Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado-Cilantro Cream Sauce

Dear Jess,

Yes. Another sweet potato recipe. Please believe me when I say, "Make this recipe!" I had it ready for Jason last night, and he said "It smells like restaurant food!" I'm pretty sure that's a compliment.

You may have noticed many of my dishes these days are veggie based. I have been convicted lately of buying free-range, organic meats. For many reasons. Mainly it's from a 'Stewardship of our Earth' perspective. The industrialization of food (veggies and meat alike) have led to farms killing so much land, because they are not farming the land properly. Be it not giving livestock enough space, and/or drenching the earth with hormones and the like, it is killing the earth and making it unusable for generations! Not just a year or two... generations! I don't think this is a very responsible way of taking care of the Earth that God gave us. Thus, as a first step, I am trying to do my part in making a change. I also like the idea of supporting local farms, which is easy to do if I start to frequent the market on Saturday.

I have always known that organic everything is more expensive, however, I have always believed we don't need to eat meat on a daily basis, so we are spending more money on free-range, organic meat, and eating it less often. Plus, I get to be more creative in the kitchen, as Jason needs filling meals (especially in the winter, as he works outside in the cold!)

This recipe is by far one of my favourites. I even got to make enchilada sauce! (Which I will share here as well!)

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas with Avocado-Cilantro Cream Sauce
from The Oh She Glows Cookbook, page 147

For the Enchiladas:
2 cups sweet potato, peeled and chopped small
1 red onion, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
Fine-grain sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 (15oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large handfuls spinach, roughly chopped
2 1/2 cups 5-minute Enchilada Sauce (see following recipe) or store-bought
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp kosher salt, or taste
5-6 tortilla wraps or gluten-free corn tortillas

For the Avocado-Cilantro Cream Sauce
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1 medium avocado, pitted
2 Tbsp lime juice
1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Fresh cilantro leaves for serving
Sliced green onion, for serving

1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly grease a large 3-qt/2.8L) rectangular baking dish.

2. Make the Enchiladas: Place the sweet potato in a medium saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-high and simmer for 5 to 7 minutes, or until fork-tender. Drain and set aside.

3. In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

4. Add the bell pepper, cooked sweet potato, black beans, and spinach. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook for a few minutes more, or until the spinach is wilted.

5. Remove the skillet from the heat and stir in 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce, the lime juice, chili powder, cumin and kosher salt.

6. Spread 1 cup of the enchilada sauce evenly over the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Scoop 3/4 cup of the sweet botato filling onto each tortilla. Rolld up the tortillas and place them seam side down in the baking dish. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas. If you have leftover filling, spoon it on top of the tortillas as well.

7. Bake the enchiladas, uncovered, for 20-25 minutes, until the sauce is a deep red colour and the enchiladas are heated through.

8. Meanwhile, make the Avocado-Cilantro Cream Sauce: In a food processor, process the cilatntro until minced. Add the avocado, lime juice, sea salt, garlic powder, and 3 Tbsp water and process until creamy, stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed.

9. When the enchiladas are ready to serve, place them individually and drizzle or spread some of the Avocado-Cilantro Cream Sauce on top of each. Garnish with cilantro and green onion, if desired.

5-minute Enchilada Sauce
From The Oh She Glows Cookbook, page 300

2 Tbsp vegan butter or light-tasting oil of choice
2 Tbsp flour (I used spelt)
4 tsp chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 scant cup tomato paste
1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
1/4-1/2 tsp fine-grain sea salt, to taste

1. In a medium saucepan, melt the vegan butter over medium heat.

2. Stir in the flour until a thick paste forms. Stir in the chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, onion powder, and cayenne until combined. Cook for a couple of minutes until fragrant.

3. Stir in the tomato paste, followed by the broth. Whisk until smooth and combine. Bring to a low boil over high heat (covered, if necessary) and then reduce the heat to medium to maintain a simmer. Stir in salt to taste and simmer for about 5 minutes (or longer, if desired), until thickened.

The pictures aren't beautiful, because I think I left them in for a few minutes too long... but oh. my. goodness. I cannot wait to eat this for lunch today!


Thursday, February 5, 2015

Sweet Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche

Dear Jess,

As you know I got through fazes of having love affairs with different foods. Right now, I'm lusting after sweet potatoes. I have been making sweet potato, leek soup; oven roasted sweet potato, brussel sprouts and onions; and now, Sweet Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche.

To be honest, I didn't expect this to be anything special. Actually I expected Jason to ask me not to make a quiche for dinner again (as it usually isn't filling enough.) To my astonishment, before he was done his first piece, he said - TWICE - "Sally, this is really good quiche!" And then again the next night as we were eating something different for dinner he said "That quiche you made yesterday was really good!" ... I think that qualifies this meal as a huge success. It also means I will be making it again in the near future.

Sweet Potato Crusted Spinach Quiche
adapted from

4-6 small sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced into medallions
Olive oil spray
2 large handfuls fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
6 eggs, beaten
1 tsp thyme
1 tsp oregano
1/4 - 1/2 cup goat cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Peel sweet potatoes and slice thinly with a food processor, mandolin or a very sharp knife. (Watch your fingers!)

Lay potato slice out in a pie dish in a crust-like fashion, spray with oil and bake at 400F fro 15 minutes. After the crust has baked, reduce oven heat to 375F.

Spray a saute pan with oil and saute sliced onion and minced garlic until lightly browned, about 7 minutes. Stir in spinach and saute until wilted and tender, about 4 minutes. Remove from pan, and place on top of sweet potato crust. Sprinkle goat cheese on top of spinach mixture.

In a medium bowl, lightly beat your eggs. Add herbs, salt and pepper, and mix again. Pour eggs over your quiche.

In your oven, bake until the quiche is firm and browned, about 40 minutes.

This tastes the best when it's still warm.


Monday, February 2, 2015

Lentil Burgers

Dear Jess,

I have been making a lot of 'patties' lately. Tuna, salmon, chicken... you name it. One reason is because they're an easy lunch for both Alice and me; and second because they're easy to take with us, when Alice needs to eat while we're out. (Plus, they're yummy!) This led me to want to try this recipe.

If you're looking for a cost-effective, vegetarian, filling dinner, look no further! I found this on good old Pinterest, and decided it was worth trying out. I had to make a few modifications, but in the end, dinner was a success!

Lentil Burgers
adapted from
1 cup dried green lentils
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely grated
3/4 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sunflower seeds (not in their shells!)
1 egg
3/4 cup bread crumbs (I made some from my gluten free bread)
4 Tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground ginger
1 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
all purpose flour (I used spelt flour)
coconut oil for frying

1. Add you lentils and 2 cups of water to a pot. Bring to a boil. Lower heat to low, and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.

2. Saute onion and carrot in a wee bit of olive oil for 5 minutes (or until onion is softened, but not browned). Add these to a bowl with the remaining ingredients. Add lentils, and mix well.

3. Transfer to a a food processor, and pulse 5 or six times. Just enough to break it down slightly. Transfer back to your bowl, and slowly add flour until it reaches a consistency that can be formed into burgers. (I only added around 1/4 cup... maybe 1/3 cup.)

4. Heat coconut oil in a large frying pan on medium/medium-high heat. There should be a good layer of oil on the whole pan. Heat until a little piece of lentil sizzles when dropped on the oil. Form your burgers into the desired size patties, and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

5. Serve on desired bun, pita, bed of greens... with desired condiments. (I made a curried mayo, and served them with oven roasted veggies! Mmmmm)

This will also serve as Jason's lunch tomorrow! Win for Sally!

I hope you're feeling well, and still have energy! I hope to see you before the baby arrives!