Pinto Bean Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Close-up photograph of sweet potato enchiladas with spiced pinto beans and topped with melted cheddar cheese and cilantro.

I’ve shared these a few times on instagram and now I’ve finally put pen to paper to write the recipe. These sweet potato enchiladas are about the most comforting meal I cook, without an overload of cheese. The sweet potato and beans provide the filling while and easy homemade enchilada sauce brings it all together.

Sweet Potato Enchiladas: Components

This recipe is involved, there’s no two ways around it. While I’ve tried to limit the amount of prep by relying heavily on pre-ground spices and garlic powder, this meal is heavy on components.

The great thing for you, however, is that all these components can be made ahead of time and used not only in this meal but meals across the week. For example:

The sweet potatoes

Sweet potato puree, during the cooler months, is an automatic go-to. I make wraps, pasta dishes, risottos, and even my morning toast with a little help from a simple sweet potato puree. Make a couple-potatoes worth by simply roasting whole potatoes and scooping out the potato once cool. The sweet potato puree will last for up to 5 days.

Don’t want to use sweet potatoes? Any puree will do. Pumpkin or butternut squash would be my next two choices. You can also add in greens, sweet corn, or roasted tomatoes during the spring and summer months.

The Beans

When it comes to beans, these are a riff on my spiced pinto beans (made a little easier in this enchilada recipe if you’re making the night-of). I love these beans as taco filling, as a toast topper, or as a topping to a creamy polenta bowl. I usually batch and use them twice in one week: once for these enchiladas and once in a grain bowl.

The Enchilada Sauce

Similar to the beans, I make a much more involved enchilada sauce that uses dried chilis, toasted whole spices, and a slower cooking time. However, I wanted to keep this recipe as close to weeknight friendly as I could (I realize a 60-minute ordeal isn’t super weeknight friendly but these are so good!)

Enchilada sauce is a good batch and freeze project. Make triple of what I have here and freeze it in 2-cup increments. I love using this sauce to cook eggs in too.

Make-ahead

Beyond the idea of prepping the components ahead of time, this is also one of my favorite meals to make for other people. Think new families! The entire dish freezes after assembly so the only thing left to do is bake (which will take about 20 minutes longer but other than that-everything stays the same!)

[tasty-recipe id=”37893″]

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1-Pan Tempeh Bolognese

1-Pan Tempeh Bolognese

This hearty, 1-pan tempeh bolognese is a plant-based take on a classic that pairs perfectly with pastas, eggplant parmesan, lasagna, and more! Plus, it comes together in just 30 minutes. Let me show you how it’s done.

This bolognese starts with sautéed onion, mushrooms, and garlic for a flavorful base. Then comes finely grated tempeh, which cooks in the pan until seared. It’s important to use a pan large enough that the tempeh has room to sauté.

1-Pan Tempeh Bolognese from Minimalist Baker →

Roasted Chipotle Sweet Potato and Sorghum Salad

Roasted Chipotle Sweet Potato and Sorghum Salad

Sorghum Salads

I realize sorghum is not your every-day grain but I love showcasing recipes to try and get it used a little more in the kitchen. The flavor isn’t big but it does provide a little warmth to a dish. I find, my usage of sorghum is more about texture. Sorghum has a similar texture to cooked wheat berries. Slightly chewy, far from mushy.

Sweet Potatoes

While I tend towards using roasted sweet potatoes in dishes like this, you could easily swap them for something similar. Roasted squash or rooted vegetables during the winter make a good 1:1. During the summer I like to use similar flavors with roasted sweet corn, tomatoes, and peppers.

Spices

Depending on the spice company, chipotle can get hot in fairly small quantities. However, this isn’t the easiest thing to tell. I like to take just a small taste of the powder and see how it reacts. If I find that my mouth is on fire, I might cut back a bit. If the opposite is true, I’ll usually bump the chipotle amount up to 1 teaspoon.

The other option is if you happen to have chipotle in adobo sauce, you can swap the powder for about ½ of a minced chipotle and a bit of the adobo sauce.

Garlic Oil

One of my favorite ways to have a bit of garlic flavor without being overpowering: garlic-infused oil. It’s as simple as smashing garlic, cooking it in a bit of oil, and letting it rest. Occasionally I’ll use nut-oils and infuse with garlic as well.

[tasty-recipe id=”33130″]

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Warming Winter Smoothie

Warming Winter Smoothie

Do you ever miss smoothies in the wintertime? I do.

I love the nutrition smoothies provide, but often find they’re too cooling and can even slow my digestion down when colder weather arrives.

After doing some research on the ancient practice of Ayurveda, I discovered there are a few ways to “warm” your smoothie so it’s not so cooling to your body, which is perfect when you’re already battling colder temps but still want your daily dose of greens.

Warming Winter Smoothie from Minimalist Baker →

Fried Egg Cauliflower Grain Bowl

Close-up overhead photograph of a grey bowl with farro, hummus, roasted cauliflower, and a fried egg.

Post sponsored by Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs. See below for more details.

It is really amazing that I do not have more grain bowl recipes on this site. A grain bowl is by far the biggest staple meal for our family. Need a filling breakfast? Grain bowl! How about a last-minute dinner made from leftovers? Grain bowl!

You can practically make a grain bowl any way but I have a few tips that might help you make it even better or easier!) For starters, try using components. Whip up some roasted vegetables and grains on the weekend, making this a practically instant meal during the weekdays.

Also, use whatever egg method your like best. I skip around depending on what I’m feeling that day (and one of the reasons I love keeping Pete and Gerry Organic Eggs on hand!) Pan-fried, hard-boiled, soft-boiled, or scramble all work great in this recipe.

Grains for days

The foundation of the bowl but easily changeable. I love using farro because it’s hearty and provides an amazing texture to the overall dish. However, you could easily use quinoa, millet, sorghum, or barley.

If you’re in a hurry and did not prep the grains ahead of time, I’d recommend using bulgur. It’s quick and delicious, making this meal from scratch a bit quicker.

Overhead photograph of a cup of coffee and grey bowl with grains and a fried egg.

The Eggs: Pete and Gerry Organic

I’m excited for another partnership with Pete and Gerry’s Organic Eggs this year. One of the reasons I love using their eggs is because I know the company is deeply invested in protecting the land, since they’re a Certified B Corporation. The eggs are also produced humanely, making sure the chickens are well-cared for.

Grain Bowl: Hummus, forever.

Next in line for the components: hummus. I know this isn’t for everyone but I can’t eat a grain bowl without it. It’s the binder and helps bring a bit more flavor to the overall recipe. Best of all, you can use any kind of flavored hummus you like.

I typically go with roasted garlic hummus but roasted red pepper, sun-dried tomato, lemon-dill, or beet hummus all work.

Vegetables

Finally, the vegetables. The beautiful thing about these grain bowls is that the cauliflower is easy to replace. Carrots, squash, asparagus, Brussels sprouts, green beans- every seasons holds a few different types of grain bowl options!

Also, if you don’t feel like turning on the oven, I’ve been known to steam the cauliflower then toss it with a smoked paprika compound butter. A little decadent but oh-so-good.

Side-angle photograph of a fried egg on-top of farro, hummus, and smoked paprika roasted cauliflower.

[tasty-recipe id=”37861″]

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Turmeric Cashews

Some fascinating emails have come through my in-box over the past decade. One example arrived back in 2015 from Erica Sonnenburg, which led to this write-up shortly thereafter. Erica and her husband, Justin Sonnenburg, are researchers at Stanford where they study the collection of bacteria that inhabit our gut. It’s called the microbiota. Her name struck me as familiar because the Sonnenburgs, both Ph.D.s, were included in Michael Pollan’s article – Some of My Best Friends are Germs from May 2013. Her note went on to say they often cook recipes from 101 Cookbooks because many of them have the hallmarks of “good microbiota food”. This immediately made me feel great, but also sparked many questions that have been dancing around my head ever since.
Turmeric Cashews
When it comes to broad strokes, I get it. You want to encourage, nourish, support your internal bacterial community. The good bugs. And there are some general “best practices” in life that help. But, for me, the real, well-researched, specifics beyond that start to get increasingly hazy. I immediately wanted to know from her, which recipes exactly, and why? How exactly do I befriend and support my microbiota? How much does food impact it, and what are the other major factors? Best beverages – beer? wine? smoothies? In short, I wanted to know what sort of things I was doing in my day-to-day to support (or hurt) my unique-to-me friendly bugs, so I could continue to do more to support my microbiota.
Turmeric Cashews
Erica went on to tell me about the book they were working on – The Good Gut. It establishes the case for the importance of gut microbiota, and documents their research and findings. They’ve done a lot of work to start to understand the role of diet in this realm, and what they’re finding is that a diet rich in dietary fiber (plant matter) helps to keep the microbiota happy. Also, because different microbes feed on different things, diversity in your diet is key. Broadly speaking, you’re after a wide range of beans, whole grains, seeds, and vegetables. And you’ll want to consume foods rich in microbiota accessible carbohydrates. It’s a fascinating read that goes well beyond dietary recommendations. They are doing the direct research into what makes your microbiota happy, and have some amazing findings based in good science.
Turmeric Cashews

The back of the book includes a recipe section to set the tone for this type of beneficial food choice. These turmeric cashews became one of my favorite snacks of the week. They’re substantial and filing, and microbiota friendly. I used the recipe in The Good Gut as a jumping off point, and flared it out with a few extra spices. They were extra special because I used turmeric gifted by Tara (Seven Spoons) when I saw her last recently. She told me the turmeric is from her maternal grandfather’s estate in Dehra Dun (Dehradun) in Uttarakhand, in the north of India – beautiful turmeric. I’ve exhausted my turmeric supply from Tara, and fortunately I’m now able to source this special turmeric from Diaspora Co. 

Related Links:

The Good Gut: Taking Control of Your Weight, Your Mood, and Your Long-term Health

Cute Family. And You Should See Their Bacteria

Some of My Best Friends are Germs

Continue reading Turmeric Cashews on 101 Cookbooks

A Vibrant Beet Caviar

I’m lucky to be the occasional recipient of Josey Baker experimentations. The other day Josey handed me a still-hot loaf of 100% einkorn bread – substantial, fragrant, a dark brown crumb with a craggy top-crust. It smelled like a great brewery – all malt, and grain, and warmth. And it begged to be treated right.
A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe
The first question to come to mind was slicing strategy…the consensus was: 1) Allow the bread to cool completely. 2) With this loaf – not too thick, not too thin. Not to digress too much, but when it comes to toast, the thickness or thinness of the slice is key. Some breads lend themselves to a thick slab – Blue Bottle Cafe (in downtown San Francisco) cooks an egg-in-the hole of Acme’s pain de mie. Perfect. There are other breads I like thinly sliced and extra-toasted – Josey’s rye comes to mind, also Anna’s Daughters’ Rye – a beautifully distinctive local bread. Once this was sorted, Josey got on with his afternoon, and I started thinking about what I’d eventually put on the bread.
A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe
Silvena Rowe’s book had been in my bag for a few days, I was reading it when I was on the bus, or waiting on a coffee. So I started paging through, and settled on a beet spread I knew would be beautiful – the sweet earthiness of the roasted beets accented with toasted walnuts, chives, dates, a bit of booziness, and a swirl of creme fraiche.A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe

Silvena has written a couple of other books I have in my library – I suspect a good number of you might find them inspiring as well. I first purchased Purple Citrus and Sweet Perfume: Cuisine of the Eastern Mediterranean, and then Orient Express: Fast Food from the Eastern Mediterranean.A Vibrant Beet Caviar Recipe
The beet caviar was a nice accompaniment to the einkorn, and I imagine it would be brilliant as a spread or dollop on just about anything – from toasted pita, to a harvest soup. A swirl would be nice in risotto, or as part of a mezze spread. Enjoy!

Continue reading A Vibrant Beet Caviar on 101 Cookbooks

Vegan Baked Beans on Toast

Photograph of Vegan Baked Beans on Toast, topped with microgreens

For whatever reason, I feel like I’ve made it my mission to share the joy of beans on toast. I realize, it’s a bit of a funny mission. However, beans on toast is a magical thing and if you like beans, you should eat them on toast.

Growing up in the midwest, baked beans were a thing for nearly every family get-together. And yet, I never ate them. I avoided them, in fact. I’m not sure if it was the flavor, the texture, or just that I wasn’t a big fan of any bean. Luckily all of that has changed and now I have my favorite vegan baked bean recipe to share.

All the beans

When it comes to bean varieties, small navy beans are the traditional baked bean. I’ve also been known to use great northern. I’d also highly recommend checking out Rancho Gordo and using their Yellow Indian Woman Bean or their Alubia Blanca. I picked up a bag and the texture of these beans is perfect for a long-baked dish.

The sweetener

I usually stick with molasses, maple syrup, or honey but I have a weakness for dark muscovado sugar. This unrefined cane sugar has all of the molasses, making it a rich/moist sweetener. Paired with an extra bit of molasses, it makes these beans really shine. Of course, if you can’t find muscovado sweetener, use a bit more molasses or swap for brown sugar.

Keep it vegan

Traditional baked beans use bacon and while I could definitely swap in something more substantially meat-like, I don’t care. For me, the bacon brings the smoke and that’s why I can’t recommend enough picking up a bottle of smoked salt. Paired with the smoked paprika, you’re good-to-go, sans bacon.

Also, look for vegan Worcestershire sauce. Annie’s has a solid one and sometimes stores carry at least one other variety. This sauce is good to keep on hand for an extra boost of fermented goodness to many meals.

[tasty-recipe id=”37875″]

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Glissade Chocolate Pudding

I’ve done chocolate pudding many, many ways over the years. And it’s nearly always good. But from this day forward if you come to my house for dinner, and I decide chocolate pudding might be a nice finish to the meal, this is the recipe I’ll be using. 
The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook
It’s from a whimsical, illustrated French children’s cookbook published by Random House in 1966, La Patisserie est un Jeu d’Enfants, with text and drawings by Michel Oliver. The pudding completely caught me off-guard, in the best way possible.The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

French versus American Chocolate Pudding

This is not like a typical American chocolate pudding, it has no milk, cocoa powder, or cornstarch – which makes sense because it is from a French book. This is more of a deep, concentrated, dark chocolate mousse, although if you’re used to chocolate mousse that has whipped cream folded in, it’s different from that as well.
The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

Tips & Tricks

The key here is good chocolate, then a gentle touch bringing a short list of common ingredients together, and the bit of patience required to let the pudding cool and set. That last part makes all the difference. Time in the refrigerator allows the pudding to set into the densest dark chocolate cloud imaginable, the consistency of whipped frosting. 

The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

Choosing the Right Chocolate

I’ll make note in the recipe below, but you’ll want to use good-quality chocolate in the 60-80% range – semi-sweet to bittersweet. Aside from the chocolate, you’re only adding a bit of water and butter, a sprinkling of sugar, and two eggs, so don’t skimp on the quality of ingredients here, there’s really no place to hide.
The Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbookThe Best Chocolate Pudding Recipe from La Patisserie est un Jeu d'Enfants French children's cookbook

As you can see up above here, the book itself is incredibly charming. The edition I have alternates French and English pages, so you’ll have a page in French, then the same page in English. The French title for this recipe is “Glissade” which they’ve translated on the following English page to Slippery Chocolate Pudding – which made me smile. Keep your eyes peeled, you can find copies of La Patisserie est un Jeu d’Enfants (Making French Desserts and Pastry is Child’s Play) here and there if you look around.

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My Go-To Guacamole

My Go-To Guacamole

Over the years I’ve made dozens of batches of guacamole at home, each one a little different and more nuanced than the last.

I’ve tried varying quantities of ingredients, using limes vs. lemons, playing with different spices and textures, and I’m happy to report I’ve perfected my perfect go-to guacamole!

Let me show you how easy it is with just 1 bowl, 10 minutes, and 8 ingredients required!

My Go-To Guacamole from Minimalist Baker →