Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Gluten Free Wednesday: Vegan Enchiladas

Happy Gluten Free Wednesday!

(Now that I am officially no longer working at Lifethyme, Gluten Free Wednesday's are going to be like any other day blogging - me blabbing about whatnot, and this time taking my gluten free explorations home.  Just can't tell Hubby, because then he'll be suspicious!  Even though I make gf food for him all the time - I have just learned that there are some things I need to censor for him.)

I love Spanish food.  I'm beginning to think it is my favorite cuisine.  For the longest time I was convinced that it was Italian, but after meeting and marrying my hubby, I am obsessed with Spanish food.  (Even though he is Dominican, I feel like he has opened up my eyes to so many different countries' specialties and cuisines.)  I feel like I have never really had a lot of experience cooking or even eating true Spanish food, but now I cook it every chance I get.  I am getting a lot better at it now.  Especially beans.

Growing up, my mom never cooked with beans.  The only thing she ever made with beans was chili, and even then it was using canned beans.  (I did just remember that she used to make this like 12 bean soup with some kind of ham/bacon, where she had to cook the beans, but I think that's about it.)  Don't get me wrong, my mom is seriously the best cook ever.  She cooks everything from scratch, and I mean everything, even noodles.  We raised chickens for many years, collected their eggs and consumed their meat.  My mum gardens, cans and freezes everything - she is seriously a goddess.  Anyway, moving on!

We never cooked beans at my house and the first time I cooked them for the hubby, they were admittedly very strange and Americanized.  He ate them, but later admitted that they were pretty terrible.  I asked him several times to tell me how to make Dominican style beans, but he is not great at teaching/explaining cooking.  He is always telling me that out of everyone in his family, he is the worst cook.  (I don't think that's true!)  Finally, many many months ago one of his cousins moved from the Dominican Republic to New York, not speaking a word of English and stayed with us for a couple weeks while he organized everything.  Hubby set up a session with his cousin and I to make beans.  His cousin was able to explain to me, with few Spanish words spoken (I do not really speak it - only the basics), lots of gesturing and exaggeration, how to prepare beans.  And they were so delicious.  I owe him for teaching my my bean cooking skills.  Now I can cook them with the best of 'em.

Creamy Bean Filled Center, Smooth Sauce & Melty Cheese

Yields 6 Enchiladas

6 Gluten Free Tortillas, homemade or store bought
Daiya or other vegan cheese, shredded
Sliced Black Olives
Diced Red Onions

Enchilada Sauce:
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons brown rice flour or sorghum flour
1 cup tomato sauce/crushed tomatoes
1 cup filtered water
2 tablespoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Refried Beans:
2 1/2 cups cooked pinto beans
1 cup filtered water
1 small onion, small diced, about 1 cup
1 jalapeno, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 mini vegetable boullion cubes
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon chipotle pepper powder, or to taste

1.  Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. 
2.  Prepare the enchilada sauce first.  In a medium saucepan over medium heat, add the oil and allow it to become hot.  Once it is hot, add the flour and whisk to create a roux.  Whisk periodically until flour is golden in color and smells toasty.  Once it is at this point, add the tomato sauce and water, stirring immediately.  Add all the spices and whisk to combine. Continue to cook, whisking periodically until the sauce is thick and well flavored.  Season to taste.  Set the pot aside to cool. 
3.  Now prepare the refried beans.  You can either use beans that you have cooked yourself or beans from a can.  I definitely prefer cooking the beans myself and I am sure the hubby would not appreciate having cooked canned beans in the house. 
4.  In a separate medium pot, add the oil and allow to heat.  Once hot, add the chopped onion, jalapeno and garlic.  Saute for several minutes until the mixture is fragrant and golden.  Add the beans and mash with a potato masher, adding the water as you do so.  The beans should be mostly mashed.  Crush the boullion cubes with your fingers and add to the bean mixture.  Add the remaining spices and stir well.  Season to taste - these should be slightly spicy, nicely salted and seasoned. 
5.  Set aside to cool a little as you prepare the rest of the ingredients. 
6.  Assemble your enchiladas.  On a cutting board, place your tortilla (it is a good idea to heat up your tortillas for a couple seconds over an open flame to allow them to become more flexible), scoop about 1/3-1/2 cup of the refried beans in the center, followed by about 2 tablespoons of the enchilada sauce and a few tablespoons of daiya.  Roll up into a cigar shape.  These do not have to look pretty.  Place the rolled enchilada into a lightly oiled baking pan.  Continue with the remaining ingredients.
7.  Once all the enchiladas have been rolled and placed in the baking pan, spoon a generous amount of the enchilada sauce over the top of the tortillas, followed by the daiya, diced red onions, and olives. 
8.  Bake in the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the enchiladas are heated all the way through. 



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