Monday, December 10, 2012

Black Bean and Spinach Enchiladas

These enchiladas are TOTALLY AWESOME! I've never made enchiladas before because I'd never eaten any I was really excited about. I tried these with trepidation, especially since I generally use cumin and cilantro cautiously. I liked these so much I'll definitely be making them often!

To make the sauce, heat over medium heat:
2     tablespoons olive oil

Whisk in:
1/4     cup tomato paste
1/4     cup whole-wheat flour
1        teaspoon cumin
1/4     teaspoon garlic powder
1/4     teaspoon onion powder
1/4     teaspoon chili powder
1/4     teaspoon salt
4        teaspoons McKay's Chicken Style Seasoning

Then whisk in:
3        cups water

Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and cook until slightly thickened.

For the enchilada filling, mix in a large bowl:
15      ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
15      ounce can kernel corn, drained (or you could use frozen corn)
6        ounces spinach (I used frozen spinach, but you could easily use fresh--just cook briefly to wilt)
6        green onions, sliced
1/3     cup cilantro, chopped
1/2     teaspoon cumin
1-1/2  cups vegan cheese sauce (try Crackerbarrel Cheese)

Divide filling between:
6        large flour tortillas (10-inch)

Roll tortillas up tightly with ends tucked in. Lightly spray a 9 x 13 inch baking dish and ladle a layer of sauce into the bottom of the pan. Place filled tortillas seam side down in the pan. Pour remaining sauce over the enchiladas. Top with:
1/2     cup vegan cheese sauce (whatever you put inside the enchiladas)

Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until heated through. ENJOY!

Crackerbarrel Cheese

There are many cashew cheese recipes, but not all are created equal! I thought this recipe looked similar to other cashew cheese recipes, but it is one of the best I've had!

Blend very smooth:
1      cup water
3/4   cup cashews
3      tablespoons tahini
1      teaspoon salt
1/4   cup nutritional yeast flakes
2      teaspoons onion powder
1/2   teaspoon garlic powder
1/4   cup roasted red pepper or pimentos
3      tablespoons lemon juice

This is a great topping for haystacks. It's also good to dip chips in. My favorite way to eat it is to spread it thickly on bread and put it under the broiler until it browns and then eat it with lentil soup!

I used to make all my cashew cheeses with sesame seeds instead of tahini and tomato paste instead of pimentos. But tahini and roasted red pepper are what really make this cheese good!

If you can get a good deal on red peppers, you can easily roast your own. Place under the broiler and turn when each side gets very dark until all sides are roasted. Allow to cool. Peel and seed peppers. Use in your favorite recipes or freeze in small portions for later use.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Crock Pot Refried Beans

This is a new recipe I tried recently and adjusted to my liking. It is so easy and amazingly good! I used it to make bean dip, and it worked very well. It may seem a little runny at first, so you could cut back on the water by a half a cup or so, but once the refried beans were refrigerated they stiffened up quite a bit.

Place in crock pot:
1-1/2 cups dry pinto beans, rinsed 
1/2 onion (no need to chop)
1 Tbsp. fresh jalepeno pepper, seeded and chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. ground cumin
4-1/2 cups water

Cook on high overnight.

In the morning, mash everything to the desired consistency. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I have often just made stir-fry by the dump chef method with varying results, often results I don't intend to repeat! My stir-fry always lacked a good sauce to tie it together and flavor it. So I found some recipes to try, adapted them, and came up with this. We love it! (Especially after my previous failed attempts!)

Marinate for 30 minutes or so: 
1 block extra-firm tofu, cubed
2 Tbsp. Braggs (approximate amount)

Fry the above with:
2 Tbsp. olive oil (or your preferred frying oil)
Splash of sesame oil

Set tofu aside. Place in frying pan over medium heat:
1 small onion, sliced thinly
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp. minced fresh ginger
1 Tbsp. olive oil (or your preferred frying oil)

When above vegetables are cooked, add:
4 cups mixed stir-fry vegetables (can use a frozen mix)

Stir-fry until vegetables are just cooked. Mix the following sauce and add to the cooked vegetables along with the fried tofu:
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used actual soy sauce but plan to try it with Braggs)
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Cook until sauce thickens. Serve over rice.