Although cooking is not a strong suit of mine, I really enjoy entertaining and cooking for my friends and family on special occasions, whether it be recovering from a surgery, loss of a family member, new baby…everyone appreciates the opportunity where they don’t have to worry about dinner. Earlier this month a friend of mine welcomed a beautiful baby boy to her family! Already having two small children, and having heard #3 is a game changer, I jumped at the chance to cook her family a dinner so it would be one less thing she would have to worry about. I was confident that one of my favorite go-to ziti dishes would be something that would keep the family fed for a few days. She was thrilled with the offer, and I was thrilled to help! She just had one request. For health reasons, she asked that the meal be gluten and dairy free.
Oh. There goes my famous baked ziti. And my go-to chocolate mousse. Preparing this meal was going to be a game changer for me. I dashed home to my computer and put Pinterest to the test and sure enough I found a recipe that met the dietary needs of my friend, but also looked super fun, and delicious! I had the most fun exploring new recipes and preparing new ingredients that my kitchen has never seen before. I learned that cashews can transform to sour cream and kale can serve as a rich and flavorful tortilla filling. But most importantly, I learned how to cook with an open mind and how to prepare a meal with an open heart.
This recipe takes a little bit of time, but isn’t that what it’s all about? Enjoying the process! Let your kitchen get messy. Don’t be afraid to get a little salsa on your shirt. And never shy away from the opportunity to taste test!;)
Vegan and Gluten-Free Enchiladas Verde
½ cup water
1 cup cashews
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
1 roasted Serrano pepper
juice from 1 lemon
1 teaspoon of agave nectar or maple syrup
salt to taste
1 cup salsa verde or green enchilada sauce (store bought is fine!)
10 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 15oz can of corn
3 small zucchinis
½ white onion thinly sliced
5-6 cloves of garlic
4 cups of loosely packed kale (chopped)
1 15oz can of black beans
salt and pepper to taste
2 green onions
- To make the cashew cream, place all ingredients in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Place in refrigerator until ready to use. If you don’t have a high power blender, not to worry! Soak cashews for at least 4 hours first.
- To make the enchiladas, preheat the oven to 350. Slice zucchini into ½ inch pieces and mix with sliced onions, corn, and garlic. Drizzle ½ tablespoon olive oil over veggies and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes stirring occasionally, until veggies are fragrant with brown spots on the edges.
- In a large skillet, sauté kale and black beans until the kale has wilted a bit.
- Add the roasted vegetables to the kale mix along with ½ cup of salsa verde. Set aside.
- Soften the corn tortillas to make them pliable. To do this, wrap in damp cloth or paper towel and microwave them for about 30 seconds until steaming. The steam will soften the tortillas so they can be rolled without tearing,
- Place ½ cup salsa verde on the bottom of a 9×12 baking dish. Put about ¼ cup of filling into each tortilla and roll up. Repeat until all tortillas are rolled and the filling is gone.
- Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes or until filling is bubbly.
Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Top with cashew cream and toppings of your choice!
This recipe was delicious, but feel free to play around with it! I wish I would have used ½ the lemon juice. Also, I used 3 cloves of garlic since my friend was nursing and I didn’t want anything too spicy. I thought that was plenty, but for garlic fans, throw in 6 cloves! I used La Victoria green enchilada sauce rather than salsa verde. I like the flavor and consistency a little better for this recipe.
*This recipe is adapted from a recipe on mydarlingvegan.com. Make sure to check out the blog for more delicious vegan and plant-based recipes!
Writer, marketer and mother of two, Susan Madden has a background working with the Fine Arts in Dallas, TX and Milwaukee, WI. Relatively new to the fitness industry, she enjoys sharing her experiences about this crazy beautiful life, the endless quest to find work-home balance and wellness from a novice perspective. She’s passionate about nature, everything music, seeking out little moments that make a lasting impact, and has a newfound appreciation for the benefits of a well- made green smoothie. Susan is a native of Whitefish Bay, WI and now resides in Mequon, WI with her husband Mike and children, Samantha and Blake.
The thoughts and information set forth on this website are not intended to provide medical advice and are not intended to treat, diagnose, or prevent any disease or ailment. The material provided on this website is for informational purposes only and should never be used in lieu of formal medical diagnoses or treatment with a qualified physician. All individuals should undertake a complete physical before commencing any diet, exercise or health program.