Spinach and Tofu Enchiladas Verde

Several years ago, I ate a fantastic vegetarian burrito at Benny’s Burritos in the West Village of Manhattan. Ever since then, I’ve been wanting to make something inspired by that dish. The combination of the spinach and tofu with fun spices and cheese, had a fantastic mouth feel that had me craving for something similar. I decided to turn that craving into reality with this enchilada recipe. This was a huge hit, and I wish I had doubled the recipe!

Spinach-and-Tofu-Verde

 

 

Spinach and Tofu Enchiladas Verde

Ingredients:
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 package of tofu, drained and cubed and dried
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tsp. salt
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. black pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
6 oz. bag baby spinach
8 whole wheat tortillas
2 cups salsa verde
2 cups Mexican blend cheese – shredded

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 350.

Heat up the oil in a large pan.

Pat dry the drained and cubed tofu. Add the tofu to the pan. Fry the tofu for 3-5 minutes. Flip over the tofu and cook another 3 minutes.

Add in the chopped onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until soft.

Once soft, add in the baby spinach and spices and turn off the heat. Let the warmth of the other ingredients wilt the spinach.

Pour 1 cup of the salsa verde in to the bottom of a 9×13 pan.

Place a few tablespoons of the spinach and tofu mixture in to a tortilla along with a sprinkle of the cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place in the pan, seam side down.

Spinach and Tofu Enchiladas

Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.

Pour the rest of the salsa verde over the rolled-up enchiladas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the enchiladas.

Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Enjoy!

Spinach and Tofu Enchiladas Verde
 
Author:

Ingredients
  • 1 tbsp. canola oil
  • 1 package of tofu, drained and cubed and dried
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. cumin
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • 2 tsp. chili powder
  • 6 oz. bag baby spinach
  • 8 whole wheat tortillas
  • 2 cups salsa verde
  • 2 cups Mexican blend cheese – shredded

Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350.
  2. Heat up the oil in a large pan.
  3. Pat dry the drained and cubed tofu. Add the tofu to the pan. Fry the tofu for 3-5 minutes. Flip over the tofu and cook another 3 minutes.
  4. Add in the chopped onion and garlic and cook for a few minutes, until soft.
  5. Once soft, add in the baby spinach and spices and turn off the heat. Let the warmth of the other ingredients wilt the spinach.
  6. Pour 1 cup of the salsa verde in to the bottom of a 9×13 pan.
  7. Place a few tablespoons of the spinach and tofu mixture in to a tortilla along with a sprinkle of the cheese. Roll up the tortilla and place in the pan, seam side down.
  8. Repeat with the rest of the tortillas.
  9. Pour the rest of the salsa verde over the rolled-up enchiladas. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the enchiladas.
  10. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

 

SpinachEnchiladas

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

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It’s been pretty cold and windy here on the East Coast. I’ve been looking for some hot and tasty dishes to warm me up.

We just celebrated Purim the other day and I wanted to have a fun and festive meal to honor the holiday. I wanted to have a fun vegetarian menu that everyone would enjoy.

I came up with vegetarian tortilla soup, make-your-own burritos with an assortment of mix-ins, fish tacos, a giant green salad and a spanish rice. I love of all of the flavors that go along with this menu.

I’ve never made a tortilla soup before. Many of my friends make it, but it’s often made with chicken or other things I don’t eat. I wanted to make this dish my own.

It turns out that I love tortilla soup. Who knew? I also wish I had made double so I could have leftovers. Lesson learned.



Vegetarian Tortilla Soup
Ingredients:

1 tbsp. Mazola corn oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 tbsp. cumin
2 tsp. chili powder
1 tbsp. salt
3 tsp. ground black pepper
2 14 oz. cans of fire roasted tomatoes mixed
1 4oz. can green chiles, diced (or less if you can’t handle the heat)
5 cups vegetable broth
1 medium zucchini, diced
1 cup corn (frozen is fine)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp. corn oil
corn tortillas
cilantro, chopped
avocado, sliced
cheese, optional

Directions:

Heat up the oil in a large soup pot.  Add in the chopped onion and garlic. Cook a couple of minutes.

Add in the diced peppers and the spices and cook for another 2 minutes.

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Add in the canned tomatoes and chiles as well as the soup broth.

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Add in the zucchini, corn and black beans.

Let the mixture come to a boil. Turn the heat down to medium-low and cover. Cook for about 45 minutes or so.

With an immersion blender, puree some of the soup. It should still be a little bit chunky.

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At this point, you can serve the soup right away, or you can put it away for later. I like when it sits for a half a day in the fridge to let the flavors develop more.

In preparation for serving, cut your corn tortillas in to strips.

Pan fry the tortillas in a small amount of corn oil for a couple of minutes on each side. You just want them to crisp up a little.

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Serve your soup with some sliced avocado, lime wedges, chopped cilantro and the tortilla strips.

Enjoy!

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VeganMoFo: Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas

Avocados were on sale at my local store for something like 2/$1. When they get that cheap, I get really excited. So excited – I buy too much. It happens. I’m not complaining. It could have been worse.

So this quick dinner, like most dinners, was brought on by necessity. But it’s amazing what necessity delivered! This dinner worked out perfectly. I wish I had thought of this meal before!
Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas
Ingredients:
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
tortillas
1-2 avocados
1/2 lime
Daiya Cheese (optional)
Directions:
Heat oil in medium saute pan.
Add the onions to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium high. Add in the garlic cloves and the spices. Cook a couple of more minutes. Add in the drained black beans. Cook for several minutes. Add the extra water if the mixture seems a bit dry. After about 7 minutes, mash some of the beans.  Remove from heat.
Cube up your avocado and sprinkle with lime juice and a tiny bit of salt.
Take a tortilla and spread some of the bean mixture over one half. Layer on top some of the cubed avocado and the optional cheese.  Fold tortilla over.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a second pan.
Place folded and stuffed tortilla in pan. Cook for a couple minutes on each side.
Repeat with rest of mixture and tortillas.
Enjoy!
Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas
veganmofo

Meatless Monday: Vegetarian Tamales

Every morning, as I walk to the subway, I walk by this little old woman selling fresh tamales from a big pot on a cart. It’s a very small set-up, most likely illegal. She is there every morning though, rain or shine. I am sure they taste amazing, and I always wish I could sample her goods.

I have been toying with making my own tamales for a while. I bought some dried corn husks a while back. Had been debating the filling for while. Finally came up with a plan. Very happy with the results and I will definitely make again. Tamales can be frozen and reheated in the microwave or steamer.

Vegetarian Tamales
Ingredients

Dried Corn Husks

Filling:
1 tbsp. oil
1 large onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 large zucchini, diced
1 can black beans
1/2 small can chipotle peppers in adobe sauce, chopped
1/2 package of mushrooms, chopped
2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
chopped cilantro
1/2 cup broth
1 cup shredded cheese

Masa Tamale Dough:
2 cups masa harina
2 cups vegetable broth
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
2 tsp. baking powder
1 stick of Earth Balance shortening

Start by checking the corn husks. Check for bugs. My package didn’t have any, but these still should be checked. There was corn debris. Just what looks like dried strands of the corn silk. Brush off any shmutz on the corn husks. Soak them in a large bowl of warm water for at least 30 minutes.

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While the husks are soaking, you can prepare the rest of the components.

In  a large pan, saute the onion and the garlic in the oil. Add in the spices.

Mix in the zucchini and the mushrooms. Saute for around 5 minutes, or until soft. Stir in the chipotle pepper and the black beans.  Add the vegetable broth if the filling starts to look too dry. Turn off the heat and mix in the cheese. Set aside.

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Now it’s time to prepare the the masa dough. Measure out the masa, the spices and the baking powder in to the bowl of a mixer. With the mixer going on low, pour in the vegetable broth.  Mix to form in to crumbly paste.  Add in the shortening. Mix for a minute or so. Everything should be incorporated. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula.

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Now it’s time to assemble.

Set yourself up with everything nearby.

Set up your steamer station. I didn’t have a steamer that fit my dairy stock pot for this, so I used a metal colander. Place water at the bottom of the pot and bring to a boil. Turn it to medium.

Make strips out of a few of your corn husks. These will be your tamale ties.

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Lay out a corn husk and spread some masa dough down the center.

Place about a tablespoon or two of your filling in the center of your dough.

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Roll up the corn husk like a burrito: Fold the bottom side up, and the sides in. Then tie it up.

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Place upright in your steamer set-up.

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Steam on medium/medium-high for around 90 minutes. Check your water levels throughout.

When done, the masa dough will be firm.

Remove tamales from steamer.  They will be extremely hot. Be careful when opening.

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Serve with some salsa and sour cream. Or eat it just straight out of the package. These are great as a meal or a snack even! Enjoy!

Quesadilla Pie

I had big plans for this dinner. Some roasted veggies, and some nice fish. When I got home though, the fish wasn’t defrosted at all. It was still in the freezer. And the veggies – well, the veggies just didn’t come out right. I quickly threw together a salad, and grabbed whatever I could find.

I always keep cans of beans and some soy meat product around the house for crazy nights. I also happened to have some tortillas lying around. I didn’t want the standard quesadilla or burrito though. I decided to play around a bit and make up some sort of quesadilla pie. Was happy when it came together quickly and tasted fantastic!

Quesadilla Pie (makes 2 pies)

Filling Ingredients:
1 package of soy meat crumbles (I used Trader Joe’s brand)
1 large onionm chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 jalapeno, chopped (optional)
1/2 can of small white beans
3/4 cup corn
a few mushrooms, sliced
2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. chili powder
1/2 cup salsa
2 tsp. olive oil
salt to taste

The rest:
3 cups Shredded Cheese (approx.)
6 Tortillas
Enchilada Sauce or Extra Salsa

In a large saute pan, heat up your oil.

Toss in the onions, garlic, and soy crumbles.  Saute for a few minutes.

Add in the spices.  You could also choose to saute some other veggies for the mixture. I chose to keep it simple. It was plenty filling as is.

Add in the rest of the filling ingredients. Saute a few more minutes. Maybe 5 minutes. Make sure that everything is mixed well. Taste the mixture.

In a 9-inch round pan, pour a tablespoon or two of the salsa or enchilada sauce. Lay down a tortilla. Layer some of the fake meat mixture over it. Not too thick a layer. Sprinkle cheese over. Lay another tortilla over. Then again, the meat mixture and more cheese. Now another tortilla. Add a tablespoon or two of the enchilada sauce or salsa. Top with some shredded cheese.  Repeat with the other pan.

Bake for around 25 minutes at 350 or until the cheese starts to bubble and brown.

Serve with some sour cream and a salad on the side.

Enjoy!

Veggie and Soy Chorizo Burritos

It was a Thursday night like any other. Need to get some shabbat shopping in. Need to get some shabbat cooking in. Would love to get a gym session in. Any other night, right? On a typical Thursday night, we have a bad habit of running to get takeout. It’s so much easier, but it adds up, you know?  J doesn’t like pizza. The kids don’t like eating meat, and recently both J and I both get sick whenever we eat from the kosher Chinese place. Our options are limited for dining in town. I am trying to limit the eating out to places that are really worth it.  A $50 meal out where I feel good about eating it – both health wise and taste wise.

So this past Thursday, found me in the kitchen, as always, with little time to spare. The kids had pasta, cheesy noodles – a reward for behaving so well in the grocery store. All right, all right, it was a bribe. I admit. Through all this, I am also trying to clean out the kitchen for Pesach. Trying to use stuff up for the big royal clean up/clean out.  I found some soy chorizo in the fridge and this can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce that have been begging to be used up. Burritos it is! Yummy!


Veggie and Soy Chorizo Burritos (serves 6-8)
Ingredients:


1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped
1  package soy chorizo (I recommend Frieda’s or Trader Joe’s brand – Frieda’s has a hechsher)
cumin
salt
pepper
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped
1/2 cup red pepper, chopped
1 cup corn
1 can small white cannellini beans
1/2 small can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
6-8 flour tortillas (depends on how much filling you like in your burritos
cooked white or brown rice
shredded cheese blend (monterey jack, cheddar – it’s all good)
sour cream (optional)




In a large saute pan, saute the onions and garlic in a small amount of oil.  Maybe two teaspoons.


Add in the soy chorizo and cook it a bit. Note: The casing is inedible in the soy chorizo. squeeze the soy meat into the pan.


Add in the cumin, salt, and pepper.


Add in the veggies. Saute for a few minutes..you don’t need the veggies too soft.


Now add the corn and beans. Cook a few more minutes. 


Stir in the peppers in adobo sauce.  This gives the whole mixture a nice smokey taste. So good.


Lay out your tortillas on a plate. It’s good if you heat the tortillas covered in warm oven for a few minutes. 


Plop some rice, then some filling, and then the cheese onto your tortilla.

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Now it’s time to roll up your burrito.  Fold the bottom in a bit and also the top. Now roll up from the side. Now take a bit. You know you want to. Enjoy!
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Meatless Monday: Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas

As you all know, I love easy recipes. I also demand tasty recipes. Emphasis on the flavor. Anything that works out well that my kids will eat is extra special in my book. I have two daughters, and as far as eating habits go – they are night and day. One kid is extremely adventurous, and the other one is very limited. It can get frustrating…for me. I have two rules when it comes to dinner time. One is that the food must be tasted. Even if it’s “weird” and “funny looking.” We often have surprise hits with the picky kid. The second rule, is that the food must be balanced. Dinner is not just the pasta. There has to be a veggie and a protein included in the meal.

One meal that works in our house are quesadillas. I always have tortillas and cheese lying around. It is one of those meals that can be a “build-your-own.” There is no right or wrong recipe for this. Use whatever is lying around the house. The kids like it because they can pick what they want to go in to their quesadilla. My daughter might choose a totally tame one made up of just egg and cheese, and us adults will opt for a more sophisticated variety.

I whipped up a veggie and cheese quesadilla tonight, with a bit of soy sausage thrown in for protein. Fast, easy, and tasty! Hope you like it.

Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas (serves 4)

2 tsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
1 small onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
5 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1/2 ground soy sausage or 1/2 cup black beans (use what you have)
2 tsp. cumin
salt (to taste)
1.5 cups of shredded monterey jack/cheddar blend
4 tortillas

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes.

Add in the rest of the veggies and beans or soy sausage. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in the salt and the cumin. Do a taste test. Cook veggie mixture until veggies are softened.

Remove the mixture to a bowl and wipe out the pan

Back in the saute pan, heat a drop of oil or spray the pan with the oil spray.

In a tortilla, place some of the cheese over half of the tortilla. Put 1/4 of the mixture on top and sprinkle with more cheese. The cheese works like a glue. Fold the tortilla over and transfer to the hot pan. Cook for a few minutes and then flip. Cook on the other side for a couple minutes or until desired crispness. Cut into wedges and serve.

We devoured ours with some rice and veggies. Enjoy!

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Tortilla – Quesadilla Fest

I feel this rush to get all my chametz out of the kitchen. I feel embarassment by the amount of stuff I have left. My freezer is full, as is my pantry. I don’t know where I will put the Passover products that I need to buy. There are eight bottles of Passover wine living in the guest room, if that tells you anything.

In my freezer, sat 2 1/2 lonely cups of all-purpose flour. I rarely use AP flour, unless I have some event I need to bake for. Bread flour gets used, but not the “all purpose” kind. I thought about cookies or brownies or something similar, but I am not eating sweets lately, and I have imposed my baking adventures on my colleagues enough this month. They have probably reached their cookie and cupcake quota for March.

So as not to pester my coworkers with any more baking leftovers, I pondered other uses for flour. I had two cups too much flour for any gravy or sauce. Too little flour for anything that I would normally find use for. While scouring uses for flour, I came across an idea I always shoved aside – tortillas! Really, who makes tortillas? I have a few budget conscious friends who make them. I have always relied on the yummy handmade tortillas at Trader Joe’s and I am not a huge fan of anything that could be deemed a patchke – a bother. I have a fear of rolling pins. Really! Still, I had just enough flour, and all the ingredients. Even without a tortilla press, it can’t be too complicated, right? Well it is a patchke, and it is one of those things that requires some amount of practice. I could still see myself making these again, as the finished product was pretty good, and once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy.

I made an evening out of this adventure. Got people over here. It’s easy when there is beer (also chametz) to be used up. Turned the fresh tortillas into quesadillas, with a slew of yummy toppings and a great salad. It was a good night.

Flour Tortillas
Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vegetable oil
3/4 warm water

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.

Mix the water and oil in a separate container.

Make a well in your flour mixture. Slowly pour the water mixture into the dry ingredients, bit by bit. Use a fork to mix up the dough. The dough will be sticky.

Once all the water is incorporated into the flour, turn the dough onto a floured board.

Knead the dough for a few minutes until the dough is nice and smooth and can be shaped into a ball.

Put the big ball of dough back into the mixing bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel for 20 minutes. Use this time to prep your other dinner ingredients, mingle, have a beer, clean up a spilled beer, etc.



Take the big ball of dough out, and pinch of pieces of dough and roll them into little balls of dough. Place the dozen or so dough balls onto a plate and cover with a damp towel. Let it sit for 10 minutes.


Preheat your skillet on medium/high heat. A cast-iron skillet is recommended, but any large heavy skillet will do.

Re-flour your cutting board. Lightly flatten the doughball out on the board to a circle.


Roll out the dough with your rolling pin. It should be around 1/8 inch thick.


Once you have rolled out the tortilla, place it on the skillet. No oil is needed. Cook the tortilla for about 30 seconds a side.You will notice brown spots all over your tortilla. Flip it over and cook an additional 30 seconds.

Don’t over cook. The first tortilla came out a little too well-done and too crispy. Cover the tortillas on a plate while you cook the rest.



We ate the tortillas as bean and cheese quesadillas…slathered with salads and sour cream. It was a yummy dinner adventure!

Veggie Enchiladas

A couple of years ago a colleague had some yummy smelling lunch that I just had to inquire about. It turned out to be vegetarian enchiladas. She passed on the recipe to me and I subsequently buried it in my email box and let it sit. From time to time I would eyeball the recipe and think about the idea of making it. After all, it did smell good. I thought it might be too time consuming to make though. I have toughened up since then. I am brave enough to take on more “complicated” dishes now. Last night I prepared my own adaptation of the veggie enchiladas. It was easy and amazing. It also made for wonderful leftovers the next day at lunch. The only shortcut I did was use a bottle of Trader Joe’s Enchilada Sauce, which just happens to be cheap and kosher.

Vegetarian Enchiladas
1 onions, chopped
5 cloves of garlic, chopped

1 green squash, diced
1 yellow squash, diced
1 can of pinto beans, rinsed
1 chile, seeds removed and chopped
2 scallions
8 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
salt and pepper
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1-2 cups of cheddar/monterey jack mix, shredded
olive oil

8 Tortillas
1 bottle of Trader Joes Enchilada Sauce
Sour Cream
Cilantro, olives, chives – optional

Preheat your oven to 350.

Begin by preparing your filling ingredients. Chop up all the veggies.

In a bit of olive oil, saute the onions and the garlic. After a few minutes, add in the chili powder, salt, pepper, and cumin. Next, add in the squash. Saute for 5 minutes. Add in the canned pinto beans. Let that cook a bit. Mash up the beans a bit. Add in the mushrooms, scallion, and the chile. Make sure you have removed the seeds from the chile. Let it cook some more until the liquid evaporates.


In a 9×13 pan, pour some of the enchilada sauce to cover the bottom of the pan.

In each tortilla, place around two tablespoons of the vegetable mixture along with a sprinkle of cheese.



Roll up the tortilla and place seam side down in the pan. Do this 8 times.


When all the tortillas are in, pour the rest of the sauce over the tortillas. Make sure the enchiladas are well covered by the sauce. Throw on the rest of the cheese. Place in oven.

Remove after 25-30 minutes. Garnish with sour cream, cilantro, chives, and olives.

Enjoy! This dish is great the next day. It might also work well frozen.

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