Black Bean Enchiladas

INGREDIENTS

Enchilada Sauce
2-1/4 Cups vegetable broth
1/3 Cup tomato paste
2-1/2 Tbsp Chili Powder
2 tsp Ground Cumin
1-1/2 tsp dried Mexican Oregano
2 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp soy sauce or tamari**
1 Tbsp lime juice

Enchilada Filling
1 large sweet potato (about 1 lb), chopped into nickel-size pieces*
2 tsp Olive Oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 medium zucchini or yellow squash, grated (about 1 Cup)
1 tsp Chili Powder
1/2 tsp Ground Cumin
1/2 tsp salt
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 Cups (1 15 oz can) cooked black beans
1 tsp Runamok Maple Syrup

A package (about 10) of corn or flour tortillas**

Garnish with:
Sliced avocado
Chopped fresh cilantro

STEPS

First, make the enchilada sauce. (Yes, you can buy it ready-made in a can, but this homemade stuff is so much better, trust us) Combine all the ingredients, save the lime juice, in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, whisking to dissolve the spices and tomato paste into the vegetable broth. Simmer sauce for 15 minutes; mixture will thicken and reduce somewhat. Remove saucepan from heat and whisk in the lime juice. Set aside for the time being. Also: at this point, get out the tortillas (if they have been refrigerated) so that they can warm to room temperature.

Steam the sweet potato for the enchilada filling. Bring to a boil about 2-3 inches of water in a heavy pan that you have fitted with a steamer basket. Put the potato chunks in the basket, cover, and steam for 10 – 15 minutes, until they are fork-tender. Transfer sweet potato to a heatproof bowl and mash pieces with a fork (or potato masher, if you are fancy) until mixture is the consistency of, well, lumpy mashed potatoes.

Make the rest of the enchilada filling. Heat olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy skillet. When oil is hot, add onions and sauté, stirring, until onions begin to become translucent, 6 – 8 minutes. Add the shredded yellow squash (or zucchini), and stir to combine. Squash may give up some liquid when it hits the hot skillet; continue cooking until liquid evaporates /steam abates, about 1-2 minutes. Sprinkle mixture with chili powder, cumin, salt and garlic, then add the black beans, stirring to combine. When bean-squash mixture is nearly heated through, add the sweet potato and drizzle with maple syrup. Stir until ingredients are just incorporated, and remove pan from heat.

Assemble the enchiladas. Preheat oven to 375°F.  Spoon about 1-1/2 Cups of enchilada sauce into a 9″x13″ baking dish, and tilt dish (or spread with the back of a spoon) to cover bottom of the pan. Dip a tortilla in the sauce* to lightly coat the outside. Take a spatula or wooden spoon to spread a generous spoonful of filling into the tortilla, before rolling it up and placing it seam-side down (and sauce-coated tortilla-side up) in the pool of enchilada sauce.

Repeat the process with another tortilla, then another, making sure to nestle each completed enchilada close by the previous one(s) in the dish, so that they stay tightly rolled up while baking. Do this until you either run out of enchilada filling, or run out of space in the baking dish.

When the dish is full of enchiladas, cover them all with the remainder of the sauce. Cover dish with aluminum foil, and bake, covered for 20 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for another 5 minutes, to brown and crisp-up the tops of the enchiladas. Take pan out of the oven and allow to cool for several minutes.

Garnish with avocado slices and fresh cilantro, if desired. Serve right away.

*(you want to coat the middle of the outside of the tortilla, which will eventually be the side of the enchilada that faces up in the baking dish)

**Interested in making this a gluten-free dish? Use wheat-free tamari instead of soy sauce in the enchilada sauce, and corn tortillas instead of wheat ones.