mixed together. You can make them with mock meat or without, with vegan cheese or nutritional yeast instead (or maybe without any of these?). You can make them real hot by throwing fresh chili peppers into the sauce, or you can make it mild by only using chili powder. Like smoky flavours? No problem! Just add smoked paprika. With enchiladas almost anything goes. So I urge you to give it a try.
I will not hold you waiting any longer.
Enchiladas from Scratch
[Vegan or Whatever]
For the Sauce:
3-4 cloves garlic
1 small onion
1 can tomatoes (plum or diced)
1 cup hot water
1 stock cube
1 tbsp chili powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp smoked paprika – optional
1 chili pepper – optional (if you like it hot)
3 cups Brown rice, cooked – optional
Base ingredient – Either 2 cans of beans, Quorn or any other mock meat (I like to use black or mixed beans and chickpeas, or Quorn Chicken pieces + 1 can beans)
Veggies (mix 3 to 5) – 150 g Mushrooms, a bunch of Asparagus, 1 Bell pepper, 1 small head Broccoli, 1 Courgette, 1 can Sweetcorn and/or any other veg that you wish to use.
Cheese – Vegan shredded cheese, regular cheese, nutritional yeast or none at all.
Cheese (Vegan or not)
- To make the sauce, pour a can of tomatoes and hot water into a blender jug. Add the rest of the ingredients, no need to dice (except the onion – I quarter mine). If using fresh chili pepper, control the amount of spiciness by removing or adding the seeds. Blend everything together to a smooth consistency and set aside.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180C.
- Finely chop your vegetables of choice.
- Sauté your mock meat in a little of olive oil first, adding water as needed. Then throw in the vegetables and beans. Stir-fry until they are half-way cooked. Add about 2/3 of your sauce and simmer for 5 minutes or until the mock meat is cooked.
- Turn off the heat, stir in the half of your cheese or a heaping tbsp of nutritional yeast. Stir to dissolve.
- In a casserole dish, place a wrap at one edge, scoop some of your filling onto the middle of the wrap. If you like rice inside your enchiladas, then scoop some rice onto it, too. Fold one side in, then the other. If it doesn’t hold, pin it with a wooden cocktail stick. Follow this procedure until all of your wraps are filled and folded.
- Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the wraps, sprinkle with vegan cheese if using. Top with some sweetcorn and fresh cilantro.
- Bake in the over at 180C for 15 minutes, or until the wraps are golden-brown and the cheese is melted.
- Serve with avocado and brown rice on the side, if you like. You can also turn avocado into guacamole.
This recipe is very easy and quick to cook, even if it looks long. I could have simplified it by telling you exactly what and how much to put, but this doesn’t feel right to me. Too often I would be looking at a recipe only to note that I don’t have this or that ingredient, and maybe I don’t like some of these ingredients at all! And it creates confusion – will this recipe turn out just as well if I substitute x for y?
With enchiladas, I am sure that anything will work! I have been making this recipe for a couple of months now, about once every 1-2 weeks and I have never made 2 enchiladas that were exactly the same. Some were very spicy, others mild, some with Quorn, others with beans only, but different beans every time. They all work. And as my husband rightly noted yesterday, you don’t get bored with the same thing all over again. Once you know the base, you can customise it however you want.
You might develop your own preferences for filling options. My most favourite fillings include: broccoli, asparagus, courgettes, mushrooms, sweetcorn, chickpeas, black beans and Quorn pieces. I can tolerate bell peppers, but I am not mad about them. I tried cauliflower in it too, and it was OK, but nothing special. I guess, if you decide to choose cauliflower, you may want to precook it to make sure that it is soft. I didn’t precook mine and it ended up being crunchy.
Well, this is it. Hope you enjoy the recipe, and don’t forget to share your fillings and toppings! I’d love some more ideas!