All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2016
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So – I am several days into eating only food I already have in the house. I have WAY too many frozen leftovers & dry pastas & beans etc taking up space & yet I keep going to the store to buy more food. It is ridiculous & wasteful. Today’s recipe was inspired by a huge butternut squash I had & some other veggies rapidly reaching the end of their shelf life. I used jarred salsa because I had one open but made the enchilada sauce because I did not already have some in a jar or can. You can choose to go all jarred or all homemade – your call.
I also roasted a whole butternut squash. You might want to buy some already cubed & roast those – or just boil them. This can be as labor-intensive or as simple as you care to make it.
The real star of this dish is this newer vegan cheese I found. It tastes great & does a fair job at melting – so – I recommend trying it if you see it or can find it online. It is from Parmela Creamery and you can definitely buy it – and loads of other vegan cheeses – from them.
Oh – as an aside – TJ Maxx is a great source for kitchen items. They always have loads of olive oil marked way down. I stock up every time I go there.
Vegan Butternut Squash & Black Bean Enchilada Casserole with Homemade Red Enchilada Sauce
Serves 6 well
2 cups red enchilada sauce (my recipe HERE) or your favorite brand or recipe
16 oz salsa – homemade or your favorite brand
1 small butternut squash
1/2 medium red (or any other kind) onion – diced
1-3 jalapenos (optional) – seeded & diced
3 tomatoes – diced
2 carrots – diced
1 cup corn
1 12 oz can black beans – drained
1-4 garlic cloves – minced
1/4 cup cilantro – chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chili powder
15-20 taco-sized corn tortillas
Up to 1 lb grated vegan cheeses of your choice ( I used both cheddar & mozzarella)
S&P to taste
GARNISH: cilantro, sliced scallions, avocado slices, additional salsa or hot sauce
Heat the oven to 375.
I roasted my butternut squash unpeeled & halved. It was a sorta messy business doing it this way. In the future, I will peel & cube it first. Whatever you decide – roast it naked for 20-40 minutes, turning at least once, until it is soft. If you cooked it like I did – let it cool in the sink & peel & cube it once it is cool enough to handle. OR – you could peel, cube & boil it until the cubes are soft. I had a large squash – so I put some extra mashed up into my dogs’ dinner. They loved it!
Meanwhile, heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan & add the chopped carrots & onions. When they start to soften, add the tomatoes, jalapenos, corn & black beans. Add the spices & cilantro. Heat through. Add the garlic & saute 1 minute. Stir in the cubed squash. Season with S&P & set aside.
Now – assemble the casserole. Grease a casserole pan (I used cooking spray). Put the salsa on the bottom. The rest can be pretty random – as long as you end with 1/3 of the enchilada sauce & 1/3 of the cheese.
Layer some corn tortillas & top with 1/3 of the veggie mixture, 1/3 of the cheese & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.
Add another 1/3 of the veggie mixture. Layer with 1/3 of the cheese, more tortillas, the final 1/3 of the veggie & 1/3 of the enchilada sauce.
Add another layer of tortillas & the rest of the enchilada sauce & cheese.
I used the casserole glass lid to cover it. You can do this or use foil.
Bake at 375 for about 25 minutes, remove cover & bake another 10 minutes or so. Let rest for ten minutes before serving.
Garnish with cilantro or scallions & maybe salsa, hot sauce or a few slices of fresh avocado. Enjoy!