everyday eats: cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream

cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream // www.thefirstmess.compin it!cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream // www.thefirstmess.compin it!cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream // www.thefirstmess.compin it!ingredients for cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream // www.thefirstmess.compin it!cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream // via @thefirstmesspin it!
I used to be one of those naive people that couldn’t wrap their head around stress-eating. What could possess someone to eat 6 cookies in a row out of external pressure? Isn’t there a more productive way to deal with such negative forces? In the last month or so, I feel like I’ve come around on that stance of disbelief.

As I’ve said before, I don’t really work at the restaurant much anymore, but I still take a couple shifts a week. I love the crew there, I love the field of hospitality in general, I love the obligatory after-work beers (or whiskey depending on what kind of night it was), but an unfortunate management-type situation has been festering away for a couple months now. I can be thick-skinned in the moment and I deal with the work just fine. A sense of dread still creeps up on me all day when I know I’m going in for dinner service. This anxiousness usually manifests itself in the form of what I’ll call “anticipatory snacking.” I get really caught up in making healthy snacks and very complete meals prior to my shift, mostly to avoid hangry-ness in a situation that I know will already have me in an iffy mood.

And I mean, the snacks and wholesome meals are helpful in terms of keeping my energy up and my focus sharp. But they aren’t totally necessary because we get more than enough to eat at work. I know I’m just occupying my time, trying to stay in control, and essentially avoiding any thoughts of disappointing new developments waiting for me when I punch in. It’s just a bit of a bummer in an otherwise very happy existence. Fussing over things to eat has been the stress-aggravated outlet for that small bummer. Never in a million years did I think cooking and anxiousness could seriously co-mingle in my life, but there it is.

There’s been a couple strategies to work on this conundrum, but the easiest one is just remembering and really latching onto the good graces that keep my life and state of being separate from the 12 teeny  hours I spend at the restaurant in any given week. I give my puppy a few extra kisses, I’ll take an extra lazy hour on the couch watching this show with Mark, I’ll call my mom, I’ll make one of my fave superfood lattes, you get the idea. Refocus on the good and the good life will follow right along.

Simple, but slower-going recipes have been helpful too. Just an easy little meal that keeps my hands busy in a lightly focused way seems to put me in a good place these days. Enchiladas are something I make with frequency because they’re one of my man’s favourite foods. My versions are decidedly more American in their expression/ingredients, but we enjoy them all the same. They take a few pre-meditative steps, but it’s never anything too complex. Same goes for the ingredients–the list looks long, but it’s all everyday stuff for the most part.

Other than my main girl Ina G., the only other TV chef I watch with any frequency is Rick Bayless (this book is one of my all-time faves), so I sourced one of his recipes from Food & Wine for the sauce here. I went all starch and black beans for the filling because it’s winter and fortifying with carbs just feels extra right these days. The cheesy pumpkin seed crumble gets dusted on top and has a bit of a dukkah/healthy doritos vibe that I can’t get enough of. The lime cream follows my basic cashew sour cream method and just kind of lifts everything up. I put a lot of emphasis on the garnishes here because, let’s face it, enchiladas are almost always a hot mess/train wreck as soon as they hit the plate. Pretty it up if you’re feelin’ it :)

Just want to add that I also have some delicious sesame snap granola bars on BAKED this week and I did my first ever podcast interview with Pure Green Magazine too! You can listen to it here (I mostly talk about pizza). Big hugs for refocusing on what’s good this week. xoxo

blistered @thefirstmesspin it!roasted // @thefirstmesspin it!magic pumpkin seed dust // @thefirstmesspin it!cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream // via @thefirstmesspin it!cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream // www.thefirstmess.compin it!
cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream recipe
sauce recipe adapted from Rick Bayless for Food & Wine
print the recipe here!
serves: 4
notes: There’s no shame in buying enchilada sauce to streamline this meal a bit. I like the Frontera ones (Rick Bayless again, whoop!) and Trader Joe’s makes a decent version too. I use a high speed blender for the lime cream–I’m not sure how smooth a regular blender can get the cashews for this. A little more water might be necessary if that’s the case.

1 medium sweet potato, 1/2 inch dice
2 medium potatoes, 1/2 inch dice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin, chili powder, coriander etc.
salt + pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked black beans

enchilada sauce:
1 jalapeño, stem removed
1 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1  small white onion, diced
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes (fire roasted is bomb here)
1 cup vegetable stock
salt + pepper

lime cream:
3/4 cup raw cashews, soaked for 3 hours or more
juice and zest of 1 lime (about 1/4 cup juice)
splash of white wine vinegar
fat pinch of sea salt
1-2 tbsp filtered water

cheesy pumpkin seed crumble:
1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp nutritional yeast
salt + pepper

12 small corn tortillas, warmed
diced ripe avocado
sliced green onions
chopped cilantro

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a large baking sheet with parchment. Place the diced sweet potatoes and potatoes onto the sheet and toss with the olive oil, cumin, salt, and pepper to coat. Slide the tray into the oven and roast until pieces are soft and cooked through, about 25 minutes. Remove the tray and lower the heat to 350 degrees F.

While vegetables are cooking, start the enchilada sauce. Char the whole jalapeño in a large dry pot over medium heat (preferably cast iron or something equally heavy-bottomed). Remove the jalapeño and set aside.

Add the oil to the pot, then the onions and garlic cloves. Stir and sauté until the onions are very soft. Scrape the onions and garlic into an upright blender. Add the charred jalapeño and diced tomatoes. Blend on high until totally smooth. Pour tomato mixture back into the pot. Add the vegetable stock and simmer sauce until the texture is slightly looser than tomato paste. The colour will have deepened as well. Remove sauce from the heat.

Make the lime cream: Rinse the blender pitcher and drain the cashews. Place the drained cashews in the bender along with the lime juice, lime zest, white wine vinegar, salt, and water. Blend on high until you have a creamy and smooth mixture. Scrape the lime cream into a container, cover and chill until you’re ready to serve it.

For the cheesy pumpkin crumble, combine the pumpkin seeds, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, nutritional yeast and salt in a spice/coffee grinder/mini food processor/mortar and pestle. Grind until you have a lightly textured dust. Set aside.

Place the roasted vegetables in a bowl and re-use the parchment paper from the baking sheet for the enchiladas. An 8×11 inch pan that’s about 2 inches deep is good here. Ladle about a cup of sauce into the bottom of the pan.

Set up an assembly line from left to right: warm tortillas wrapped in a dish towel, a large dinner plate, the bowl of roasted vegetables, the black beans, the pumpkin seed mixture, and the parchment lined pan with sauce in the bottom.

Place a warm tortilla on the dinner plate, spoon about 1/4 cup of vegetables on top down the center of the tortilla. Add a spoonful of black beans and a fat pinch of pumpkin seed crumble on top. Carefully roll it up and place, seam side down, in the enchilada pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and filling ingredients.

Pour most of the remaining sauce over the enchiladas in the pan, spread it out, and slide the pan into the oven. Bake until enchiladas are piping hot all the way through, about 25 minutes. Serve the cozy vegan enchiladas hot with extra pumpkin seed crumble, lime cream, diced avocado, green onions, and cilantro.

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  • valentina | sweet kabocha28/01/2015 - 4:51 am

    Wonderful recipe, it could be perfect for my picky boyfriend :P
    Ps : these enchiladas ARE photogenic! ;)ReplyCancel

  • Anna28/01/2015 - 6:47 am

    Yummy!!! Looks delicioous :)Sometimes cooking helps me as well!!
    Hope you get better


  • BARBARA28/01/2015 - 7:07 am


  • Lauren28/01/2015 - 7:07 am

    Well hell food inspiration! Craving this right now, can you ship to the UK? Definitely going to give this a try on a free baking/cooking day

    Lauren x

  • lynsey | lynseylovesfood28/01/2015 - 8:20 am

    Love this everyday eats laura! Photographing enchiladas totally scares me because of that whole hot mess thing but you nailed it!! They look amazing. Thanks for sharing. xoReplyCancel

  • allison28/01/2015 - 8:38 am

    yes pease! these sound amazing! definitely going to make these soon! thanks again, <3ReplyCancel

  • Penelope28/01/2015 - 9:41 am

    Love this read & the recipe is wonderful. Can’t wait to try! Thank you.ReplyCancel

  • Ana @ The Awesome Green28/01/2015 - 9:43 am

    Lovely recipe and photos! I really like the idea of lime cashew cream, sounds so refreshing!ReplyCancel

  • Tartinades et Dips | Pearltrees28/01/2015 - 10:52 am

    […] Everyday eats: cozy vegan enchiladas w/ lime cream. I used to be one of those naive people that couldn’t wrap their head around stress-eating. […]ReplyCancel

  • Tori@Gringalicious.com28/01/2015 - 11:01 am

    Love your pics of this and the recipe sounds amazing!ReplyCancel

  • Jessie Snyder | Faring Well28/01/2015 - 11:26 am

    I can totally align with you on the pre-shift dread/anxiety. I use to work in a restaurant as well and experienced the same. I totally agree how focusing on those brighter gifts in life throughout the day can help restore that peace! Glad you are finding it helpful too. And these enchiladas – lady, they are my man’s favorite too, and I haven’t made them in so long! Going to have to fill that enchilada whole in our lives with these soon. Wish I could take a plate of them right from your page!
    Best – JessieReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright02/02/2015 - 2:35 pm

      Oh girl, I wish I could have brought a plate on over to ya! This recipe made sooooo many. I was eating them for days :) xoReplyCancel

  • Brian @ Kitchen Domination28/01/2015 - 12:15 pm

    I am enamored with the phrase “anticipatory snacking.”ReplyCancel

  • Jodi28/01/2015 - 12:25 pm

    Togetherness! I love it! Plus I just listened to your PGM podcast, I had never listened to one before and really enjoyed listening to it while prepping dinner! So there was a lot of the first mess going on for me today. AND if I had all the ingredients for this awesome looking meal I’d be making it tonight! Sending positive vibes you way, girl xxReplyCancel

  • Abby @ The Frosted Vegan28/01/2015 - 12:27 pm

    Gurrrll those enchiladas look like real good everyday eats! I always kind of forget about throwing sweet potatoes into enchiladas, doing that STAT.ReplyCancel

  • cynthia28/01/2015 - 1:02 pm

    Oy, I’m sorry to hear about the stress, Laura. But I love that you have such a peaceful, wholesome way of coping with it — these enchiladas look like the perfect cozy, comforting nourishment needed in situations like these. (Unlike my stress-snacking of choice, which would be chocolate chips out of the bag and still-frozen mochi.) Thanks for your words, as always — they always get me back on course.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright02/02/2015 - 2:36 pm

      Anxiously snacking on (dairy + soy-free) chocolate chips right out of the bag is totally in my wheelhouse too, lady ;)ReplyCancel

  • Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar28/01/2015 - 1:18 pm

    Waaaaaant these sound unreal!ReplyCancel

  • Alex28/01/2015 - 1:51 pm

    All joking aside // I love these photos! You always get such amazing energy into still lifes :)ReplyCancel

  • Ugh, I definitely learned the hard way about photographing enchiladas. Yours look (and sound) lovely, though! One of my fav ways to eat Mexican at home.ReplyCancel

  • Caitlin28/01/2015 - 3:46 pm

    i just listened to the interview and i loved it so much. thank you for sharing it with us. also, definitely making this recipe. why are sweet potatoes SO GOOD in mexican food?ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright02/02/2015 - 2:34 pm

      So glad you liked the interview, Caitlin! And I feel like all we’ve been eating these days is sweet potatoes with some sort of Mexican-themed treatment :)ReplyCancel

  • dorota @ plants on the plate28/01/2015 - 3:51 pm

    thank you for your very honest post which unfortunately feels very much like something i could have written. except those 12 hours/week are much more in my case. i think that cooking was my way of dealing (by denial/avoidance) with anxiety of living by myself at 17, when i first started uni and had a really hard time learning how to make friends and “have a life” without being crammed with classmates in one room all day long and then doing homework and extracirriculars – i havent chosen the right institution or direction, so to say. your brain gets used to certain ways and almost 3 years later i still struggle distancing myself from all the bad, draining feelings, usually gravitating towards the pans and pots instead, and then to utensils and plates. it’s just that making food feels like such a utile way of spending time when you have too much of it, and once it’s made… well that got very personal. oh, i started using headspace after your last post. it helps, it’s just great. thanks! best, dorota.ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright02/02/2015 - 2:32 pm

      Thank you for this honest and heartfelt response, Dorota. I really appreciate you taking the time. I’m really glad that you’re enjoying Headspace :) It’s helping me quite a bit as well. xoReplyCancel

  • Fabiola Garcia28/01/2015 - 4:00 pm

    This recipe is amazing. Beautiful pictures.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley28/01/2015 - 4:20 pm

    Between this post + your podcast today I’m ALL HEARTS FOR LAURA right now. I’m pretty sure we could play a drinking game to your podcast…chug whenever the word “pizza” is mentioned. ;) Also, I think you captured these enchis perfectly. A little messy, totally vibrant, full of toppings. You’re always right on point, girl. xx! (Keep those negative vibes out! No room! I’m working on this, too…)ReplyCancel

  • Abby28/01/2015 - 8:47 pm

    oh, these photos are seriously stunning, Laura! i can’t stop staring at them.
    this recipe looks delicious. <3ReplyCancel

  • Marie29/01/2015 - 1:32 am

    Oh wow drooling over here. Looks so good!That lime cream sauce looks like it would be a great dressing for a taco salad too. YummmReplyCancel

  • Kathryn29/01/2015 - 1:28 pm

    I’m a total stress eater and I’ve been working hard to become more mindful of it and channel my energy into other areas. Or, at the very least, making sure that what I’m snacking on has at least some redeeming qualities. Love the idea of using simple recipes to get into a happier place and enchiladas are pretty sure to get me there.ReplyCancel

  • Sophia30/01/2015 - 4:11 am

    I love love love this idea – the cashew creme alone is high on my list! Also, as I was reading the post I was thinking how pretty the shots are and how challenging it must be to make something like enchiladas look good in a photo!!

    I also wanted to stop by and tell you just how much I enjoyed your podcast, really inspiring, especially about the bit about not sitting around waiting for people to come to you but to reach out yourself. Since listening to your podcast I have sent 2 new pitches out with initial feedback quite positive, so thank you for reminding me to reach out a bit more!ReplyCancel

  • […] vegan enchiladas with lime cream. […]ReplyCancel

  • sara forte01/02/2015 - 1:09 am

    I made a few batches of enchiladas this week, for us and to give. I’ve always used jarred sauce to save time and every time I do it I feel like so foolish because I know it’s easier than it looks. I promise I’m trying your recipe next. It sounds super easy and so good. I had your podcast on my list of things to listen too. What a treat.ReplyCancel

  • jess @ little alice01/02/2015 - 5:11 am

    I love it!! What a great post! and those photos!!! damn I think i’m gonna have to get me some enchiladas….xx :)ReplyCancel

  • Shira02/02/2015 - 2:14 am

    Gorgeous Laura, I so need to up my mexican game! Gorgeous new site design too – love love the new header & drawings!ReplyCancel

  • Edlyn02/02/2015 - 10:21 am

    Laura!!! I love the new blog header…sooooo kickass! And this recipe is giving me serious enchilada inspiration. Love all around. XoReplyCancel

  • Caitlin02/02/2015 - 4:09 pm

    I totally understand that feeling about working only a few hours per week at a restaurant, and loving the people there, but also kind of dreading part of it (I’m dealing with a new manager and the stress that brings, currently, too!)

    Anyway, you’re not alone! And I’m definitely giving these enchiladas, and especially that pumpkin seed crumble, a try soon! Thank you for sharing!ReplyCancel

    • Laura Wright02/02/2015 - 5:24 pm

      Sending nothing but good vibes to you and your current work sitch, Caitlin :)ReplyCancel

  • Renee H.02/02/2015 - 5:42 pm

    Yum times a million!ReplyCancel

  • Kimberly/TheLittlePlantation03/02/2015 - 12:53 pm

    Oh my. what’s happened to your website. It looks MEGA! Congratulations on the revamp. So, so lovely.
    Thank you Laura for the lovely interview. It really gave me the strength to keepgoing, to keep working hard, to learn from my mistakes and just get better. Such an inspiration.
    Wishing you well.ReplyCancel

  • […] You’ll figure it out. I list the directions for making your own sauce from scratch (à la The First Mess), but The Sprouted Kitchen, whom also inspired these enchiladas, used a green chile sauce, which […]ReplyCancel

  • Samantha Long12/02/2015 - 8:36 am

    This recipe looks amazing! I’m always looking for new ways to use avocado… and that lime cream sounds yummy :)ReplyCancel

  • Erin15/02/2015 - 8:41 am

    These were delicious! (And this is coming from a Texas girl who knows her way around an enchilada.) A definite repeat.

    Thank you for another delicious recipe!ReplyCancel

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  • […] pumpkin granola bars for my afternoon snack, and then had some girlfriends over last night for some cozy vegan enchiladas with lime cream. Delicious, healthy food makes me oh so […]ReplyCancel

  • Rachel23/03/2015 - 11:13 am

    Made these for dinner last night and they were delicious! I ended up using two packages of pre-made enchilada sauce, but am really looking forward to making your sauce next time.
    Thank you for another winning recipe!ReplyCancel

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  • 28 years | Balsamic Vignette29/09/2015 - 5:34 pm

    […] Later, I will make one of my favorite dishes for dinner: vegan enchiladas with lime cream from The First Mess. It takes some preparation, but it is so dang delicious that it’s totally worth it! […]ReplyCancel

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    […] Tuesday: Cozy Vegan Enchiladas with Lime Cream […]ReplyCancel

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