Black Bean and Mango Enchiladas

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It’s a Thursday. There’s nothing really special about today- it’s overcast, starting to feel like fall, my daily routine is all the same. There is nothing really special about today, except that today I am fasting.

Fasting is not something I frequently do. In case you were curious, I really love food. I love cooking it, and I love eating it. LOVE eating. Therefore, fasting does not frequently enter the equation.

The reasons for fasting are widespread and can be unique to each person. Thus, the reactions and impact fasting can have on people varies with each person.

I have fasted a few times before, and while never easy, I have learned to appreciate the experience. There are not many people in this world who have never been forced to experience hunger because they do not have enough. I am one of those people, one of those people who has always had access to food.

However, today, as I enter another hour without food, I am reminded of what it feels like to be empty. I am reminded of the physical side effects of hunger- dizziness and exhaustion, and of the emotional instability that can often tag along with hunger (affectionately called being ‘hangry’).

I am not telling you all this information to suggest that you should fast, that is a personal choice! However, I am sharing this with you, because fasting without fail, makes me appreciate food in a deeper way.

Thus, I am so happy to share this recipe with you, knowing that a few weeks ago I had the privilege of digging into these delicious enchiladas, letting that food nourish my body, and sharing that meal at a table with people I love. There are truly few better things than that.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese, divided
  • 1 ½ cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 3 ½ cups pitted, peeled and chopped fresh mangoes (between 2-3 whole mangoes)
  • 22 ounces canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ cup minced pickled jalapenos
  • 3 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 15 to 20 ounces canned mild red enchilada sauce
  • 10 whole wheat flour tortillas (OR corn tortillas if gluten free!)
  • Optional toppings: ½ cup sour cream, 1 avocado, pitted, peeled, and sliced

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Lightly coat a 9 x 13 inch baking pan with a thin layer of cooking spray and set aside.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together the two cheeses (3 cups in total) and set aside.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add in the onions and bell pepper, and sauté for five minutes, or until softened.
  4. Add the mangoes, black beans, jalapeno, 1 Tablespoon of lime juice, and salt to the pan. Mix well and cook until the ingredients are heated through.
  5. Remove the pan from the heat, and stir in the cilantro and two cups of cheese.
  6. On a clean surface, spread out each tortilla one by one. Spoon 1 Tablespoon of the enchilada sauce on the tortilla, and then top with approximately ½ cup of the mango bean mixture. Spread the mixture evenly, roll the tortilla up, and place seam down in the baking dish.
  7. Once all tortillas are assembled and in the baking dish, mix the remaining 2 Tablespoons of lime juice with the remaining enchilada sauce, and pour over the top of the enchiladas. Top with the remaining 1 cup of cheese.
  8. Spray a sheet of foil with cooking spray, tightly wrap the baking dish, and cook for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake an additional 8-10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the sauce lightly bubbles.
  9. Optional: top each enchilada with a dollop of sour cream and a slice of avocado!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Vegan? Use corn tortillas, and substitute in vegan cheese and avocado instead of sour cream!
  • Source: Peace Meals by The Junior League of Houston, Inc.
  • Love this recipe? Check out these other delicious Southwestern dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’ (Recipe links found below!)

 

 

Black Bean Hawaiian Chili

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I woke up this morning to snow, four inches of beautiful, untouched, smooth, quiet snow. Living in Richmond, Virginia, we don’t see a lot of snow. Growing up in Florida, we did not see a lot of snow either. Thus, although I’m almost 22, I still get giddy about this beautiful blanket whenever I head north.

On cold snowy days like today, nothing really feels better than a nice cup of hot chocolate or cider, and some soup! Based on the weather channel, it looks like the entire country is under a cold front. I know that in Kansas today, we are reaching -9˚. That is significantly colder than I ever need to be.

Thus, if you’re at home reading this right now, I highly suggest you stay where you are, don’t even bother changing out of your pajamas, and whip up this soup. Your entire house will smell delicious, and you can curl up next to your favorite window with a bowl of this delicious soup to enjoy the snow from inside. I can just picture the comfort now!

Here’s to the little joys in life- like freshly fallen snow and delicious homemade soup.

Happy Sunday friends!

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Ingredients

  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • 1 to 2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, preferably fire-roasted
  • 2 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups vegetable broth (or water plus bouillon cubes)
  • 1 teaspoon Ancho chili powder (or other pure, mild chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon chipotle chile powder (or to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons Mexican oregano (optional)
  • Generous grating of black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • 1 pound yellow squash or zucchini*
  • 2 cups crushed pineapple and juice

Directions:

  1. Heat 1 Tablespoon of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring regularly, until light brown.
  2. Once the onion is light brown, add the bell pepper and jalapeno, cooking for about two minutes (or until soft).
  3. Stir in the garlic and allow to cook for 30 seconds, or until fragrant.
  4. Add the tomatoes, beans, broth, and seasonings- omitting the squash and pineapple. Stir well and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, rinse, trim, and cut the squash into small cubes.
  6. Add the squash, pineapple, and pineapple juice to the pot. Increase the heat slightly, and cover. Simmer until the squash is fork tender.
  7. Adjust seasonings as desired, and enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 6 Servings, easily doubled
  • To make this recipe more like a soup and less like chili, add more broth.
  • Decrease the amount of broth to make a thick taco filling or chip dip!
  • To speed up the cooking process of the onions in step 1, add a pinch of baking soda!
  • I used all yellow squash in this recipe, but you can easily substitute some of the squash for zucchini, or replace it all with zucchini, depending on your preference.
  • Source: Fat Free Vegan 
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen’! (recipe links found below):

Black Bean Fajita Soup

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I have been in a really big soup mood recently.  I keep catching myself flipping through my cookbooks only to end up in the soup section, over and over. I think this new soup-passion is the result of three main reasons:

  1. Soups are an excellent way to have a healthy meal full of vegetables, and who doesn’t like that?!
  2. Soups make excellent leftovers (music to my busy ears)
  3. It’s January!

January should be national soup month, seriously. With chilly wintery weather, there is nothing better than coming home from a long day of class to a warm bowl of soup.

I have not made many soups before (see the notes below for links to some of my other soups!), so I have had fun experimenting with new recipes.  My wonderful boyfriend has given me a few cookbooks over the past few years, and this recipe comes from one of those cookbooks. I hope you all enjoy it as much as I did! With chili powder, cilantro, black beans, and crushed tortilla chips, this soup echoes similarities of taco soups. The beauty of this recipe however, lies in the lime juice, zucchini, and squash. The inclusion of squash will make you daydream of veggie fajitas, and the lime juice is simply a treat for the taste buds! Give it a try, before January’s gone!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 3 cups vegetarian broth
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried Parsley
  • 1 small zucchini, peeled and quartered
  • 1 small yellow squash, peeled and quartered
  • 1 15 oz. can rinsed and drained black beans
  • 1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 4 Tablespoons shredded jack cheese
  • 4 teaspoons chopped cilantro
  • 2 cups multigrain tortilla chips, slightly crushed

Directions:

  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add the onion, jalapeno, and garlic to the pan. Sauté for about two minutes, or until the onion is soft.
  2. Add the broth, spices, zucchini, squash, black beans, and tomato to the pot.
  3. Cook on medium-high heat until the squash and zucchini are soft, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add the lime juice to the pot and stir well. (Depending on your taste preferences now is an excellent time to add more spices or lime juice to suit your taste!)
  5. Serve warm with crushed chips, shredded cheese, and cilantro on top. Enjoy!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Gluten Free? Replace the multi-grain tortilla chips with a gluten free chip, or omit the chip altogether
  • Vegan? Replace the pepper jack cheese with soy cheese, or omit the cheese altogether!
  • Adapted from “Amazing Soy” cookbook by Dana Jacobi
  • I doubled this recipe for a dinner party and was able to enjoy the leftovers several times! This soup keeps great refrigerated and in a sealed container. Simply microwave a bowl for 90 seconds and you have yourself a delicious and healthy leftover meal!
  • Check out these other delicious soup recipes! Sweet Potato Thai Soup and Vegan Sweet Potato Quinoa Chili with homemade Tortilla chips