Summer Sweet Potato Enchiladas with Chipotle Jalapeño Greek Yogurt Sauce

 

My dad is a … ahem how should I put this tactfully?… not so great cook. As long as I could remember his repertoire consisted of two things: veggie burgers (frozen ones that he heated up) and spaghetti. It didn’t matter much when this was broken up by my mom’s and my own cooking, however as I prepared to leave for college I became worried that both of my parents would develop a terrible nutritional deficiency or overdose on a primarily veggie burger and spaghetti diet (I’m convinced it is possible). So I set out to teach my dad to cook. With my dad as my sous-chef we cooked some of our old favorite recipes and even developed a few new ones of our own. Summer sweet potato enchiladas with chipotle jalapeño sauce are the product of that endeavor.

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I should also update you that my dad’s cooking abilities have developed tremendously. While he may not be making enchiladas regularly, he can now whip up roasted veggies and he considers an expert in chili.

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While sweet potatoes may be thought of as a Fall/Winter food, they are remarkably versatile and feel summery when paired with zucchini or summer squash.

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Yield: 5-6 enchiladas, depending how much stuffing you make and use per tortilla

 

Ingredients for the enchiladas:

  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into ½ inch rounds and then each round cut into fourths
  • 2 small summer squash/zucchini, cut into pieces that are the same size as the sweet potato
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Cumin
  • Piri Piri powder (a spicy Portuguese seasoning; you can substitute for red pepper flakes or cayenne)
  • Chipotle Chili Powder
  • Pepper
  • Maggi/salt
  • ½ of a large white or yellow onion, sliced into rounds
  • 1 package of veggie chicken or other similar meat substitute (optional)
  • ¾ cup frozen corn [preferably Trader Joe’s roasted corn]
  • 1 18oz. can of Enchilada sauce (I prefer green)
  • 2 tablespoons hot diced jalapeños
  • 5-6 tortillas
  • shredded cheese, preferably cheddar or something with Mexican flavors (vegan cheese works well)

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and place black backing sheet in oven.
  2. Place sweet potato and summer squash chunks in mixing bowl; add olive oil and toss with the vegetables. Add cumin, piri piri, chipotle chili powder, pepper and salt until you have reached the desired level of seasoning. Toss until vegetables are evenly coated with oil and spices. Pour vegetables onto black backing sheet from the oven; bake for approximately 15 minutes (or until sweet potato can be pierced through with a fork and seems mostly cooked), turning vegetables halfway through baking.
  3. While the squash and potato are baking, grill the onion and veggie chicken on a Panini press. Onion is cooked when it is translucent and has light grill marks on it. The chicken is done when it is hot through the entire piece and has dark brown grill marks. Remove from Panini press and slice both the onion and chicken into pieces that are similar in size to the potato.
  4. In a mixing bowl, toss together the baked squash and potato, onion, chicken, and frozen corn. Add about ¾ of a cup of the enchilada sauce and 2 tablespoons jalapeños and toss to coat.
  5. Assemble the enchiladas: distribute filling between 5 or 6 tortillas; roll them and place them seam down in an 8inch casserole dish. Pour remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, thoroughly coating each one. Sprinkle cheese on top. If there is leftover filling you can also sprinkle this on top. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, or until enchilada sauce begins to bubble. To get a nice crispy tortilla and cheese layer, broil for an additional 4 minutes.

 

Some Notes on the Enchiladas:

These are very versatile and can easily be changed based on what ingredients you happen to have available. Regular potatoes or butternut squash can replace the sweet potatoes, “veggie ground round” can replace veggie chicken, kale or spinach can be added, black beans can replace the veggie meat, etc. I tried to not use a frying pan for this, but if you want to sauté some greens or veggie ground round you can do that and then combine all of the various components (enchilada sauce, jalapeños, corn, baked potatoes, etc) in the frying pan. If you don’t have a panini press, the vegetables can be roasted in the oven or cooked in a frying pan.

 

Ingredients for the Chipotle Jalapeno Greek Yogurt Sauce:

  • Plain Greek yogurt [I recommend nonfat]
  • Chipotle Chili Powder
  • Tomato Paste
  • Canned diced hot jalapenos
  • Cilantro, stems removed

 

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. I didn’t provide any quantities because you can make this to your taste. For 2 people I would use about ¾ of a cup of Greek yogurt, and then add the rest of the ingredients to taste.

Orange Tofu Stir Fry

I was so excited to publish my first blog recipe that when I first posted it I neglected to even write anything about it! But Pascal (or Mark Twain, or T.S. Eliot, or….) was on to something when he lamented: “I would have written a shorter letter, but I did not have the time.” The focus of this blog is the food, so I’ll always try to keep my comments brief.

Orange Tofu Stir Fry seemed like a fitting first post because it is one of the first recipes I really developed on my own. In college it seems like every dinner is a “stir fry” of some sort, so I set out to make a stir fry that distinguished itself. After much experimentation, Orange Tofu Stir Fry seemed to do just that. With crisp, puffy tofu, lightly fried spicy broccoli, a citrusy sauce (that is just the right amount of sweet and sticky, not too much of either!), and a crunchy peanut garnish, it satisfies every flavor and texture craving!

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Ingredients

For the Marinade

  • 2 T fresh Ginger
  • 4 cloves fresh Garlic, crushed and diced
  • 2 T Basil, finely chopped
  • 1 T Sesame oil
  • 1 T Chili oil
  • 3 T Soy sauce
  • 3 T rice vinegar
  • 1 T water
  • Sriracha, to taste (it depends how spicy you like it!)
  • 2 T lime juice

For the Sauce

  • 2 T marinade plus 1 T sesame oil
  • Red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup Orange juice
  • ½ cup Vegetable broth
  • 2 T rice vinegar
  • 3 T brown sugar
  • corn starch

For the Tofu

  • marinade
  • 1 block
  • Water
  • Corn starch

 

Vegetables

  • 2 T marinade plus 1 T olive oil
  • 1 large head Broccoli
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 5 mushroom, sliced
  • ½ bell pepper, diced
  • ground black pepper and maggi (or soy sauce or salt), to taste
  • peanuts, coarsely chopped

 

Directions

  1. Make the marinade: mix all ingredients together in Tupperware container.
  2. Marinate the tofu: Drain and rinse tofu. Wrap in paper towel, and then press water out by placing on plate and placing other plate on top with heavy objects on top. Leave for about 30 minutes.
  3. Unwrap and dry tofu. Cut into about 32 cubes. Place all tofu cubes in Tupperware with marinade. Shake to coat the tofu pieces. Refrigerate for at least one hour, up to 4.
  4. To bake the tofu: heat oven to 375. Remove tofu from marinade and brush off large chunks of garlic/ginger; save the marinade!! You will use it later. Place tofu pieces on baking sheet and lightly dust with cornstarch. Bake for about 20 minutes, rotating halfway through, until browned and puffy.
  5. Prepare the sauce: Take 2 T of remaining marinade (including ginger and garlic chunks) and heat with an additional tablespoon sesame oil in sauce pan. Add red pepper. Cook on medium heat about 5 minutes or until garlic and ginger are fragrant. Add all other ingredients except cornstarch. Cook on medium heat.
  6. Mix 1T cornstarch with about 1T warm water to form a paste. Pour into sauce and stir. Bring sauce to simmer and cook until thickened, about 10 minutes.
  7. Prepare the vegetables: heat remaining marinade plus 1T olive oil in large frying pan. Add onion and cook until translucent (4 minutes on medium heat). Add broccoli, bell pepper and mushrooms. Cook vegetables about 5 minutes. Add ¼ cup chopped peanuts and remove from heat.
  8. Serve tofu, vegetables and sauce over rice. Garnish with additional chopped peanuts and sesame seeds.

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