Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Bean and Cheese Enchilada Casserole

Today's lunchbox features a recipe that I've been wanting to try for a while. I discovered it over at VegWeb while looking at the list of most popular recipes (in the lower right section of the main page). I always like trying recipes from "most popular" lists, and ones that have high rankings, since it makes the chance of failure a little less likely. This recipe had lots of good comments, and I learned a lot from them, like the fact that this dish is a LOT easier to make as a casserole, which is not what I started out doing initially, but ended up doing eventually. Here's how the whole thing went down...

Cheesy Bean and Cheese Enchiladas are really simple to make. You just whip up some vegan cheese sauce, stir in some beans (I used pinto beans, kidney beans and black beans) & onions, roll all of that up into a bunch of corn tortillas, lay them in a pan, cover with enchilada sauce and more vegan cheese sauce and then bake. Or, at least, it's supposed to work that way. I discovered that I didn't have too much luck rolling the filling up in the tortillas. It appeared to be a common problem in the comments, so a lot of people just ended up making the dish casserole style, which is what I did. I got the filling in the tortillas and got them rolled up, and into the pan, but the filling wasn't that thick, so it was difficult to get a decent amount into each tortilla. Plus, it kinda started wanting to ooze out into the pan. After I got the whole pan full of rolled up tortillas, I discovered that there was TONS of filling left over. So, I just dumped all of that extra filling on top of all the rolled up tortillas, spread it out, and then put down another layer of tortillas, just laid out flat. Then I covered the whole thing with the remaining enchilada sauce and reserved vegan cheese sauce.

It came out super yummy, just like the reviews said, but I can see why a lot of people opted to do it casserole style. When I make it in the future, and I WILL be making it again in the future, I will just do it casserole style and not fool with the whole trying to roll beans up in a tortilla thing. This is really delicious, and it makes a lot of food, so I'm sure I'll be eating on the leftovers for several days.

The vegan cheese sauce in this recipe has also gotten my attention because it's a little more simple, and uses smaller amounts of fewer ingredients, than most of the other vegan cheese sauces I have tried. I plan on experimenting with it some more in the future and trying it on macaroni and other obvious cheesy dishes.

To go along with the enchilada casserole, I brought some Spanish rice, which is really just the Kroger brand of the rice & vermicelli mix, you know, like Rice-a-Roni. It's just made from a box of mix and a can of diced tomatoes with chilis. I love this stuff, but I really have to be careful when I eat it because I have a tendency to eat way too much of it.

I also brought some leftover mustard greens. I just couldn't bring myself to bring something more Mexican, like refried beans, since there were already so many beans in the enchilada casserole. Plus, I really like greens now, so I was more than happy to bring some more.

For dessert, I just brought a few Red Globe grapes. I use these things every morning in my green smoothies, so I've always got some hanging out in the fridge.

So there you go. A new Mexican style vegan recipe that turned out pretty dang good. It was really easy to make too, especially when you make a casserole out of it. It would probably be prettier if you could roll them all out and put sauce on them and bake them like you're supposed to do, but I didn't have the patience (or the skill either) to do that. It tastes the same either way, so unless you're super talented at getting runny liquids rolled up in tortillas, I suggest saving yourself some grief and just going the casserole route. Either way, it's delicious.

Thanks for reading the blog today. See everybody tomorrow!


Anonymous said...

Hi Ken,
Altho messy, it still looks delish! I do something similar, but really create it like a lasange. Cook a filling of onions, garlic, beans, olives, corn and green chilis. You can add TVP or seitan to it as well. Add a jar of salsa and a jar of diced tomatoes. Throw in some cumin and chili powder. Then layer it alternately with corn tortillas and 'cheese' sauce. Bake for about 30 minutes and enjoy!

Keep up the good work with the weight loss. I'd love to hear more about your green smoothies and any recipes you've tried...

kennyboy said...

Mmmm... your Mexican casserole sounds delicious. I need to try that sometime.

I'm still drinking green smoothies every day, and love them! I am still noticing new health benefits every week. I think I am on to something.

I don't even use recipes. I just buy whatever fruit is on sale this week, and whichever greens are on sale this week, throw a little fruit, and a bunch of greens into the Blendtec with a Tbsp each of flax seed & oatmeal, add 2 cups of water and blend away.

I mix it up different every day so I won't get bored.

I did actually miss having one yesterday, so this morning, I don't know if I just managed to make an exceptionally good one, or if my body was craving it since I missed yesterday, but it was the BEST green smoothie I've had yet. It was so delicious, and I feel so good after I drink one.


Ameleah said...

I make something very similar. Its so easy and tasty. I usually make a mexican style coleslaw on the side, just a suggestion as it pairs really well with the heavier black beans and sauce etc. To make shred one head green cabbage, julienne a bunch of radishes and one orange bell pepper. Throw into a big bowl and dress with juice of three limes, olive oil, cumin s&p to taste.