Blackbean, kale, and sweet potato enchiladas

BBenchiladaI posted this on Instagram today, and I was shocked when I realized this recipe has never been posted on my blog! I’ve made it several times in the last year and a half, and it’s one of our family favorites (OK, full disclosure: me and our 14yo daughter absolutely FLIP over these, son thinks they’re good, and hubs thinks they could be better if I added some meat). My precious daughter turned 14 today, and this enchilada recipe was her requested birthday meal, along with black bean brownies. Yes, I gave her an open door to unhealthy anything, and she chose black bean brownies all on her own. She really loves them that much (no one else in the family does, so I’m not making a hearty recommendation here). You can find that recipe on Dr. Axe blog if you’re interested in making those. But for the veggie enchiladas, here ya go…

What you need: (all organic if possible, especially the kale, which is often on the Dirty Dozen list for pesticides)

1 large sweet potato

1 can black beans, drained (makes 8 small enchiladas which feeds the 4 of us, but double if you need to) OR even better, use home cooked beans of equivalent amount. If buying canned, buy non BPA canned goods if possible. The BPA plastic coating in cans can be toxic. Another reason to use the bag of beans and cook them at home.

some kale, spinach, or chard greens to add to the beans (as much or as little as you like)

coconut oil, butter, or olive oil to sautee beans and greens in. Do not use highly processed vegetable oils like canola or corn oil, both of which are GMO.

garlic, cumin, and chili powder and s&p to flavor those beans and greens (your discretion for amounts of seasonings)

green enchilada sauce or salsa verde (trader joes salsa verde is what I use)

6-8 soft shells, I use Trader Joes corn shells that only have 2 ingredients and are GMO-free according to store policy. Or use another healthy (very few ingredients, real food type shell) that are usually only found in health food stores. Or try a homemade shells recipe and make your own grainfree shells! Do NOT use shelf stable flour (aka “frankenwheat”) tortillas that have a paragraph of ingredients and preservatives. Gross! Wheat is never really recommended on this blog, but if you have to, then use the traditional foods version of soaked and sprouted wheat. You can even find those in the freezer section of the health food stores (Food For Life brand, that makes Ezekiel bread).

1 jar salsa, I use Trader Joes Pineapple salsa because we love that hint of sweet from the pinapple in there!! It’s perfect in this recipe with all the other veggies. I think it’s actually the KEY to awesomeness in this recipe.

Cheddar cheese, preferably raw milk cheddar that is white, not fake colored orange cheese. Another good alternative if you can’t find raw or grassfed (at Trader Joes) is an organic white cheddar, or even a Cabot brand, because it’s hormone free and it’s white (not colored orange) and they have a range of sharpness available. Again, I’m gonna leave the amount up to you, but I use enough to totally cover my shells before baking! I always buy a block of cheese, and grate it myself because of the additives in bagged cheese. Read the ingredients list!

options: mushrooms (I rarely add), fresh cilantro (I always add), green onions (I usually add), peppers (I never add), hot sauce on top, avocado and tomatoes and sour cream on top! You could also put this on a bed of lettuce or other raw greens if you need even more greens in your diet!

A baking sheet (or pot if you boil the potatoes), a large frying pan, and a baking dish like an 8×8 Pyrex, or glass, etc. Do not use a non-stick metal baking dish (click if you don’t know why non-stick surfaces can be unhealthy cooking)

What to do: preheat to 350 first

Skin and chop and heat the sweet potato because you’re going to mash it. Options: boil the potato chunks, or lay pieces on a baking sheet and put in oven (you’re preheating to 350 anyway), while you’re doing everything else. Either way you heat it, mash it after it’s heated.

In a large frying pan (please don’t use non-stick pans) heat the oil, beans, garlic, seasoning, and greens on medium (and any options you’re adding, but save some cilantro for toppings if you’re using it in this). Cook until greens get wilted because they will cook further in next step.

In your glass or ceramic baking dish, pour some salas verde (green sauce) in the bottom and then start making your enchiladas: shell in hand, add mashed sweet potatoes down middle of shell. Add about 2 Tbs of the beans/greens mixture from the frying pan. Top with about a Tbs of salsa. Roll shell and put seam down into the salsa verde covered dish, one right next to the other. When you are finished with rolling the shells for that dish, cover each one with more salsa (or salsa verde if you rather), then top with cheese and fresh cilantro and bake until cheese looks done, maybe 20 mins.  We top with avocado, tomatoes, and sour cream or plain yogurt and the rest of the fresh cilantro! Ole!

I promise this gets easier and quicker after you try it once! Some ideas for making this as quick as possible: consider putting the bean/green mixure and potatoes in the crock pot on low, then add that mixture to shells and bake after you get home. Let me know if you try that, and it actually works!! You could always do your sweet potatoes and your bean/greens mixture the night before, and store it until you’re ready to make these. They’re going in the oven anyway, so it shouldn’t matter that it’s cold when you assemble them. I’m always looking for easier ways to make dinners, so if you figure out a tip here, please let us know!

Here are pictures of some of the Trader Joes ingredients I use for this: pineapple salsaTJshellsandsalsa

Keep this recipe in mind during CSA vegetable season (at least here in NC), because it’s a great way to use kale and sweet potatoes from your CSA box! Also, I think it would be easy to add ground beef or chicken or turkey (pastured/clean/organic meats) to this if you want to!

Fannetastic Food blog was the original inspiration for this recipe.

Please let me know if you try this yumminess!! I am eager to hear if any of you love it as much as we do. And now, on to the next January birthday (we have 7 of them this month!)……

Encouraging Health,

Organic Eater

Real-Food Resource: Recipes and Ideas for Thanksgiving

The Grove Park Inn Thanksgiving 2011

I have it really good at Thanksgiving. I mean REALLY good. It may surprise some of you to know that I don’t LOVE cooking. I intentionally named the blog Organic EATER, not “Organic Cook”. I love the eating part, but the cooking part, not so much. I do it because I’ve disciplined myself to do what I know is right and best for my family, the exact same way I’ve been exercising and all of my other disciplines. This whole “real food, low sugar, low grain, #lowcrapdiet” thing is only a couple of years old in my world, and it has not caused me to miraculously start loving the cooking process unfortunately. So, having it “good” at Thanksgiving means I don’t cook, but it’s still awesome food!  My in-laws have either taken us to the beach (and a fabulous restaurant) or to The Grove Park Inn for the past several years during the week of Thanksgiving. Before those trips, they cooked the traditional turkey meal at their home and invited us over, and my mother in law is a fantastic cook!  With my husband’s job requirements now, we can’t travel during Thanksgiving week, so we are going back to the Traditional Turkey meal at their house again. I will bring a gluten-free cranberry apple dish (with oats) that is delicious and pretty easy. Oh, and I may bring the iced tea. That’s it. Oh, Happy Day!! And the best part is that my husband and I have convinced them to buy an ORGANIC turkey this year! Hooray! That was the only “missing link” for me to have spectacular Thanksgiving eating this week. BUT….

For those who do have to cook this week, I am going to list some of my favorite recipe blogs for you to check out. NO guarantees of only organic, but I will try to include only REAL FOOD links, and you make it organic if you can find the organic ingredients.  It is a holiday, so I wouldn’t fret over whether or not it’s organic if someone else is cooking for you. Let’s be polite guests, right? But I WOULD take a small portion (or none), if I knew GMO ingredients were used in the making of something I’m getting ready to eat. But that’s just my preference, and you guys need to figure that out for your own family’s situations, depending on how much stress and discomfort that may add to your holiday. If you are a parent or spouse, it’s probably best to have a discussion with your kids/spouse BEFORE you get to the holiday house. So here are my real food recipe resources for you:

Cheeseslave has a LONG list of Thanksgiving recipe links organized by food type

The Wellness Mama has an ENTIRE Real Food Thanksgiving menu, recipe for each item, and the shopping list you need to prepare all of it! This makes it super easy! I’m making the cranberry relish for left-over turkey sandwiches on Friday.

Food Renegade has a list of 11 Breakfast ideas for Thanksgiving Day, and a grain free menu for lunch/dinner. 

Whole New Mom has LOTS of contributing bloggers post recipes, specifically for allergy free needs

This Bruce Bradley post was my favorite because it not only has links to recipes, but it explains WHY you don’t want to eat those specific processed food items!  Mr. Bradley is a former corporate food marketer, so I think he knows what he’s talking about!

If you want to go “all organic at Thanksgiving” here’s a link at iVillage to show you how.

Two thoughts I leave with you: once you’re finished eating your holiday meals, and maybe one round of leftovers, get back to the good life of eating the food that really makes you feel great! Enjoy your family and your traditions, then back on track with eating and exercise. Don’t wait until January 2, 2013! Secondly, this is Thanksgiving, so let’s be thankful no matter what we eat. For some Americans, they don’t even have a table to sit at this year because it was washed away in a storm or blown away in a tornado. Many have been without jobs for months or years and are thankful for the kindness of someone’s generosity towards them, even if it is “processed” food. Many are eating in a shelter and thankful just to have anything to eat on Thursday. If we’re able to read a blog and make some choices about what and how we eat this Thanksgiving, let’s be EXTRA grateful for that!! 

Encouraging Health, and praying you have a blessed Thanksgiving!

Organic Eater

Psalm 100:4 Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and His courts with praise! Give thanks to Him; bless His name!

Tell me what you’ll be doing this week, and what choices/compromises you may have to make to “keep the peace” in your families. Or if you’re going all “real food” or “all organic” this year, I’d love to know that too! Also, if you have a great recipe or link you wanna share in these last couple days of shopping for food, share it with us!!!