Who loves a good enchilada? Everybody, right? Right. There’s just something about saucy, spicy tortillas married with cheesy goodness that nobody can turn down.
Beef and chicken enchiladas are great, but what do you say to trying some MEATLESS enchiladas that taste just as good? Maybe even better…
Do you want to know a secret? One afternoon I made some delicious chicken enchiladas for lunch. They were so good that Rob and I ate them for dinner, too. Well, wouldn’t you know, between the two of us, we consumed a ALL of the enchiladas that day! I felt a pretty guilty… My solution: make some healthy enchiladas that don’t taste healthy. It’s time to look beyond the meat and cheese!
Just look at that. Does it look healthy to you? (Okay, there is a bit of Mexican cheese on top, but not even close to enough to feel guilty about.) Well, it is healthy, and you–will–love it.
You know what else? Just one of these babies is enough to fill you up! Well, maybe two if you’re a grown man or extremely famished. The enchiladas I used to make were way bigger, and one was about right for me. These healthy enchiladas are an all around win.
Cashew “Cheese” and Kale Enchiladas
(adapted from Healthy. Happy. Life.)
- 12-15 corn tortillas (Flour tortillas are fine, too.)
- 1 1/2 cups blanched kale
- cashew cheese (recipe below)
- red enchilada sauce (recipe below, or you can use canned)
- 1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend (Optional. I added just a sprinkle of cheese for a little something extra, but obviously this would make the recipe not vegan.)
- additional options: black beans, sliced olives, can of mild green chiles, diced tomato
- 1 cup cashews (soaked for at least 6 hours, then drained and rinsed)
- 1 cup water (more or less, depending on your consistency preference)
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (or lemon juice)
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- generous pinch of pepper
To make the cashew cheese:
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Using a food processor or blender, process them with the cider vinegar, seasonings, and a few tablespoons of water.
- Add in more water until the mixture is pretty smooth– about the consistency of hummus, or however you like it!
- Add more salt and pepper if needed, and refrigerate until you use it.
Vegan Enchilada Sauce Ingredients
(adapted from Bonzai Aphrodite)
- 1 tablespoon oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- a few cloves garlic, minced (A zester works great!)
- a handful cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 chili pepper, chopped (I used a sweet pepper, but use a hot one if you want some heat.)
- 1 1/2 cups veggie broth
- 1 can (15 oz) diced tomatoes with herbs (or fire roasted tomatoes)
- 1/4 cup vinegar (white or cider, I use cider)
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 2 tablespoons chili powder
- salt to taste
To make the enchilada sauce:
- Sauté the garlic and onions over medium heat until translucent. Add the cherry tomatoes, and sauté a few minutes.
- Add the remaining ingredients, bring them to boil, and then reduce the heat and allow the sauce to simmer for a few minutes.
- Remove the sauce from heat, and allow the mixture to cool off a bit before transferring it to a food processor. Blend until smooth.
Finally! To make the enchiladas:
- Preheat the oven to 375, and spray a 13×9 baking dish with nonstick spray.
- This step is optional, but pouring a thin layer of enchilada sauce into the bottom of the dish will keep them extra moist.
- Heat up the tortillas a bit so they don’t crack. The microwave will do just fine.
- Assemble the enchiladas! Spread a heaping spoonful of cashew cheese onto a tortilla, add a nice, healthy amount of kale (and black beans if you’re using them), and roll it up.
- Add on any other additional toppings you chose– tomatoes, chiles, etc.
- Shake some more chili powder over the top, plus the Mexican cheese if you’re using it.
- Bake covered for 45 minutes.
- Serve with fresh and cilantro extra cashew cheese on top, if you wish.
If you don’t believe vegan enchiladas can taste good, I challenge you to make these! You will love them, and you will not feel guilty about eating them. All you’ll feel is satisfied.
These cashew cheese and kale enchiladas are honestly so tasty and filling, and they make wonderful leftovers! They’re also super versatile; you can add whatever tasty toppings you like. I kept mine basic with just the cashew cheese and kale, but by all means, load them up with veggies and beans!
What would you put inside or on top of these enchiladas?
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I would definitely add the diced green chilis and either black beans or fat free refried beans.
I’m so excited to try this! I’m adding food processor to my christmas wish list.
Mmmm, refried beans would be a delicious addition!