These started as a really great idea when we had some leftover tortillas that were getting hard in the fridge and begging to be used. I’ve made enchiladas in the past that we’ve loved, with chicken, green chiles, sour cream, and loads of cheese on top. I figured it wouldn’t be too hard to make a vegan version and just forego the chicken, make an avocado/cilantro sauce in place of the sour cream, and up the veggies, fajita style. My plan was to smear some refried beans on a tortilla, load it up with veggies, black beans, enchilada sauce, wrap it up, and boom. Enchiladas.
Like all great meals, this one was destined for failure almost immediately. I was too far in when I realized that our black beans and refried beans had gone bad in the fridge and we had none in the pantry. Our fake mozzarella had mold on it, and the tortillas had a weird crispy edge on one side. I had tried scrambling some tofu with taco seasoning and that was bombing hardcore. I gave up and left everything on the counter.
About an hour later, Brian texted that he was leaving work, so I hauled myself up off the couch and went to see what I could do to salvage dinner. I reached way back into the deep dark corners of the pantry and found a can of corn and a can of lentils. Not the beans I was hoping for, but I could make it work. I cut the moldy corner off the fake mozzarella, gave it a sniff, and deemed it fine. I sliced 2″ off all of the tortillas and tossed them in the oven with a wet towel to soften them up. I threw everything in a bowl with enchilada sauce, wrapped it in the tortillas, dumped sauce on top, loaded it with cilantro and green onions, and LO AND BEHOLD IT WAS DELICIOUS. Seriously, it was like really really good.
Like Brian said, some of my best meals have stemmed from desperation when I’ve had to get a little creative with what we have available. I’m not saying ALL of my creative dishes turn out this well….. (promise they do NOT) but experimenting can be a great thing and it’s usually worth a shot. In this case, I think enchiladas are generally a pretty forgiving meal, especially if you have a solid enchilada sauce that can add great flavor to whatever weird ingredients you ended up choosing. Bottom line, recipes are not the be-all end-all of cooking. Also, get yourself some good reliable sauces that you can pull out when all else fails.
1 can of corn*
1 can of lentils*
1 can of beans
1 can of vegan green enchilada sauce
1 red onion, sliced into strips
1 green pepper, sliced into strips
1 red pepper, sliced into strips
Couple shakes of your favorite mexican seasoning
Flour tortillas, burrito sized
Lots of cilantro, roughly chopped
Dairy-free plain yogurt, or sour cream, or something medium thick
*or whatever other cans you have laying around!
- Sautee the onions, peppers, and garlic in olive oil with a bunch of seasoning til the veggies are super soft.
- Rinse and drain the cans of corn and lentils (or whatever cans you have on hand)
- Dump it all in a bowl with like 1/3 of the enchilada sauce, mix it up
- Scoop a few spoonfuls into a tortilla, wrap it up, and lay in a rectangle baking dish until all the filling is used
- Spread the rest of the enchilada sauce on top, and sprinkle half of the chopped cilantro and green onions. Sprinkle some of your fave seasoning on top too.
- Pop the pan in the oven for 40 ish minutes or until everything is bubbling
- Meanwhile, throw one avocado, half the cilantro, half the green onions, a few cloves of garlic, juice from a lime, and a few scoops of yogurt into the blender and blend til smooth. Add water/salt/pepper to taste.
- Drizzle the sauce on top of enchiladas and OMG YUM
By the time dinner is finally ready, neither of us ever have the patience to take photos. Brian, however has a knack for catching my best eating moments, so even though I’m pretty sure this photo was from breakfast, it very well could have been me eating these enchiladas. Enjoy!