(pictured above — the vegetarian ‘beef’ enchiladas I made this month)
Enchiladas? Who doesn’t love ’em? The problem is, sometimes when we want a vegetarian entree, the enchilada option is just: a heapful of beans or a ton of cheese. Gross.
I found a way, though, to make delicious vegetarian enchiladas that actually taste like real beef enchiladas! (Well, almost! :))
Best part: you can prepare the entire meal in 30 minutes.
Let’s get started!
1 pack of vegetarian ground beef (want to make about 8-10 enchiladas, instead of 4-5? get 2 packs). If you have a Publix near you, I highly recommend the Publix brand Greenwise soy veggie ‘crumbles.’ (see photo below) If not, get the Morningstar Farms ‘Grillers Recipe Crumbles.’ Or, try a Whole Foods – they should have at least at least one or two ‘vegetarian ground beef’ options in the frozen food section.
1 bag of shredded Monterrey Jack Cheese (small pack is fine — even when making 10 enchiladas, you’ll probably only use about 4 oz of cheese)
tortillas — for a healthy option, I recommend wheat tortillas or whole grain (see photo below)
1 yellow onion (or a packet of pre-chopped yellow onions)
cumin or your seasoning of choice
your preferred enchilada sauce (whether the traditional red sauce or, my favorite, the green) — you’ll need a small or medium can for each 4 enchiladas. For the red sauce, I really like Old El Paso’s enchilada sauce. For the green sauce, I prefer El Costena’s which has just the right amount of spicy ‘kick to it.’ (If you use a mild red sauce, consider buying a small can of green chiles to spice up the meal!)
Your ingredients look something like this:
1) Prep your frying pan with some olive oil (we’re keeping this healthy, folks).
2) Get a baking sheet ready by pouring some olive oil on a paper towel and spread it across the baking sheet, to make it slightly greasy so our enchiladas don’t stick to the sheet! If you have aluminum foil on your cookie sheets or oven pans, just spread the oil on the foil.
3) Place the frying pan on low heat and throw on the contents of the veggie beef.
4) Stir in the onions. Stir in a handful of chopped cilantro. Stir in your cumin or preferred seasoning.
5) Once that’s done (takes about 20 minutes — cook it slowly and on low-to-medium heat so it can really absorb the flavor of the condiments), it’s time to fill up our enchiladas!
6) Start pre-heating the oven now — set it to 350 degrees. In a separate pan, that you also have on low-heat, throw each tortilla (one at a time) on the skillet for about 10 seconds. Flip the tortilla over and heat it 10 seconds on the reverse side. We’re warming up our tortillas! This helps avoid the tortilla breaking when you roll it up after filling! (I learned this the hard way, convinced, as the tortillas cracked, that I’d bought defective tortillas.)
7) Place a serving (or two! depending how robust you want your enchiladas) onto each tortilla and roll it up from the sides. Place each tortilla on the baking sheet as you go along (the smaller the sheet, the better, since the tortillas end up nice and compact, one against the other, when it’s time to cook, preventing the sauce and cheese from falling wayside).
8) When you’re done filling in each tortilla, and they’re on the baking sheet, it’s time to sprinkle on the cheese. (Again, how much you put on depends on how much you want.)
9) Now, spread a generous helping of enchilada sauce on the tortillas.
10) Place them in the oven (which you’ve already pre-heated to 350, so we’re ready to go) for 15-20 minutes. Set a timer — we don’t want them burning!
BOOM! You’re done! Enjoy your homemade, vegetarian enchiladas that almost taste like the real deal!
(pictured below: my red-sauce enchiladas, also made this month)