Vegan Enchilada Bowls: Easily customizable plant based dinner.
I was in Denver over the weekend for my nieces wedding. She requested floral attire and what a fun theme that was! It amazed me how different everyone’s interpretation was, how colorful the dresses, ties and suits were and how the theme helped build a sense of community as families were joined together. A love a good theme! Cinco de Mayo is right around the corner, and you can use these vegan enchilada bowls as the basis for your themed get together.
Mexican food gets a bad rap because it can be laden with unhealthy ingredients, but that doesn’t have to be the case. Load up your vegan enchilada bowl with healthy and yummy alternatives. In lieu of a heavy grain choice, simple cauliflower rice will give the same texture and taste with the benefit of added nutrition (this recipe for cauli rice with asparagus is also delicious). Use my suggestions as a guide, but you can easily customize by including YOUR favorite raw or roasted veggies and experiment with different greens for the base. Instead of dairy, why not try a vegan sour crème? Offer a wide variety of different colored veggies for a wide variety of nutrition.
Homemade Enchilada Sauce
My sister Natalie adores the taco sauce from Taco Bell. I remember the year she lived in Rome and I went to visit, the only thing she asked me to bring her from the US was Taco Bell sauce. Seriously. I honestly hadn’t realized until I went to get some before my trip just how unhealthy the ingredient list was. I vowed then to create something healthy that would serve the same tasty purpose. So, I made this up for her.
This delicious sauce stays good in the fridge for about 3 weeks, so it’s easy to always have a batch on hand. I am obsessed with this sauce, so I can finally relate to how she felt. Sauce so yummy, that any regular assortment of veggies/grains automatically tastes like Mexican food with a drizzle of this sauce. Equally at home on tacos, burritos, tostadas or vegan enchilada bowls. This sauce really is the star of these bowls—-but you can feel comfortable loading up on it because, even though it’s loaded with taste, there is little sodium and no preservatives or other ingredients you can’t pronounce!
DIY Enchilada Bowl Buffet
While the sweet potatoes and beans are in the oven, you will have time to make the rest. Chop your veggies, make the enchilada sauce, and the simple cauliflower rice. You can also make the cauli-rice and/or the enchilada sauce in advance. You can chop your veggies in advance and even roast the sweet potatoes/beans ahead. If you’re going to make a batch of homemade guacamole, I recommend you do that just before serving though.
I love entertaining, especially when I have a menu that doesn’t require too much last minute attention! If you’re going to make this for a weeknight dinner, no worries, you can pull this together in 30 minutes, and use what you have on hand for your buffet. I will often use this enchilada sauce combined with whatever is leftover in the fridge on top of a bed of greens for lunch. There’s no one way to do these vegan enchilada bowls. YOUR way is the best choice.
If you’re entertaining for Cinco de Mayo, consider this your perfect party plan. Make your own vegan enchilada bowls means everyone gets exactly what they want, you can prep much of this in advance, and you’ll be providing a nutritious and delicious meal that looks good too! Depending on the crowd you’re having, you can also include some animal protein (shredded chicken or baked white fish would be good), some additional veggies (roasted cauliflower is super tasty in this bowl), vegan sour crème (take the recipe from this lentil taco recipe—-and maybe even make the spiced lentils!), or some lettuce wraps or tortillas at the buffet. The same choices would work well as filling for tacos or burritos. If you don’t have enough ripe avocados to make guacamole, another great addition to a vegan enchilada bowl bar would be this green goddess dressing.
Sweet Potatoes + Black Beans
- 2 ½ cups diced sweet potatoes (approximately 1 large or 2 small-med)
- 1 15-oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 Tablespoons olive or avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 large clove garlic, finely grated
- 2 Tablespoons arrowroot powder
- 1 Tablespoon + 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon oregano
- 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 ½ cups veggie stock
Vegan Enchilada Bowls:
- Simple Cauliflower Rice
- Roasted sweet potatoes + black beans
- Greens (your choice: kale, spinach, chard, lettuce, etc)
- Sliced radish
- Diced bell peppers
- Shredded cabbage
- Avocado chunks or guacamole
- Optional: fresh cilantro, corn, vegan sour crème, sliced scallions.
- Make the sweet potatoes + black beans: Preheat oven to 425. On a rimmed baking sheet, toss diced potatoes and beans with oil, sprinkle on spices and roast for 15-20 minutes, until potatoes are tender.
- Make Enchilada Sauce: Heat oil in small saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in arrowroot powder and cook for about 30 seconds. Add spices, garlic and tomato paste and whisk continuously as it forms a paste, about 30 more seconds. Gradually incorporated stock, whisking well after each addition. To avoid lumps, continue whisking until smooth. Reduce heat to a low simmer and cook until sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Sauce will stay good in a glass jar, tightly sealed in the fridge for 3 weeks.
- Make Enchilada Bowls: Place greens in the bottom of bowl followed by other options and top with enchilada sauce.
Amount Per Serving Calories 716Total Fat 29gCarbohydrates 108gProtein 11g