Be the change you wish to see in the world...

- Gandhi

Monday, April 8, 2013

Vegano Latino: My Mexican Favorites Veganized!

Have I mentioned that I am part Latina - Spanish and Mexican origin to be exact?  I am not often mistaken for being Hispanic, but it is the ethnicity I identify most with, and with it comes to food, it's my comfort-feel-good cuisine.  When I first went vegan, I wondered how I could ever eat my favorite Mexican dishes again without the cheese...but as it turns out, I had nothing to worry about.  Here are two of my favorites veganized.  Not only are these faves delicious, but they are also time savers.  I have taken some quick cooking helpers from my favorite store, Trader Joe's and have made these recipes a cinch and quick to make.  I hope you enjoy them!

Gilled Black Bean Quesadillas
Grilled Black Bean Quesadillas

1 can of organic black beans, drained and rinsed
1 red bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, seeded and sliced into strips
1 package of button mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1 bag of soy mixed cheese blend (jack, cheddar, mozzarella)
2 avocados, sliced
1 jar of Trader Joe's Garlic Chipotle salsa
Sprigs of cilantro (optional)
1 package of flour tortillas


Prepare grill.

Take one flour tortilla and spread 2-3 tablespoons of beans across the tortilla.  Layer on the bell peppers and mushrooms.  Sprinkle on the soy cheese (as much to your liking).  Place another tortilla on top.  Continue with the rest of the tortillas.

Place on grill.  Flip after 3-4 minutes (watch closely) until the tortilla gets nice, charred grill marks.  Let cook another 3 minutes or so and remove from the grill.

Slice quesadillas into quarters.  Top with a dollop (or two!) of the salsa, avocado, and cilantro, if using.

Spicy Black Bean Enchiladas (top)
Spicy Black Bean Enchiladas with Salsa Verde

1 jar of Trader Joe's Spicy Black Bean dip
2 jars of Trader Joe's Salsa Verde
1 can of slice black olives
1 package of corn tortillas
Canola oil


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spoon and spread out 1/4 cup of the salsa verde into the bottom of a 13x9 inch baking dish.

Heat 1/4 cup of canola oil in a small skillet.  Heat the remainder of the one salsa verde jar in another small skillet on low heat.  When the oil is hot (it bubbles when you place the tortilla inside), place a corn tortilla in the oil for about 3-4 minutes.  You want it to be a little firm.  Using tongs, place it in the warm skillet of salsa verde, and coat it with the sauce.

Transfer the tortilla to the baking dish.  Spoon 2 tablespoons of the bean dip down the middle of the tortilla.  Sprinkle with some olives.  Roll up the tortilla and arrange in the casserole dish.

Continue until all of the tortillas are used.  Pour the other jar of salsa verde over the top of the the enchiladas.  Using a rubber spatula, spread out the sauce so it is evenly distributed across the enchiladas.  Top with the remaining olives.

Bake for about 15 minutes.