Stress has always been a large, motivating factor in my life. In my current quest to eat and live a lifestyle that caters to my new found IBS condition – I have done a lot of research. I’ve watched documentaries, read blogs, articles, books, journals and consulted people for their personal testimonies in dealing with IBS.
What I’ve found is a somewhat alarmingly judgmental space in food culture. Labels are abound and the moment you lean towards any specific one, you are instantly branded. You become the automatic target of pre-conceived notions, whether they be bad or good.
“Oh, you’re not eating meat. Right. So how long do you think you will last?”
“Go vegan! It’s better for your and for the planet! Don’t eat animal carcasses!”
“Why would you ever eat that?”
“I need meat. I need protein. I don’t think I could do that.”
You’re kidding me, right? In a world where we can’t seem to escape the confines of social strata, labels of normalization, finger-pointing, and an internet world that subliminally tells us how to live our lives at every turn – now I have to worry about the politics and ethics of what I eat?
Yes and no.
I think there is a fine line between being conscious and realizing that the pleasures of life are fleeting.
Do I worry about how humane, environmentally friendly, and healthy I am eating? All the freaking time. More than most, I would gather. Does it stress me out some days? Oh yeah. Should I let it stress me out? Probably not.
Do I feel better when I don’t eat certain things? Yes. It also makes me feel accomplished in some way that I manage to have the discipline and forethought not to eat 6 tubs of Ben and Jerry’s and a giant plate of Carolina barbecue with hush puppies and collards in one sitting.
Do I happen to be the most avid animal lover and feel conflicted at times? Yes.
My point is – life is too short to be guilt-tripped into not enjoying something. Life is ALSO too short to feel shitty every time I eat.
So here is a fantastic Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas with Weekday Mole Sauce recipe for you. Not because I think you’re a heathen for eating meat – but because it’s bleeding delicious and – bonus, it didn’t make my stomach contract in fury.
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas with Weekday Mole Sauce
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 large bell pepper (color of your choice)
- 1 can of black beans
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- Juice of half a lime
- 1/4 tsp of salt
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 1/2 tsp of garlic powder
- 1 heaping tsp of cumin
- 1 tsp of chili powder
- 1 1/2 tsp of paprika
- 8-10 medium soft tortillas
- Cilantro for garnish
- Pre-heat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel your sweet potatoes and cut them into small chunks. Place on a roasting tray, toss with olive oil and sprinkle with 1/2 tsp of paprika, salt, 1/2 tsp of garlic powder. Roast for 20 minutes or until soft.
- While the potatoes roast – pour 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large skillet or dutch oven. When oil is hot, pour in your diced onions and minced garlic and salt. Let the onions and garlic sweat for one minute. Then add the rest of your spices and let them heat up in the oil. Then add your bell peppers and sautee for another minute. Then add your diced tomatoes and black beans. Bring mixture to a bubble, then cover and lower heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- *while you wait for the vegetables to cook – make your mole sauce.
- Once your sweet potatoes and vegetables are cooked, take the sweet potatoes out of the oven and add them to the vegetable mix and combine. Add the lime juice and the very end.
- Spoon 1/4 cup of filling into each tortilla and fold the tortilla over to close. Place the filled tortillas seam down onto a greased casserole dish. Depending on your casserole dish, you can get 8-10 enchiladas.
- Once the dish is filled with enchiladas, spoon over your Weekday Mole sauce. Lower the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit and bake for 20 minutes.
- Once out of the oven – garnish with chopped cilantro.
Weekday Mole Sauce
This is a ‘weekday’ sauce because this is a somewhat bastardized version of mole. Traditionalists, I apologize in advance but I just don’t have hours set aside to start a mole sauce! This is quick and mimics the complex, heady aromas of a traditional mole.
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon of peanut butter (creamy)
- 1 tablespoon of chili powder
- 1 heaping tsp of cumin
- 1/2 tsp of cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp of black pepper
- 1/4 tsp of cayenne powder (depending on how hot you want it)
- 1 can of tomato sauce (unflavored)
- Juice of half of a lime
- 1/4 cup of dark chocolate chips (or semi sweet – whichever you have on hand)
- 1/2 cup of chicken or vegetable stock
- Heat a medium skillet at medium heat. Pour olive oil and sautee minced garlic and spices and salt until toasted and aromatic (about 1 minute).
- Add the can of tomato sauce and stir into the spice mixture until combined well. Add chocolate chips, peanut butter, and 1/2 cup of stock.
- Bring sauce to a bubble and then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally to ensure a smooth sauce. Stir in lime juice at the end.
*I will caution you – try and buy good chili powder. If your chili powder has been sitting a while, grab some new stuff while you’re at the store. You will definitely taste the difference.
Seriously though. If you’re tired of the old standby – TRY THESE. The sauce is earthy and savory and the filling is sumptuous. Serve with some chunky guacamole, spicy salsa and rice. Your weeknight just got a little more exciting. Go on. Your Netflix binge demands a proper meal.
Sidenote: If you desperately must have meat – I will say that the flavors of the sauce and the filling are perfect for pairing with some roasted pork. The dark and spicy scent of the mole sauce and the slightly sweet, roasted flavors of the enchilada filling is practically begging for pork.
Whatever your diet and preference is – you can expect one thing on my blog – food nirvana. I love you and I love food. So go on about your day and radiate some positive food vibes. Food, after all, is one of the purest physical manifestations of affection. There’s no room for anything else.