New Year, New You, right? Resolutions usually involve weight loss, and it seems like everybody goes on a diet in January. I’ve found that eating a low carb diet is the easiest and surest way for me to lose weight. This Low Carb Vegetarian Beef Enchilada Casserole can help meet my goals.
Sometimes eating low carb can be really hard to stick to – you feel like you just lost half your meal choices. Add in being a vegetarian, and the choices seem even more limited. Finally, when the temperature is below zero (like it’s been here for the last week!), all you want to do is curl up with some carb-heavy comfort food. But, I’m determined to resist that temptation, and this recipe can do the job.
I started with Kim’s Low Carb Beef Enchilada Casserole, put my own spin on it and came up with this Low Carb Vegetarian Beef Enchilada Casserole.
Low Carb Vegetarian Beef Enchilada Casserole
To make this vegetarian and “beef”, I substituted Morning Star Farms Griller Crumbles for the ground beef in the original recipe. There are several other brands available – Gardien, Quorn, or Beyond Beef, but I prefer the MSF Crumbles, mostly because I can get them in the freezer section of almost any store.
I started by sautéing the red onion and cumin in olive oil in a separate saucepan. I love the smell of red onion and cumin, and for me, it’s the start of any spicy dish. Too bad you can’t smell this.
Toss all the ingredients into the crockpot, give a stir, and let it cook.
I also love to add a bit of chipotle puree into a recipe like this. It gives a wonderful, smoky heat to recipes. It’s also super easy to make – toss a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce into a blender and blend until it’s a puree. Store in the refrigerator. That’s it. Add a spoonful to any dish that you would like to have a bit of heat.
This Low Carb Vegetarian Beef Enchilada Casserole is great on it’s own, but sometimes I like dishes like this with a bit of crunch. Some homemade low carb tortilla chips should do the trick. Or if you’re feeling indulgent, live wild and add some regular tortilla chips.
I got this Black + Decker 6 Quart Slow Cooker for Christmas, and it’s pretty snazzy. I did not use the Wi-Fi capabilities, but if you’re into that whole Internet of Things, you should check it out. Then you could control your crockpot from another state.
Finally, a note about this recipe’s carb count: 30 grams of carbs may not seem low carb, but considering net carbs (carbs minus fiber) of 16 grams, that’s a pretty low carb count for a vegetarian dish, and the carbs are not coming from grains. You can reduce the carb count further by eliminating the beans, but much of the fiber is coming from the beans which reduces the net carbs.
Low Carb Vegetarian "Beef" Enchilada Casserole
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 cup diced red onion
- 1/2 tsp. cumin
- 12 oz. bag Morning Star Farms Grillers Crumbles
- 4 oz can diced green chilies
- 1 1/2 cups enchilada sauce store bought or made from scratch
- 15 oz. can black beans - rinsed & drained
- 15 oz. can diced tomatoes - drained
- 1/4 tsp. chipotle puree
- 1 cup Colby-Jack cheese - shredded
- Optional Garnishes: green onions cilantro, lime juice, avocado, sour cream
- In a medium saucepan, sauté the red onion and cumin in the olive oil until onions are soft.
- Transfer the onion mixture to the crockpot. Add the crumbles, chilies, enchilada sauce, black beans, tomatoes, and chipotle puree. Stir to combine. Set the crockpot on Low, and cook for two hours.
- Mix in the shredded cheese and cook for 15-30 minutes (until cheese is melted) on Low.
- Serve with optional garnishes.