Friday, November 13, 2009

Daiya Ode to Chi-Chi's

Remember Chi-Chi's? Moreover, Chi-Chi's buffet? Endless platesful of sweet corn cake, Mexican rice and cheese & onion enchiladas...finished off with a pile of warm sopapillas drenched in chocolate sauce- no wonder they went out of business; I could really pack it away! I hadn't thought about them in ages until I placed my most recent Daiya order from Pangea and began brainstorming the use of my incoming bags of shredded cheddar. In the end it wasn't a quesadilla, nor the chili con queso, but the cheese and onion enchiladas that won the opportunity to showcase my cheese this time around.

In the interest of honesty, I will admit that when I imply that I chose to make the cheese and onion enchiladas, I invariably mean that I had the Daiya shipped to my vegetarian Mom, tracked its delivery from work, and sent her a text message immediately upon its arrival indicating that she should check her email for the detailed instructions that she was to follow. Said instructions included a very simple enchilada recipe, and began with some variation of, "This is your mission...if you choose to accept it". Of course she did; she's my Mom. And who can resist Daiya and the prospect of cheese and onion enchiladas? Right, no one.

Anyhoo, you'll note in the picture above the beauteauos pan-ful of enchiladas that she was able to create under such vegan duress: yum. I hesitate to mention that before partaking, the carnivorous Dad asked if we had any "real" cheese to cover it with (!). More important to note, though, is that after being refused, he proceeded to scarf down double the helping of the other diners, sans "real" cheese. Hmm, not exactly missing anything, was it, Carnie? No, I didn't think so.

To be clear to vegans, vegetarians and omnis alike, the Daiya smelled, melted, looked, stretched, and tasted just like mild, delicious cheddar cheese of vegetarian days gone by. The onions were suitably crunchy in contrast to the squishiness of the rest of the enchilada sauce laden, generously cheesed 'ladas and there were happy tummies all around. There is still quite a bit of Daiya left over from this delivery, but I think I am once again going to forego the baked macaroni and cheese in favor of a good old grilled cheese, some melty nachos with jalapenos, and cheesy fries (Nathan's, of course).

I will make a concerted effort not to order another shipment for at least a month, lest I become addicted as I once was with "real" cheese. In the interest of full disclosure though, I'll admit that I have two wheels of Dr. Cow in the fridge from my order as well; so, I'm not exactly cheeseless in the interim.

For those of you who may have missed it, please see my first Daiya swoon here on SuperVegan.

And for those of you who also miss Chi-Chi's, does anyone have the recipe for their moist, sweet, corn cake? You know the one: they used to serve it by the ice cream scoop! Gotta miss Chi-Chi's.


  1. Love your site! You've just inspired me to make vegan enchiladas with Daiya! YUM!
    p.s. I have your blog linked on my site now. :)

  2. i had enchiladas with daiya for the first time last weekend, and it was one of the best meals of my life!


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