Gluten-Free

Zucchini Verde Vegan Enchiladas

May 31, 2019
13 Ratings
Photo by Jeanine Donofrio
Author Notes

I love enchiladas. I’m tempted to order them at restaurants, but they’re often a big cheese bomb on a plate, so I prefer to make them at home. These have no cheese and are packed with a triple threat of green things: zucchini, poblano, and tomatillos. There’s tofu in the filling, but it’s undetectable once baked in. Instead of cheese on top, a lime cashew cream gets drizzled on along with the other fresh fixings.

Reprinted from Love & Lemons Every Day by arrangement with Avery, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © 2019, Jeanine Donofrio —Love and Lemons

Test Kitchen Notes

Summer! How I both love and loathe you. You're great for your bountiful produce; long, balmy days practically made for hanging around at the beach; and ideal conditions to consume numerous frosty drinks and ice-cream cones. But I could do without the near-immediate, full-body sweating I experience upon stepping outdoors; the hot garbage smell that seems to permeate the air, even indoors (New Yorkers, you know what I'm talking about); and my total lack of desire to turn on the stove for literally four months.

Still, as much as it sounds appealing now, I know that come August, I'm going to be mighty tired of eating salads, cold watermelon, and said ice cream for every meal. So I decided to take a proactive approach this year, in anticipation of the dog days: I began scouting out big-batch, vegetable-forward, won't-put-me-straight-to-bed dinners to make all summer long.

I knew just the place to start for this mission: the much-anticipated new cookbook by Jeanine Donofrio, the superwoman behind one of my favorite (largely vegetarian and plant-based!) blogs, Love & Lemons. The book, Love & Lemons Every Day: More than 100 Bright, Plant-Forward Recipes for Every Meal, is pretty much my easy-breezy summertime cooking bible, packed with uncomplicated yet totally inspirational recipes based on in-season produce.

These recipes are geared toward everyday cooking and eating; as Jeanine says in the book's introduction, they're "perfect for busy mornings and weeknights," and almost all are accompanied with a "helpful everyday tip" to help streamline cooking. The dishes happen to be ultra-satisfying, too. Think: Asparagus, Snap Pea & Chive Blossom Pasta; Charred Cauliflower Pitas With Halloumi & Harissa; Pizza with Apples, Leeks & Lemon Zest Labneh; and (swoon) Zucchini Verde Vegan Enchiladas.

The beauty of these enchiladas is manifest, but let me point out just a few highlights: They come together quickly (thanks, speedy summer standby, zucchini!), they're super hearty (that's because of the crumbled tofu and tender black beans), and they're positively bursting with flavor (cumin, coriander, and a zesty tomatillo salsa verde, reporting for duty).

They also, notably, don't have a lick of cheese or cream—they're completely vegan and gluten-free!—which is especially welcome in keeping things light and fresh during hot summer evenings. Instead, the richness comes from an impossibly creamy cashew lime cream and a generous heaping of fresh avocado that both go on top, right after the enchiladas come out of the oven.

Speaking of the oven, here's the best news: After the filling is done on the stove (in 10 minutes or less!), these enchiladas bake up in about 20 short minutes. Even when the last thing I want to do is make my apartment even hotter, it's a small price to pay. Besides, the recipe makes a good amount, so it wouldn't be out of line to freeze the baked-up leftovers and enjoy them later on (just make a new batch of the cashew lime cream). I know that'll be my go-to move all summer. —Brinda Ayer

  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Cook time 35 minutes
  • Serves 4
Ingredients
  • Lime Cashew Cream
  • 1 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt, heaping
  • Enchiladas
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing
  • 1 small yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 poblano pepper, stemmed and seeded, sliced into thin strips
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 small zucchini, halved lengthwise, then cut into thin half-moons
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup cooked black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 6 ounces firm tofu, patted dry and crumbled
  • 1 1/2 cups tomatillo salsa
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed** (see note below)
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion (for topping)
  • 2 radishes, sliced paper-thin (for topping)
  • 1/2 avocado, diced (for topping)
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro (for topping)
  • 1/2 jalapeño or serrano pepper, thinly sliced (optional, for topping)
  • 8 Lime slices (for serving)
In This Recipe
Directions
  1. Lime Cashew Cream
  2. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
  3. Make the cashew lime sour cream: In a high-speed blender, place the cashews, water, garlic, lime juice, and salt and blend until smooth. Chill until ready to use.
  1. Enchiladas
  2. Make the enchilada filling: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano, and a pinch of salt and cook until the onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the zucchini, coriander, and cumin and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes more.
  3. Stir in the garlic, salt, and black pepper. Remove from the heat and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in the black beans and tofu.
  4. Brush a 9 × 13-inch baking dish with olive oil, then spread a heaping 1⁄2 cup of the tomatillo salsa on the bottom of the dish. Fill each tortilla with about 1⁄2 cup of the enchilada filling. Roll the tortillas and place them seam-side down in the baking dish. Pour the remaining 1 cup salsa over the enchiladas, down the middle, leaving a bit of the edges dry. I do this so that the edges of the tortillas become a little crunchy. Bake, covered, for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for 10 minutes more.
  5. Let the enchiladas cool slightly, then drizzle with half of the cashew lime sour cream. Top with the diced red onion, radishes, avocado, cilantro, and jalapeño, if using. Serve with the lime slices and remaining cashew cream on the side.
  6. **Note: Warm the tortillas for 20 seconds in the microwave, wrapped in damp paper towels, or heat for 10 minutes in the oven, wrapped in aluminum foil.

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My name is Jeanine Donofrio, author The Love & Lemons Cookbook and the food blog loveandlemons.com. I create healthy, seasonal, (mostly) vegetarian. I love kale, green tea, cake, and of course lemons.