Sweet Potato and Chard Enchiladas

Sweet potato and Kale Enchiladas

Sometimes life feels more like a race to the finish line than anything else.  Like a cross country ski marathon on slushy snow or a face-first ride on a skeleton sled at 80 mph.  On the craziest days, we might as well be careening over a ski cross jump—one minute we’re in gold medal form, the next, a jumbled mass in the ditch.  It’s exhausting.  Terrifying.  Unpredictable.  And more.  Our to-do list spans multiple pages, but all we really hope for is a clean pair of pants—without too many wrinkles—and a jug of milk in the fridge—that’s not too far past the freshness date—to start the day.  These are times when texting family members in the next room seems perfectly normal.  When dishes pile in the sink and dirty clothes in the corner, and no one notices.  Clearly, we’re just trying to hang on, and at the end of the day, what we need is food on the table without a crash.  Food that’s soul-soothing—because really, that’s what’s getting us through this patch in one piece.

These are enchilada days.  With a bit of homework done ahead (Olympic gold isn’t won without the training runs), the classic tortilla bundles are a cinch to pull together, and receive raves around a hungry table.  How perfect is that?

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Carrot – Sweet Potato Spice Cakes

These tender little cakes are perfect to tuck into a picnic hamper or school lunch box. There’s not much difference between these and a muffin — just a little extra sugar. If you want, reduce the amount by up to 1/4 cup and you’re back in muffin territory. I like to purée the carrot with the sweet potato so it’s completely smooth. This not only disguises the healthy vitamin A-loaded roots, but makes for a moist, delicate crumb. For a little flourish, finish off with a dusting of powdered sugar before serving.

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Farro with Roasted Sweet Potato, Kale and Pomegranate

This recipe was chosen as a Community Pick on the award-winning blog, food52.  Follow this link to check it out…

Earthy, nutty-tasting farro gives substance to this hearty dish—brilliant as a side, but able to easily stand on its own as a main course too (consider adding cooked beans like cannellini or chickpeas for even more heft).  The sweet potatoes, onions and nuts are roasted to add deep flavor, and the pomegranate seeds offer a gorgeous pop of color and a sweet-tart surprise in each bite.

Farro is an ancient strain of wheat from Italy that’s becoming more and more popular in the States.  You’ll find it in many high-end markets, such as Whole Foods (look in the bulk food section).  I prefer semi-pearled grains—they cook more quickly then the whole-grain product, while retaining much of the bran and fiber content.  Substitute spelt, wheat berries or brown rice if you like.

You can use ordinary lemon juice if you’re unable to find Meyer lemon in the market.  Meyer lemon is a cross between a lemon and orange, and its juice is sweeter, less tart, than lemon.

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Moroccan Sweet Potato Salad

  • 2 garnet yams (1 lb), peeled, cut into large chunks
  • 1 onion, cut into wedges (similar to yam size)
  • Salt (to taste)
  • ½ tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 pinch ground cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (plus extra for roasting)
  • 2 Tbsp chopped cilantro (last week’s leftovers?)
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley leaves
  1. Toss yams and onion in olive oil to coat and roast in preheated 375 degree oven. When tender, remove from oven and cool. Prepare marinade by whisking together remaining ingredients. Spoon marinade over the lukewarm potatoes and let sit for 30 minutes, stirring now and then. Taste for salt and adjust as needed.

For variation try adding some chopped olives or lemon zest. Some roughly chopped arugula and/or fresh spinach from this week’s farm bounty would be fantastic too!