Tuesday, September 8, 2009

'Chicken'-Green Chile Enchilada Casserole

Do not be alarmed by the use of the word 'chicken' in the title! I have a few recipes I want to try out that take advantage of the vegan imitation meats on the market, so you'll probably see a few more disconcerting words up there in the title line in the next week or so.

For tonight's dish, I made my first foray into the meatless chicken strips (certified vegan) from Lightlife.

First, however, heat 1/2 teaspoon vegetable or canola oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup chopped onion and 1 large minced garlic clove; saute 5 minutes. Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of canned chopped green chiles (about half of a standard 4.5-ounce can); cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in one (6-ounce) package of vegan chicken strips. Set aside.

Combine 10-ounces of green chile enchilada sauce with 1/4 tsp. cumin and 1/4 tsp. chili powder. Check the ingredient list of the enchilada sauce, as many standard varieties will include sugar. I used the sauce from My Favorite New Mexico Foods company, which does not. (www.mfnmfoods.com) Set aside.

Cut 7 (6-inch) corn tortillas into quarters. Set aside.

Finally, the original recipe called for 'Mexican blend' cheese, which includes mostly cheddar and Monterey Jack. Although both of those cheeses exist in vegan form, I found it easier to use all vegan cheddar (such as Galaxy Foods) rather than combining the two. If you do want some Monterey Jack in there, try the one from Vegan Gourmet. Whichever you choose, shred 3/4 cup of vegan cheese.

To assemble the casserole, spread 1/3 of your sauce mixture on the bottom of an 8x8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Top with 1/2 of the tortilla quarters, then top that with the 'chicken' mixture. Sprinkle with half of your 'cheese', then another 1/3 of the sauce. Top that with the remaining half of the tortilla quarters, and the remaining third of the sauce.

Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with the remaining 'cheese', and continue to bake for an additional 10 minutes. Divide into 4 equal portions of 220 calories each. You can garnish this dish with chopped cilantro, if you like.

onion $0.46
meatless chicken strips
green chile enchilada sauce $5.49
corn tortillas $0.99

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
  • Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html