Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas Recipe

When someone begins to follow a vegetarian diet it can be a little complicated to adapt some of the typical recipes we know that avoid the use of any meat, and in the case of vegans, any animal product. This would seem to be an impediment to continue enjoying some of the typical dishes of Mexican cuisine, but this isn't true.

I like to make enchiladas with a base of black beans or chickpeas or a mixture of both. They are a great substitute for meat and provide a good protein boost. You can use canned cooked black beans from organic grocery stores, or cook them yourself. The beans are mixed with a mixture of vegetable cream (recipe for which can be found here) and grated vegetable cheese (Tex-Mex variety, available in most supermarkets); halloumi or paneer is a good substitute. This mixture will give a very rich stuffing in taste and texture. Since I'm a big fan of herbs, I also add a generous handful of minced fresh coriander.  Omit it if you don't like the aroma. 

For a nice presentation, decorate the top of the dish with fresh cilantro and chopped green onions. To serve, if desired, top the enchiladas with extra cream so that everyone can add more to the taste. You can even garnish with avocado cubes and a few drops of lime.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes to 1 hour
Serves: 4

650g sweet potatoes
1 red onion
4 garlic cloves
400g tin black beans
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tbsp smoked paprika
pinch of hot chilli powder
500ml enchilada sauce
8 tortilla wraps (flour or corn)
120g vegan cheddar cheese, grated

1. Preheat oven to 180C/350F.

2. Peel and cut the sweet potato into 1cm chunks. Place in a baking tray and toss with some oil, salt and pepper.

3. Place in the oven for 20-25 minutes until soft and starting to brown on the edges.

4. Heat a tbsp of oil in a pan on medium heat. Add finely chopped red onion, stir and let cook for a couple of minutes.

5. Then add the garlic and fry for a few minutes until fragrant and the onions are soft.

6. Add drained black beans, cumin, smoked paprika and pinch of hot chilli powder ( or more if you like it spicy). Stir and fry for 30 seconds.

7. Add about 200ml of the enchilada sauce along with the roasted sweet potato and mix until combined. Season with salt and pepper and take off the heat.

8. Prepare to assemble the enchiladas. Warm up the tortillas for 20-30 seconds until soft.

9. In a large roasting dish spoon a few tbsp of sauce and spread into a thin layer.

10. Take a tortilla, place 2 tbsp of filling inside and a small handful of cheese. Gently roll and then place open side down. Repeat until all 8 enchiladas are snug in the dish.

11. Pour over and spread the remaining sauce on top. I like to leave the edges sauce-free so they go crispy.

12. Scatter the vegan cheese on top and bake for 20-25 minutes until the sides are bubbling and the cheese is nice and melted.

13. Scatter the top with fresh coriander.