Enchilada plate

Just because, around here, it’s always enchilada o’clock.

Mushroom and spinach enchiladas with ranchera sauce and guacamole, served with requisite sides of Spanish rice and refried beans, El Mercado on Lavaca, Austin.

All their beans are vegetarian, as is the rice, which makes dining hear a pleasantly worry-free – if a little bland – experience. They have really good, warm, greasy chips and tasty salsa, and their margaritas are strong and cheap.

Cross posted from stellatex.


Red Enchilada Stew with Green Chile Cornbread

Okay, so this is more New Mexico Mex, but…

I’ve blogged about them before: Desert Gardens mixes are fantastic. Most of the items in their line are vegan, they contain recognizable, natural ingredients, and the handy little packets have simple, step-by-step instructions that are easy to veganize. For the Red Enchilada Stew, I used pan-fried Soy Curls (thanks, Alin!) in place of the chicken, and for the Green Chile Cornbread, the only necessary alteration was replacing one egg (I used a water, oil, and baking powder mixture that worked beautifully).

This was a perfect weeknight meal: I just had to mix up the stew and put it in the pot to simmer and mix up the batter and put it in the oven to rise. And, yes, it was as good as it looks.

Cross posted from stellatex.

Another enchilada recipe!

This time, an enchilada pie!

green enchilada pie 2

Stella’s Green Sour Cream Nochicken Enchilada Pie

2 cups vegetable broth
1/2 package Soy Curls*
3 Tbsp canola oil
1.5 cups vegan cream of mushroom soup (I used vegan portobello soup; or make your own)
1 4 oz. can diced green chiles
1 cup spinach, washed and roughly chopped
1/3 cup cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
6 oz. sour cream (1/2 container of Sour Supreme)
1/4 cup diced green onions
2 Tsp cumin
8 oz. cheese, shredded (I used FYH Monterey Jack)
salt and pepper to taste
12 corn tortillas

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.

2. In a medium saucepan, bring vegetable broth just to a boil and reduce heat; add Soy Curls and allow them to expand over ten to fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, in a large food processor or blender, purée soup, chiles, spinach, cilantro, sour cream, cumin, salt, and pepper, keeping some cilantro apart for garnish. Set aside.

4. Drain Soy Curls and add to pan with 1 Tbsp canola oil. Sautée over medium high heat, stirring often, until curls are nicely browned, and remove from heat.

5. Grease a medium to large, oven safe dish (up to 12″ in diameter) with remaining canola oil. Pour in one cup of the soup mixture and top with three corn tortillas, fanning them out from the center if necessary to ensure they cover the diameter of the dish.

6. Add 1/3 Soy Curls, 1/4 of the shredded cheese, and 1/3 of the green onions. Repeat with three more layers, using all ingredients except 1/4 of the cheese.

7. Top with the remaining shredded cheese and any dribbles of the soup mixture which are left over.

8. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until cheese is golden brown and sauce bubbles, broiling for the last three minutes or so if necessary. Allow to cool for at least ten minutes before slicing.

9. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice, beans, guacamole, salsa, and any other Mexican sides you desire!

melty cheese

green enchilada pie 2

soy curls

* Thanks to Alin for the Soy Curls, straight from Portland!

Cross posted from stellatex.

Potato chard enchiladas

Enchilada plate
Inspired by Veganomicon’s Potato Kale Enchiladas, and Wasabimon’s Potato Chard Enchiladas, I made some of my own!

I added a little bit of my own Fieldmarshal’s Basic Tex-Mex Enchilada Sauce, as the my sauce (following the Wasabimon recipe) seemed a bit too salsa-like, all chunky and relish-like, and enchiladas need some saucy glue to hold things together. So I used my basic sauce to roll the tortillas, poured the unused spoonful over the top, and then decorated the whole thing with the onion-based sauce, which I made liberal changes to, based on available ingredients.

Potato and chard enchiladas, cooked
I served this up with black beans and a big dollop of Sour Supreme. It was pretty tasty; potatoes make an excellent vegan enchilada filling, and the chard added color and texture while packing a heathly punch. I think next time I might try a variation of my sauce, with a little queso and Sour Supreme mixed in, and a garnish of additional, barely-steamed greens.

Peek inside

Reposted from stellatex.

Austin: Polvo’s enchiladas

The first time I went to Polvo’s, in 1999, I wasn’t impressed. I ate meat then, and I am sure I had some sort of chili con carne cheese enchilada dish, but I remember thinking that the tortilla chips sucked, the sponge-painted walls sucked (I hate sponge-painted walls, but they’re a much worse offense in an Italian restaurant), the wait sucked, and the food was kind of bland.

Though I still agree with that initial assessment, I now love Polvo’s. Yeah, it’s a paradox.

When I came back to Austin in 2006 as a vegetarian, I discovered the cheese enchiladas with poblano cream sauce, and I was converted. I also realized that the availability of three distinct salsas was pretty cool (I like the dark, smoky one). I also determined that, with proper planning, getting a spot on the crowded patio after work or on a Sunday morning was worth waiting for, especially once I figured out that they have vegetarian rice and beans, and several different acceptable breakfast taco fillings. This past September, a bunch of us spent a lovely, long morning there before heading to ACL, and everyone – vegans to omnis – was happy. The margaritas ain’t bad, either.

So let’s talk about this vegetarian rice. To be honest, I don’t know if I believe them. But they advertise vegeterian rice, and every time I ask the waiter about the contents of the beans and rice, they tell me they’re vegetarian. I like the refried black beans at Curra’s better than the whole beans with tomatoes (ew) served up at Polvo’s, but the rice at Curra’s? No thanks. The rice at Polvo’s, on the other hand, is what one expects alongside enchiladas: it’s yellow, it’s sticky, it’s richly flavored! Yes!

Unfortunately, their guacamole, while served in ridiculously huge helpings alongside chopped cilantro, tomatoes, lettuce, and green peppers, is rather bland. Maybe it’s because it’s straight-up avocado, I don’t know – but I expect my guacamole to have a depth of flavor. It needs chili powder, cumin, lime juice, garlic, onions, and salt – yes, salt! Even El Chico slices the avocados right in front of you and tosses them with the requisite secondary ingredients in a fake mocajete.

Today at Polvo’s, I ordered the poblana enchiladas with “tamatillo” (physalis ixocarpa – is this different from “tomatillo,” physalis philadelphica?) sauce. They also have some other vegan sauces, such as verde, roja, and chipotle, and a choice of grilled vegetable filling. The menu, I noticed, advertises two potentially vegan tamales, too: vegetable and bean. They also serve huge burritos. These enchiladas were pretty damn tasty – and moist, like enchiladas are supposed to be (unlike at some other places that will remain nameless). There was so much that even I, consummate enchilada devourer that I am, could barely eat half of what was presented.

Thanks for lunch, Mike!

“Small” guacamole salad, salsas.

Poblana enchiladas with tamatillo sauce.

Enchilada plate, with vegan black beans and rice.

With added guacamole.

Cross posted from The Vegan Tree House.

Austinist runs my post about vegan enchiladas

It’s a tough job, but someone’s got to do it. I’ve spent the last eight months on a quest to try as many vegan enchiladas as possible, and here are the results.

Plenty of Austin publications routinely print lists of the best and most popular (which aren’t always the same thing) Mexican and Tex-Mex restaurants in town. When was the last time anyone bothered to ask vegans?

Right, right – the words “vegan” and “enchilada” are mutually exclusive. After all, vegans don’t want enchiladas con carne, or with sour cream sauce, or even with cheese. But being vegan does not preclude being a hungry Texan, and for lucky Austinites, the options are perhaps shockingly numerous.

Continue reading here.

Guero’s grilled veggie enchiladas, rice, beans, and guacamole.