16 December 2011

Vegan New Mexican Enchiladas

We don't go out for Mexican food much because there is always some kind of problem either with lard in the beans, chicken stock in the rice, or tiny bits of beef in my food.  But I was reminded how good Mexican food can be when my sister-in-law made what I like to call "stacked" enchiladas for my nephew's birthday party.  According to my brother, traditional New Mexican enchiladas are always stacked, and filled with only cheese.  Marilyn's were deliciously non traditional and included whole black beans and yellow squash.  She served them with Spanish rice and a salad with spicy dressing.

I had been meaning to make the vegan enchiladas I had at Local Harvest Cafe, so I decided to make a combination of those and Marilyn's.   Obviously you can make enchiladas out of anything you like, but here is what I made out of what I had in the house.  I think it turned out pretty well. 
  • 10 Corn tortillas - organic if you avoid GMOs
  • 1 Can refried beans - vegetarian
  • 1 onion - sauteed
  • 1 sweet potato
  • 3 T nutritional yeast
  • Olive oil
  • 2 cups of enchilada sauce or homemade tomato and hot pepper puree
  • A few handfuls of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese - I used this vegan mozzarella because I wanted to test it on something other than pizza, on which it is not that great. 

First, to make the vegan "cheese" a la Local Harvest Cafe: Bake the sweet potato and allow to cool.  Peel and place in blender with nutritional yeast and a good splash of olive oil.  Blend until consistent.

Lightly oil the bottom of a baking dish and cover with a single layer of tortillas.  Next, spread the refried beans evenly over the tortillas.  Top beans with a layer of fresh spinach, followed by a layer of onions, followed by another layer of tortillas.  Now spread a layer of the sweet potato mixture evenly over tortillas and top with more spinach and a layer of peppers.  Finish with a final layer of tortillas and completely cover the top with enchilada sauce so every bit of tortilla is completely moistened.  Sprinkle a thin layer of cheese over the top and bake in 350 oven for 35-45 mins.  Allow to cool slightly before slicing and serving as you would a lasagna.

I also served mine with Spanish rice and a salad of cabbage, avocado and lime juice.

02 December 2011

Pig-Free BST Sandwich

Thanks to my favourite food blogger in the world for hipping me to this veggie "bacon" recipe.  After a recent household debate about whether or not to toast the bread on a BLT, it seemed like it was a good excuse to finally try this out.  It's a BST because I felt like using spinach.  And I used American yellow mustard because that's what I had on my very first BLT at Venture when I was in grade school.  I'm on the no toasting side of the argument, so that's what you see here.

Beluga Lentil Shepherd's Pie

My mom's signature dish has always been shepherds pie (with beef of course), and she's made many previously uninitiated fans of it over the years.  I have discovered beluga lentils are a perfect substitute for beef in this recipe.  And even though it's a pain, it is worth it to sort the lentils prior to cooking so you don't end up biting into a rock and ruining your meal.  So this is pretty similar to my mom's recipe, but with a few more veggies, potato skins, yogurt instead of butter, parmesan instead of cheddar, and no peas because I didn't have any on hand.
2 cups beluga lentils, sorted and rinsed
2 medium carrots chopped
1 onion chopped
1/2 a yellow turnip peeled and chopped
4 medium russet potatoes chopped with skins
1/2 cup greek yogurt
parmesan, salt, pepper, olive oil

In a small pot, cook the lentils until almost all of the water has cooked off.  Set aside.  In a larger pot, boil the potatoes until soft, drain and mash with the yogurt.  Set aside.  In a large pot, saute the onion, carrot, and turnip in olive oil until soft.  Combine vegetables with lentils, season to taste, and pack tightly into a small casserole dish.  Top lentils with mashed potatoes and pack tightly, keeping surface as level as possible.  Top with parmesan cheese.  Bake covered in 350 oven for 25 mins and finish in broiler for another 5 with the lid off.  Serve in squares.

Wild Mushroom Macaroni and Three Cheeses with Truffle Oil

I love eating healthy most of the time, but I'm also a sucker for creamy pastas.  I happened upon this recipe right after I procured some fresh chanterelle and hen of the woods mushrooms in a Central West End alley.  Plus I had all of the other ingredients on hand already, so this dish was destined to be a part of our Sunday dinner.  I've adapted the original recipe to make it vegetarian, plus a few other changes. 
Please see the link for cooking instructions!

1 1/2 cups finely sliced chanterelle mushrooms
1 1/2 cups sliced hen of the woods mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tbsp sherry
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
3 cup goat milk, warmed
4 oz herb chevre, crumbled
4 oz sharp white cheddar, shredded
4 oz parmigiano reggiano, separated in 2 2oz piles
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
2 tsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 tsp fresh sage, minced
2-3 tbsp white truffle oil, depending on how strong you like it (yes, this is some rich mac-n-cheese)
1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/2 cup panko
10 oz elbow pasta - i used a corn based pasta and it worked well
kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper