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Black Bean

Vegan Enchiladas

Vegan Enchiladas

Don’t let the layers scare: Crafting enchiladas needn’t be more complicated than pulling together a solid taco night.

Chili peppers

The sauce is perhaps the most critical component. And while you could go the store-bought route, it’s easy to make a simple version at home. All you need are some spices and a can of tomatoes.

I used tomato paste to thicken mine. It’s not traditional, but it worked well while keeping the recipe light.


I also made this vegan. Again, not traditional, but it was every bit as cheesy and delicious as I wanted it to be — all in one casserole pot that makes lunch the next day easy.

Vegan Enchiladas


  • For the Enchiladas:
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 med. bell pepper, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 2 chili peppers, minced
  • 1 (15 oz.) can black beans, drained (I used Whole Food's spicy black beans)
  • 1 cup corn
  • 2 cups frozen spinach
  • 2-3 scallions, diced, optional
  • 9-10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, cut in half
  • Salt, to season
  • 1 bag shredded Daiya cheese (I used Pepper Jack)
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • For the Enchilada Sauce:
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1/4 tsp. oregano
  • 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper


  1. Start the sauce first by heating oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Once oil is hot, add all remaining sauce ingredients, and whisk until combined. Simmer for 8-10 minutes, or until mixture just starts to thicken. Remove from heat and let sit while you assemble the enchiladas.
  2. For the enchiladas, heat olive oil over medium-high in a saute pan. Add onion and pell pepper, and saute for 3-5 minutes. Stir in garlic and chili peppers, and saute for another 3-5 minutes, or until onions are translucent.
  3. Stir in corn, and frozen spinach. Cook for 3 minutes, and then remove from heat. Stir in scallions.
  4. Preheat oven to 350F.
  5. In a 9x9 inch casserole dish, spread 1/2 cup of the enchilada sauce on the bottom of the dish. Arrange three (six halves) tortillas in a single layer in the pan, followed by 1/3 of the vegetable mixture, and 1/3 of the can of beans. Spread another 1/2 cup of the sauce over the vegetables, and then top with 1/2 cup cheese.
  6. Repeat these layers two more times, excluding the cheese, and pouring all remaining sauce on the top layer. Bake for 35 minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle remaining cheese, or amount of cheese you desire, on the top. Return casserole dish to the oven and bake another 10-12 minutes, or until cheese is melted and edges are bubbly.
  7. Let sit for 10-15 minutes before serving. Then slice, and top with chopped cilantro.

Smoky Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burgers

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers-blog4

I’m going to start off with a quick disclaimer. These photos don’t do these burgers justice.

Some days, when the light’s dropping early and your stomach’s rumbling from room-filling aromas, you end up with photos that don’t quite showcase the awesomeness of what lays in front of you.

But stay with me here.

Smoky + sweet + hearty black beans and oats = one killer veggie burger.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

Sure, the burgers are vegan. And so as depicted, they are a tad sloppy. But not fall apart-on-you sloppy. These are no sloppy Joe’s. Far from it actually as far as a vegan burger goes.

You could certainly throw in an egg if you’re concerned about this. Or do as I do, and utilized the two-spatula technique when it comes time to flip them in the frying pan during the cooking process. Just give them a little squeeze, and they’ll firm up nicely as they cook.

But let’s get to the important topic of discussion here – the taste.

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

This isn’t your bland restaurant veggie burger. I’ve had one too many of those to know better. Rather, these are packed with all the complimentary flavor you’d expect from a recipe worthy of putting on the repeat list. The spice from the chipotle and smokiness from the paprika pairs well with the creamy sweet potato, all of which gets finished off with a little lime. The cumin and beans team up for a little Mexican flare, and the oats bind it all together.

Finish it off with your favorite toppings. I might suggest some guacamole if you have it on hand, but even just a handful of spinach and a dollop of ketchup will do.

Note, these freeze well, so if you have extras or want to double the recipe, go for it!

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Butternut, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Tacos

Butternut, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Tacos

The taco — is there anything greater? Aside from avocado on everything and the invention of Sriracha, I think not. Good thing those two items pair incredibly well inside a tortilla.

You don’t need to be an Iron Chef to create a mind-blowing taco. What you do need: quality, warm tortillas, beans, cumin, garlic and/or onion (preferably both) and salsa. Bonus points if you’ve got a ripe avocado, unless making the recipe you see here. From there, the rest is really up to you — sautéed veggies, cheese, herbs, coriander, other forms of protein, etc.

It’s not rocket science. Yet there’s nothing greater! Except avocado. And maybe Sriracha. Which are both beside the point…

Butternut, Black Bean & Goat Cheese Tacos

…Let’s get to the point. It was a long week. Which means I’m bringing you a recipe that anyone can make. I don’t care if you pronounce “milk” like “melk”. I don’t care if you’re Einstein. You can make this recipe, no matter how smart you are or where your skill level of cooking lays. You can make this after a really long day of work (if you can wait the 40 minutes of oven time). YOU can make this. Did I mention you can make this even if you insist on pronouncing “milk” as “melk”?

Yeah. It’s been a long week. But aside from all that nonsense written above, trust in me that these tacos are awesome. And not just because they’re tacos. Rather because buttery winter squash roasts so well with caramelized onions, and thrown together with goat cheese and cilantro, I’d have to say they’re hard to beat — especially given how easy they come together. Not even by avocado, which I didn’t bother to add to this. Why? Because these tacos don’t even need it. Although, as I said, nothing’s greater than avocado on everything, so if you’re heart’s set on it, go ahead and throw a few cubes of avo. in here too.

Oh…and I don’t think you’re dumb if you say “melk”. I have a few friends who insist on it, no matter how many times I correct them. I have faith that they too can make this recipe.

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Simply Roasted Veggie Tacos with Goat Cheese

Roasted Veggie Tacos with Goat Cheese


There need be no rhyme or reason for tacos. Eat them for breakfast. Eat them for lunch. Eat them for dinner. In my kitchen, every time is a good time for tacos.

As I said in my last post, summer is a season born for simplicity in the culinary world. Locally harvested produce needs little labor. Throw a bunch of veggies on a baking sheet, add a little marinade and roast. What you’ll end up with is a tray full of beautifully enhanced, caramelized vegetables that’ll taste so good, you could easily grab a fork and start chowing down.

Taking the next step, however, will make your experience that much more satisfying. When wanting to turn roasted veggies into an easy meal, grab tortillas, black beans and goat cheese, and call it a day. Boom. Easy as tacos.

Tacos are my college kid’s pasta. A satisfying go-to and perhaps my self-prescribed, lazy man’s guide to cooking. With a ton of fresh veggies in season, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. I’ll take lazy any day if it means tacos for dinner. If you agree, you’re welcome for dinner at my house during any week. They usually make it onto the eating agenda at least once in a 7-day period.

Feel free to switch up the veggies below with whatever you have on hand. Zucchini are nice, as are roasted beets. I do, however, recommend keeping the mushrooms in the mix, as they’ll add a lot of flavor and a nice, chewy texture.

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Italian Feta Black Bean Burgers

Black Bean Feta Burgers

I could not be more excited about this 70ish spring weather! My scarf and hat needed a break (and likely a trip to the laundromat as well). I’m also enjoying the motivation to get my booty outside and running.

I’m training for my first 10-miler. I’ve been a runner since high school, but for some reason, the thought of 10-miles still makes me weary. I know my legs can make it, but my mind’s an entity of its own. It’s made my training process a little slow-growing…

City running generally gets boring to me after mile three. Not enough trees or obstacles. I’ll push myself two more miles, but much more after that and my mind starts going crazy. I start yelling inside my head at all the oblivious dog-walkers on the street and then fight with myself about how those are not so nice or productive thoughts. I love dogs, but seriously, your pooches needn’t take up the whole path. City sidewalks aren’t royal runways for your dog. But what’s the use of letting those things get to me, right? If I have to slow down to dodge a person simply enjoying the weather, so what.

Gah…the conversations I have with myself while trying to keep my feet running and my mind distracted. If only Philly had more running trails. Luckily, I’m sure the race will provide plenty of people watching to keep me entertained for at least a few miles. People watching is a personal favorite spring and summer activity of mine.

Another favorite warm weather pursuit? Making burgers. Burgers just breathe springtime to me, even when they’re not made on the grill. I mixed things up with this one by adding feta, and then using whole chickpeas for a textural experience. I really liked the crunch from the chickpeas. Just don’t go overboard when adding them in, or they’ll dominate in flavor. As I’ve suggested below (though not pictured), consider sautéing the onions before topping off your burger. The sweetness with the feta is totally worth the extra step.

Black Bean Feta Burgers

Click here for recipe…