Tag: Beans

Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Spiced Pinto Beans

Close-up photograph of sweet potato enchiladas with spiced pinto beans and topped with melted cheddar cheese and cilantro.

I’ve shared these a few times on instagram and now I’ve finally put pen to paper to write the recipe. These sweet potato enchiladas are about the most comforting meal I cook, without an overload of cheese. The sweet potato and beans provide the filling while and easy homemade enchilada sauce brings it all together.

Sweet Potato Enchiladas: Components

This recipe is involved, there’s no two ways around it. While I’ve tried to limit the amount of prep by relying heavily on pre-ground spices and garlic powder, this meal is heavy on components.

The great thing for you, however, is that all these components can be made ahead of time and used not only in this meal but meals across the week. For example:

The sweet potatoes

Sweet potato puree, during the cooler months, is an automatic go-to. I make wraps, pasta dishes, risottos, and even my morning toast with a little help from a simple sweet potato puree. Make a couple-potatoes worth by simply roasting whole potatoes and scooping out the potato once cool. The sweet potato puree will last for up to 5 days.

Don’t want to use sweet potatoes? Any puree will do. Pumpkin or butternut squash would be my next two choices. You can also add in greens, sweet corn, or roasted tomatoes during the spring and summer months.

The Beans

When it comes to beans, these are a riff on my spiced pinto beans (made a little easier in this enchilada recipe if you’re making the night-of). I love these beans as taco filling, as a toast topper, or as a topping to a creamy polenta bowl. I usually batch and use them twice in one week: once for these enchiladas and once in a grain bowl.

The Enchilada Sauce

Similar to the beans, I make a much more involved enchilada sauce that uses dried chilis, toasted whole spices, and a slower cooking time. However, I wanted to keep this recipe as close to weeknight friendly as I could (I realize a 60-minute ordeal isn’t super weeknight friendly but these are so good!)

Enchilada sauce is a good batch and freeze project. Make triple of what I have here and freeze it in 2-cup increments. I love using this sauce to cook eggs in too.

Make-ahead

Beyond the idea of prepping the components ahead of time, this is also one of my favorite meals to make for other people. Think new families! The entire dish freezes after assembly so the only thing left to do is bake (which will take about 20 minutes longer but other than that-everything stays the same!)

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Pinto Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas


Description

Hearty sweet potato enchiladas made with easy spiced pinto beans and a quick, homemade enchilada sauce.


Ingredients

The base items

1 large sweet potato  (1 to 1 ½ pounds)

4 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese

8, 6 to 8” corn/flour tortillas

For the sauce

1, 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

For the beans

1 ½  cups pinto beans with liquid (or 1 can of beans, with liquid)

1 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

¼ teaspoon sea salt


Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 425˚F. Take a fork and pierce the sweet potato a few times. Place in a roasting pan and bake until tender; 40 to 50 minutes. Alternatively, you can also steam or boil peeled/cubed sweet potato pieces- just pick whichever method is easiest.
  • While the sweet potato is roasting, combine the tomatoes and spices for the sauce in a pan. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer, and let cook until the tomatoes are hot enough to mash and the liquid begins to thicken, 30 to 40 minutes. Mash with a fork to break down tomatoes and stir in the cilantro and vinegar.
  • For the beans, combine the beans, their liquid, and spices in a separate pan. Bring to a boil reduce to a simmer, and cook until the beans are hot and the liquid has thickened.
  • Once the sweet potato is done, remove the skin and lightly mash.
  • To assemble the enchiladas, pour about 1/3 of the enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×9 (or similar sized) pan. Take a tortilla, dip it in the tomato sauce to soften, then place in the pan. In the center of the tortilla, layer a scoop of the sweet potatoes followed by a couple spoonfuls of beans, and a small sprinkle of the cheese. Roll the tortilla so that it is seam-side down in the pan and repeat with the remaining tortilla/filling.
  • Top the enchiladas with the remaining sauce and cheese. Return the pan to the oven, drop the oven temperature to 375˚F and bake until the cheese has melted and is starting to brown. Serve the enchiladas with extra cilantro, hot sauce, and/or sour cream.

Notes

These enchiladas freeze well. Simple assemble, cover, and freeze until you’re ready to bake. Bake at the same temperature but for about 20 to 30 minutes longer.

Keywords: sweet potato enchiladas

Close-up photograph of sweet potato enchiladas with spiced pinto beans and topped with melted cheddar cheese and cilantro.

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Vegan Baked Beans on Toast with Microgreens| Naturally.

Photograph of Vegan Baked Beans on Toast, topped with microgreens

For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve made it my mission to share the joy of beans on toast. I realize, it’s a bit of a funny mission. However, beans on toast is a magical thing and if you like beans, you should eat them on toast.

Growing up in the midwest, baked beans were a thing for nearly every family get-together. And yet, I never ate them. I avoided them, in fact. I’m not sure if it was the flavor, the texture, or just that I wasn’t a big fan of any bean. Luckily all of that has changed and now I have my favorite vegan baked bean recipe to share.

All the beans

When it comes to bean varieties, small navy beans are the traditional baked bean. I’ve also been known to use great northern. I’d also highly recommend checking out Rancho Gordo and using their Yellow Indian Woman Bean or their Alubia Blanca. I picked up a bag and the texture of these beans is perfect for a long-baked dish.

The sweetener

I usually stick with molasses, maple syrup, or honey but I have a weakness for dark muscovado sugar. This unrefined cane sugar has all of the molasses, making it a rich/moist sweetener. Paired with an extra bit of molasses, it makes these beans really shine. Of course, if you can’t find muscovado sweetener, use a bit more molasses or swap for brown sugar.

Keep it vegan

Traditional baked beans use bacon and while I could definitely swap in something more substantially meat-like, I don’t care. For me, the bacon brings the smoke and that’s why I can’t recommend enough picking up a bottle of smoked salt. Paired with the smoked paprika, you’re good-to-go, sans bacon.

Also, look for vegan Worcestershire sauce. Annie’s has a solid one and sometimes stores carry at least one other variety. This sauce is good to keep on hand for an extra boost of fermented goodness to many meals.

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Photograph of Vegan Baked Beans on Toast, topped with microgreens

Ingredients

1 medium yellow onion

2 tablespoons olive oil

4 tablespoons tomato paste

4 tablespoon muscovado sugar (or dark brown sugar)

2 tablespoon molasses

2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

2 teaspoons vegan-friendly Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

½ teaspoon smoked paprika

½ teaspoon smoked salt

3 cups cooked navy beans in liquid (see note)


Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350˚F.
  • Peel and mince the onion. Heat a small dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil, followed by the minced onions. Cook until the onions are tender. Add in the tomato paste and cook for another minute or so.
  • Next, measure in all the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, cover, and transfer the beans to the oven. Bake the beans for about 45 minutes, uncover, and cook for another 15 to 20 minutes. The sauce for the beans should be thickened.
  • Serve as is or eat my favorite way, on toast sprinkled with greens.

Notes

+ When I say ‘in liquid’, I typically fill a measuring cup near the top with beans then pour the liquid over until it reaches the top.

Keywords: vegan baked beans, baked beans

Overhead photo of a piece of toast topped with vegan baked beans and broccoli microgreens.

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Vibrant Tasty Green Beans – 101 Cookbooks

This is one of my favorite ways to cook green beans – five ingredients, one skillet. Now I know some of you are married to your traditional way of cooking green beans, but, if you are in the market for a new version, give this recipe a go. It is easy enough that you could conceivably do a test run before Thanksgiving if you like. I cook green beans a couple times a week during certain seasons, and this version with its slightly quirky combination of ingredients is one I come back to over and over. It is light and bright, healthy and delicious. I simply cook a bunch of chopped leeks (or scallions) until they are golden and a bit crunchy, toss in some chopped dill, and then add the green beans. Do your best to not overcook them and you’re all set.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

While I’ve written this recipe as more of a side dish – you can easily bump it up to main dish status. I sometimes use the dilled green beans to fill omelettes (along with a bit of goat cheese). Alternately, you might toss some tofu, tempeh or seitan into the skillet (sauteed until nicely browned or golden ahead of time) along with the green beans. Or you could make a main dish salad by serving the beans over lightly dressed butter lettuce. Plenty of directions to take this one.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

As I note in the head notes down below, this is best made to order, just before serving. I don’t like hot green beans after they’ve been sitting around for long periods of time – they lose vibrancy, and the texture and taste changes as they sit overcooking themselves.

Make ahead: You can make this recipe a day ahead of time by cooking the leeks and dill first and setting them aside. And instead of cooking the green beans in the skillet, blanch them in a pot of boiling, well-salted water for about a minute. Drain and dunk the beans in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside until ready to use. Combine the components before serving – you can do it at room temperature, or heated quickly in a skillet or pan before serving.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

And I think this goes without saying, but do your best to seek out good green beans. Good beans should be bright green and have a bit of snap when you bend them. Avoid leathery green beans – also avoid beans that are limp, mottled or outright mangy.

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Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

This is one of my favorite ways to cook green beans – five ingredients, one skillet. Now I know some of you are married to your traditional way of cooking green beans, but, if you are in the market for a new version, give this recipe a go. It is easy enough that you could conceivably do a test run before Thanksgiving if you like. I cook green beans a couple times a week during certain seasons, and this version with its slightly quirky combination of ingredients is one I come back to over and over. It is light and bright, healthy and delicious. I simply cook a bunch of chopped leeks (or scallions) until they are golden and a bit crunchy, toss in some chopped dill, and then add the green beans. Do your best to not overcook them and you’re all set.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

While I’ve written this recipe as more of a side dish – you can easily bump it up to main dish status. I sometimes use the dilled green beans to fill omelettes (along with a bit of goat cheese). Alternately, you might toss some tofu, tempeh or seitan into the skillet (sauteed until nicely browned or golden ahead of time) along with the green beans. Or you could make a main dish salad by serving the beans over lightly dressed butter lettuce. Plenty of directions to take this one.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

As I note in the head notes down below, this is best made to order, just before serving. I don’t like hot green beans after they’ve been sitting around for long periods of time – they lose vibrancy, and the texture and taste changes as they sit overcooking themselves. You can make this recipe a day ahead of time by cooking the leeks and dill first and setting them aside. And instead of cooking the green beans in the skillet, blanch them in a pot of boiling, well-salted water for about a minute. Drain and dunk the beans in a large bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside until ready to use. Combine the components before serving – you can do it at room temperature, or heated quickly in a skillet or pan before serving.

And I think this goes without saying, but do your best to seek out good green beans. Good beans should be bright green and have a bit of snap when you bend them. Avoid leathery green beans – also avoid beans that are limp, mottled or outright mangy.

Vibrant Tasty Green Beans Recipe

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Roasted Pumpkin Polenta with Pinto Beans

Close-up overhead photo of pumpkin polenta topped with chipotle pinto beans and cilantro

When it comes to fall cooking, polenta is a staple in our house. This comforting dish has cold-weather/dark nights written all over it. Best of all, this isn’t just an ordinary polenta. Rather, it’s a creamy pumpkin polenta using freshly roasted pumpkins.

Roasted Pumpkin

Sure, you can buy the canned pumpkin but I don’t think you’ve experienced all fall has to offer until you roast a pumpkin. The flavor and texture is a bit different from the canned counterpart. I find the flavor to be a bit more mellow and the texture to be not as thick. For this reason, I cook this pumpkin polenta version a bit more firm than I normally would and then add the pumpkin.

If you decided you didn’t want to use pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash, or pureed sweet potatoes would all work well. I like to make dishes like this if I have leftover whipped sweet potatoes. Of course, you can always use canned pumpkin (especially if you have leftovers!)

Polenta Options

Making polenta is one of the base cooking items I recommend you get in your repertoire. It’s not tricky once you get the feel for the steps and being patient is worth the time. I like cooking polenta for at least 30 minutes over really low heat. This mellows out the corn flavor and really makes for a rich-tasting polenta (even before you add any butter or cream!)

Another option, use millet in place of the polenta. This is one of my favorite tricks for people who try to avoid corn. Millet is a seed that, when cracked, has similar properties as polenta. The millet cooks up creamy and can even be cooled, cut, and fried the next day.

Beans

In terms of beans, cook them at home. I love dried pinto beans that are cooked with a sizable helping of onions, garlic, and herbs. Cooking them at home sets the second round of cooking, with the chipotle, even more tasty.

Don’t have pinto beans? Swap them for black beans. Both work well with the flavors in the polenta and they both make for a gorgeous final plating.

Leftovers

If you happen to have leftovers, I recommend you store them separately, primarily for the benefit of the polenta. To reheat the polenta, warm on low in a small pot or heat in the microwave. Heat the beans in a similar fashion and combine like you would in the recipe.

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Ingredients

Pumpkin

1 small sugar pie pumpkin

Polenta

½ cup polenta

2 cups water/broth

¼ teaspoon sea salt

2 tablespoons butter

Beans

2 teaspoons olive oil

1 clove garlic, minced

1 ½ cups cooked pinto beans (with liquid)

1 chipotle in adobo sauce

½ teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Toppings

¼ cup toasted pepitas

Cilantro, for topping

Feta/Cotija, for topping


Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 400˚F. Slice the pumpkin in half and place cut-side down in a roasting pan. Place in the oven and bake until the pumpkin is soft, 40 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven, scoop out the seeds, and measure out about 1 ½ cups of the pumpkin.
  • Bring the vegetable broth and water to a boil in a medium pot. Add in the polenta, whisking until the mixture begins to thicken. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and let cook for 25 to 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. (full technique can be found here). Once the polenta is done, add in the pumpkin, stirring well to combine.
  • While both the pumpkin and polenta are cooking, heat a small pan or skillet over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil along with the minced garlic. Cook for a minute, until fragrant. Measure in the pinto beans with liquid, chipotle, cumin, and salt. Cook until the beans are warm and most of the liquid is gone.
  • Divide the polenta into two bowls and top with beans along with the pepitas, cilantro, and feta (optional).

Keywords: pumpkin polenta, roasted pumpkin

Overhead photo of pumpkin polenta topped with pinto beans, pepitas, and feta.

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