Cheesy Beef Enchilada Bake (An in-depth look at Daiya Vegan Cheese)

This was easy to make & is VERY delicious. I also cobbled it together from things already in my pantry and ingredients I had used earlier in the week. Not only did I have it for dinner last night but I also will be having it for lunch today :) Saving money & time. Still delicious. Oh and the second part of that pumpkin smoothie I made yesterday? Even better today. Leaving the rest in the blender in the fridge overnight really brought the pumpkin flavor out.

1lb of ground hamburger (but you can also use turkey or chicken)
1 can of tomatoes and green chilies
1 can of black beans
2 diced and chopped green peppers
1/2 cup of red onions
1 pouch of Enchilada Sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
2 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp onion seasoning
1 tsp garlic seasoning
4 slices of Daiya Sliced Cheddar Cheese

Place ground beef in large skillet pan and brown. Drain oil, if there is any, combine rest of seasonings and ingredients in pan. Cook to bubbling. 

Use enough of the meat to create a single layer in the bottom of the pan. Split two slices of cheese in half and place on taco layer. Add more meat on top then the last of the cheese. (Same step as before)
Place in oven at 350degrees for 12 minutes, or until cheese bubbles and flattens. I made one pan for my hubby with regular cheese and one for me with the sliced cheese.

 I have been trying to find cheese alternatives...I'm sure it is better and more whole clean eating to just STOP eating processed foods, but sometimes..YOU JUST WANT CHEESE! I had a client tell me about vegan cheese that doesn't contain soy! I was juiced so I checked it out. I really like...but...I need to know the breakdown.

Here are the ingredients...and here's what they mean

Tapioca Starch: is a starch extracted from manioca. It is used as a thickening agent.
Palm Fruit Oil: A widely produced edible fat from oil palm trees. According to Shape it is the NEW oil to have in every one's home OVER coconut oil.
Expeller Pressed non GMO Canola Oil and/or Expeller Pressed non GMO Safflower Oil: considered one of the healthiest oils on the market...
Coconut Oil: Click on the link to see the 10 proven health benefits of coconut oil.
Pea Protein Isolate: Is a natural vegetable protein which is derived from peas. It is considered one of the best protein choices for vegans, due to its balanced amino acid spread and high protein concentrate.
Vegetable Glycerin: Glycerin is widely used in the food industry for two main reasons: it has a sweet taste, but has fewer calories than sugar; and it is hygroscopic, that is, it absorbs moisture from the air. It is therefore used both to sweeten foods and to keep them moist. The compound is metabolized more slowly than sucrose — the type of sugar most commonly found in candy and in processed foods — and therefore does not have such a dramatic effect on blood sugar levels. It also does not contribute to bacterial tooth decay.
Brown Rice is crazy thing to make apparently...Google it...but it is a liquid sugar substitute  that can be used in baking and cooking to sweeten foods with less calories and to use the refined sugar. Although it's made from brown rice and little else, it's highly refined and concentrated, making it a source of calories and carbs, as well as trace minerals. However, as far as sweeteners go, it is all-natural, nearly always organic, and probably one of the healthiest sugar substitutes available, with the exception of stevia.
Xanthan Gum is used as a gelling agent and thickener. Doing some research on Xanthan Gum and it looks like it is semi controversial, so those with extreme allergies should avoid the gum. However, it depends on how it's made and as Daiya claims to use non soy products, this might actually be safe to eat!
Lactic Acid in food is typically used as a pH regulator or as a preservative.
Annattoo is an orange red dye obtained from from the pulp of a tropical fruit used for coloring foods. Carrageena is basically the same thing.
Vegan Enzyme is an enzyme formula that will help enhance the digestive process and increase the nutritional value of the food.

 Holy CRAP! I've never done so much research in my life on ingredients of food...I'm thinking all in all, not a horrible product. I am going to continue to use it! Sparingly but still going to use it.

I'm out! LOL...

Blessings Everyone,