This is a super-flavorful dish that really plays on sweets and savories—and you can whip it up in less than an hour. Being a vegetarian, I have used quorn and faux chicken strips, but you could easily substitute for real chicken. Just be sure to add a step to cook the chicken! The fake products don’t require that.
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Adapted from a recipe in The World’s Finest Foods
Servings: 3 (2 enchiladas each)
Time: 45 minutes total and active
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
28 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 medium bell pepper, chopped
1 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
2 6-ounce packages of Chick’n style veggie strips (I used Lightlife)
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup green olives, pitted and chopped
2/3 cup sliced almonds, toasted in a dry skillet
2 eggs, lightly beaten
(To make vegan, replace egg with 1/4 cup soy milk. Note: I haven’t tried this, but it should help keep things together and give the nice brown outer crunch.)
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
6 12-inch tortillas
dark chocolate, shaved
1. For the sauce, heat extra virgin olive oil in medium pot over medium heat. Add garlic, tomatoes with juice/sauce from the can, green pepper, onion, cumin, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then turn down heat to low. Let simmer while you prepare the enchiladas. The sauce will be ready when you finish, i.e. vegetables will be soft and the sauce will be fragrant.
2. For the filling, toast almonds in a dry skillet until very lightly browned. Combine “chicken,” raisins, almonds, green olives in a medium bowl and set aside.
3. Beat the eggs with water and cinnamon in a medium, shallow bowl. Set up a prep station with filling, tortillas, egg/cinnamon wash and cutting board as a place to assemble/roll the enchiladas.
4. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with cooking spray. Move through the prep station: take a tortilla, dip it in the egg wash until completely coated and then hold up and let drain. Move the dipped tortilla to the board and line with 1/6 filling.
5. Pull the filling to one end as you roll the enchilada up. This is a bit silly, but works great—take a skewer and pierce the enchilada as you put it on the skillet so it doesn’t unfurl. Move to the next tortilla and continue until all six are filled, rolled and toasted on both sides. Not only does the wash add some great, classic Mexican flavors, but as the egg wash cooks it hardens and keeps the enchilada together and the filling inside.
6. To serve, put two enchiladas on a plate, spoon 1/3 of the sauce over top, and shave a garnish of dark chocolate on top. And then enjoy the beautiful balance of Mexican flavors: sweet raisins against salty olives; bitter chocolate and cinnamon against earthy tomatoes, peppers and onions—to die!
Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food AND is a vegetarian! These things are not mutually exclusive in her world. She is passionate about eating, drinking, cooking, teaching, reading about food and growing food. Her goal with her food blog, Vegetarianized.com, is to open up the world of vegetarian cooking and eating to the veg-friendly and the veg-curious in an accessible way. She promises never to try to convert or make you feel guilty—just that eating less meat can be part of a healthy, fun and, above all, tasty lifestyle.