Sunday, May 25, 2014

BPA Free, Can Free, Enchilada Sauce Recipe

Bean, Quinoa and Cheese Stove-top Enchiladas served with bell peppers, arugula, salsa and olives.
I make enchilada sauce from scratch to avoid using canned sauces, since almost all cans are lined with BPA and because we are vegetarian and meat is often hidden in the ingredients' listing under the label of "flavors," "natural flavors" or "artificial flavors" since meat isn't a common allergen.

The last time I made enchiladas, I had severe morning sickness so I haven't had the desire to even look at them in a couple years.  But last week I suddenly started craving them.  Unfortunately, because of the 2 year gap, I had lost my original recipe and couldn't remember exactly how I used to make the sauce.  This version turned out well but it doesn't taste quite as good as I remember the original tasting.

I started by washing and soaking the beans for the inside of the enchiladas the night before.

Soaking beans and lentils is an easy way to avoid canned food and is a typical part of cooking Indian food.  By morning, the beans double in size, and are soft enough to cook.  If you have a pressure cooker you can cook them in a few minutes or you can just cook them in a regular pot and it will take longer.  I always add asafetida or black pepper to the beans when they cook to help make the beans easier to digest.

To make the sauce, wash and soak three dried Pasilla Ancho peppers.  In about an hour they will become soft again.


While the pepper soaks, make the vegetable broth.

  • 3 organic celerey stalks
  • A handful of organic parsley (about 3/4 cup)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 c onion
  • 4 c water
  • Sea Salt to taste

Boil it all together for half an hour.
Once the broth cools, blend it briefly.  I used my Nutribullet and just blended it for a few seconds.

  • The vegetable broth above
  • 6 large organic Roma tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup organic cilantro
  • 3 Pasillo Ancho peppers
  • 2 tbsp Flax powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp tamarind paste or freshly squeezed lime juice (Add this after tasting your sauce to see if it needs more tartness.  The amount needed will depend on the taste of the tomatoes and peppers).

Pressure cook the tomatoes according to your pressure cooker's timings.  On mine it would normally take 7 minutes once the pressure started but because I had kidney beans in another container in the pressure cooker and am nursing, I wanted to make sure the beans were really well done to not give the baby any gas issues later.  So I let the pressure cooker cook everything for 20 minutes once the pressure started.

Once the tomatoes are cooked and cooled, blend them with the cilantro, peppers, flax powder and cumin.

The dark color pictured above comes from the peppers.  

In a large pot, mix the vegetable broth and the blended tomato paste.  Cook it on medium for ten minutes.  Then add tamarind paste or freshly squeezed lime juice if it needs to be a little tarter.

And with that, the sauce is done.  

I just made quick enchiladas on the stove top.  In a pan, I put a couple drops of avocado oil and placed my Trader Joe's Chia Seed Tortillas down.  I put the cooked beans and some leftover quinoa in the tortillas and shredded some rbst-free cheese.

I poured some enchilada sauce inside and wrapped the tortillas closed.

Then I poured some sauce on top and added a little cheese and cooked it on medium low for a couple minutes.

I drizzled some on the plates they were being served on and then placed the enchiladas right on top of them.  You couldn't even tell that they weren't cooked in the oven.

Enchiladas served with olives and salsa.

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