Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Utilizing Leftovers: Enchilada Bake & Big Thank You!

First, thank you guys so much for the wonderful support, kind words, thoughts, prayers and good energy for my friend Rebecca and her baby, Ben! I could feel the love! She's still hanging in there, but he will most likely be born by Sunday at the latest since her water has been broken for 8 days now. Every single day he's inside of her, the more he can grow and mature. Fortunately, she was given the full steroid protocol for developing his lungs and we are hoping he won't have to be on a respirator when he's born.

Also, thank you guys for the GREAT SUPPORT about me going back to school! I am excited, scared and actually not quite sure how I'll pull this off financially.. but I'm determined to do it. For those of you reading me for a long time, you will probably remember that I have had some struggles with finding the right job and figuring out what I love to do.  I have pretty much hit the glass ceiling in my area for vegetarian cooking and frankly, I don't really want to work for someone else in a restaurant setting. I have toyed with the idea of trying to open my own place, but I lack the funding to do so and am not sure I want to be committed to such a physical job for the next 25 - 30 years of my working life!
I am a little intimidated by the competitive nature of the Dietetic Internships and the costs associated with them, but I will cross that bridge when I come to it. At least I know going in that I will need to really up the ante when it comes to my studies and community connections! I can't let fear hold me back and I have spent too much time in my life letting fear stop me from taking real chances!

... Now... onto the food! Enchilada Bake!

It's no secret that I basically live off of leftovers. I cook up a pound of beans at a time in my pressure cooker and use them throughout the week. I make large batches of soups, then turn the soup into burgers or in this case, part of the filling for an Enchilada Bake. I don't think I blogged about this soup, but it was a pinto bean and brown rice chili, similar to THIS RECIPE
I used around 4 cups of the chili, but wanted to add more bulk to the bake. My younger son is in track again and NEEDS lots of good carbs. I had collards and potatoes, so I nuked the potatoes for 8 minutes while I prepared the collards. Notice, I chopped the stems. I like the texture they add, plus you aren't throwing away food! 
I braised the collards in some water along with garlic salt, cumin seeds and chili pepper
Then I chopped the potatoes that had been almost cooked through
I have restaurant hands. If you don't run them under cold water to cool before chopping
Quick fry in my cast iron with garlic salt/pepper and chili powder. 
Tossing the greens and potatoes with hummus!
Pour a layer of salsa on the bottom of a 9 by 13 glass pan
add corn tortillas (I get a huge package for .99!)
add your leftover chili
and your potato/collard, hummus mixture
another layer of tortillas
more salsa!
more chili/potato mixture!
I baked at 375 for 45 minutes and then took it out and added some Nacho Cheese I made using my queso recipe, agar and irish moss. Many thanks to Bryanna for introducing me to that combo for vegan cheese! 
then diced up red onion to sprinkle on top
It's yummy!
The whole assembly including braising the greens/cooking potatoes took 20 minutes tops including clean up. Super easy and delicious! .. and it gets better after sitting overnight. 



  1. this looks delicious, and more importantly, healthy! there are lots of gluten-free vegan enchilada bake recipes out there, but they rely on not so healthy ingredients. i'm definitely going to make this! thank you!

  2. I love the portrait of the day!

  3. Delicious is right! I want some!

  4. Your leftovers are so much more creative than mine... Makes me feel like I should be making fancier things than just stew/soup every time I need to clear out the veggie bin. What a delicious looking layered enchilada!

  5. that looks so good. i haven't made enchiladas, ever! i need to. and I have queso (storebought GF vegan) too.

  6. i had been wondering if you could eat the stems, ill have to try them, thanks for adding that in.

  7. Looks lovely!

    I am so sorry to hear about your friend's baby. My water broke at 18 weeks for unknown reasons and my baby hung in there until 24 when she was born. 100 days in the NICU later along with millions of prayers, she came home on oxygen. Miracles do happen. We'll be praying for them too.

    The link to my blog actually is a journal through my pregnancy and the whole NICU. Maybe it would be of comfort.

    Always enjoy reading your blog.

  8. That looks great! And I'm sure you'll pull of school somehow, you will have the time of your life, at least when you're done :)

  9. I love that portrait! And the food looks yummy also!

    Blessings, Debra
    Raw Vegan Diet

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  11. Melody, Where are you going to school? Have you looked at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition? They have a great program and you would fit in well there!