Earlier today I was looking for inspiration on what to make for dinner, when I remembered I had bought several pounds of organic sweet potatoes, more than I would ever need for Thanksgiving dinner. I saw a jar of Green Salsa Verde in the cupboard and started craving Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas. Amazingly, I just happened to have some leftover cooked black beans in the freezer, corn tortillas in the fridge and the last of the poblano and pedron peppers from the garden so I was all set. I decided to add some fresh kale to boost the nutrition and the garden kale is so sweet right now with the cooler weather. Making enchiladas reminds me of my mom because cheese enchiladas were one of the first things she taught me to make when I was a young teen. With the holidays coming up, I have such fond memories of cooking and decorating with my mom. Not sure she would recognize my version of enchiladas, but I know she would have loved that she inspired me to get creative with my cooking.
“Inspired By Mom: SWEET POTATO & BLACK BEAN ENCHILADAS”
Makes: one 9 X 14 baking dish (about 10 – 12 enchiladas)
I large jar or can green salsa verde
1 package organic corn tortillas, if you can find them (Trader Joe’s carries them)
4 small sweet potatoes
4 or 5 small to medium peppers like poblanos, anaheims or padrons
2 cups cooked black beans (you could use a can of organic black beans)
1 cup finely chopped fresh kale
Optional for sprinkling over top before cooking:
½ cup finely chopped onion
½ – 1 cup pepper jack cheese (omit if vegan)
1 small can of chopped olives
Cut the peppers in half and remove all the seeds and white membrane (if they are really hot use gloves or wash your hands well immediately after cutting and DO NOT touch your eyes until hands are really clean). Place peppers cut side down on baking sheet and place under broiler for about 8 – 10 minutes until the skins blisters and turn dark brown. Remove from broiler and immediately put into a plastic bag for about 10 minutes. This will make peeling them a breeze as it causes the skin to pull away. Peel the peppers, dice and set aside.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into ½ inch cubes. Put in a saucepan with water and a steamer basket and steam about 10 minutes, until they are tender but NOT mushy. Remove from steamer and set aside.
In a large saucepan heat the Green Salsa Verde until it begins to simmer. In a measuring cup add ½ cup water with 1 TBSP flour and mix until smooth. Slowly pour this into the simmering sauce and stir with a whisk until it thickens a bit. (I learned this from my mom to keep the sauce from being too runny).
If you are using cheese, grate it and set aside, chop ½ cup onion finely and open and drain a small can of chopped olives. These are all optional.
TO ASSEMBLE ENCHILADAS:
Put the lightly oiled baking dish right next to the saucepan with the heated sauce and have your fillings right on the other side of the baking dish. This is the key to not making a big mess! (Learned this from my mom, too, who was a very tidy cook).
Take 1 corn tortilla and dip it into the salsa verde then place in baking dish. Put a thin row of sweet potatoes, a small handful of the black beans and some of the chopped kale on top. Gently roll the tortilla into a tube with the ends underneath so it doesn’t unwrap. Do this with each tortilla until the baking dish is full.
Pour the rest of the sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle the tops with cheese, onions, olives and the roasted peppers.
Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, then remove foil and bake another 10 minutes, or until bubbling. You can also freeze them before you bake them. Sometimes I make a double recipe and freeze one batch. Always so happy when I look in the freezer and see a pan of enchiladas just waiting to defrost, bake and eat!! If you have not used sweet potatoes in enchiladas before, I encourage you to try them. The combo of black beans and sweet potatoes with the green chili verde sauce is dynamite! Plus, these can be vegan friendly, just leave off the sprinkling of cheese.