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Clarksville, Tennessee, United States
I have been an Ovo-Lacto Vegetarian for a few years and am considering making the switch to a full Vegan diet. I decided to become a vegetarian because I could no longer disassociate the meat on my plate from the loving, kind and peaceful animal it had once been. I have always been an animal lover, so I guess this was a natural progression. I am not a diet or nutrition expert by any means, I am just a woman on a mission to eat better, feel better and live better.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Vegetarian Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Vegetarian Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole with Chipotle Chile Pinto Beans

I made the Chicken Enchiladas I've been craving for dinner last night and they turned out beautifully.  They were so delicious with all the flavors of the fresh roasted chiles, the fire-roasted tomatoes, the vegan chicken strips and mushrooms.  Need I say more?  Oh yeah, and I had them with some Chipotle Chile Pinto Beans.

No need for a recipe for the beans.  I just open a can of pinto beans, drain off the top liquid, poor them into a bowl, add some garlic powder and chipotle powder (of course, you could use an actual chipotle chile out of the can and some of the adobo sauce right along with it if you like).  Then I just warm them up.  It's simple and quite tasty.  A quick and simple side to make if you're in a hurry.

Here is the recipe for the enchiladas.  Don't let the list of ingredients or prep time scare you off.  It's really quite simple, and the prep time includes the time for roasting the chiles.  And I really do believe you should take the time to do your own rather than using canned chiles.  You will get so much more flavor out of them, and you can use any type of chile you like - Poblanos, Anaheims, Big Jims, etc.  You roast them all exactly the same, just keep an eye on them so they don't burn so much that the flesh burns too.  You just want to blacken and blister the skin so it will remove easily.  They also keep perfectly in the freezer, so you can roast a lot at one time, peel them, remove the stem and seeds and dice them up and then keep them in a freezer bag in your freezer for future use.  You'll get so much use out of them because you can add them to anything.  If you've never had a green chile cheese burger (vegetarian, of course) then you really should!  They're the best!

Vegetarian Green Chile Chicken Enchilada Casserole

Serves:  6

Prep Time:  45 mins

Cook Time:  1 hour

Calories:  454 per serving

How To Roast Chile Peppers
Place them on a baking sheet in a 400 degree oven for 20 - 30 minutes, turning half-way through, until the skin is blistered and black all over.  Place the peppers in a glass bowl and cover tightly with plastic to steam. Once cooled, remove the skin, stems and seeds.  Chop up the roasted peppers and they're ready to use.

1 pkg - Meatless chicken strips (Quorn, Simple Truth, Beyond Meat, etc.)
1 can - Fire-roasted diced tomatoes
3 large - Green chile peppers, roasted and chopped
1 large - Yellow onion, diced
2 large - Portabella mushroom caps, stems removed and sliced
1/4 c - Vegetable broth
1/4 c - Plain soy milk
18 small - Corn tortillas
16 oz - Green chile enchilada sauce (Hatch, Frontera, Old El Paso, Las Palmas, etc.)
1 Tbsp - Nutritional yeast flakes
1 cube - Knorr mini cubes - garlic
1 cube - Edwards & Sons Not-Chick'n Bouillon cube
1 Tbsp - Olive oil
1 Tbsp - Oregano, dried
1/2 - 1 c - Shredded Mexican style cheese (Cheddar, Monterey Jack, or a blend, etc.)
Salt and Pepper to taste

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Heat olive oil in large, non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Add diced onion, a pinch of salt and cook until translucent.  Add mushrooms and continue cooking until mushrooms are tender.

3.  Add meatless chicken strips and diced tomatoes.  Cook until heated through, about 5 minutes.

4.  Add vegetable broth, soy milk, oregano, nutritional yeast, garlic cube, bouillon cube, salt and pepper.  Bring to a simmer and let thicken.  Stir in chopped poblano peppers and remove from heat.

5.  In an 11 x 9 glass casserole dish, place a couple spoonfuls of enchilada sauce and spread across the bottom of the dish to keep tortillas from burning.  Place 6 corn tortillas to cover bottom of casserole, overlapping slightly.  Spread 1/2 of chicken filling across the tortillas.  Spread a couple tablespoons of enchilada sauce across the top of the filling.  Repeat layer.  Top with last layer of 6 corn tortillas.  Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the top of the casserole, being sure to spread into each corner and along the sides so it oozes down the sides of the casserole.  Top with shredded cheese.

6.  Place casserole in oven and cook until cheese is melted and browning slightly, about 35 minutes.  Remove from oven and let set for 5 to 10 minutes.  Serve.

Top with shredded lettuce, diced tomatoes, guacamole and sour cream.  Serve alongside Spanish rice and pinto beans.

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