Spinach Enchiladas in Creamy Cilantro Sauce

posted in: Main Dishes, Recipes, TexMex | 0

Last summer, my co-worker and friend Will gave me about 2 pounds of chaya leaves from the tree in his yard. Chaya is also known as tree spinach, and as long as you boil it first, you can use it in any recipe that calls for cooked spinach. I used it in my favorite spinach enchilada recipe, one perfected by Jalapeño’s Restaurant. Since Will is vegan, I told him I’d veganize the recipe the next time I made it. I was hoping to be able to offer him some, but it’s taken me 9 months to make this again, and we no longer work together. Will, if you happen to stumble upon this post, this one’s for you! 

Spinach Enchiladas in Creamy Cilantro Sauce


2 10 ounce packages frozen, chopped spinach1 1/2 slices of bread (1 1/2 ounces)
1 small white onion, chopped (about 1 cup)
8 ounces cremini or white button mushrooms
4 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon oil or margarine


3 tablespoons margarine
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups soy milk
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper 

1 teaspoon white pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teapsoon salt
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg 

1 bunch cilantro, roughly chopped, about a cup
12 small flour tortillas 

Cook spinach according to package directions and set aside. 

Tear bread into pieces and grind to crumbs in a food processor. Put into a medium bowl and set aside. 

Pulse onion, mushroom and garlic in a food processor until minced. Heat oil in a large saucepan and sauté onion-mushroom mixture until vegetables are tender. Add onion-mushroom mixture to bowl with bread crumbs. 

Wipe out saucepan and melt margarine over low heat. Add flour and stir. Cook 1 minute. Remove from heat, add soymilk and stir well. Place pot back on burner and heat to medium. Continue cooking, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens. Add wine, Tofutti, nutritional yeast, and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and white pepper. Cook until Tofutti melts and remove from heat. 

Squeeze water from spinach. In food processor, puree with 1 teaspoon white pepper, 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg and about 1/3 cup white sauce. Add more white sauce if necessary to blend. Add spinach to onion-mushroom mixture and stir. 

Add cilantro to remaining white sauce and use an immersion blender to puree. 

Oil a 9 x 13-inch pan. Add about 1/2 cup sauce to pan and spread on the bottom. Divide spinach filling among 12 tortillas, roll up, and place in pan. Pour sauce on top. 

Bake at 350F for 20-25 minutes until enchiladas are heated through; the sauce will be bubbly at the edges. 

Serves 6. 

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