I have seven kids.
Ain't nobody got time for makin' every ingredient from scratch.
I was able to simplify and revamp the recipe using Daiya Deliciously Dairy-Free shreds, canned tomatoes and beans. I've been making it for years, and the family loves it. Dare I say it's nearly as good as the scratch-baked version?
You be the judge, after creating this version:
Enchilada Casserole and Sauce
1 green bell pepper, diced
1 white or yellow onion, diced
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. cane juice crystals or natural sugar
1 - 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes (juice included)
1 - 15 oz. can tomato sauce
1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste
1 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. ground black pepper
In a medium pan, cook bell pepper and onion with water over medium heat until vegetables are soft, and water is absorbed.
Add cane juice crystals or natural sugar and continue to cook for two minutes, caramelizing onions.
Add diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, tomato paste, garlic powder and black pepper. Mix well and cover.
Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat. Set aside.
1 batch Enchilada Sauce (above)
10 medium-sized tortillas (corn, wheat, whole grain, whatever... you decide), sliced in half
2 - 16 oz. cans vegetarian refried beans
1 c. vegan cheese shreds (I like Daiya Deliciously Dairy Free in Cheddar flavor), divided
1 - 3.8 oz. can sliced black olives, drained
1 c. sliced green onions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In bottom of an oiled 9-inch by 13-inch casserole dish, spread one cup of Enchilada Sauce.
Arrange five more half-tortillas over the top of the beans. Spread a cup of Enchilada Sauce over the tortillas, and sprinkle half a cup of "cheese" shreds over the sauce.
Add another five half-tortillas, and spread the second can of refried beans over the top.
Add another layer of five half-tortillas.
Pour another cup of Enchilada Sauce over the last layer of tortillas, then scatter drained olives and sliced green onions over the top.
Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes.
Remove from oven, remove foil and sprinkle remaining half cup of "cheese" shreds over top. Return to oven, uncovered, for 15 minutes to melt "cheese."
Remove from oven and let stand for about 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Garnish with guacamole, salsa and vegan sour cream, if desired.
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