Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Butternut and Black Bean Enchiladas

Enchiladas of various types are unfailingly well-received around here, and this seasonal interpretation is no exception.  Comforting yet fresh, substantial without being stodgy, this casserole comes together relatively quickly, and is loaded with enough protein and veggies to be a complete meal on its own (although a green salad, fresh salsa, and/or some guacamole never come amiss).

Butternut and Black Bean Enchiladas
The Sauce
~ 1 cup raw cashews, soaked for at least an hour
~ 1 cup mashed, cooked squash, sweet potato, or pumpkin
~ 2.5 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 1 large, roasted red bell pepper, chopped
~ 1 6 oz. can tomato paste
~ 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
~ 1 tsp. each: garlic powder, chili powder, adobo seasoning, marjoram

~ In a blender or food processor, combine all ingredients and puree until smooth. Set aside.

The Filling
~ 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/4" cubes
~ 1 tbsp. olive oil
~ 1 tbsp. coconut oil
~ 1 medium yellow onion, diced
~ 4 cloves garlic, minced
~ 1 small bell pepper, diced
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, cilantro, cumin, chili powder, oregano
~ 1/2 tsp. each: cayenne, cinnamon, coriander, white pepper, paprika
~ 1 15 oz. can diced, fire-roasted tomatoes
~ 1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
~ Juice of 1 lime
~ 10 flour tortillas
~ 1/2 cup chopped, fresh cilantro

~ Preheat the oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit and coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.
~ Arrange the cubed butternut squash on the baking sheet and drizzle the olive oil over the top. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and make sure the cubes are coated with the oil (I do this with my hands).
~ Roast the squash for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until browned and tender but still intact. Remove from the oven and set aside.
~ While your squash is roasting, melt the coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large, deep skillet. Sauté the onions, garlic, and bell pepper for about 5-7 minutes, until softened.
~ Add the seasonings, cook for about a minute, and stir in the tomatoes. Stir to combine, and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
~ Add the drained black beans and continue cooking 10 minutes more, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens.
~ Remove from heat, stir in the lime juice, and set aside to cool for about 10 minutes.

~ Coat a large casserole or baking dish with cooking spray, and ladle a cup or so of the sauce into the bottom. (I place the baking dish on top of a cookie sheet to catch any leaks.)
~ Place about 1/3 - 1/2 cup filling in the top third of each tortilla and roll up into a tube.
~ Place the filled tortillas snugly up against each other, seam side down, in your casserole until all of the filling is used up and the dish is full (this took 12 tortillas for my pan).
~ Reserve 1.5 cups of the sauce, and pour the rest over the whole business, making sure to let it ooze down into the filled tortillas, and smoothing the top. If possible, set the assembled casserole aside and allow it to sit for awhile before baking, so all the elements can get better acquainted.
~ Cover with foil, and bake at 375 degrees about 25 minutes, until bubbling.
~ Raise the heat to 400, remove the foil, pour the remaining sauce over the tortillas, and sprinkle the top with the fresh cilantro.
~ Return to oven and bake uncovered at 400 degrees for another 15-20 minutes, until browned and lovely.
~ Set aside to cool for 10-15 minutes before serving. 

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