Chilaquiles – Vegan Style!
Posted by _k
So, day three wrapping up here and still going strong.
Lunch was another simple affair – brought a layered salad to work. It’s pinteresty af, but using a mason/kilner jar is convenient way to block out your ingredients, throw in some dressing, and keep it from getting all over your bag/box/what have you. The rainbow effect with the different bands of colour is nice, but expect to be teased mercilessly. As you should be, you hipster trash.
Dinner started haphazardly, but ended in a most satisfactory manner. Went to Aldi to see if they had any pre-spiralised veg, to no avail. We did, however, come across this ready-made salad – not something I’d usually grab, but it struck a note of inspiration. Riffing off of a recipe I’ve done a few times in the past, I took the salad mix as a base for a vegan spin on the classic Mexican dish, chilaquiles. Big nod to the Left Chapter, from whence the base recipe comes. I recommend you check ’em out – good coverage and commentary on the Canadian political scene, as well as a solid recipe every once in a while.
The original recipe doesn’t really have much non-vegan going on beyond the cheese, and it was an easy swap for the tahineh sauce featured in Monday’s subsidiary post. As an aside, let me just say that this sauce is killer. I’m seriously kicking myself for not incorporating it into my regular food regime earlier. Don’t make my mistake.
The Vegan Black Metal Chef (VBMC?) doesn’t really give a good breakdown of the sauce prep in the lasagna video – I used about 4 good tablespoons worth of tahineh and the juice of 4 lemons. Crushed most of a bulb’s worth of garlic, and maybe 1/4 teaspoon worth of powdered garlic on top of that. Didn’t go too heavy on the salt, knowing that I’d be tossing in a bunch later. Likely nothing more novel than yesterday’s tip, but zapping the lemons in the microwave for a minute before crushing them will render up more juice. Careful though, they have a tendency to come out hotter than the surface of the sun. All that juice is a good way to find out if you have any unknown, unseen cuts on your fingers, too.
As noted with the original recipe, chilaquiles is usually put together to mop up any tortillas floating around the house. We did have some wraps that were getting long in the tooth, but the quick cook in the oven before the full bake will work just as well on fresh ones.
Fried the onion, jalapeno and garlic as indicated, but I figured that the salad mix would cook down and add some water and so reduced the broth content accordingly. Tore up half my pre-cooked wraps to add to the vegetable mix after allowing it to stew for a while (with a full 300g jar of red salsa – I’d use another full jar when layering the mix into the casserole dish). A few minutes to thicken and then it was time to layer.
Started with a bit of salsa on the bottom, though the whole thing remains wet enough that there isn’t any fear of sticking. Then long strips of unused tortilla, followed by a layer of the wrap/vegetable mix, half of the beans (I used a can of mixed beans, though I am quite partial to the recommended black), and a first sprinkle of the tahineh with salsa and cilantro. This was subsequently repeated – you know how layering works – finishing with the last few bits of tortilla with salsa and tahineh. The amount of tahineh sauce you can see in the first photo is a bit more than I used in the two previous layers – I wanted it to be present, but not over-powering.
After being sufficiently stacked, the dish goes into the oven for ~10 min at 200. With no cheese to melt in the vegan version, this is more or less just a formality, though it does a good job of getting the flavours to blend. Feel free to adjust as appropriate.
With the majesty of the tahineh sauce the absence of the cheese was in no way a detriment. I think I might even prefer this version.