Saturday, October 12, 2019

Vegan enchiladas with coriander-cashew cream

September 16, 2019

When one of our friends has a baby, we have a tradition of delivering them a tray of tempeh lasagne. The newest little baby, though, has a gluten-free parent! Thus, we've prepared enchiladas as a wheat-free alternative.

I found this recipe on Oh She Glows during a brief browse online. It's a long recipe, but not at all unreasonable. I really liked the smooth and warmly spiced tomato sauce, based primarily on tomato paste and vege stock. The filling is a mixture of sweet potato, capsicum, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and black beans, moistened with a little of that sauce. Instead of cheese, the enchiladas are topped with a light, green cashew cream that's whipped up entirely in a blender.

I made two little changes. First, I recalled that American chilli powder doesn't pack the punch of typical Aussie stuff and dialled it way down. Second, it's really not my style to neatly pipe the cream at the end. My big dollops are much less photogenic, but I'm AOK with that.

These enchiladas are great fresh out of the oven, packed for lunch at room temperature, with a side dish or straight up on their own. Hopefully they'll serve these new parents well.

Vegan enchiladas with coriander-cashew cream
(very slightly adapted from a recipe on Oh She Glows)

coriander-cashew cream
3/4 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup coriander leaves
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup water
juice of 1 lime
2 tablespoons avocado
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons gluten-free flour
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon cayenne powder
1 scant cup tomato paste
1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon salt

260g sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup jarred roasted red capsicum, drained and chopped
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and chopped
2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
400g can black beans, drained
juice of 1 lime
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt

~12 small corn tortillas
optional garnishes: more fresh coriander leaves, avocado, chilli flakes, etc

Soak the cashews in water overnight. Drain the cashews and place them in a blender or spice grinder. Add the remaining cream ingredients and blend until smooth.

Next, get the sauce going. Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and pour in the oil. When it's heated, stir in the flour to form a paste. Add the dried spices (chill through to cayenne) and combine well, cooking for a couple of minutes until they smell great. Stir in the tomato paste, and then the stock, until smooth. Simmer for about 5 minutes, and add the salt. Turn off the heat.

Time for the filling. Fill a medium saucepan with water and drop in the sweet potato pieces. Bring it all to the boil and simmer for about 10 minutes, under tender but still holding their shape. Drain the sweet potatoes and set them aside.

Set a large frypan over medium heat and pour in the oil. Saute the onion and garlic for 3-5 minutes, until softened.

Preheat an oven to 180°C.

To the frypan, add the sweet potato, capsicum, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach and black beans. Cook, stirring, for 3-5 minutes until the spinach is just wilted. Stir through 1/3 cup enchilada sauce, the lime juice, cumin and salt. Turn off the heat.

Get out a large, high-walled baking dish. Spread 3/4 cup sauce across the base of the dish. Scoop some filling into a tortilla, roll it up and place it in the dish. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and nestle them up together in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the tortillas. Baked the enchiladas for around 20 minutes, until they're heated through.

To serve, dollop the cashew cream over the enchiladas and sprinkle over any garnishes.


  1. I don't do chilli at all now, but boy oh boy do I remember the time I realised that Australian chilli powder and US chilli powder were not the same. I made something that literally melted my intestines with the spice level. Good times. At first I just thought that Americans were super hardcore, but then I realised the difference.

    1. Oh yeah, I learned this the hard way too!!