Where I come from, the tostada chips are crispy, the salsa is spicy, the beans are creamy, the micheladas are ice cold, and the enchiladas are gooey. Tex Mex cuisine is loved by all South Texans! When we dine out at a Mexican restaurant, I love ordering the traditional favorites- they’re usually a calorie splurge but so worth it. However when I’m cooking at home, I prefer tweaking Tex Mex standards so that they are lighter and more nutritious but just as satisfying. Here, I swap out a greasy beef filling for healthy sweet potatoes, beans and spinach. The tortillas are baked instead of fried, and the cheese is sprinkled with some restraint. If you are sensitive to heat, you can omit or use less of the chipotle en adobo (and look for a sauce labeled “mild”). This is a great make ahead dish that seems to please just about everyone- even kids when spices are adjusted. Garnish however you please, but I love scattering cubed avocado, cilantro leaves and crumbly cotija (like a Mexican feta) over the top. Serve them with rice and/or a big crunchy salad. Save the splurge for the Tex Mex restaurant and aim for nutrition in your home kitchen- you won’t be disappointed!
prep time: 1 hr 15 min. cook time: 25 min. serves: 4
1 medium sized sweet potato
1 tbsp avocado oil
1/2 red onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1-2 chipotle peppers en adobo, roughly chopped
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
3 oz baby spinach (about 3 cups)
1-14 oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
8 corn tortillas
cooking oil spray
1-14 oz can red enchilada sauce
3/4 cup grated Monterrey jack cheese
cilantro leaves, crumbled cotija cheese, thinly sliced jalapeño, and/or cubed avocado
Preheat the oven to 400°. Scrub the sweet potato well and pierce it all over several times with a fork. Place it on a foil lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 1 hour, or until the potato is tender throughout (there should be no give when tested with a knife). When it's cool enough to handle, cut the sweet potato in half and scoop the flesh into a medium sized bowl. Mash the potato up a little to soften, then add the black beans and set the mixture aside. Leave the oven on.
Spray a large sheet pan with avocado or olive oil cooking spray. Lay as many of the tortillas on top as will fit without overlapping too much. Spritz the tops of the tortillas with more oil. Pop the sheet pan into the oven for about 3-5 minutes, until the tortillas are warm and pliable but not toasted. Transfer the tortillas to a kitchen towel and wrap them up to keep warm while you finish the others. Reduce the oven heat to 375°.
Meanwhile, heat 1 tbsp of avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until starting to soften, 3 minutes or so. Add the garlic, cumin, chili powder, chipotles and 1/2 tsp salt and cook 1 more minute, stirring frequently. Next, add in the spinach and another pinch of salt and toss to coat. Cook the spinach until it has wilted and then transfer the mixture to the same bowl with the sweet potato and beans. Mix everything together until evenly combined and check for seasoning.
To assemble the enchiladas, pour 1/3 of the canned enchilada sauce into the bottom of a 9" X 13" baking dish, spreading the sauce out to evenly coat. Take a tortilla and spoon about 1/3 cup of the filling into the center. Wrap the tortilla around the filling and set it seam side down into the baking dish. Continue to fill all the tortillas and lay them side by side (or however they fit) in the dish. Pour the remaining sauce over the tops of the enchiladas and use a spatula to spread. Sprinkle the cheese on top in an even layer. Bake the enchiladas uncovered for 20-25 minutes, until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese has melted. Garnish with avocado chunks, cilantro leaves, jalapeños and cotija cheese if desired. Serve hot.