Thursday, December 13, 2012

Who Are You and Where Is Brigid? - Gluten Free Enchiladas

Enchiladas with no beef or bacon?  Or Gluten or Dairy?  Who are you and what did you do with Brigid??

It's really me folks. Many of you here read my friend  Girl and Her Gun  She has a husband and teen with Celiac disease and some dairy issues as well.For such folks, eating this way is essential.  For some people, this way of eating is a trend or a take on a healthy lifestyle.  For others,  Celiac Disease, unchecked, can be a dire threat to one's health and well being.

But eating gluten and/or dairy free isn't easy.  Especially with a teenager around that likely wants to eat pizza and Mexican food like her friends.  So, the other day, when I was experimenting in the kitchen, I played around with a recipe for enchiladas and homemade enchilada sauce to see if I could make them gluten free for A Girl's daughter.  The results were quite well received by my guinea pigs dear friends, who didn't even know they were flour and dairy free, so I sent the recipe for -  

Gluten/Dairy Free Enchiladas with Spicy Sauce

It started with some chicken, a family pack purchased in bulk, cooked and frozen.  Then the tortillas.  The best gluten free ones I have tried to date are  Whole Grain Ivory Teff Wraps from Sonoma All Natural by La Tortilla Factory –they hae a nice texture and hold up well to both filling and sauce.

click on photo to enlarge
What else do I have?  I have beans and chilis and  I purchased some Teese Vegan Cheddar from Chicagoland (it melts better than any dairy free brand I've tried  but I've not seen it a lot of places). What I did NOT have was enchilada sauce. Canned enchilada sauce, for a lot of brands, is full of refined sugar, preservatives and some chemicals and most are not gluten free. Not to mention they are a couple bucks for a tiny can. How about making a sauce from scratch that you can make for pennies?  I was looking for something other than traditional salsa, with a dark smoky richness, an almost undetectable hint of sweet and cheap to make.

The sauce was made with bulk spices on hand that I use frequently, topping the enchiladas made  with pre cooked chicken breast with green chili and  caramelized onion, black beans, a Tablespoon or two of Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese, and the dairy free cheese.   Wrap it up in the tortillas, served with salad and iced tea, and anyone would enjoy it.  It was a hit. The response? "Excellent!, can you make these again?"   I missed my bacon, but still, I need to continue these healthy habits to set an example for the young folks.  Time to to floss!


  1. We just had dinner, and now I'm hungry again. Those things sound good!

  2. Thanks Rev. Paul - "whole grain" is never particularly photogenic for blog posts but it was really tasty.

    As far as the copyright on my recipes. Chef Sam doesn't count. If she wants to take anything of mine and tweak it to make it her own, tell her to go for it. We all are very proud of her.

  3. I think I'll make this for my family; my wife and daughter have gluten allergies (not celiac but not a day at the beach either). I'll make something for me because I'm going paleo. So no grains, legumes, or sugar.

  4. Thanks for posting this. My daughter has a life-threatening food allergy. So, Mexican food is off-limits. And that's tough when you live in Texas. Out of curiosity, have you tried some of the other dairy-free cheeses like Daiya and found the Teese to be better, or was the Teese just readily available? I ask because I haven't been satisfied with the cheese substitutes I've tried, but I haven't yet tried Teese.

  5. Most traditional Mexican cooking is gluten free if you avoid cans, jars, "mixto" tequila, and flour tortillas.

    We only make two exceptions to the "no cans" rule for the cuisine in our house: (1) canned chipotles and (2) hominy for pozole.

  6. I could never use bacon flavored floss...I would just end up eating it like spaghetti...Wait! That's brilliant! Bacon flavored spaghetti!

  7. Sam - I've not tried a lot but Teese melted much better. I hope you enjoy it.

    Roscoe - indeed but most people it seems cook using packaged ingredients any moer

    irontomflint - these oat bran muffins are looking less tasty all of a sudden.

  8. Seriously yummy dish. The sauce was amazing!!! Thanks again Brigid!

  9. Could you use corn tortillas instead of flour? They should be gluten free IIRC, and are likely more traditional.

    Also I'd love to see your take on homemade tamales!

    And just to make you drool a little, I offer up this:

  10. For another gluten free alternative to flour tortillas in enchiladas (and something much more authentic) try using corn tortillas. You may have to ensure they still say "gluten-free" or at least don't have a "made on equipment that also processes wheat", since some people are more sensitive than others.

  11. Thankyew!

    At age 50-something, I've recently been diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
    Having to investigate every item that goes into my mouth is a real chore. Thanks for doing all the heavy lifting!

  12. Monkeywrangler - that's what A Girl and Her Gun did with hers which she posted about as well. Looked really good.

    Matt W. - that's good to know. Thank you!

    Just my 2 cents - It pops up more in later life than not. There's some good sources of info though now. Best of health to you.

  13. We use jars cans for a lot of dinners, but Mexican cooking has been semi-sacred since Mrs. Roscoe went to Fronterra.


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