Recipe Review: Naughty & Nice (almost) Vegan Enchilada Casserole
This is our second time reviewing a recipe from Oh She Glows, and once again, we were truly impressed on multiple levels. The first recipe we had tried from Oh She Glows was her Green Powerhouse Pesto Plate. We were bowled over by that one. It was so tasty, and it was one of those healthy meals that makes you feel like you can conquer the world after you stand up from the dinner table.
Well this recipe, the Naughty & Nice Vegan Enchilada Casserole, might not make you feel like you can conquer the world after you stand up from the dinner table...but it'll probably make you stand up and march into the kitchen for seconds. It definitely lives up to the 'Naughty & Nice' in it's name. It's loaded with veggies and is very low in fat, but the pasta and the delicious enchilada sauce are 100% comfort food. It's not hot & spicy...it's just very flavorful. Seeding the jalapeno definitely reduces the heat of it, which is a good thing. We like spicy food, but since my brother might be having a serving of this, we wanted to keep it mild. Kicking it up for ourselves was easy, just a drizzle of Sriracha did the trick.
There is definitely some psychological magic at play when it comes to color and food. Whenever we get our little mise en place going, and we see our multiple bowls filled with bright colors, it certainly boosts our spirits.
Notice the protective covering on the hand. You should never ever handle the insides of a jalapeño. If you touch the seeds even for a brief moment, you will be in pain all night long. And Angela from Oh She Glows was thoughtful enough to offer this caution in her recipe.
We love making enchilada sauce. It's one of those kitchen basics that becomes second nature to you, and after a while you'll develop "your very own" enchilada sauce. Oh She Glows provides a great simple recipe for this dish, which we basically followed but we then added the ratio of spices that are tried and true for us. It's all about your personal preference. As you can see in this pic, you add a bit of flour to thicken it up.
And here you can see that you can adjust the thickness whenever you want by just whisking in a bit of water. At this final stage of making the sauce, take the time to adjust the spices to your liking.
This tastes even more tomatoey and deeeelish than it looks!
We were excited that the recipe called for Fusilli. We are big fans of Fusilli or Rotini. The coils hold pockets of sauce and flavor perfectly. We went with whole wheat pasta. And yeah, you make sure to cook the pasta firm so that when you bake it in the casserole later it won't overcook and get mushy.
Again, just get a load of that color!
Ya know...sometimes, the above pic is what life is all about.
And then life just gets better. mmmmmmm. Right here, this is the step when our recipe went from vegan to "almost" vegan. Oh She Glows adds vegan cheese at this point, but we didn't have any in, so we added shredded sharp cheddar.
And then we topped it off with the cheddar as well. We didn't go with real cheese for any taste reasons...we're actually fans of vegan cheese...but like I said, we didn't have any at the moment.
For serving, just top with chopped cilantro, crumbled tortilla chips, some cubes of avocado, a little salsa, a dollop of sour cream (regular or vegan), and maybe a squirt or two of Sriracha.
We both went back for seconds. We loved it! I mean, what's not to love? This is certainly a crowd pleaser of a meal. You'd be hard pressed to find someone who is rubbed the wrong way by a dish like this. It's loaded with so many perennial favorites. We highly recommend this one for a night when you just want darn good classic food.
We hope you love it as much as we did. Thanks for reading...and a Big thanks to Oh She Glows for providing us with yet another awesome recipe!
xo, Jenny & Aaron