Calabacita Enchiladas (Vegan)
I'll be honest. Summer is not my favorite. It's HOT, mosquitoes are out, and shiny (i.e. sweaty) is not a good look for me. But one thing I do love about summer are the local growers markets and all the fresh fruits and veggies. Earlier this month, while wandering the Rail Yards Market, I was inspired by all the fresh summer squash and decided to make calabacita enchiladas. I picked up three gorgeous zucchinis, an onion, and fresh corn tortillas at the market and scooped up the remaining ingredients at Trader Joe's.
When I got home, I pulled out my grandma's green chile chicken enchilada recipe, excited to experiment and create a flavorful, vegan version of this traditional New Mexican dish. As I began prepping ingredients, imagine my disappointment when I cut the end off the first zucchini to discover it was a damn cucumber! Luckily, there is a grocery store around the corner and I was able to quickly pick up some zucchinis, albeit, not the farm fresh ones I'd hoped to use. I'm still super happy with how this recipe turned out though, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!
Use one can each of cheddar cheese soup and cream of mushroom soup in place of the cashew sauce, and regular shredded cheese for a delicious vegetarian dish. Meat Eater? Add shredded chicken to your sauce mixture.
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2-3 zucchini or yellow squash, chopped
1.5 cups corn (frozen or canned is fine)
1 dozen corn tortillas
Vegan cheese shreds, if desired (cheddar or fiesta blend)
Cashew sauce (see below)
2 cups cashews
1.5 cups veggie broth (or water)
2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1-2 cloves garlic
1 tsp salt
Pepper, to taste
Chopped green chile, to taste
To make the sauce: Soak cashews in water for at least two hours. Drain and rinse. Place cashews and remaining sauce ingredients, except green chile, in food processor or blender and puree until smooth. Add water if necessary to thin out sauce. Stir in chopped green chile (I think I used about a cup).
To make the calabacitas: Dice squash into very small pieces (roughly corn sized). Heat oil in large skillet. Add onion and squash, cook over medium heat in covered pan for about 10 minutes, stirring often. Add add corn, salt, and pepper and cook for about five minutes, or until corn is heated through.
Stir calabacitas into sauce. (I did not combine the calabacitas and sauce, but found the calabacitas difficult to layer on their own. I recommend combining to save yourself the extra layering steps.)
To assemble: Spray 9”x13” pan with cooking spray to make clean up easier. Cover bottom of pan with sauce mixture using a ladle or measuring cup. Layer with corn tortillas, then more sauce mixture. Sprinkle with cheese shreds, if using. Continue layering until you are out of ingredients. The sauce mixture should be the top layer. Top with more cheese, if desired. Bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until very hot and the edges are just a bit crispy. Let sit for about five minutes before cutting to allow ingredients to settle. Serve with shredded lettuce and chopped tomatoes if desired.
Full Belly, Happy Heart