I find Latin and Tex-Mex dishes to be some of the most difficult to translate into anti-inflammatory friendly meals. Mainly because so many of them incorporate tomato-based salsas and sauces. And what fun are enchiladas or quesadillas without cheese? Am I right? Not to mention some of the peppers that give these dishes their zest can also be problematic. But sometimes, the craving hits and you just have to satisfy it.
And this vegan enchilada dish does just that, while avoiding most of the problem foods. I did make them vegan, so they are completely plant-based and have no cheese. If you really need the dairy, I would recommend using crumbles of feta. Feta cheese is made from sheep milk or a blend of sheep and goat milk. Because of the different proteins in these types of milk, they tend to cause fewer inflammation issues. I do occasionally incorporate feta into my diet and find that I don’t have issues from it. Plus it adds the satisfying saltiness of a cotija cheese, which is perfect for this dish.
Green Enchilada Sauce
For my enchilada sauce, I wanted to avoid tomatoes. So I went with a green sauce. Fresh enchilada sauce is quick and easy to throw together in a blender. Capsaicin, the stuff that gives peppers their heat can cause increased inflammation in some people. For this sauce, I used poblano peppers and one jalapeno with the seeds and ribs removed. Most of the capsaicin is found in the seeds and ribs. So removing these helps minimize any exposure.
To make the sauce, start by roasting the poblano peppers under a broiler or over the open flame of a gas burner. Turn the peppers until the skin has blackened and blistered on all sides. Then place the peppers in a resealable bag or a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Let them sit for about fifteen minutes. The steam will loosen the skin away from the flesh of the pepper. Gently remove the skin and discard the skin from the outside of the poblanos. It’s not necessary to remove every bit of skin. Just remove the majority.
Remove the stem, seeds and ribs from the jalapeno and roughly chop.
Add the peppers to a high speed blender, along with a small onion, roughly chopped, four cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon of dried oregano, 1 tablespoon of avocado oil, 1 cup vegan vegetable stock, the juice of one lime, and salt and pepper to taste.
Process the sauce in the blender until smooth and set aside.
This can also be used as a restaurant style salsa. Service with gluten free corn tortilla chips as an appetizer or a snack.
Gluten Free Wraps
Instead of tortillas, I discovered some great gluten free wraps made with flax and chia seeds. Both are loaded with fiber and other anti-inflammatory friendly nutrients. This brand makes a few other varieties that I’m looking forward to trying in other recipes.
If you prefer to use a traditional tortilla, stick to gluten free corn tortillas.
Making the Enchiladas
To make the enchiladas, start be peeling and dicing the two to three sweet potatoes. Toss them in a tablespoon of avocado oil, a teaspoon of cumin, salt and pepper. Roast in a 400 degree oven about 35 to 40 minutes, until soft. When the potatoes are done, reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees.
Drain and rinse the black beans. I always go for no salt added when shopping for canned beans. This way I have complete control over the amount of salt going into my dish. Combine the beans with the roasted sweet potatoes and ¼ cup of the enchilada sauce. Stir to combine.
In a 9×13 baking dish, add a small amount of sauce to create a thin layer along the bottom of the pan. Lay down one of the gluten free wraps and add a generous amount of the bean and potato mixture. Roll up the wrap around the filling. Repeat with the remaining five wraps.
Pour the remaining sauce over the top of the enchiladas and bake at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes or until warmed through.
For serving, top the enchiladas with slices of avocado, green onions, and/or toasted pumpkin seeds.
These are best enjoyed the same day but can be reheated in the oven. Just warm at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes to warm back through.
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Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
For the Enchiladas
- 3 Sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
- 1 15oz Can Black Beans
- 1 pkg Gluten Free Wraps or Tortillas (6)
- 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 tsp Cumin
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the Sauce
- 4 Poblano peppers see article for notes
- 1 Jalapeno stem, ribs, and seeds removed; roughly chopped
- 1 small Onion roughly chopped
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1/2 tsp Dried Oregano
- 1 tbsp Avocado Oil
- 1 cup Vegetable Stock vegan
- Juice of 1 lime
- Salt and Pepper to taste
For the Enchiladas
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Toss the peeled and diced sweet potatoes with one tablespoon of avocado oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a lined baking sheet. Roast at 400 degrees, about 35 to 40 minutes, until soft. Remove from the oven and set aside. While the potatoes are roasting, prepare the sauce.
- Reduce the oven to 350 degrees.
- Combine the sweet potatoes with the black beans and 1/4 cup of the enchilada sauce.
- Add a thin layer of sauce to the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish.
- Lay one of the gluten free wraps in the baking dish. Add a generous portion of the potato and bean mixture. Roll up the wrap and place, seam side down in the baking dish. Repeat with the remaining five wraps.
- Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the wraps, spreading it into the cracks between wraps.
- Bake the enchiladas at 350 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes, until they are warmed through. Garnish with slices of avocado, sliced green onions, toasted pumpkin seeds, and/or chopped fresh cilantro.
For the Sauce
- Place the poblano peppers under a broil for about 10 minutes, turning so that the skin is charred on all sides. This can also be done over a burner; be very careful if using this method. Place the charred peppers in a resealable bag or in a bowl with a tight fitting lid. Set aside for 15 minutes. The steam from the peppers will soften the skin, making it easier to remove.
- After 15 minutes, carefully remove the skin from the poblanos. It is not necessary to remove all of the skin, just the majority. Do not rinse the peppers. Remove the stems, seeds, and ribs. Add the peppers to a high speed blender.
- To the poblanos, add the remaining sauce ingredients. Pure until smooth. Set aside until ready to use.
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