Thursday, October 25, 2012

Cheese Enchilada Casserole

This casserole comes together quickly, and uses 3 kinds of vegan cheese for an ultra-cheesy final product. Just remember to prepare a batch of vegan cottage cheese in the morning or afternoon, since the flavors need about 5 hours to blend.

  • 1 cup shredded Daiya cheddar
  • 1 cup chopped tomato
  • 1 cup prepared vegan cottage cheese*
  • 1/3 cup sliced green onions
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 9 (6-inch) corn tortillas
  • Cooking spray
  • 1 cup taco sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded vegan Monterey Jack cheese (such as Vegan Gourmet)
1. Combine the cheddar, tomato, cottage cheese, green onions, chili powder, and minced garlic in a bowl.  Set aside.

2. Arrange 3 of the tortillas in an 11x7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray.  Spread with half of the cheese mixture.  Top with an additional 3 tortillas, and spread with the remaining cheese mixture.

3. Top with the final 3 tortillas, and pour the taco sauce on top.  Sprinkle with the Monterey Jack.

Note: Look for a taco sauce sweetened with agave syrup, not honey or sugar. It's always good to double-check ingredient lists, but most brands should be vegan.

4. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes, then divide into 4 servings.

*To prepare the cottage cheese, combine 1 (14-ounce) package lite firm tofu, 1 tablespoon lemon juice, a dash of salt, a few drops of vanilla extract, and a pinch of stevia. Mash with a fork to the consistency of cottage cheese.  Cover and chill for at least 5 hours so the flavors can blend. You'll only need 1 cup for this recipe; serve the rest with a salad or fruit for a light lunch or breakfast.

Nutrition Info:
4 servings (1 portion), Calories 299 

Tasting Notes:
Fantastic flavors, my favorite parts being the warm corn tortillas, creaminess from the cheddar, and just the right hint of spice from the taco sauce and chili powder. My only complaint is that the dish was uneven. The tortillas on the bottom layer, furthest from the taco sauce, were dried out. Spread a thin layer of taco sauce on the bottom of the pan to avoid this problem or consider dividing the taco sauce up, 1/3 cup between each strata, instead of pouring it all on top. I would also double the amount of chopped tomato, for fresher flavor. Having recently tried Tofurky's chorizo crumbles for the first time, I think they would be fantastic here. Those changes would make this dish a sure "5."


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