I don’t know about you, but I always have leftover tortillas in a pack where there isn’t quite enough for a meal. I used to buy more tortillas to resolve the first problem, but it would perpetuate, and at the end, I would end up having to throw away some tortillas anyways. Never fear though! I have a solution for you :).
My go-to recipe when I want to use up the last few tortillas in the pack is to use them as if they were lasagna noodles and layer up some veggies and cheese…here’s what I put together tonight.
- 1 stalk celery
- 1/4 onion
- 2 small zucchinis
- 1 can black beans, rinsed well
- greens from the tops of 3 beets (or choose your favourite greens instead)
- 1-2 tbsp of Rancho Gordo Chile Powder (I bought some at the Ferry Building market recently)
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp salt
Building the Enchiladas
My favourite tortillas these days are plain corn with a hint of lime. I pick these up at Whole Foods fairly regularly. My CSA have fresh tortillas as an option as well, so I generally mix it up. The ones in the picture below are the Whole Foods 365 brand.
I usually like to make a quick enchilada sauce, but I was short on time tonight, so I poured some salsa into a nonstick pan until it heated up and then soaked the tortillas until they were soft, moist and flavoured all the way through. I use this trick when making enchiladas as well – it makes all the difference.
I then placed a layer of the tortillas in a 9×9 Pyrex dish (I cut them into smaller pieces so they would cover the bottom of the dish), layered on the vegetable mix and then repeated until I used up the tortillas and veggies (in this case, it was just two layers). I topped it off with some Daiya cheddar shreds, which in restrospect, I wish I had not used. I can officially declare that I am not a fan at all. The shreds have an odd smell to them, and for those who know me, they know I don’t enjoy weird-smelling dairy products…why would I enjoy weird-smelling fake dairy products? But I said I’d give Daiya another chance, and I did…sorry Daiya…I wanted to love you just because you were Canadian…
Here’s the finished product with a dollop of avocado with lime juice and cilantro.
So, it has been a week since I started my vegan experiment. I thought I’d share what I’ve learned so far – but before I get into this post, I must confess that I have cheated (I accidentally had spot of milk in my earl grey tea out of habit, I had a cookie that had butter in it, and I did have some items during the celebration of our local Gurdwara opening – the Mercury News covered this event).
- It would be easier if I had gotten rid of all cheese and dairy from my home prior to this trial, but I’m not imposing my experiment on my husband, nor was I about to throw away perfectly good food. Those cheese strings can be so tempting sometimes!
- I agree with the folks that say becoming vegan is really an ethical choice – I’ve had many moments where I have had to force myself to avoid cheese. I could see this being a continuous battle. My choice to be a lacto-vegetarian is a religious one, so I don’t have any qualms about cheese and yogurt, especially since I am pretty particular about where I source these items from.
- I miss yogurt…desperately. I refuse to eat soy yogurt or any other substitutes – I was already extremely particular about how my yogurt tasted and smelled, so trying out a fake option is just not for me.
- You have to be very disciplined about how well your refrigerator is stocked with fresh produce items. I’ve had a couple of busy weekends and did not get a chance to head out to the farmers market. Also, my CSA was not delivering last week as they were doing a season changeover. Without proper ingredients in the refrigerator, it is really easy to begin considering the cheese items.
- Hummus on toast is a great alternative to cheese on toast – just as tasty and incredibly satisfying.
- I tried making quesedillas with Daiya’s cheddar style shreds, and again, I can understand how someone would be willing to have this as a replacement to cheese if their vegan choices were for ethical reasons, but I did not enjoy it at all. I’d rather not have cheese at all. That being said, I will try out other Daiya products in other recipes before I completely write them off.
- I have not consumed any processed “fake meat” options – I don’t eat meat for a reason, and I don’t need to be eating these factory-made items made to look and taste like something I would otherwise not eat.
All that being said, I’m not giving up and am going to continue to my adventure for the rest of the month. Wish me luck!