Finally...Soy-Free Enchilada Sauce!

Hello! Welcome to Beyond Soy!

When we first began avoiding soy, Ashley and I found that we needed to modify quite a bit of the food that we normally ate. Many of the meals that we cooked contained soy (or contained something that contained soy). Over time, we’ve changed our cooking to include new soy-free dishes or use soy-free replacements for the food that we previously cooked. During the last few years, we’ve found soy-free options for nearly everything that we enjoy (even chocolate!). One of the main holdouts: Enchilada sauce. For some reason unbeknownst to us, we’ve found it incredibly difficult to find or make soy-free enchiladas. Here is a bit of our enchilada sauce story:

 IMAGE VIA PIXABAY

IMAGE VIA PIXABAY

Act 1: Canned Enchilada Sauce Contains Soy—When we started avoiding soy, we checked the ingredients of the enchilada sauce we previously used. Not surprisingly, it contains soy, so we proceeded to check the ingredients of every canned enchilada sauce variety in the grocery store. They all contain soy (mostly soybean oil but some “soy protein” as well). We did find one package of soy-free enchilada sauce. It was in some sort of advanced bag packaging (fancy!) and it was also prohibitively expensive. At this point, we figured that pre-packaged enchilada sauce was off the table.

Act 2: Making Our Own Enchilada Sauce—This part of the story does not end well. Being unable to find a soy-free replacement for a particular food isn’t something new for us, so we weren’t too discouraged when we couldn’t find soy-free enchilada sauce in the grocery store. When we can’t buy something from the store, we know that we can probably make it from scratch at home by replacing any soy-containing ingredients with a soy-free option (e.g., canola oil instead of soybean oil). We went online to find an easy-to-make recipe and found plenty of options. All of the options were roughly the same, so we picked one that we liked and set about making it. We quickly learned that Ashley and I should not make enchilada sauce at home. The sauce didn’t come out well: it wasn’t the right taste or texture and we really didn’t like it. We followed all of the steps in the recipe correctly and used all the correct ingredients, so we weren’t sure where we went so wrong. 

Act 3: Sour Cream-Based Recipe—Our previous struggles with enchilada sauce did not deter us! We got a recipe for enchiladas from a friend. This recipe actually doesn’t use an enchilada sauce, per se. Instead, it uses a combination of sour cream and green chilis. These enchiladas are good, but not great. They are relatively easy to make (and easy to make soy-free), but we haven’t perfected the recipe yet. While they are adequate when we want to make enchiladas for dinner, we are still searching for a better, more dependable recipe. That being said, we’ll keep tweaking this recipe and will post it here when we get it to a dependably delicious point.

 IMAGE VIA PIXABAY

IMAGE VIA PIXABAY

Act 4: A New Jar of Sauce—Even with the sour cream-based recipe to fall back on, we’ve continued to search for a pre-packaged enchilada sauce in the story. Finally, after years of searching and reading ingredient labels, we have found a soy-free variety of enchilada sauce in the grocery store that is also reasonably priced! While we haven’t made enchiladas with this sauce yet, we are hoping that these will finally be what we are looking for. We did get a chance to sample the sauce in the grocery store, so we’ve confirmed that it was tasty. It is worth mentioning here that throughout our entire enchilada sauce struggle we’ve also struggled with tortillas. We’ve found a couple of soy-free options, but none of them have really been optimal until we found a new soy-free variety recently (La Tortilla Factory Light Flour Tortillas). With new sauce and new tortillas, our enchilada future is bright!

The story above, while humorous, accurately illustrates some of the frustrations and difficulties that exist when trying to find soy-free work-arounds for common foods. We’ll keep checking for new foods (and ingredient changes) in the grocery store while we look for soy-free varieties of our favorite foods.