12 December 2008

The ULTIMATE Butternut Jicama Enchiladas

Today we have the vegan version of Butternut Jicama Enchiladas. This 'ultimate' recipe would require more work if you made it all from scratch, but, hey, vegans and vegetarians are pretty likely to have cooked grains, cooked beans and a cheese substitute lying around already.

I make this recipe when I have leftovers. When using leftovers, this is a very quick meal to make. The most time consuming part is letting the dough for the tortillas rest a while, but that gives you time to assemble everything else.

So, this version assumes you have made Richard's Fake Cheese or have some reasonable substitute that will melt when baked, and which can melt into a sauce. We assume you have two cups of cooked beans already prepared. You can use canned beans, drained and rinsed, in a pinch, but home cooked beans from dried is by far your best choice. We have found that canary beans (also called peruano beans) hold up well after cooking for use in a second recipe, and have a great flavor. Another current favorite are appaloosa beans. Both of these delicious varieties are available from Purcells Mountain Farms .

And we assume that you have some cooked whole grains lying around. If not, you can cook some grains in double their volume of water for about 75 minutes on a simmer, or pop some off in about 20-30 minutes in a pressure cooker. Any grain you like, including rice, is fine. You could even use some couscous or bulgur if you are truly time-challenged since they mainly just soak in hot water.

The Ultimate Butternut Jicama Enchiladas

4 Tbs olive oil, divided use
1 c butternut squash in 1/2 inch cubes
1 c jicama in 1/2 inch cubes
1 15 oz can enchilada sauce, divided use (or make your own, recipe below)
2 c approximately, canary or appaloosa beans
1/2 - 1 c cooked kamut, barley, rye or spelt grains
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp salt
2 c diced vegan 'cheese', divided use
1 1/2 c almond milk (plain), or plain soy milk
12 mesquite-kamut flour tortillas (or substitute a whole grain store brand)

Preheat oven to 400F.

Spray a 9x13 lasagna pan with non-stick spray. Take several tablespoons of the enchilada sauce and smear around the bottom of the pan.

Heat a 10-12 inch skillet on medium-low heat. When the pan is hot, add 2 Tbs olive oil and cover bottom of pan.

Add butternut and jicama. Brown on top and bottom, about 3 minutes per side. The cubes should be fork tender.

Add the butternut, jicama, beans and grains to a mixing bowl.

Toss with 1/4 cup enchilada sauce, salt and cumin until mixed well. Optional- add several teaspoons of your favorite hot sauce and toss to blend.

Add about 1/2 of the diced 'cheese' and toss again. Taste for seasonings and adjust as needed.

For each enchilada - take one tortilla, dip in the enchilada sauce, then hold it up to let it drain. Add 2-3 tbs of the filling mixture to the middle of the tortilla and roll up. Put in the lasagna pan, seam side down. Repeat until the pan is full.

Heat 1 1/2 c of almond milk in a small saucepan. When it is nearly boiling, remove from the heat, add the remainder of the diced 'cheese' and stir until the chunks are melted.

Drizzle the sauce over the top as evenly as possible, but trying to leave the ends of the tortillas uncovered. The uncovered ends will get nice and crispy-crunchy.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 25 minutes.

Remove the foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes until the cheese is melted and turning golden and the tortilla edges and brown and crisp.

Remove from the oven and let the enchiladas sit for a couple of minutes before serving.

Serve with your favorite salsa, or guacamole.

Quick Enchilada Sauce

1 Tbs oil
1 Tbs flour
2 Tbs ground chiles
2 c water

Heat oil in a small saucepan.

Add one tablespoon of flour. Blend with a whisk and cook for 30 seconds or so until it starts coloring.

Add 2 Tbs of ground chiles. Stir the chiles in until blended.

Slowly add 2 cups of water, whisking it in gradually so it all stays blended.

Bring to a boil and let it thicken slightly. Note: This s not meant to be a thick sauce, just not totally watery.

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