Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

Oh Yummy! Here is an easy recipe to feed a crowd, like when our sons and their wives are home for the holidays. One of our daughters-in-law has food allergies so making delicious food for the group with her needs in mind keeps my mind active. When I make food ahead and put it in the freezer, some are tagged as "A+", which translates to "Anna-Friendly". :) Here is a winner!

Bonus with this recipe, which I modified from several I found on the web. I learned about the Ro*Tel brand of foods, a long-time family-owned company in Texas, of course now owned by a series of "big food" acquisitions, but there it was, right in my regular locally-owned grocery store (albeit on the tippy top shelf). With our summer abundance of tomatoes and hot peppers, I will likely play with this combination to freeze my own "Ro*Tel" items in the future, but that is for another day!

Here is what is now made and ready for the arrival of the "fam", (no photo yet), complete with my notes for making it next time.

Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

Ingredients (I buy seasonal, organically and locally grown foods where available):
• 2# sweet potatoes (makes 2 cups of sweet mashed sweet potatoes)
• 2 cups cooked black beans
• 10 ounce can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes w/green chilis, drained (save the liquid for soup stock later)
• 2 cups frozen corn, drain if needed (again, save any liquid for using in soup stock later) - my frozen corn comes from a local company called Locavorius that purchases locally-grown produce in the summer, does all the prep work, freezes it to sell during the winter months
• 1 bunch scallions, slice the whites and also slice the green tops to use in different parts of the recipe
• 1 chipotle pepper, chopped from a jar of them in adobo sauce (left over from one of our summer interns - adding 1 pepper to most dishes is "just right")
• 4-5 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped
• 1/2 cup salsa
• 6 Tbsp lime juice - or juice 2 limes and zest if they are organic limes
• 1 teaspoon chili powder - or to taste depending on how hot your chili powder is and of course how spicy your family likes its food!
• 18 corn tortillas - whole - I use an organic brand I find a Whole Foods Market
• 1 1/2 cup salsa
• 1 cup sliced pitted black olives (I buy pitted black Kalamata olives at a deli and then slice them - I stopped buying canned black olives years and years ago, which have no flavor, except salt!)

1) Preheat oven to 350ºF.  (or make this dish ahead, cover with foil, and heat later)
2) Cook sweet potatoes (I washed them and then just put them in my slow cooker overnight on low - they were perfectly done the next morning)
3) Peel sweet potatoes (cut in half, scoop out the potato, giving the peels to your dog or chickens - both are ecstatic recipients in our family)
4) Mash sweet potatoes, mix with lime juice, salt, pepper, and chili powder
5) In another bowl, mix together the drained beans, tomatoes/chili peppers, corn, chopped garlic, white section of the scallions, and 1/2 cup of the salsa
6) Spread a few tablespoons of salsa or other taco sauce on the bottom of a 9x13 baking dish.
7) Layer 6 overlapping corn tortillas over the bottom of the baking dish.
8) Layer 1/2 of the sweet potato mixture, then layer 1/2 of the bean mixture, in each case spreading to cover the tortillas.
9) Cover with another layer of 6 corn tortillas then repeat #8.
10) Top with 6 more corn tortillas.
11) Now spread the final 1-1/2 cup of salsa over the top layer of tortillas, sprinkle the sliced green onions and olives over the salsa (of course you may add some shredded cheese here if you wish - we do not so my daughter in law can eat it)
12) Cover with foil, heat 20 minutes at 350ºF. or so (longer if this has been held in the refrigerator until needed) until fully heated through and bubbling on the edges.

Note: I bought one of those deep 9x13 aluminum baking dishes at the grocery store so I could make this ahead and still have our baking dishes to use for food tomorrow. The pan I bought was deep enough that I could easily have had a 4th layer, which I will do next time, increasing the filling ingredients by 50%.

Serve with a green vegetable, salad, and home-made guacamole (yes plan ahead to have avocados on hand and ready to make your own, which is easy, delicious, and so much cheaper than buying it ready made.

Note: No photo yet. I'll try to take one and post it up later this week (don't hold your breath). You can all imagine how beautiful this dish is, so colorful with several yellow, green, red, white, and black foods combined, and with so many textures, too. Delicious! The word "healthy" does not even need to be mentioned, but yes yes yes, it is. :)

PS - I suppose I should change the photo at the top of my blog, too, but on a cold, rainy Christmas Eve, it is actually nice to look at those gorgeous sunflowers!

Happy Holidays, Everyone! 

Diana Dyer, MS, RD
"Cultivate your life: You are what you grow, inch by inch, and row by row"


Unknown said...

Thank you, Diana - finally got around to trying this recipe and it was very good - will add to family recipes that my kids will eat! I did not have all ingredients but I improvised and it tasted fine!

Diana Dyer said...

Improv is always encouraged!