Thursday, 19 February 2015

Vegan Spinach and Black Bean Enchiladas

   I've made these a couple of times now, and absolutely love them. The first time I made enchiladas, Ryan came home from work, saw them in the baking dish as asked "Mexican manicotti?". Yea, pretty much. A tomato-y sauce, a tortilla instead of the pasta, and a tasty filling. That's pretty much it, right? 

     Enchiladas are extremely versatile and can be packed full of whatever your little heart desires. My personal favourite is a mixture of quinoa with black beans, spinach, corn and green onions. Super tasty, and besides rolling the enchiladas, there is minimal prep. I've included a pretty easy recipe for enchilada sauce, a thin tomato sauce seasoned with smoked and hot spices, along with cumin and coriander. But alternatively, if you want to make this recipe even easier, you can used canned or jarred, pre-made enchilada sauce, normally in the Mexican section of grocery stores next to the taco kits and what-not, though I am not sure if they're vegan (I've just never looked).

Serves: 4-6
Time: 45 minutes


  • 8-10 12" Tortilla wraps
  • 3/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1 can black beans, strained and rinsed
  • 4 green onions, washed and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, washed, stems removed and chopped
  • 1 cup spinach, chiffonaded or finely chopped and packed tightly
  • 1 1/2 cup frozen corn (thawed)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp coriander

Sauce (optional)

  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove of garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp each of onion powder, chili powder, smoked chipotle, smoked paprika, cooriander and salt
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 2 Tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 2 Tbsp cold water
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Cook quinoa: either follow package instructions or place quinoa in a microwave-safe bowl with 1 1/2 cups water and cook for 8 minutes on 60% power, then 5 minutes at full/100% power. Remove from microwave when all water is absorbed, if any water remains, microwave for additional 1 minute increments at 100% until quinoa has completely absorbed liquid. Let cool.
  2. Meanwhile, start the sauce if using. In a medium sauce pan, on medium heat, warm olive oil with garlic until fragrant. Toss in all the spices to quickly toast, about 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste, and slowly incorporate the broth and water while stirring. Continue to stir the sauce while incorporating the cornstarch and water mixture. Bring to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for an additional 5-10 minutes until thickened (will thicken more as it cools). 
  3. While your sauce is cooking, mix together all filling ingredients in a large bowl. 
  4. Preheat oven to 375°F and coat the bottom of a large rectangular pyrex dish (9x13") with a bit of sauce.
  5. Start rolling! Evenly distribute the filling among the tortillas, roll up (you can leave the ends open or closed, it's up to you) and place seam down in the baking dish.
  6. Cover enchiladas with the remainder of the sauce and bake at 375° for 20-30 minutes.
  7. Serve with a guacamole for a tasty treat!