Mark Bittman could tell me to how to eat worms and I'd probably follow his instructions to the letter. Fortunately, all he wants me to do, in Food Matters, is veganize my menu before 6:00 pm, and then he cuts me loose after that.
I can mostly follow that. I've got a weakness for dairy--oh, the siren song of yogurt at 4:00 in the afternoon--but I'm getting along pretty nicely. Helpful in my transition to a lesser-meat lifestyle is a book about which I can never say enough nice things. Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero, created in their book, Veganomicon, a meatless compendium even the most dedicated of carnivores can love. Really.
Along with Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian, you can revolutionize the way you eat and not even notice it. There's more chopping to do, yes, and granted, I still bitch about that and probably always will. However, a lot of my complaining in the past has been because the pay-off never seemed worth it in the end. My lackluster, tamari-laced meal,* the result of at least a solid hour of chopping and sauteing, rarely felt like the effort involved was rewarded.
Not so with Veganomicon (or Bittman). Below you'll find a recipe that my entire family ate without a blink, without a shudder, without even a tiny, sad sigh. Shock ensued when I informed them that it was vegan. This was clearly and definitively a success, Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero. I don't know if it's your three names each that make you so magical with the culinary plant life, but I have to hand it to you--you've won me heart and stomach.
*Vegetarians sometimes seem to think that if they pump up the umami with a little tamari, anything will be palatable.
Recipe after the jump
Veganomicon Potato and Kale Enchiladas with Chile Sauce, mostly the same but with some adjustments to prevent outright rejection by children
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 small can chopped green chiles (or to taste)
2 teaspoons ancho powder (smoky and mild) or half and half with chipotle powder (smoky and hotter)
1 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon marjoram
1 teaspoon agave nectar (or sugar)
2 teaspoons coarse salt
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
In a wide, cast-iron skillet, saute the onions in the oil until soft. Add the remaining ingredients, simmer, and remove from heat. Puree in a blender or food processor until smooth.
1 pound Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1/2 pound kale, washed, de-stemmed, and chopped
3 tablespoons olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup water (or vegetable stock, which isn't my favorite. Mushroom stock would probably be good)
3 tablespoons fresh lime juice (lemon will do in a pinch)
1/3 cup roasted, salted pumpkin seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
Lots of freshly ground pepper
Extra pumpkin seeds and two tablespoons cilantro leaves for garnish (optional)
12 corn tortillas
Boil potatoes in salted water until tender but not falling apart, about 15 minutes. Saute half of the garlic in the olive oil in a medium saucepan until fragrant. Add the kale, a pinch of salt, and then wilt with the lid on, stirring occasionally, about five minutes or so (don't let it burn). Mix in potatoes, lime juice, pumpkin seeds, salt, the rest of the garlic, and up to 1/4 cup water. Mash with a potato masher and cook, stirring over a low heat, until all of the water is absorbed.
The labor intensive part:
Put about 3/4 cup of sauce in a pie plate, oil a small (7x11) casserole dish, stack tortillas on another plate, and set the pan of filling next to that. Heat a small skillet and place one tortilla on the hot surface for about 30 seconds or so and then flip. Transfer with tongs to the pie plate and coat thoroughly with sauce to soften up the tortilla. Flip into the casserole and spoon in the filling so that it runs down the center. Roll with the edges tucked underneath. Repeat until all of the tortillas are filled and rolled tightly.
Cover with remaining sauce, saving some for adding later. Cover casserole in foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove foil and bake another ten minutes until the edges are brown.
Warm the saved sauce and serve enchiladas with a bit spooned over top. Sprinkle on a few of the pumpkin seeds and cilantro. Serves 4.
You see? That wasn't too hard, was it?