Vegan Chilaquiles

Vegan Chilaquiles

Vegan Chilaquiles by Toni Okamoto in Plant-Based on a Budget

From Toni: The word chilaquiles is derived from the Nahuatl (language of the Aztecs in Mexico) word chil-a-quilitl, which means “herbs or greens in chili broth.” It’s traditionally made with eggs and cheese, but since I no longer eat those things, I did my best to create a tasty plant-based version of one of my childhood-favorite Mexican dishes.

Yields 2 to 4 servings

Ingredients:
2 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil
5 corn tortillas, cut into small strips
3/4 cup diced red, white, or yellow onion (about 1 medium onion)
1 teaspoon minced garlic (about 2 small cloves)
1 (14-ounce) block extra-firm tofu, pressed
6 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pinch of pepper
1 (15-ounce) can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
Bottle of your favorite salsa

Optional Additions:
1 cup chopped spinach added in step 4
1 jalapeño, seeded and minced (if you like your salsa spicy), added in step 4

Optional Toppings:
Fresh or canned jalapeños
Sliced avocado

  1. In a large frying pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil and fry the tortilla strips for 1½ minutes on each side or until they are crispy.
  2. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 2 minutes or until the onion is tender and translucent.
  3. Using your fingers, crumble the tofu into the pan.
  4. Add the cilantro, cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper, and cook on medium-high for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add the pinto beans, mix well, and let cook for 2 more minutes.
  6. Serve topped with the salsa.

Toni’s Tips:
>>If the term sprigs is unfamiliar, here’s a little helpful info: Cilantro is sold in bunches. Each bunch contains stems with cilantro leaves. Those are called sprigs.
>>If you’re doubling this batch and planning on saving some for a later meal, when serving the leftovers it’s best to start at step 2 and fry up new corn tortillas.
>>Use corn chips instead of frying the tortillas if you want to save on time.

Testers’ Tips:
>>“Vegan sour cream would be A+ in lieu of avocado. I also recommend ½ teaspoon turmeric for health and to make the tofu a yellow color, similar to the color of eggs.” —Logan J. from Sacramento, CA

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