Black Bean and Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Finally, the one I’ve been hyping up all week!  And the hype must have worked, since at least one person I know soaked her black beans last night in anticipation of this recipe’s posting, only to lose her (pirated) internet connection shortly thereafter.  Looks like someone will be eating black bean burgers again, unless I’m nice enough to phone in the recipe!

This recipe was given to me by Michelle (@micaindetroit) on Twitter.  I sent out a tweet asking for vegetarian recipe [Enchiladas Photo]submissions, and you can bet that I was a happy tweeter when the first one I got back was for black bean and sweet potato enchiladas.  (UPDATE: That’s a link, by the way; I need to change the color.)  Latin food is one of Erin’s and my favorites, so it didn’t take too much cajoling for us to pop in some Buena Vista Social Club and have ourselves a culinary fiesta!

Hers is a family recipe, but since Twitter limits posts to 140 characters, Michelle just linked me to a similar one.  She recommends using corn tortillas instead of flour (which I did, since corn are my favorite) and Suiza sauce instead of salsa (which I didn’t, but should have).  Thanks Michelle!

Nutritionally, this meal is a real winner;  sweet potatoes are one of the best vegetables you can eat (come on Atkins people, it’s time to move into the 2000’s).  There’s lots of protein and more quality carbs from the black beans, and you can do a lot better than white flour tortillas by using whole wheat or corn, which are made from many fewer ingredients.  Additionally, tomatoes, jalapeno, garlic, and salsa provide for way more vegetable power than most people get all day!

These enchiladas turned out really well!  They had a flavor unlike that of other enchiladas, which are often smothered in cheese (you’ll notice there’s none in these).  The sweetness from the potato was a nice surprise in enchiladas, and it went great against the heat of the jalapeno and the salsa, of which I used a smoky organic-chipotle variety.  I mentioned above that Michelle uses Suiza, a creamy spicy sauce, instead of salsa for hers.  This would have done a lot to help moisten the enchiladas, about which our only real complaint was that they were a little dry on the inside.  I think rather than use salsa or Suiza (to avoid the cream), next time I’ll find a red enchilada sauce to use on top.  In a flash of kitchen brilliance, Erin got the idea to puree some of the sweet potatoes with enchilada sauce to moisten the filling!  Unfortunately this flash wasn’t very timely, so we’ll have to give this a try next time.  But make no mistake, there will be a next time.  We loved these!

If you decide to make these No-Meat-Athlete-approved enchiladas, then in addition to doing something to moisten the filling, you’ll want to soften the corn tortillas so they don’t crack.  Erin microwaved ours for a few seconds with a damp paper towel covering them, and that worked out pretty well.  There are other methods involving ovens and frying pans, so shop around for your favorite.  And if you want to make the enchiladas really special, sprinkle a little cheese on top before baking.  Finally, after you’ve cleaned your meat-free plate, be sure to send @micaindetroit a muchas gracias tweet!



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  1. Meghan Coughlin says:

    How many cows?

  2. Whew!!! I didn’t see how many cows either till I read the comments.

  3. christine says:

    Ok I made this one last night, and it was amazing! I tried to have Greg rate it in cows, but he refused to quantify something that he deemed relative…though he did request that I make it again.

    I made a couple changes…instead of canned beans, I used dried. When I cooked the beans I added a couple drops of liquid smoke.

    Also, I had no canned tomatoes and no salsa! To make the beans more moist, I mixed a tsp of cumin, a tbs of taco seasoning, and a dash of chipotle hot sauce into 1/4 cup of ketchup. I’m not sure if ketchup is no-meat athlete approved, but it did the trick and I promise wasn’t gross. Instead of salsa, I used mango chutney. That was ok, but I think the sweetness of the chutney and the sweet potatoes was borderline overkill. Next time I will get salsa. Finally, I had whole wheat tortillas, which were fine but gave them more of a baked burrito style. Corn would have been better. I did use the cheese.

    Definitely worth making again! four cows from me! Thanks!

    • I love when people actually make the stuff! You should post or email me your mango chutney recipe, because whenever I buy it the first ingredient is high fructose corn syrup. And I bet you don’t even have that to put in. Also, tell Greg that the cows rating system is no-meat marketing gold!

  4. We tried these last night and they were very good. I can’t believe how filling they were. I lined four of them on my plate thinking they were taco bell crunchy tacos. I barely made it through 2 of them and was full the entire night. I went with 3.5 cows because I liked the bean burritos slightly better. Kristin went with 3 cows because the sweet potatos didn’t turn into chicken after baking. Next time, we would put some enchilada sauce on top to, but I got too cheap to buy it at the store and we ended up only having 1 cup of salsa so it was a bit dry. All in all, we would make these again though!

    • Hey Pete, yeah they really were filling. I think I could only eat two. But I’m glad you liked them. I think it’s great that you are making so many of these meals. You are a good example that you can incorporate a lot of these healthy meals into your lifestyle without having to completely swear off meat. And a good example of how to anger your pregnant wife when you are the cook and she wants meat.

  5. I made these again last night! This time with pinto beans instead of black beans, and a can of chipotles in adobo instead of the can of tomato inside. HOLY MOLY that made them super spicy for me, but Greg still piled on the cholula. Last time I topped them with mango chutney and thought it was too sweet, so this time I just made some regular salsa.

    Anyway loved these again; it’s definitely a nice recipe that takes easy to substitutions.

  6. I made this last week and knew it was way too much for a single meal (for 2) so just made a couple of enchiladas and put the rest of the filling in the refrigerator. I used the left overs for several meals – 1 night I simply made more enchiladas (which works great since your not reheating previously baked enchiladas). Another night I made some long grain wild rice, heated up the sweet potato-bean filling and served it over the rice. This was amazing. The final evening, I made burritos filled with both left over wild rice and the sweet potato filling and used a tomato-basil wrap. These were also delicious! Also, since you said they were a bit dry, I didn’t drain the tomatoes and used an extra can – worked out great! thanks for the recipe – we enjoyed all week 🙂

  7. I’m new to your blog and just made these this weekend, they were amazing! I’m working my way through several of your recipes in fact. Thanks for the great resource!

  8. Hi Matt,
    This is the first recipe I’ve made off your blog and it turned out great. I enjoy meat but like to think of it as more of a side item and am always looking for tasty substitutes. This definitely fit the bill and they are very filling so they lasted a while.

    Love the site. This fellow 3rd triber is really enjoying it.

  9. I just discovered your blog while searching for pumpkin enchiladas – as a no meat aspiring athlete, I LOVE it! And love your take on Atkins. 😉 This recipe inspired my latest enchilada creation (pumpkin and black bean enchiladas with mole) – I hope you don’t mind, but I linked to you on my blog. Thanks for the inspirado! Keep spreading the enchilada love!
    .-= Monica´s last blog ..Falafel the (mostly) traditional way =-.

  10. Fishback Boy says:

    These are filling but being Texas raised I found them a bit lacking in the twang department. I made some changes like pulsing the filling in the food processor to disguise then sweet potatoes (in an effort to make them more kid friendly). I also skipped the chile powder (again, the kids). I found topping them off with some good hot sauce helped for my plate. I think I might try adding some rice next time to help round out the flavor and nutrition side of things.

  11. Uscrapbook says:

    So delicious! I ended up with a TON of filling – no way would it fit into 8 enchildas. And – my first encilada cracked, even after microwaving in a damp paper towel for a few seconds. So, I made into a casserole: thin layer of salsa on the bottom of the pan, then 4 corn tortillas (breaking them up so they’d cover the bottom of the pan), half the filling, the other 4 tortillas, the rest of the filling and the rest of the salsa. Cover and bake 20 minutes. There’s a Tofutti “sour cream” that I’d like to try on it next time to help soften the heat.

  12. I recommend adding kale to this recipe. Gives it a more balanced flavor, more iron, and more color!

  13. I finally got around to trying this recipe after looking for some new stuff and thought it was great. I just need to figure out how to get them to taste a little more savory – mine seemed really sweet potato sweet, even with twice as many beans as called for. Any suggestions?

  14. Amazeballs!

    I pureed ALL the ingredients with the red enchilada sauce and I’m not vegan so added cheese… I could eat these all day everyday! thank you!

  15. Looking forward to trying this recipe! Does anyone know if this recipe is good for freezing? Would like to find some things to make ahead of time for busy week nights.

  16. Just made these tonight, they were amazing! I used just plain red enchilada sauce mixed with salsa and threw in some spinach when I added the sweet potatoes to the bean mixture and it came out great, will definitely be making these again.

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