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The Better Bean Co. - Enchilada Recipe & Giveaway

Posted Jun 08 2013 10:54pm
There are a number of ways in which I consider myself a "stereotypical" vegan. I love tofu, for instance. I often eat granola for breakfast. You get the idea.

Well, I also LOVE beans. Funny thing is, I'm not sure I ever had a bean until I was in my 20s. And if I did, it was as baked beans or an ingredient in something and I had no idea they were in there. But straight up beans? Never. I am so glad that changed.

Beans are incredibly good for you. High in fiber, protein rich, full of antioxidants, and low in fat. They are really the perfect protein. They're also hella cheap, especially when you buy them dried and cook them yourself. One 16 ounce bag of dried beans will yield the equivalent of 3-4 cans of pre-cooked beans. But at that point, you still have to cook them. For those of you who aren't very familiar with beans, or who like them but don't know what to do with them, I have for you an alternative.

I was introduced to The Better Bean Co. at the Texas VegFest in April. After sampling quite a few of their varieties at the festival, I knew I wanted to share their wonderful products with my readers. When I got home, I wrote to the family-owned and operated company, told them how much I enjoyed their products, and they hooked me up with a sample of each flavor. The five varieties are
  • Re-Thought Red Beans
  • Uncanny Refried Beans
  • Three Sisters Chili
  • Wholly Chipotle Bean Dip and
  • Cuban Black Beans

Both Chris and I thought each of them were fantastic. The Uncanny Refried Beans were a bit spicy for me, but they went really well with the quesadillas I made to go with them, as well as our tortilla chips! The combination of the apple cider vinegar, jalapeno, and serano peppers was really enjoyable. As was the combination of lime juice, ancho chiles, and chipotle peppers in the Three Sisters Chili.

When I worked for my family (making salsa for a living, back in the day...) I learned the value of combining hot peppers for the best results. Not only does it round out the temperature of the dish in question, it also gives it added flavor, which isn't something you get when you use only one type. But this isn't just the case for the Uncanny Refried Beans. No! Nearly all varieties made by the Better Bean Co. use a combination of chili peppers and other unique ingredients to create truly flavorful and interesting products.

What is especially different about the Better Bean Co., though, is that they package their beans refrigerated instead of canned. Their texture and flavor is better than canned beans, too. You can also use them to create other dishes instead of eating them as a main course or side dish. Which is what I did when I got my box of samples. I made enchiladas!

I'm going to share the recipe with you just below this paragraph, but I also wanted to mention that the folks at the Better Bean Co. want you to try their beans, too! In fact, they're letting me give away coupon packs to two lucky readers for them to redeem and try each of their five flavors. Exciting! The only catch, though, is that even though their products are healthy and wonderful and an absolute must-buy, you can't find them everywhere. Before you enter, I encourage you to visit this page on their website to see if Better Beans are sold in your area. Otherwise, if you win, you won't be able to redeem your samples! So, now, the recipe. Read about how to enter to win the giveaway at the very bottom of this post!
lizz's best vegan enchiladas
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I wasn't sure I could top the last batch of enchiladas I made (which I haven't even shared on this blog- shoot!), but I did. Chris said so, and she is my most devoted taste tester, whom I trust completely. I used the Better Bean Co.'s "Re-Thought Red Beans" for this dish, as well as a Jack style vegan cheese wedge from Daiya Foods. The combination was stellar; smooth and creamy, wholesome, and with just the right amount of spice. Chris was swooning over these puppies. I hope you like them as much as we did. And be sure to read on just a little further for the giveaway!
Lizz's Best Vegan Enchiladas by lizzdelicious INGREDIENTS
Enchiladas 1 zucchini squash
1 yellow squash
1/4 cup corn kernels
1 teaspoon taco seasoning
1 teaspoon cumin
1 package "Re-Thought Red Beans"
1 Jack style Daiya cheese wedge
6 La Tortilla Grande White Corn tortillas (these are THE BEST)

Sauce 1/4 all-purpose flour
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups vegetable broth

Toppings Finely diced green onion
Roma tomato, diced


DIRECTIONS
For the enchiladas, saute the zucchini and yellow squash with the corn and seasonings in a small amount of olive oil until the squash has become tender. You can certainly increase the heat and brown the vegetables slightly. This will give the enchiladas a richer, charred flavor. Yum! But this is optional. Add the "Re-Thought Red Beans" and cook until the liquid has evaporated a bit. Just a few minutes. Transfer the vegetable mixture to a large mixing bowl and allow to cool for about 10 minutes.

For the sauce, combine the flour, salt, and cumin in a medium sauce pot. If possible, do not use a non-stick pot. You need to whisk and metal will damage non-stick surfaces! Add the liquids and whisk vigorously on high heat until the mixture begins to bubble. Reduce the heat to medium-low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, until thickened, whisking frequently to prevent clumping. Keep on a low temperature until you're ready to pour over the enchiladas.

To assemble, use as much or as little of the Daiya wedge as you want. If you like enchiladas to be especially cheesy, don't hesitate to use the whole thing. I crumbled 3/4 of the wedge and mixed it into the vegetables. Note, I use a special kind of tortilla for this recipe. These are large tortilla shells (less labor in stuffing lots of tiny enchiladas) but they also have some wheat in them, making them soft, pliable, and soooo tasty. 

After warming the tortillas, add a few scoops of the filling and roll closed. Do this with each of the tortillas. Place them in a lightly greased 9x13 inch baking dish and then pour the enchilada sauce on top. Crumble the other 1/4 of the Jack wedge and sprinkle it on top, along with some diced green onion and tomato. Bake, uncovered, at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or until the cheese on top is soft and melty.
Lizz's Best Vegan Enchiladas by lizzdelicious Makes 6 large enchiladas. Approximately 4-6 servings. 

Chris and I ate 1 1/2 enchiladas per meal with no sides and were definitely satisfied.

Just look at how amazing!!

Like I said before, I was really impressed with the Daiya Jack style wedge. The cheese was so creamy and had just the right amount of salty flavor. It went perfectly with the other ingredients and will be my vegan cheese of choice for enchiladas from here on out.

But let's get to the contest portion of this post.
Win Yourself Some Beans The Better Bean Co. want you to try their beans! In order for me to get you the hook-up, all you have to do is COMMENT on this post. Tell me something about your relationship with beans. Do you love them? Do they scare you? What's your favorite type? For extra entries, you can also post a comment on the photo of this recipe on Facebook and this photo of the recipe on Google+You will receive one entry per comment on these sites (up to five for each person).

You have until June 22 at 11:59PM CST to enter.

The winners will receive coupon packages that will be redeemable for one package of each of the Better Bean Co.'s flavors. I will pick two winners and notify them via email using the address given when commenting on this blog post. Please use a valid email address! The coupons will then be sent to you from the company. Remember, you cannot buy these products everywhere. Please check their  locations page  before entering to make sure you can redeem these coupons.

Thanks for reading, and GOOD LUCK!
try these recipes, too!
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