Sweet potato & black bean enchiladas!


So, to celebrate the release (finally!) of Homeland on itunes this past weekend, I invited Brian and Jo over for dinner and to watch a couple episodes. And, turning to my favourite (only) vegan cookbook, oh she glows (not because I’m a vegan or my guests are vegans but because the recipés look delicious and are alternatives to what I usually cook ) –  I chose ‘Sweet potato & black bean enchiladas with avocado-cilantro cream sauce’. Sounds fancy, huh? And can I just say something about estimated ‘prep times’ — what do you think the rule should be? Multiply by 3? Multiply by 10?? (This one is supposed to take 30 minutes, and I took more like 90.

Dice 2 cups of sweet potato (I used yams), cover in water, bring to a boil, and then simmer until fork-tender (5-7 min.).

In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp olive oil over medium heat. Add 1 chopped red onion and 2 cloves garlic and simmer about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent. Season with sea salt and black pepper.

You can’t really see the garlic but just trust me — it’s in there.

Now for my favourite part — adding lots of ingredients all at once. Add 1 bell pepper (chopped), one 15oz can black beans (drained and rinsed), cooked sweet potato, and 2 large handfuls spinach (roughly chopped). Raise the heat to medium-high and cook until spinach wilts.


The next instructions are to sir in 1/4 cup ‘enchilada sauce’ (bought or home-made), and this is where things got a little interesting. I completely forgot to get the ingredients to make the enchilada sauce and so after using all those fresh/organic ingredients — I resorted to creating ‘enchilada sauce’ by pouring coffee cream into an almost empty bottle of ‘Pizza Squeeze’ and giving it a shake! (No pics but take my word for it.) But you, you should just buy a bottle of Enchilada Sauce. Then measure out 1/4 cup and add 1tbsp fresh lime juice, 1 tsp chili powder, 1/2 tsp cumin, and 1/2 tsp kosher salt. Stir this into the filling. Then pour another cup of sauce in the bottom of a large rectangular backing dish. Scoop about 3/4 cup of sweet potato filling onto each tortilla, placing them seam side down in the dish. Spread any remaining filling on top.

Bake the enchiladas uncovered for 20-25 minutes until the ‘sauce’ (haha) is a deep red color (whatever) and the enchiladas are heated through. While that’s happening, get started on the avocado topping.


Look at all that green! In a blender or food processor, mince 1/2 cup fresh cilantro. Add 2 tbsp lime juice, 1/4 tsp fine-grain sea salt and 1/2 tsp garlic powder. This makes for a very bright and zesty sauce. ‘Drizzle’ the sauce over each enchilada to serve. (Mine, I just added to the pan and it ‘gooped’ more than it ‘drizzled’ but still…) And…tada!


Whatever. Anyway, it’s not about how things look, right? Cause I still got 2 thumbs up from my guests. And then it was into the living room for some equally delicious ‘Homeland’. I don’t think this will give anything away if I say that poor Carrie’s chin was  all a-quiver!





Sweet potato & black bean enchiladas!

African Peanut Stew


Last night, I tried one of Angela Liddon’s (oh she glows) delicious vegan recipes, a soup with sweet potatoes, chickpeas, and a fabulous satay base.

Start by sautéing 1 medium onion, 3 cloves garlic, 1 red pepper and 1 jalepeno (optional) in olive oil until onions are translucent. Add 1 diced red pepper, 1 sweet potato, and one 28 oz. can diced tomatoes with juice. Raise the heat to medium-high and simmer for another 5-10 min.

Whisk together 1/2 cup peanut butter (recipe calls for 1/3, but I prefer extra peanut butter!) and 1 cup vegetable broth. Add this sauce to the pot along with another 3 cups of vegetable broth, 2 tsp chili powder, and 1/4 tsp cayene (optional). Cover and simmer on medium-low for 30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are fork-tender.

Then, my favourite part:  add handfuls of baby spinach! There’s something about adding fresh spinach to things that just seems so healthy. Plus it adds color and texture. (I did eventually mix it in obviously.)


Stir in 1 can chickpeas (drained and rinsed) and simmer until the spinach is wilted.


Top with fresh cilantro and serve!


Oh, ‘she glowed’ alright.


African Peanut Stew

Emily’s Borscht

So, you might not automatically think of a winter famine staple as ‘festive’ but I couldn’t help but think ‘Christmas’ the last time I made my daughter’s borscht:



So, here’s the ingredient list and directions:

Onion, potato, beets, beef stock, cabbage, lemon juice, salt & pepper to taste, dill (fresh in season)

Sauté onions in oil. Add beef stock, beets and potatoes. Top with beef stock and simmer until beets are soft.


Add cabbage.



Simmer until soft.


To serve, add lemon juice to bowls and a spoonful or two of sour cream. A nourishing soup, even more festive when paired with a rich green spinach salad. Enjoy.


Emily’s Borscht