Something I haven’t mentioned in these past few weeks, is that Choo and I are doing what we call The Lenten Meatless Challenge. We’re not actively Catholic (but from Catholic upbringings), but we often like to use the time of Lent to instill new habits in our lives. Now, I’ve mentioned before that we’re both pretty committed carnivores, but let’s face it, we know that meat production in the US is ecologically damaging. We’re not giving up meat by any means, but we do want to incorporate more meatless meals–it’s healthy to eat more vegetables and it’s nicer to both the earth and our bank accounts.
During this whole process over the past few weeks, I’ve made some real effort in making some very delicious vegetarian meals. A co-worker passed on a recipe that sounded interesting, and with a few of my own personal tweaks, made one heck of a dinner.
I’ll tell you, as much as I love an enchilada (oh, man, there’s this one place near where I work that makes these awesome seafood enchiladas, all creamy and crabby and shrimpy and cheesy…), I really am not a fan of making them. There’s the whole assembly line needed: the frying pan to fry every tortilla before dipping in sauce, the bowls of fillings and not to mention the whole fiddly process of rolling filling into the tortillas.
But. BUT. It’s so, so, so worth the effort and the dirty dishes. And, one of the greatest things about enchiladas: they can be frozen. One of the best things you can do when you make enchiladas is to make a double batch–one for dinner tonight, and one to get wrapped up tightly and frozen for an easy dinner in a few weeks, which means all of the deliciousness with none of the fuss.
This makes two 9 x 13 pans of enchiladas, or, in my case, one 15 x 10 and one small casserole dish. Of course, the recipe is easily halved if you don’t want to make the double batch.
Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas
- 2 pounds sweet potatoes
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon each salt & pepper
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 can of Herdez Salsa Casera or Rotel Tomatoes & Chilies
- 2-15 ounce cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- juice of 2 limes
- 1/4 teaspoon each salt & pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 20 corn tortillas
- oil for frying
- 2-28 ounce cans mild red enchilada sauce
- 2 cups shredded Mexican blend cheese
- 1-4 ounce can diced mild green chiles (optional)
- Preheat oven to 400°. Rinse sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork; place on foil-lined sheet pan. Roast sweet potatoes until very soft, approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on size. Set aside to cool. Reduce oven temperature to 350° when done.
- Once cool enough to handle, peel sweet potatoes and smash with chili powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add oil and saute onions until translucent and tender. Add garlic and salsa and simmer until liquids reduce.
- Add black beans, lime juice and cumin; stir to combine.
- Prepare two 9 x 13 pans by first pouring 1 cup enchilada sauce into each pan.
- Heat a small skillet with a thin layer of oil. Have close by a lipped plate or cake pan with a thin layer of enchilada sauce. Start by lightly frying a corn tortilla until soft, then place on plate with enchilada sauce, turning it over to coat the tortilla on both sides.
- Spoon out approximately 2 tablespoons’ worth of sweet potato mixture and 2-3 tablespoons of the black bean mixture, spreading out in a line through the center of the tortilla. Gently roll tortilla with filling and place into prepared 9 x 13 pan.
- Repeat steps 7 and 8 with all 20 tortillas, filling pans. Add oil to frying pan or enchilada sauce to plate as needed.
- Pour remaining enchilada sauce over enchiladas, coating evenly. Top with shredded cheese and diced chiles.
- Bake in 350° oven for 25 to 30 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbly.