Tortilla chips don’t last long in my house, but every once and while I find an open, forgotten bag in the cupboard. Chilaquiles is the perfect cure for stale tortillas chips or tortillas, and even better when fresh. Celebrate the Meat-Free Mondays Challenge with this Mexican inspired dish with black beans, or mix it up with tofu, tempeh or seitan. This is a great meal for anytime of the day, and a known hangover helper!

Photo Credit: Megan Cross

Chilaquiles 

Red Sauce

  • 1 T. safflower oil
  • 1/2 C. yellow onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t. jalapeño, minced, optional
  • 1 Can El Pato Tomato Sauce
  • 2 tomatoes, roasted, seeded, diced
  • 1 C. water
  • 3 T. cilantro, minced
  • 1 can organic black beans
  • 1 T. mexican spice mix, recipe follows
  • Tortilla chips or Tortillas (cut into fourths)

Place tomatoes in the broiler and roast until soft, turning once. Aet aside to cool. Meanwhile in a medium saucepan, heat oil, add onion and cook for a few minutes until onion is translucent. Add garlic and jalapeño (see note). Add El Pato or your favorite enchilada sauce and simmer. Dice the roasted tomatoes and add to sauce. Let simmer for 10 minutes, then add the cilantro. Add water and sauce to a blender and blend or use a hand blender until smooth. Use extreme caution when blending hot ingredients. Blend in small batches, or cool and reheat after blending.

In a separate pan, heat black beans and add spice mix. I prefer my black beans cooked down a bit by adding water and letting them cook, but feel free to use them whole. Layer the chips or tortillas with black beans and sauce. Top with pasilla chili crema if using.

Pasilla Chili Crema 

  • 1 Pasilla Chili, fire roasted, peeled, seeded, diced
  • I Clove garlic
  • 2 T. vegan mayonnaise
  • 2 T water or veggie stock
  • 1/2 t. soy sauce
  • 1/2 t. lime juice or more
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Roast pepper over an open flame until skin is black, using tongs to turn. Place roasted pepper in plastic bag and tie off end. Sweat the pepper until cool enough to handle (at least 10 minutes). Once cool, peel off blackened skin (it should come off easily). Cut the stem off and scrape out the seeds and membrane, then dice. Add chili and  remaining ingredients to a food processor and process until smooth.

Note: When working with jalapeño or other spicy peppers remember to wear gloves, especially if your hands are sensitive. Jalapeños can range vastly in spiciness. Taste a tiny piece to measure temperature. Remember that most of heat resides in the membrane and seeds.

I would have to say my favorite ingredients in my kitchen are my spice mixes. Spice mixes add a rich depth of flavor and truly define a meal. Below is a recipe for a Mexican spice mix. Indian and Italian mixes are good to have, as well as Chinese and Moroccan. Basically, whatever your favorite food is to cook, having a spice mix handy will improve any dish and speed up the process!

Mexican Spice Blend

  • 2 t. cumin
  • 1 t. chili powder
  • 1 t. new mexico chili powder
  • 1 t. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/4 t. garlic powder
  • 1/4 t. cayenne pepper

Mix all ingredients together. Make double or triple the recipe and store in a glass jar or empty spice containers. Also try toasting the cumin and chili powders for extra depth.

More Megan’s Meat-Free Monday Recipes:

Megan’s Meat-Free Monday: Chocolate Chip Cookies

Megan’s Meat-Free Monday: Guide To Easter

Megan’s Meat-Free Monday: Choco-Choco Muffins

Megan’s Meat-Free Monday: Empanadas With Chipotle Cream

Megan’s Meat-Free Monday: Curried Cauliflower Orzo

Megan’s Meat-Free Monday Edition: Buddha Bowl

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