So yesterday was Halloween! If I had written a blog yesterday, it most definitely would have been about all things spooky that bring me happiness…like scary (not gory) movies…El Dio de Los Muertos celebrations… cemeteries…Halloween-inspired yoga classes…(last night we howled like werewolves in Ubhaya Padangusthasana!)
Focusing on today…a few things come to mind that have brought me happiness in the past twenty-four hours…
1.) Newborn babies in crocheted beanies.
Perusing through Etsy a couple of months ago for gift ideas for a newborn (namely, for my niece, Molly) I happened across an account that sold handmade, crocheted beanies for…newborns. My niece’s “arrival date” was quickly approaching so I decided to purchase a beanie (à la ladybug) for Molly.
I finally received the beanie several weeks later (the woman who made the beanie had a backorder of 250 or so!) and gifted it to my six week-old niece. Here it is!
2.) Wearing UGGs to work (when I can).
There are some blessed days that I get to wear whatever I want to work (these are the days when I work alone and do not have anyone scheduled to come into the office). I usually go all out and wear ::drumroll:: my super-mega-comfortable UGGs. It’s the little things that get you through the work day.
3.) Spicy, Homemade, Vegan Enchiladas.
I have a new recipe to share! I recently made a batch of six, vegan enchiladas for dinner (enough for a few night’s-worth of dinners for deux). The original recipe at which I looked was called “Time Crunch Vegan Enchiladas” (apparently inspired by Susan V’s Black Bean and Summer Squash Enchiladas). Phew!
One thing I have discovered about vegan cooking (especially baking!) is that for some reason, vegans insist on putting beans into EVERYTHING. I have to put my foot down, vegan brethren: Not every recipe needs to include beans. There do not need to be beans in cookies or brownies or cupcakes. It ruins them. Use flour. Be creative. Step away from the bean from time to time.
That being said…I decided to ditch the black beans altogether (mostly out of defiance, as I had black beans on hand) and replaced them with three crumbled up Field Roast vegan sausages (I used the Italian style: seasoned with eggplant, red wine, garlic and fennel). Yes, I know, “Italian-style sausage in a traditionally Mexican dish?” Field Roast does make a Mexican Chipotle-style vegan sausage, but I did not have that one on hand. Bummer. Next time! 🙂
I chose these sausages over the pre-crumbled vegan “meat” sold by Morning Star Farms or BOCA because the “meat” is more thoroughly seasoned and is more moist, even after cooking.
So…replacing “Time-Crunch’s” beans with vegan sausage, I followed this recipe:
- 2 16 oz. cans organic tomato sauce
- 1 sweet bell pepper, roughly chopped in food processor
- 1 zucchini, roughly chopped in food processor
- 1 small, yellow onion, roughly chopped in food processor
- 3 garlic cloves, sliced
- 3 Field Roast vegan sausages, crumbled (this gets messy…sorry!)
- 2 Tbsp Olive oil
- Harissa chili paste (I just kept putting this into the sauce until it was as spicy as I wanted it to be)
- 2 tsp chili powder (again, I wanted spicier than “Time-Crunch’s” recipe
- sea salt to taste
- 1 tsp lime juice
- 1 tsp nutritional yeast (this stuff is amazing)
- Daiya 3-cheese shredded cheese (optional)
- 6 flour tortillas (I’m not going to kid myself, whole grain tortillas? Really? No. I want something that won’t crumble. I chose locally-made, lo-carb flour tortillas – ingredients: flour, water, vegetable oil)
- For the Vegan Cheese Topping: 8 tbsp humus, 3 tsp almond/soy milk, 1 tsp nutritional yeast – thoroughly mixed. If it won’t drizzle, add some more almond/soy milk.
- 3 thinly-sliced green onions for garnish
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Throw chopped onion and garlic into a large pan with olive oil and heat until translucent (about 5 minutes on medium heat – don’t want to burn the garlic!) Add chopped pepper, zucchini, sausage crumbles, 1 can of tomato sauce, Harissa chili paste and chili powder to pan and cook for another few minutes or until the sauce begins to reduce. Add nutritional yeast, sea salt and lime juice and cook for another few minutes. Then take pan off heat source.
- Take a large baking dish and put remaining can of tomato sauce on bottom of dish. Take tortillas and lay flat. Ladle mixture in pan (about 3 Tbsp’s worth) into the center of each tortilla. Sprinkle the Daiya three-cheese shredded cheese on top if you wish. Wrap and place each enchilada fold-down into baking dish in a line.
- Cover enchiladas with remaining mixture from the pan.
- *** At this point I just drizzled the “vegan cheese” mixture made of humus on to the enchiladas and put the whole shebang into the oven. ***
- Place enchiladas into oven uncovered for about 18 minutes.
- Pull enchiladas out of oven and sprinkle with green onion. Serve immediately.
Ingredient Prep Time: 15 minutes (with food processor!)
Cook Time: 10 minutes (to make filling and “vegan cheese”)
Bake Time: 18-20 minutes
Total: 45 minutes (although, with two people pitching in and the right music playing in the background, it can take about 35 minutes)