A little taste of Mexico in one healthy pot. Learn how to make these One Pot Vegan Enchiladas using an old technique that will make you a better home cook!
It's almost 3 in the morning in the California desert and all is quiet with the exception of my boyfriend snoring on the couch and the sound of my finger tips hitting the keyboard of my computer. I made this recipe a couple of weeks ago and never posted it so I thought I would take some time and do it before I finally fall asleep. I also wanted to introduce you to the one cooking technique that has made me a better home cook: mise en place.
What the Heck is Mise en Place?
I don't know about you, but I am a pretty messy cook, especially when its been a busy day and I'm tired (like now). Sometimes I look at the kitchen after I finish a recipe and wonder what kind of alien just broke into my house and destroyed my kitchen. Seriously! It was that way for a long time. But then I stumbled upon this little culinary technique known as mise en place. If you aren't familiar with the term, mise en place is a French expression that literally means "put in place." What does it translate to? It means having all your ingredients measured, cut, sliced, diced, grated etc. before you begin to cook. Your cooking tools are out, your pots, pans and mixing bowls are ready to go, and all your ingredients are fully prepared before you even turn on the oven. Mise en place has turned my life in the kitchen around and it can do it for yours, as well.
Mise en Place via Vegan Enchiladas
See a humble example of mise en place in the picture above. Once I completed all the prep work, it was so much easier to finish cooking these amazing vegan enchiladas. It made everything seem so simple, all I had to do was add each bowl of ingredients to the skillet, stir occasionally and wait for the magic to happen in about 35 minutes.
So I do believe that mise worked well for these One Pot Vegan Enchiladas. But does every recipe require a mise? That depends. Food writer and recipe developer AA Newton believes there's a time and place for mise. Check out her words of wisdom:
In her article How and When to Use Mise en Place, she explains:
To determine if your recipe needs a mise, read the whole thing at least twice, paying special attention to the language used in the procedure. Does it say that certain steps must be done “quickly” or “immediately?” You’ll want a mise. Are you instructed to combine ingredients while stirring or whisking? Mise. Does the extensive ingredients list—or anything else about the recipe—freak you out a little? A mise will calm your mind. It follows that there are three general categories of recipes that benefit from mise en place: fast-moving sautés (like stir fries and fried rice), most baking projects, and anything that intimidates you.
I only skimmed the surface of when and how you should use mise en place. Now, I'd like to propose a challenge that you make this recipe and see what you think about the method. Did it make your cooking journey easier? Or, did it intimidate you when you laid everything on the counter and realized it was going to take a little time? I'd love you to check it out and come back and tell us how it went for you. You'll find that this One Pot Vegan Enchiladas makes mise much easier than say, baking a cake with multiple layers and different flavored frosting.
If you make these One Pot Vegan Enchiladas, please take a photo and tag it #veganvigilante1 on Instagram. If you want to connect with me, please follow me on Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter. If you accepted the mise en place challenge, let us know by leaving a comment. If you have questions or want to share a recipe of your own as a guest blogger, please email me at [email protected].
For more dinner ideas check out my Main Dish Section.
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One Pot Vegan Enchiladas
- 2 tablespoon olive oil divided
- 12 organic corn tortillas cut into strips
- 1 bay leaf
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 med red onion finely chopped
- 1 med butternut squash peeled, seeded and cut into small cubes
- 2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon coriander
- ½ teaspoon cinammon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt fine
- 15 oz can black beans or 1 cup home cooked
- 1 cup frozen yellow corn
- 1.5 cup crushed tomatoes
- 28 oz green enchilada sauce
- 3.5 oz raw spinach handful
For the Toppings
- 1 med jalepeno sliced
- 2 green onions diced
- 1 large avocado seeded and chopped or sliced
- handful cilantro coarsely chopped
- Using mise en place, prepare all your ingredients before you start to cook. See photo of mise en place in recipe.
- Over medium heat, in a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil. Add tortilla strips and stir frequently until crispy and golden, about 5-8 minutes. Transfer into a colander lined with a paper towel to blot up excess oil. Set aside.
- Add remaining oil and bayleaf. Heat until bayleaf is fragrant. Remove bay leaf and add garlic and onions. Sauté until onion are transluscent.
- Add butternut squash, tomatoes, spices and salt and stir until thoroughly coated. Reduce heat to low and cover and allow to cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
- Add black beans, corn and enchilada sauce, cover and simmer foran additional 5-8 minutes until ingredients are well-melded together. Stir in spinach until wilted.
- Add tortilla strips and bring to boil. Turn heat down to low and simmer for 10 minutes or more, until all liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and allow to sit for 5-10 minutes before sprinkling with your favorite toppings and serving.