Monday, January 17, 2011

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

One of my New Year's resolutions for 2011 is to try cooking and eating more vegetarian meals.  I want to do this for both the health benefits and also the cost savings.  I don't think I could ever give up meat completely but I want to view it more as a treat or additive, not an everyday necessity.

This sweet potato and black bean enchiladas dish was the first vegetarian meal I found that I really wanted to try.  Thankfully it came out great-tasting.  My family ate on it for two nights in a row.  Even my (often difficult) toddler gobbled this up.   So now I'm excited to incorporate more vegetarian (and hopefully some vegan) meals into my family's diet. 

I hope you'll be brave enough to try the recipe and serve it to your family as well! 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas(Makes 6)

Adpated from Dani Spies

(Note: I cut her recipe in half and changed a few of the ingredients and measurements.  I also mixed up everything all together since that's just the kind of gal I am! )

1 - 2 medium size sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into small pieces (I actually used 1.5 potatoes.  I had three in my fridge and used half for this recipe and the other half to make sweet potato fries a few days later!)
1 tsp curry powder
1 jar of mild salsa
1 can of black beans, rinsed and drained
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 cup of lime juice
3/4 tsp of cumin
6 whole wheat flour tortillas
1 cup of vegetable broth
2 cups of reduced fat shredded cheese, any variety (I used a combination of cheddar and gouda)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Generously grease a 13x9 inch baking pan with cooking spray.  Set it aside.

Peel and slice your sweet potatoes into small pieces.  That way they will steam and soften quicker!  Use your favorite method to steam veggies - microwave or place them in a collander with boiling water underneath on the stove.  It should only take about fifteen minutes to soften the potatoes.  Remove them from heat and place them in a large mixing bowl.  Mash them with a fork.  I didn't leave any chunks in mine.  I made it more like a puree.   Add 1/4 cup of the salsa from the jar and the tsp of curry powder to the sweet potatoes.  Mix well.  Make a hole in the center of the sweet potato mixture.  Place your rinsed black beans in the center spot.  Over the beans, pour your lime juice.  Then add the minced garlic and cumin.  Stir them together.  Let them soak for just a minute.  Then mix the beans with the sweet potatoes, combining them well.  Add 1 cup  of the shredded cheese to the mixtures, blending it in gently. 

Grab your greased baking pan.  Pour salsa from the jar onto the bottom, covering it with a thin layer all over.   Now you're ready to start making your enchiladas.

In a shallow square baking pan, pour the vegetable broth.  You will dip each whole wheat flour tortilla into the broth for a few seconds then assemble the enchilada.  I placed about 1/3 cup of sweet potato-black bean mixture in the center of each tortilla then rolled them within the baking pan so the salsa would coat it as well, like this:

I repeated this step five more times until I made six enchiladas.  I had a little bit of the veggie broth left so I carefully poured it over the tops of the enchiladas in the baking dish.  Then I sprinkled each enchilada with the rest of the salsa from the jar and the remaining shredded cheese too (about 1 cup).  My meal looked like this:

Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.   Remove and let it cool about ten minutes before digging into.   I served mine with a ranch-flavored sour cream for dipping.  Yummy! 

Do you have any vegetarian or vegan meals that you make and your family enjoys?  I'm looking for new ideas and recipes to try!


  1. I am using black beans for the FIRST time today in a soup, i know that's weird but theres' just something about black beans i have to get use to. but if i like the soup, i will then try this recipe! happpy week, anne

  2. Cheese and sour cream aren't vegan. Vegetarians may eat dairy, vegans do not. If you want the meal to be vegan you could always get vegan cheese (Daiya is the best) and vegan sour cream (Tofutti makes some and so does Wayfare Foods).

  3. @ The Vegan Kitchen - thank you for your comment and for setting me straight that vegans don't eat dairy. I've edited my post and taken out the word "vegan". I'm still learning the differences between vegetarian and vegan and other variations of this way of eating. That's why my blog is titled "Learn, Laugh, Cook" -- there's so much I don't know but I sure do enjoy being educated on foods and ways of eating. I appreciate your input and suggestions for things to try! Thanks for stopping by! -Mandy

  4. This sounds like an interesting recipe. I don't know if I'd ever think to pair sweet potatoes and black beans by myself. I don't enjoy the mess of making enchiladas, although I just might have to try this one.

    If you're looking for vegetarian and vegan recipes, Whole Foods has a new emphasis on eating healthy and they have a great variety of recipes on their Website. The ones I've tried have been good and easy to follow.