In our house, Mexican cuisine is by far the most requested and beloved. We jokingly say it is one of our major food groups! Over the past year, between several of our family members, we’ve identified multiple food allergies so try to avoid dairy and gluten as much as possible. Our typical go-to Mexican dishes have been more difficult to prepare and enjoy as many of our favorites are covered in, you guessed it, cheese. On top of the food allergies, my eight year old son is the pickiest eater, EVER! Preparing nutritious, allergy-friendly meals that also happily satisfy everyone’s palette can be a real chore and challenge. How many of you can relate? I’m forever experimenting in the kitchen, combining and modifying recipes and ingredients, in hopes of finding yummy entrees that can be made sans gluten and dairy, especially Mexican ones. These enchiladas are hands down my cute, little picky eater’s favorite dinner. And, this version is dairy free and can easily be made gluten free too. It may be hard to imagine enchiladas without the cheese, but I promise you will not miss the dairy with the delicious, creamy cashew queso. This is a recipe that can be made to accommodate your family and your specific diet needs and lifestyle preferences. For the version pictured, I used BBQ pork tenderloin we had left over from dinner the night before. You could also use chicken or steak OR skip the meat altogether and pack the enchiladas with beans and vegetables (like onions, peppers and zucchini). Even when I use meat, I usually add fresh spinach, black beans or corn depending on what we have in our refrigerator, freezer or pantry. You really cannot go wrong with any combination of protein and/or vegetables. Hope you enjoy!
- 3 cups shredded pork, chicken or beef
- 3/4 – 1 cup black beans, corn, spinach or other veggie (anything you might want to add), optional
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 cups salsa verde
- 12 tortillas (I use gluten free Siete)
- cashew queso (recipe below)
- CASHEW QUESO:
- 1 1/2 cups raw cashews
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 3/4 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 1 cup salsa verde
- TOPPINGS (OPTIONAL):
- cilantro, chopped
- red onion, chopped
- avocado, chopped
- fresh tomato salsa
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 9 X 13 inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, place your choice of meat and any other ingredients you’d like in the enchiladas (veggies, black beans, corn, etc.). Add the paprika, cumin, dried oregano, black pepper and 1/2 cup salsa verde. Stir to combine.
3. If you’re using gluten free tortillas, place them on a plate and microwave for 30 seconds to warm. This will soften them so they’re easier to roll and less likely to break. If you’re using flour tortillas, you can skip this step.
4. Working one at a time, add a small amount of the enchilada filling to each tortilla. Roll and place seam side down in the baking dish. Continue until all of the tortillas are filled and the baking dish is full. Set aside.
5. Using a clean coffee or nut grinder, working in three equal batches, grind the cashews into a soft powder. Avoid over grinding as it will eventually turn into cashew butter.
6. Into a medium sauce pan – cashew powder, nutritional yeast, salt, paprika, cumin and garlic powder. Whisk until the dry ingredients are blended. Slowly add the water and whisk until fully combined. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until bubbly and thickened. It only takes several minutes.
7. Remove the cashew queso from the heat, add the dry mustard and allow to slightly cool. Add 1 cup of salsa verde and stir until well combined.
8. Pour the queso mixture over the prepared enchiladas and spread with a spatula to evenly coat.
9. Bake for 25-30 minutes, making sure the enchiladas are hot all the way through and bubbly. Depending on your oven, you may need to cover with foil for the first half of the baking time so the top doesn’t overcook.
10. Serve with your choice of toppings.
Making the queso is an extra step. If you’d prefer to save time and purchase your queso, the Siete brand makes a “Spicy Blanco” that can be found at Whole Foods.