Last week, my neck went out. I was attempting to pull a small child’s fairy costume over my head (more on that at a later date) when I heard a little pop, and that was it. I knew I was in for a world of hurt.
Don’t worry, friends, I usually throw my neck out twice a year, and I tend to bounce back pretty quickly. Plus, this is the second time I’ve done it this month (the first was due to some overly aggressive hair whipping), which means I will most likely be neck injury-free for the remainder of 2015. Hallelujah.
Despite the pain and disruption to my daily habits—it is impossible to watch Parks and Rec in the bath when one cannot turn her head—there were actually several silver linings to this recent injury. First, having a stiff neck makes everything hilariously dramatic. (My favorite activity is slowly swiveling in my desk chair when people enter the apartment.) Second, my roommate felt compelled to give me a 10 second massage, which is 8 seconds longer than his standard massage. And finally, the discomfort kept me up at night.
The insomnia element was clutch, as it led to the delightful Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Enchiladas you now see on your screen. In between adjusting the pillows under my neck and periodically rolling Logan to silence the death snores, I built these enchiladas in my head, flavor by flavor, from the pinch of cinnamon on the roasted sweet potatoes to the subtle spice of the radishes sprinkled on top. When the final product materialized in my mind’s eye, I was quite pleased and eventually fell asleep counting the cilantro leaves on my pretend casserole.
I couldn’t have been more excited when these enchiladas became a reality yesterday, and I’m thrilled to report that they were every bit as mind-blowing as I imagined…
Sweet and savory with a subtle tang and kick of heat, the flavor profile for these babies is insane. Just to give you the full run-down: Tender roasted sweet potatoes, earthy kale, and hearty black beans are mixed with fresh cilantro, creamy goat cheese and salsa verde, wrapped in soft tortillas, smothered in more salsa verde and Monterey Jack, and then baked to golden, bubbling perfection. There’s depth, and texture, and cheesy deliciousness, and DEAR GOD the smell! I feel like a mariachi band or Mambo No. 5 should be playing right now to psyche you up.
I’m particularly pumped to inform you that despite the somewhat lengthy ingredient list, this sexy meal is 100% idiot-proof. I’m talking 30 minutes of hands-on time, and the only challenge is not eating the filling before you roll the enchiladas. (Don’t do that.) I opted for store-bought salsa verde to save significant time/effort, but if you’d like to go the scratch route (you go Glen Coco!), Rick’s recipe is a winner.
Oh, and you can easily prep the enchiladas in advance and then pop them in the fridge/freezer to be baked whenever. They’re excellent weeknight fare, especially if you’re on the Meatless Monday bandwagon, yet they’re still impressive enough for casual entertaining. Ladies, I’m pretty sure these would slay at your next Sex and The City Night. Just throwing that out there.
As always, feel free to modify these enchiladas to suit your tastes and the ingredients you have on hand. Swap spinach for kale, pinto for black beans, or cheddar for Jack. If goat cheese isn’t your thing, try sour cream or Greek yogurt for a similar tang, or simply ditch it altogether. I’m really into the vegetarian nature of these nutrition-packed flavor bombs, but you can obviously get some meat involved if you must. I’m thinking chicken breast, chicken sausage, or some lean ground turkey are your best bets to keep things light/tight.
One potential recipe hiccup I want to quickly head off at the pass. I used whole grain tortillas because that’s what I had, and I actually dig a chewier/doughier enchilada. If you are gluten-free or simply don’t like flour tortillas, you should definitely sub corn tortillas, but please make sure to warm them for about 15 seconds in the microwave or on the stove before filling them. If you attempt to roll corn tortillas without warming them first, they WILL break, and you will be angry.
To all the Dude Dieters out there, these bad boys are right up your alley, so please add them to the rotation stat. I served them to Logan last night, and not only did he not mention the lack of meat, he thanked me profusely and insisted on a congratulatory handshake. He has also called me “his little enchilada” three times in the past twelve hours. It’s not my favorite nickname, but it’s clearly a testament to the epic nature of this recipe, and I much prefer it to “my little chicken fingie.”
Happy Tuesday, peeps. Fiesta on.
Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Enchiladas: (Serves 4)
2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
½ Spanish onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 bunch lacinato kale, stems removed and finely chopped
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
2-2½ cups salsa verde (depending on the size of your tortillas/baking dish)
8 whole grain tortillas OR corn tortillas (It’s your call, peeps.)
1¼ cups freshly grated Monterey Jack cheese
For garnish: (optional)
Thinly sliced radishes
Thinly sliced jalapeño
Preparing your Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Black Bean Enchiladas:
-Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment.
-Place the cubed sweet potatoes on the prepared baking sheet. Drizzle with 2 teaspoons olive oil, and sprinkle with cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat.
-Roast the sweet potatoes for 25 minutes, turning once halfway through the cooking time, until tender and lightly browned.
-Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes until the onions are translucent and the garlic is fragrant. Add the cumin and paprika and cook for one more minute until the spices are nice and toasty. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and briefly set aside.
-In the same saucepan, heat the remaining tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. When hot, add the chopped kale and a pinch of salt and cook for 4-5 minutes until wilted and tender. Transfer to the bowl with the onions.
-Place about 1/3 cup filling in the center of each tortilla and roll up like a cigar. (If using corn tortillas, warm them for 15 seconds in the microwave to make them more pliable. If you skip this step, they WILL rip.) Place each enchilada side-by-side in the prepared baking dish, seam-side down.