Pumkinchiladas. Cilantro Sauce.

Pumkinchiladas. Cilantro Sauce.

Being an Arizona-born gal, I find myself gravitating toward my Southwestern roots more and more as the temperature drops to “icy.” By my definition – that’s anything under 50 F. Don’t judge. I want comfort food now- gooey and hot from the oven, oozing with flavor and warmth. And I’m sure this has nothing to do with living in an old house, where the heater hardly works and I can see my breath in the morning. Positive.

Now, I’ve never been enchanted by pumpkin sweets. They’re just  not my thing. But add in some smoked paprika and cumin? Now we’re talking! This recipe is Southwest meets Winter. Spicy, smoky, rich meets creamy, warm and earthy. I’ve used tempeh as the protein source, but if you’re looking to avoid soy, you can substitute black or kidney beans instead. Tempeh is made by fermenting whole soy beans, which leaves the final product more easily digestible than tofu, not to mention it actually has texture and flavor. While this recipe would be delicious served with a traditional red enchilada sauce, I went the lemony, cilantro route. Now, I could go on and on about the benefits of incorporating raw elements into each meal, but let’s be honest, I happened to have cilantro in the house… and you’re looking to make dinner. Here’s the recipe.



24 corn tortillas
1 medium onion, small dice (~ 1 1/2 cups when diced)
8 oz package Tempeh, grated
1 Tbsp olive, or avocado oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
3/4 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp hot chili powder
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/8 tsp cinnamon
16 oz can pumpkin puree
1/2 c vegetable broth

Raw Sauce

2 c loosely packed cilantro
1 c loosely packed baby arugula
1/4 c almond milk (or nondairy milk of choice)
1/4 c pine nuts, toasted
2 1/2 tsp lemon juice
sea salt to taste


1. In a large skillet (cast iron preferred), heat oil. When oil is hot, add onions and tempeh and saute until onions are soft, about 3 minutes. Turn heat down to low, add garlic, salt and  spices, and saute for another 3 minutes. Then add pumpkin and vegetable broth, cover and simmer on low for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Adjust seasonings to taste, and set aside.

2. Sauce: Place cilantro, arugula, milk, pine nuts, lemon juice and salt in a high-speed blender. Mix until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.

3. Preheat oven to 350. Heat tortillas in a covered skillet on low, or in the microwave until soft. This helps them roll without breaking. Spoon ~1/4 – 1/3 cup filling into each tortilla. Line them into a glass baking dish, fold-side down, and reheat in the oven until toasty, about 10-15 minutes. Top with sauce, garnish with chopped cilantro and serve. Enjoy every bite.

Soundtrack: I’m Yours. Jason Mraz.


  1. Julie,
    This recipe sounds scrumptious! Thanks for sharing! Yum! 🙂

  2. Carol, Thank you! I hope you get the chance to make it 🙂


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