Vegan sweet potato enchiladas with creamy avocado sauce


If this recipe looks suspiciously like the Sweet potato and black bean burritos also listed on this site, only swapping avocado for cheese, that's because it essentially is. It's also become a nearly weekly staple in our house, with the few alterations specific enough they seemed worth noting as more than an asterisk on the same post. Since mostly--but not entirely--eliminating dairy, I've surprised myself with how infrequently I've longed for cheese. I would have put money on persistent pizza cravings, but so far there haven't been any to really speak of. I have, however, had recent pangs for really cheesy, spicy Mexican. Strong enough longings it was almost worth giving in, only to my gleeful surprise, creamy, heroic avocado stepped in to satisfy. He's such a cute, solid little hero, that avocado. I imagine him (or her) muscling in with vigor and force that doesn't fool anyone. We all know what a softie he is inside.

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The way this works on a weekly basis: when we're using the oven, I  pop in the sweet potatoes, then refrigerate them for another day. Whenever I have a chance, I chop the onions, store in a zip lock with spices sprinkled on. On the day of cooking, the sweet potato mash gets scooped into a bowl, beans and salsa are added as onions are sauteed with spices, and then the mixture is wrapped in tortillas and refrigerated for later in a lidded Pyrex. When tortillas are baking, Little Monkey helps pushing the buttons on the Vitamix to whip up the sauce, and then we eat. It's not as quick and easy as most of my cooking, but prepping in stages works for us right now, and the result is well worth we get leftovers.

Most all our meal prep is slapdash quick and easy or staggered in steps right now. (*Warning, long tangent probably worth skipping coming!) I spread myself a little too thin this month, and we've been overloaded and preoccupied with worries. It's just a phase. Not so bleak as it may sound. It's hard to be a misery guts with a little monkey keeping things full and lively with distractions, leaps of learning, and light! It's funny, though, how periods of exceptional busyness can sometimes bring on unexpected feelings of loneliness, when I fall into the trap of becoming too critically focused on friendships and their foundations. Namely, it's easy in weariness to over-analyze past and present stings and hurts, real or imagined. Only lately, I've been reminded in a positive way how different relationships serve their own purposes. A good thing.

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There are those friendships that, however close, continue to exist in their own bubbles, tenderly looked after even as they float away. They belong to a different time. Whether they'll be back, or are meant to be cherished for the meaningful but ephemeral space they occupied is a soft hazy unknown.

There are those that were illusion all along, and are meant to be walked, stormed, or stumbled away from. The lessons imparted are about recognition and self-awareness. It's crazy how sometimes things that cause us pain prove difficult to discard.

giggleThese are the kinds of bonds I was falling into a pit of over-thinking last week, mostly at night with an overactive mind. Then, this past weekend, a string of happy connections lifted the funk, enough that I had to hijack this recipe post with a sort of diary entry. (Sorry.) Two quick, energizing chats with two marvelous Melissas; a comforting conversation with my sensational little sis; and a visit from dear friend Mary; all upheld the proof and power of genuine, enduring friendship. The kind that simply offers love for who you truly are without requiring daily maintenance, parallel experiences, or comparable accomplishments. It can withstand long stretches--months or even years without contact, and remain intact.  It isn't based on anything but mutual respect and caring. I'm so lucky to  have those friendships in my corner; who knows if those of you I'm talking to will ever read this, but I hope you know who you are, and that I love you. :)


Sweet potato enchiladas with creamy avocado sauce Yields approximately 6-8 enchiladas

  • 2-3 baked sweet potatoes, scooped and mashed
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked, or 1 14-ounce can no-salt, black beans
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1  to 1 1/2 cups fresh salsa
  • Organic whole wheat or gluten free tortillas
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 cup water
  • juice of 1 lime
  • dash garlic powder, or to taste
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and fresh ground pepper to taste
  • cooking spray
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place sweet potato mash in a large bowl. Add beans and stir to combine.
  3. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until softened. Add cumin, chili powder and paprika, and cook a further 2 minutes, stirring continually.  Stir into sweet potato mixture.
  4. Stir salsa, reserving a portion for topping, into sweet potato mixture and divide evenly between tortillas. Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place, fold down, in a 13 X 9 inch baking pan coated with cooking spray. Top with reserved salsa.
  5. Bake for 20-25 minutes in preheated oven.
  6. While enchiladas are baking, prepare the sauce: in a blender or food processor combine avocado meat, water, lime juice, garlic powder and cilantro. Thin with additional water as needed and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve over warm enchiladas.