When my dear, sweet sister Sarah came to help with Betsy right after she was born, she made us dinner. She made these incredible vegetable enchiladas with sweet potato and black beans. They were delicious. The really wonderful thing about them was the goat cheese. I would’ve never thought to do that, and I would’ve never thought it would’ve been as terrific as it was. I tried to recreate them last week and while Ben and I really enjoyed them, they weren’t quite like Sarah’s. So I’ll have to get an enchilada lesson from her the next time we’re together.
Pardon this iPhoned and Instrgramed photo. I’m honestly just proud that I took a picture at all. And to be quite honest I like that if I don’t try to take a good photo, then I can have an excuse for taking crummy ones. One day I’ll start taking better quality pictures…
These enchiladas are a healthier option when you’re craving Tex-Mex. They aren’t heavy laden with cheese, and they can be totally vegetarian if you choose to skip the chicken. You really won’t miss it. The goat cheese adds a perfect tangy surprise. If you don’t like goat cheese, add some regular shredded cheese to the filling.
Sarah cooks like I wish I could. She doesn’t really measure anything. She doesn’t really follow a recipe. She just makes what she thinks will be good. And every time she’s done that when I’ve been around to taste the end result, it’s been quite yummy. I tried to take some inspiration from Sarah and cook without measuring cups or spoons, so my measurements below are approximate. The beautiful thing about that kind of cooking is that if you don’t have or like something below you can replace it with something else and not get too preoccupied with doing things a specific way. Just taste as you go to make sure you have the flavor you want. I used a packet of chicken taco seasoning, but you can use your favorite spices to make your own seasoning mix.
Other ingredients that I would consider trying in these enchiladas are corn, green chiles, spinach, mushrooms, shredded carrots and zucchini. In place of chicken you can use ground beef or turkey, or some shredded pork if you happen to have some left over from another meal.
I realized when I started to put these together that I didn’t think to get any sauce and wondered if Sarah had even used any. So I asked her and she said she just used a can of enchilada sauce. And of course I had no enchilada sauce. What’s a girl to do? Make her own enchilada sauce of course. And where does one find a recipe for enchilada sauce? The internet of course. I just Googled “homemade enchilada sauce” and I found this little gem. I followed the recipe except for a couple things. I didn’t have any tomato sauce so I pureed a can of diced tomatoes after draining off some of the juice. In place of the self rising flour I used regular. I used the spices it called for and as it cooked I tasted and added a little more chili powder, some paprika and I believe a little more salt since I didn’t have onion salt. It tasted ok, but I was worried about how it was going to turn out on the enchiladas. Turned out to be wonderful paired with the enchiladas, and something I’m going to make again the next time I need enchilada sauce.
Now I know flour tortillas are not what is traditionally used for enchiladas. I used flour because that’s what Sarah used. I might try corn sometime. If you decide to, make sure to soften them in warm chicken broth or in the microwave to soften. If you skip that step they will crack when you go to roll them up.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt
- 1 large sweet potato, cut into small dice
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 cups cooked, chopped chicken (optional)
- 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
- goat cheese, 3-4 ounces
- 8-12 flour tortillas (taco or burrito size)
- 1 can enchilada sauce (or make your own using the recipe below)
- shredded cheese, optional
- sour cream and cilantro for serving
- Heat oven to 400°F. Toss sweet potato, bell peppers and onion together with olive oil and salt on a large rimmed baking sheet.
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven and let cool a bit.
- Combine vegetables, black beans, chicken (if using) and seasoning. Taste and season as needed.
- Crumble goat cheese into filling and combine gently, keeping the goat cheese in good sized chunks.
- Scoop some filling into a tortilla and roll to close. Fill generously but do not overfill, the tortilla should overlap itself by at least 1 inch. Place seam side down in a greased pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas fitting them tightly in the pan. You may need 2 pans depending on what size tortillas you use.
- Reduce oven to 350°F. Top with enchilada sauce, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil (add cheese if using) and bake for 15 minutes more.
- Serve topped with sour cream and chopped cilantro.
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1/4 cup chili powder
- 8 ounce can tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- salt to taste
- Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Stir in flour and chili powder, reduce heat to medium, and cook until lightly brown, stirring constantly to prevent burning flour.
- Gradually stir in tomato sauce, water, cumin, garlic powder, and salt into the flour and chili powder until smooth
- Continue cooking over medium-low heat approximately 10 minutes, or until thickened slightly. Season to taste with salt.