Flirting With Vegetarianism and Cream Sauce

RECIPE: Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Green Chile Enchiladas

I’m a carnivore through and through.  Once I tried to be a vegetarian and it lasted about six hours, at which time I really wanted a hamburger.  In fact, as I write this, I’m making a package of bacon, which I’m going to devour (not the entire thing, I promise), with some eggs and brussels sprouts.  Weird, I know, but it will be delicious.  Now all that being said, I would like to eat less meat.  I know all the reasons why people are vegetarians; it’s better for the Earth, it’s better for your health, it’s better for the poor helpless animals.  Of all those arguments, strangely enough the last one is the least convincing to me.  Animals are tasty.  They’re here for the circle of life.  Haven’t you seen The Lion King?

Every time I walk through Whole Foods, if I don’t get caught up in the beer aisle, I survey the prepared foods.  Whole Foods is like a carnival of delicious looking food that I can take home and heat up.  One of the meals in the hot food section that has always caught my attention is sweet potato and black bean enchiladas.  I’ve always wanted to try them, but I never actually do.  I love sweet potatoes.  I consider myself a sweet potato hipster, as I started eating them before they became all the rage in healthy diets.  My mom made the switch to them when I was in high school and I quickly learned to love them.

So this past weekend, when I got four sweet potatoes in my Bountiful Basket, I decided that it was time to go for it and create my own version of Whole Foods deliciousness.  I wasn’t really sure how to go about it, and I didn’t want to look up any recipes, because I wanted to make it on my own, without any help.  I’m sort of stubborn like that.

I had quite a few spices to choose from.  I kind of have a lot of herbs and spices.  I’ve run out of room and have had to find creative ways to stack them in there.  Manda Fun Fact: I’m OCD about some things (such as alphabetized books and DVDs).  My spice rack is organized by type of spice: ones for baking, spicey spices, herbs, mixtures, etc.  It looks like overkill, but I swear I actually use all of them.

I just figured that I knew what flavors tasted good together, so I’d just kind of make it up as I went along.  I knew my main spices were going to be cumin and chile powder.  I have a chipotle chile powder that’s pretty spicy and quite delicious, so I decided to go with that.  It was all going really well and looked pretty delicious…

Here’s where I hit a snag: My original idea was that I’d make a a cream sauce with green chiles to use instead of enchilada sauce.  Basically I wanted to make the three-pepper cream sauce that Sam’s Cafe uses on their Pancho’s Enchiladas, which is my death row meal.  Seriously, if I lived downtown, I would eat there every night.  I would pay so much money to get that recipe.

Instead I went rogue.  I decided that since there were already green chiles in the mix, I’d do something different and make a chipotle cream sauce.  So I melted about 4 tablespoons of butter and mixed in 3 tablespoons of flour to make a roux.  I cooked that down with a few teaspoons of adobo sauce.  Then I added a cup of 1% milk and whisked it together and let it simmer a few minutes until it became a sauce.  Spoiler alert: It wasn’t very good.  The texture was weird and it was too floury, but by this time it was took late to do anything else.  So I rolled the enchiladas, poured on the sauce, and baked it all up.

When it was done, I took a bite and decided it needed something.  It was plenty spicy, but I thought it needed something else.  I chopped up a chipotle chile, mixed it in some sour cream, and topped the enchiladas with that.


Rating: If I can work on the sauce, I’d easily give this a 5 out of 5 cold glasses of cerveza.  The sweet potatoes and black beans are so tasty together, and the spices, while being pretty spicy, are so good.  I would make this again a heart beat, but until I perfect it, I’m going to give it a 4 out of 5 stars.  (The sauce, on the other hand, is a 2 and needs some serious work.)

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Green Chile Enchiladas
Author: Manda
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 50 mins
Total time: 1 hour
Serves: 6
  • 2-4 small sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1-2 can chopped roasted green chiles (depending on your love of green chiles…I love them)
  • 1 diced onion
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Up to 1 tsp chili powder (again, depending on your taste)
  • Grated cheese of your choice
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • A sauce?
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Cook diced onion on medium high for 5-10 minutes, or until translucent.
  3. Add sweet potatoes and cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  4. Add black beans, green chiles, and spices, and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Spray the bottom of a 9×13 pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  6. Put cheese on the tortilla, then add a bit of the sweet potato/black bean mixture, roll up, place seam side down in the pan. Repeat until you’re out of tortillas, or until the pan is full.
  7. Sprinkle a light layer of cheese over the rolled tortillas.
  8. Add a sauce…make your own, or just go with a red or green enchilada sauce.
  9. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.


This entry was posted in 4 Wine Glasses, Dinner, Vegetarian and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Flirting With Vegetarianism and Cream Sauce

  1. I LOVE sweet potatoes with black beans! Great combo.

  2. Deanna says:

    Adding this one to my to do list!

    By the way, I love this quote: “Animals are tasty. They’re here for the circle of life. Haven’t you seen The Lion King?”

  3. Jacquie Smiley says:

    Maybe just whir up a couple of the chipotle peppers in adobo, and add to your sauce…they’ll give it the richer adobo flavor. I also think green chili sauce would be delicious with the sweet potatoes…I have a couple of leftover hatch chiles that I roasted so i may try it and let you know!

  4. Erin says:

    I love that you made your own recipe. Did your own thing. But most of all I love your floor to ceiling spice rack!! It’s awesome! Can’t wait to try this recipe.

  5. Pingback: Cream Sauce: A Re-Do | Wine and a Spoon

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