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Monday, October 2, 2017

Vegan Eating Out & An Enchilada Recipe!

We figured it out! Over this past weekend, my family and I went out to eat. Okay CJ, lot's of families go out to eat on a pretty regular basis. Who cares??

Well, as I've mentioned in a previous post, I live with my 2 kids and fiancĂ© in a small town in the Texas hill country. There are no vegan restaurants out here, and the few restaurants we do have don't have vegan options. Asking a waiter about vegan options, it's normal to get a perplexed look and a "let me go check... no I'm sorry ma'am we don't have any of that here." Asking about vegetarian options do offer more suggestions, typically a cheese-smothered or cheese stuffed vegetable. Asking to take away the cheese would be asking for an almost-empty plate.

Because of this, I have to do a little more research than my non-vegan family. I know that Mexican restaurants, Chinese restaurants, and Italian restaurants are favorites among the family, and luckily they are some of the easiest menus to maneuver.

Salads are always on the menu, but just because you're "doing the vegan thing" does that mean you always have to buy an overpriced plate of lettuce and dressing when you go out? Definitely not. I am in a place in my life now where salads are for home or as a side dish. There is no reason to eat a salad as your main course unless somehow you end up at a steakhouse obligation. Even then, try to get a baked potato with steamed vegetables. I don't have a ton of money, so when I go out to eat, I make it memorable, or else why would I pay so much for my experience?

Italian spots are seriously simple. I tend to get a meal of spaghetti and marinara, hold the cheese please, and a side salad with oil and vinegar. Easy done! Delicious, filling, and usually pretty cheap in comparison to the heavier seafoody, meaty, or stuffed-with-cheesy dishes.

The one and only Chinese restaurant nearby has about seven tofu options. I'm comfortable enough at this point to ask if it's made with beef stock, chicken stock or fish sauce. My place also has vegetable spring rolls and vegetable dumplings for appetizers. Instead of egg drop soup, I usually get a larger side of steamed rice. I know, I may sound like one of those high carb low-fat vegans, but I am not. I consider myself more of a high carb, high fat, high flavor, high sodium, high soda and vegan-junk-food vegan. I am trying to be healthier, but that's coming quite slowly to me right now, with good reason too. That's a whole other blog for another day! As for now, back to eating out.

Mexican food is prevalent here, being near San Antonio. Whenever we go out to eat, the nearby Mexican place is our go-to. I'm a regular, and this is where we went over the weekend. I know my menu and I know how to order. They start off by giving us complimentary chips and salsa (which I'd happily pay for), and I eat lots and lots. Ordering is easy once I figured it out. Luckily, there are two vegetarian options: A cheese quesadilla (not easily veganizable), and veggie fajitas (which typically comes smothered in cheese, with a side of bacon beans and Spanish rice). I order the veggie fajitas with no cheese, double rice with no beans, and extra tortillas. I also usually get a margarita (or 2...) and I share my giant skillet of hot, fresh veggies with the kids. Another local Mexican restaurant offers an avocado torta (sub-style sandwich), to which I ask no cheese, no sour cream, no butter, and they seem to always give me extra avocado for it.

I also love cooking Mexican style foods at home! I think it's super simple with the right flavor-combinations to make a delicious dinner on a budget. A while back, my sister Sam and I came up with this recipe for Effortless Vegan Enchiladas, and since then I have made them pretty regularly.




Effortless Vegan Enchiladas

Ingredients:

  • 10 corn tortillas (I've used flour and corn, corn is better)
  • Can of corn, drained
  • Half an onion, chopped
  • Tomatillo, chopped (optional, could use a tomato instead)
  • Can of fat-free refried beans
  • Any other ingredients you think would be good! Soyrizo, pinto beans, vegan cheese, rice, hominy, diced jalapenos, etc)
  • Can of enchilada sauce (here I used red sauce, but I prefer the green variety,
    salsa verde)
  1. Preheat oven to 400 Fahrenheit and microwave tortillas 20 seconds, or just until they become pliable without cracking
  2. Pour a small amount of enchilada sauce in bottom of glass baking dish (I didn't do this in the picture, that was my first attempt, long, long ago.)
  3. Place tortillas in glass baking dish like a hard shell taco as shown
  4. Fill with all ingredients except for the enchilada sauce, add salt and pepper
  5. Roll tortillas uptight, filling inside, making sure the seam is now on the bottom (again, this is not how I show in the pictures, learn from my mistakes! Much more enchilada-like using the new method, and no chance of a broken toothpick ending up in your mouth, ouch)
  6. Cover with remaining enchilada sauce, add salt and pepper (now would be the time to add that vegan cheese)
  7. Cover and bake in oven for about 25-30 minutes
  8. Uncover and bake for 10 more minutes
  9. Top with cilantro, pico de gallo, guacamole, salsa verde, regular salsa, or vegan sour cream.
Let me know if you make this recipe!

17 comments:

  1. These look so yummy and quick to make. I will try them on our next Mexican night.

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  2. These look delicious and so would be something I would order if I saw this on a restaurant menu.

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  3. First of all, LOVE your blog design. It's the cutest. Second, I'm sorry you've had to learn to maneuver so much to make things work for your fam. We don't do "that" here sounds SO annoying, but at least this is an opportunity for you to really get to know food - which is never a bad thing!

    Best wishes to you,
    Rebecca

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  4. It looked like a burrito. Yummy and healthy! I added your recipe into my notebook. Try some of my recipes on my blog if you are interested in :)

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  5. We are vegetarians and have been trending toward eating and living vegan for several months now. I share your pain on maintaining the diet and being social. Your enchilada recipe looks amazing!

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  6. Im not vegan but I did whole 30 and it was hard. I can only imagine having a lifestyle with so many restrictions. However, if you dedicate yourself truly to it, I imagine at some point it will become second nature. Love the enchilada recipe. Looks great

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  7. It's so easy to eat vegetarian, vegan, whatever you like these days and that's so awesome. Your recipe looks so yummy too!

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  8. Thanks for the healthy recipe! I’m not a vegan, but this looks great!

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    1. So I dated a vegetarian. Until I met him, I didn't know about veggie burgers or the various options OTHER than a salad. I thought for a brief moment I could actually go vegetarian because I did actually feel different not eating meat. Lighter maybe. But then we broke up haha. Funny you kept mentioning cheese because I remember thinking I could possibly go vegetarian bit not vegan because of my love of cheese. I didn't realize it was so difficult in other states. We are lucky in Vegas because there ste many vegan options. Thankfully you know exactly what you can eat regardless of where you are dining.

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  9. this looks ridiculously good! and so healthy. :) i am actually super hungry right now so this is inspiring me to find something amazing to eat :)

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  10. Thanks for sharing your recipe and, though we're not vegans, we love trying out new recipes to cook because hubby loves to do it lol!

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  11. I should stop looking at food related post when I'm deadly hungry. Now I really wanna try making these and that's not a wise decision.

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  12. I love Mexican food an am always looking for new ways to try it. I am going to have to give your enchiladas a try sometime soon.

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  13. Wow!! It looks so delicious and tempting. My mouth is watering ha ha. Would love to try those food some day.

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  14. The Vegan Enchiladas looks so yummy, I love that organic and natural ingredients, very clean and good for our health. One thing I would love to add since I'm not a vegan. but everything is perfect :)

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  15. I'm glad you have learned how to enjoy meals even when you eat out! Your challenges remind me of what my youngest daughter encounters, as someone with Celiac disease. But then, perhaps asking for gluten-free meals is more common these days than asking for vegan meals.

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  16. This looks really delicious. I would love to make this for my family. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

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