Veg*n Cooking and Other Random Musings: Weird Weather and Roasted Veggie Enchiladas

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Weird Weather and Roasted Veggie Enchiladas

I’m not sure how many of you have ever been to Missouri – if you haven’t been, you’re not missing much. But there is an old adage here that if you don’t like the weather in Missouri, just stay a little while, and it seems pretty true. I know many places in the US experience odd weather, but many feel that in Missouri, we experience it more often and to a more intense degree.

While I’m not sure if that adage is true or not, even though I have lived here all my life, I am still impressed by the oddity that is our weather at times. Case in point: it was a gorgeous day here yesterday, in the low 60’s (in January in the Midwest!), but windy, of course. This morning when I got up and was waiting on the bus, it was still very nice. Got to work, it was still nice. Went outside around 10:30 this morning and aside from the wind, the weather was beautiful – 62 degrees.

Flash forward an hour and a half to lunch. It had suddenly dropped to 26 degrees and began hailing and snowing. It is now in the teens with wind chills below zero. This is the kind of odd weather we here in Missouri enjoy. Looks like in the same day, we will experience temperatures in the low 60s as well as temperatures in the teens and perhaps up to an inch of snow. Hmmmm.

Moving on.

Last night, I got a nice surprise. I stoked to come home to not only the books I mentioned in the previous post that Brett so kindly picked up for me at the library, but he had purchased Vegan with a Vengeance for me from the Peace Nook, our local alternative bookstore. Wahoo!! It looks like an excellent cookbook. I have already marked a few recipes I want to try, and will be making Brett the Chocolate-Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Strawberry Sauce from it for his birthday next week, so he will definitely benefit from having gotten this for me.

For dinner last night, I made Roasted Veggie Enchiladas. It was simple and delicious and what I love about enchiladas (I love a lot of things I suppose) is that you can do your own thing when it comes to the ingredients and can make as big or small of a batch as you want, I was able to make two enchiladas without any problem, a small one for yours truly and a behemoth for the omni. Brett is not a very heavy guy, and I always overestimate his appetite and put way too much food on his plate. I am trying to get better at this, as we would rather have leftovers than him have to throw away half a plate of food, and as he has pointed out to me, he can always go back for more. However last night, I made him a huge enchilada and he ate the whole thing, so go figure.

Anyways. It’s amazing the complexity and full flavor that veggies have when they are roasted. You could really use whatever veggies you had on hand, just roast them before hand to get the best flavor. I used roasted zucchini, roasted red potatoes, roasted butternut squash, roasted red bell peppers, roasted jalapenos, and roasted shallots. I also had some chard in the fridge that was starting to look a bit sad and limp, so I sautéed it in some veggie broth until it got nice and soft and threw that in there as well. I lightly seasoned the squash with cumin and the potatoes with chili powder and cayenne (I like things spicy). Vegan cheese would make a nice addition too.

While I got the enchiladas ready to go in the oven, Brett made up a double batch of tofu sour cream. He has been making it as of late and seems to have it down much better than I do. The flavor and texture of his sour cream is much better than mine.

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees, sprayed a small baking dish with oil, put our enchiladas in the pan, smothered them with store bought enchilada sauce (you know, it actually requires a bit of label reading if you want enchilada sauce without MSG, at least that’s what I ran into here in Mid-Mo). Then I popped ‘em in the oven and baked them for about a half hour until they were nice and bubbly.

Once they were out of the oven and had cooled for a few minutes, I topped them with Brett’s fresh tofu sour cream. I ended up going back and putting a bit more enchilada sauce on the side for dipping.

I am going to leave with something non-food related, I happened upon a very interesting blog today I thought others might want to check out, if they haven’t already done so. It’s called Unpopular Vegan Essays, I found his subject material to be fascinating, and his blog is very well written, there are points I agree with him and points where our views diverge, but definitely a worthwhile site to check out.

‘Til next time!


the pleasantly plump vegan said...

that is weird weather!
man, those enchiladas look soooooo good. i have a feeling i could eat too many of those.

Lizzy said...

But hey, at least you can say that you got to enjoy summer and winter within the same day ;)
How many people can claim that from themselves?

The enchiladas look great. I have never had enchiladas.
Any tips from Brett on the sour cream?

Thanks for the posting the link, his blog seems interesting!

Jennifer said...

Pleasantly - It was a weird day in Mid-Mo, now it is just cold again. :-(

I could have probably eaten more of these too! Feel no guilt though, they are just roasted veggies!

Lizzy - Very true - I have to admit it made for an interesting day. It was so windy though, I was a bit nervous the window in my office was going to blow in, and it doesn't help that I'm on the 7th floor, it is always windier up here anyway! Needless to say, the rattling in my office kept making me look over my shoulder!

You've never had enchiladas! Wow! I am a huge fan of Mexican food! Maybe it's because I'm from the US, which is attached to Mexico, maybe we get more of their influence or something. Man I love their food!

I'll have to ask Brett if he has any special tips. I know he drains the silken tofu for awhile before he make the sour cream. He usually puts it in a bowl, covers it with cling wrap, and sets it in the fridge for an hour or two. After that, there is a nice puddle of liquid at the bottom of the bowl you can drain off. This may be his secret to getting the sour creams texture so creamy.

Not a problem about providing the link. I found it interesting as he understands philosophy and talks about issues relating to veganism that I have wondered about. I wish he would touch on other issues such as how do vegans feel we should address overpopulation of certain wild animals, such as deer here in the US? I honestly don't know how I feel about it, and though he didn't touch on that specifically, I felt he took some of the other arguments against ethical veganism (which I am still curious to know more about) and expounded upon them rather well. I don't agree with it all, but then I never do! :-)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

Haha we have the same saying about the weather here in Texas! One day this winter, for example, it was thirty degrees... the very next day, it was 75 and I was wearing shorts! Weird weird weird. But on another note, gorgeous enchiladas!

Jennifer said...

Chocolate Covered - Interesting! We Missourians are not alone, must be something about being in the middle of such a large land mass or something since the middle of the country seem to experience this weather phenomena.

Thanks about the enchiladas, they were good. I wish I could have one for an afternoon snack right now.

Veggie said...

Have fun making the recipes out of your new cookbook.

Hmm, those enchiladas do look good and I haven't had Mexican food in awhile. I'm trying to decide on something for dinner tonight and having one of those days, where I just don't know what I want.

Those roasted veggies sound good too.

thanks for the tip to drain the silken tofu.