Enchiladas are one of my favorite dishes. They are a staple in Mexican restaurants and a common household dinner in the US. Unfortunately, most enchiladas are far from healthy. For this recipe, we set out to change that. We wanted to create a totally vegan enchilada recipe that is healthy, delicious, easy to prepare, and completely from scratch. It wasn’t easy, but we succeeded. These were so good that we ate until we were stuffed and wanted to go back for more! We were eager to eat the leftovers the next day.
Typically, enchiladas are filled with a ton of cheese or a choice of meat. But not these. We created our own enchilada filling using some of our favorite vegetables and spices. The combination of sweet potato, corn, beans, and yellow squash is infinitely more nutritious than the standard fare and has a great variety of flavors and textures. With a few spices it creates a sweet, savory and spicy filling that is even more delicious than most meat filled enchiladas we’ve tried.
We’ve been cutting back on the amount of meat we eat for many reasons and dishes like this help greatly with that. It’s still filling and delicious but with a fraction of the fat content of typical enchiladas. This dish is totally guilt-free and actually highly nutritious. The variety of vegetables in the filling and sauce provide a good range of nutrients. This is a great dinner for anyone who is vegan/vegetarian or who just wants to eat a healthy meatless meal.
Homemade Tomatillo Enchilada Sauce
In order to make this as healthy as possible, we also made our own sauce. I prefer to always do so because pre-made sauces of all kinds tend to be full of unnecessary additives like sugar, salt and preservatives. But when you make your own sauces you know exactly what is in it and you can make it to your own liking. For this dish, we wanted a creamy green sauce similar to the kind that is normally made with heavy cream. This sauce is made with coconut milk instead, which gives it a rich and creamy flavor.
We always use fresh tomatillos because they are widely available here. If you can’t find them at your regular grocery store, you can check a Latin food specialty store. They will definitely have them and prices are usually cheaper than typical grocery stores anyway. You might want to pick up the other ingredients there as well. You can also buy canned tomatillos. Either is fine. Two normal cans of tomatillos should be about equivalent to one pound fresh. If you buy them fresh, you have to remove the papery husk and wash them. They will have a sticky residue. Then just add them to a blender along with all the other ingredients for the sauce and blend it into a smooth sauce.
Once the filling and sauce are prepared, the process is the same as making any other enchiladas. Dip a tortilla in sauce load it up with some filling and roll, and repeat until done. Then pour the rest of the sauce over the top and bake. We served ours topped with some diced onion but cilantro would also be delicious. We hope you enjoy these amazing vegan enchiladas as much as we do!