Vegetarian enchiladas made with homemade chipotle sauce. This healthy meal is also vegan and gluten free.
We’re one week into January! If you still don’t have a 2016 calendar yet, then have I got news for you: there’s a 2016 Vladimir Putin calendar. That’s right, it’s twelve months of Putin pictures and quotes from the man himself.
In November, we’re given this piece of wisdom from Putin (translation taken from CNN):
Dogs and I have very warm feelings for one another.
Apparently the calendar has been flying off the shelves in Russia. Take from that what you will.
Moving on, today I have pumpkin-packed enchiladas to share with you! Meet one of my current favorite dinners. Yes, I said dinners – not breakfasts. (Clearly, there are no rules on this blog).
This Mexican-inspired dish is all about corn tortillas stuffed with pumpkin and chickpeas (plus a roasted shallot), covered with a tomato and chipotle chili sauce, and baked until everything’s hot and the tortilla ends are nice and crispy.
Anything that’s covered in sauce and baked is pretty much my idea of the ultimate comfort food (which probably explains why I love baked pasta so much).
Before I say – or, more accurately, type – another word, let’s talk spiciness. Since we all have different levels of tolerance when it comes to chilies, it’s hard to determine what’s hot, what’s mild, and everything in between.
Personally, I find this recipe has a reasonable level of heat. It’s spicy, but not ‘Call the fire department because my mouth’s aflame!’ spicy.
That being said, the enchilada sauce does involve using a chipotle chili in abodo sauce, plus extra abodo sauce, and those bad boys can be hot (especially if you’re not used to them).
If you’re looking for less-spicy enchiladas, then I have a few suggestions:
- Remove the seeds from the chipotle chili.
- Don’t add the extra teaspoon of abodo sauce.
- Leave out the chipotle chili altogether, and either add some chili powder, chili flakes or red pepper flakes. It’s easy to control the spiciness of these ingredients, as you can add a little bit at a time.
- If you really, really don’t like chili, then don’t add it! Instead, add some herbs (cilantro/coriander would work with the Mexican theme) and/or some extra garlic.
On the other hand, if you’ve got a hankering for some heat, then add more abodo sauce (or even another chipotle chili, if you dare).
Oh, and here’s a tip I learned recently: dairy products are an excellent cure for chili overload. So if you’re mouth’s on fire, have some yogurt (or sour cream), or at least a glass of milk.
While I’m on the subject of spices, there’s something a little odd you may notice about this recipe: I don’t add cumin. Why? I don’t like it! Well, not in Mexican food, anyway. (Oddly enough, I do like falafels, which contain quite a bit of cumin. I can be a strange person to figure out sometimes).
If the idea of making enchilada sauce without cumin sounds like heresy to you, then of course add some in.
Speaking of sauce, I know it’s not ‘authentic’ to include tomatoes in enchilada sauce. But seriously, I want tomatoes in my sauce (which is why I’m calling this dish ‘Mexican-inspired’).
Being used to making Italian sauces, I reached for my favorite tomato passata – i.e. tomato puree. While Italian tomato passata is undoubtedly the best (yes, I’m biased), you can also use canned diced or peeled tomatoes. Just puree them in a blender or food processor so they’re nice and smooth (before adding them to the sauce).
While I maintain these are delicious without cheese, feel free to sprinkle over whatever type of shredded cheese you’d like before baking the enchiladas. (Or add ‘cheeze’ if you’re dairy-free).
But the avocado topping is 100% not optional and completely non-negotiable. Kidding… sort of.
- 1 tablespoon (15mL) olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 ½ cups (360g) tomato passata (tomato puree)
- ¾ (180mL) cups water
- 1 chipotle pepper in abodo sauce, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon abodo sauce
- 1 pound (455g) cubed pumpkin
- Salt and pepper
- 1 shallot, peeled
- 1 cup (160g) cooked chickpeas
- 6 small white corn tortillas
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped cilantro (coriander)
- For the sauce: In a large (or medium-sized) saucepan, warm the olive oil over low heat. Add the shallots and a pinch of salt. Sauté for 3 – 5 minutes, or until the shallots are tender and translucent. Add the garlic, and sauté for another minute.
- Add the tomato passata, water, chipotle pepper and abodo sauce, and season with salt.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer. With the saucepan lid partly on (so it’s tilted), simmer the sauce for 30 – 35 minutes, stirring occasionally. Adjust the stove heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. If the sauce reduces too much or too quickly, stir in a little more water.
- For the enchiladas: Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Line a large baking tray (or pan) with non-stick paper, or grease it with cooking oil spray.
- Add the cubed pumpkin to the baking tray and season with salt and pepper. Peel the shallot, wrap it in aluminium foil, and add it to the tray.
- Bake the pumpkin and shallot for 25 – 30 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender. Roughly chop the roasted shallot. Reduce the oven heat to 350°F (180°C).
- In a large bowl, combine the roasted pumpkin, chopped roasted shallot, chickpeas and ¼ cup of the sauce. Gently stir to ensure the sauce is evenly distributed.
- Lightly grease a large rectangular baking pan or casserole dish (at least 11-inch/28cm long). Cover the base of the pan in a thin layer of sauce.
- Wrap the tortillas in paper towel (or a kitchen towel) and microwave for 30 seconds, or until warm.
- Place the first tortilla on a large plate, spoon some of the pumpkin and chickpea filling down the middle, and fold over the sides to wrap the tortilla. Place it seam side down in the baking pan. Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
- Spread the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas, leaving the very ends bare.
- Bake, uncovered, for 20 – 30 minutes, or until warmed through. Serve with sliced avocado and chopped cilantro.
I used 6-inch white corn tortillas
Tomato passata is just pureed Italian tomatoes (plus a little salt). You can use canned peeled or diced tomatoes instead. Just puree them using a blender or food processor until smooth, and then measure out 1 ½ cups.
The minced garlic clove can be replaced with 1 - 2 teaspoons garlic paste, or another shallot.
Recipe loosely adapted from Minimalist Baker.