Quick & Easy Mole Cauliflower Enchiladas with Roasted Garlic Cashew Cream (Vegan, Gluten Free)
If I had a single favorite food, mole might be it. It’s the perfect combination of sweet and savory, and its incredible depth of flavor will confuse the crap out of your palette, while absolutely delighting it. While mole is the type of thing where every family has their own top-secret recipe, to me, the defining flavors are an umami tomato note, a nutty hint of sesame and almond, spicy pepper, savory cumin and, most importantly, that hint of sweet chocolate. When we lived in London, Zack and I decided one weekend day that we wanted to make our own mole. We trekked across town to the only Mexican market that carried the proper type of peppers, and proceeded to spend the next eighteen—eighteen!!—hours in the kitchen of our flat, soaking peppers, roasting tomatoes, toasting bread… The result was delicious, I think…mostly, I was too tired by then to enjoy it.
Fear not, friends. This is a quick and dirty mole, designed to mimic the flavors of real mole but coming together in under ten minutes. It’s a real revelation, winning any day when held against plain ol’ enchilada sauce.
Now, let’s talk about the inside. Cauliflower rice is basically everywhere these days (when you can find something pre-bagged at Trader Joe’s, you know it’s infiltrated the zeitgeist) and I absolutely love it. Beyond just replacing rice (nothing against rice, but it’s nice to add more veg in where you can), cauliflower takes on a beautifully sweet and nutty flavor when roasted. Tossed with some chipotle and a little cacao powder, the cauliflower rice becomes sweet, spicy, smoky and a teensy bit chocoaltey, just enough to bring out the chocolate in the mole sauce. Black beans add protein and heft to the meal, and the sweet and creamy roasted garlic cashew sauce provides so much richness that you’ll never miss the cheese (although if you wanted to toss some cheese in, you do you. I recommend a great pasture-raised raw white cheddar).
Enchiladas aren’t fussy, so don’t make these fussy. They’re messy; that’s fun. You can make ’em ahead of time and let them sit in the fridge, marinating in their deliciously saucy bath. When you eat, if you don’t end up with mole all over your face, you haven’t done it right. And that’s coming from an expert.
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 can fire-roasted tomatoes, drained (can sub non fire roasted)
- 2 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons raw cacao
- 1 tablespoons toasted sesame seeds
- 3 tablespoons almond or cashew butter
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ⅓ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 - 3 hours
- 1 clove garlic, roasted
- 1/2 cup water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- High heat oil of choice, to drizzle
- 5 cups riced cauliflower, from about 1 small cauliflower (to rice cauliflower, simply cut it shred it with a cheese grater or chunk it and put it through your food processor with the grater blade)
- 2 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons cacao powder
- 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon chipotle powder
- 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
- 8 small corn tortillas
- Chopped green onions and cilantro, for garnish
- In a medium pot over medium heat, melt coconut oil. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add spices and cook for one more minute, or until spices are fragrant, then add tomato paste, tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Bring to simmer. Add cacao, almond butter and garlic. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. When the sauce is cooled, blend until smooth, adding more vegetable broth if you need to thin the texture. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cut top off garlic and drizzle with a bit of high heat oil of choice (I like avocado and coconut), then wrap tightly in parchment paper or foil. Place in oven with a baking pan beneath to catch any drips and roast for about an hour, or until you can easily squeeze it with your (oven mitt covered hands). Unwrap, and set aside to cool. Drain cashews and squeeze garlic into blender. Blend with remaining ingredients until you have a smooth and creamy sauce. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss all ingredients together until rice is well coated. Lay in a single layer on parchment paper, spreading as much as possible. Roast for 20 - 30 minutes, or until golden brown at edges, stirring once halfway through.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Stir black beans with cauliflower rice. Spread a thin layer of enchilada sauce over the bottom of a glass baking tray. Heat up a small frying pan over medium, then heat each tortilla for about a minute on each side, or until soft, then fill will cauliflower bean mixture and roll tightly, placing seam-side down in pan. Keep going until the pan is filled. Cover generously with enchilada sauce. You can put these in the fridge at this point; covered tightly they'll keep for 2 - 3 days. Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, or until enchiladas are beginning to brown at edges. Remove from oven and drizzle with cashew sauce, then top with green onions and cilantro and serve.