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Dairy Free Enchiladas with Cheese Sauce

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Dairy Free Enchilada Cheese

Dairy free enchiladas? Why that’s easy, just make it without cheese.

Uh, no. To me, cheese is the second most important ingredient. Right next to a good enchilada sauce. I’d rather leave everything else out.

I love enchiladas but I’m not going to bother making them without cheese. It’s like a pizza without cheese. Sorry, I just don’t dig it.

Sigh, I love cheese.

But, this recipe is not only an acceptable substitute, it’s actually good.  Like not “this is good for dairy free cheese” but actually just plain “this is good” without the disclaimer. The first time I made this, I made half dairy free and half with cheese.  The children request the dairy free version over the real cheese one.

To quote my husband, “Woah, Mel, this is good. I mean, you look at it and it looks all disgusting but then you take a bite and it’s so good.” I think that’s a compliment, right?

30 mins later… I don’t know if you can tell from the picture, but this is a really big dish. It’s 9″x13″ and 3″ deep. A lot of food. 2 lbs of beef, 2 cups of beans, about 24 corn tortilla shells, a full recipe of the cheese sauce, and a full recipe of the enchilada sauce.

DSC_0005

It’s not just for enchiladas either. This cheese tastes great as a nacho cheese sauce with chips as well, as a topping for vegetables, over noodles for mac and cheese, and even on pizza.

Dairy Free Enchilada Cheese Sauce

Ingredients

  • 2 cups cashews
  • 2 1/2 cups water (add more if needed)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 3 tsp salt

Instructions

  1. Soak cashews in water overnight (or at least a few hours in hot water).
  2. Strain cashews and place in blender with 2 1/2 cups water and remaining ingredients.
  3. If using a Vitamix, type high speed blender, blend for 3-5 minutes or until hot.
  4. If using a regular blender, blend until smooth then place in a sauce pan and heat on med-low heat, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
  5. Add water if needed to desire consistency.
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Beef and Beans Enchildas

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups black beans
  • Corn Tortillas (about 20-24)
  • 1 full recipe enchilada sauce (leave out sour cream for dairy free)
  • 1 recipe dairy free enchilada cheese sauce (or cheese if you please) use as much as needed

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375F.
  2. In a large skillet, saute onions until translucent.
  3. Add ground beef, break into small pieces, and cooked until well browned.
  4. In a large casserole dish, 9"x13" (or two smaller dishes and freeze one for later), spoon out enough enchilada sauce to cover the bottom.
  5. Top with a layer of corn tortillas, add a layer of beans, then a layer of meat. Pour about 3/4 cup enchilada sauce over everything, then pour a layer of cheese sauce.
  6. Repeat layers. I usually get 3 layers. End with a cheese layer.
  7. Bake uncovered for about 25 mins or until warmed through.
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To use it with enchiladas, simple replace the cheese in your recipe by spooning this over (or inside) your enchiladas.

My family’s favorite recipe for enchiladas is this one, Enchilada Lasagna.

Cauliflower “Popcorn”, Raw or Roasted

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 Cauliflower "Popcorn"

I don’t know if I should admit this or not but… I ate a whole head of cauliflower by myself yesterday. I meant for everyone to have it but the boys had Royal Rangers (church Boy Scout type thingie) and I mis-timed making these.  My husband took the boys to church and I was home all by myself with a pan full of roasted cauliflower “popcorn”.  I couldn’t help myself.

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Copycat Wendy’s Chili

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 Wendy's Copycat Chili

I don’t like to eat out and I especially don’t like to eat out at a fast food restaurant but on the rare occasion that we do, Wendy’s is one of  the few places we’ll go.  They don’t use pink slime and their burger patties are actually made from beef.  It’s not pastured organic beef but it is beef, no soy crap substitutes. On the good, better, best scale, it’s at least an ok.

Anyway, this isn’t meant to be an ad for Wendy’s.  Avoid eating out (especially fast food) as much as you can. One of their menu items that we love is their chili. My kids ask for it all the time but I’m not going to to buy it for them as often as they would like.  So I’ve set out to create my own version at home.

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The Lazy Way to Cook Squash

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I don’t know about you, but I’m always scared I’m going to chop a finger off while cutting a large squash in half. I was bemoaning my fear to my mom at Thanksgiving and she said, “Why do you cut it in half?”

“Because everyone does.”

She said, “I don’t.”

My mom just sticks the whole darn thing in the oven then cuts and scoops out the seeds after it’s cooked.  It takes a little bit longer that way but nothing noteworthy.  It only added about 15-20 minutes which was totally worth saving my fingers.

I took it a step further.  I stick the whole squash (if it fits) in my pressure cooker.  Instead of 1-1.5 hours, it only takes about 15-20 mins.

You can also do this in a slow cooker.

Bigger squash take longer than small squash so you’ll want to test poke occasionally.

The Lazy Way to Cook Squash

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Step By Step Paleo Plan

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Step

Are you a “jump in head first” or a “slow and steady wins the race” kind of person?

I tend to jump in and go full steam ahead but studies show that people tend to stick with changes over the long run if they are done slowly, step by step, week by week.

The Paleo diet is gaining in popularity and I think it’s great.  My biggest rule for nutrition is to eat real food.  You can read my definition of “healthy” here: What Does Eating Healthy Mean? The Paleo diet fits perfectly with that.  It’s all real food.

Continue reading Step By Step Paleo Plan