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Until I embarked on this blog writing endeavour I’d never really used Instagram, chiefly because I didn’t get the point. I had an account, in my name, with a grand total of one picture. Coincidentally that picture was of the dish with which I metaphorically kicked my dear friend’s arse and took out the trophy in our occasional Masterchef challenge. Starting a Dad’s Onion Instagram page was precipitated by a friend of a friend who, not content with a web page and a Facebook page to look at, asked if I had an Instagram page. Bloody ungrateful!

Dutifully I set up said Instagram page and actually I’m glad I did as it has opened up a new (food) environment for me. When I post something I get likes and the occasional follow from people all over the world. Naturally I usually investigate their account and the sorts of things they post, and have gotten quite a few interesting recipe ideas, which is great because I’m always looking for that next thing to try or just some inspiration for the weekly menu. This recipe for sweet potato enchiladas I adapted from a post by a young woman in New York – you can find her on Instagram at @veganbyveronica. Don’t let the vegan thing scare you off – this recipe is really excellent and you can top it with cheese like I did if you want to add a bit of animal element.

spenchilada1 Add the beans and spinach and cook until the spinach wilts.

I’ve modified Veronica’s original recipe quite a bit to make it quicker and easier. For example, for the enchilada sauce I’ve just used a jar of salsa, which you can get at your preferred level of chilli heat. If you really want to construct the whole thing from first principles then consult the original recipe. Similarly I’ve reduced the quantities somewhat because although it was designed to serve four, and I reduced the quantities on my first attempt because they looked way too much to me, it still made enough to feed the proverbial 5000. I doubt the cooked mixture is amenable to freezing because the sweet potato would go pretty mushy and undesirable.

spenchilada2 Gently stir in the sweet potato.

spenchilada3 Fill tortillas with mixture, roll up and snuggle them together in a baking dish.

For substitution options obviously the black beans could be replaced with some other sort of bean. The one that immediately springs to mind is red kidney beans but another pulse of preference would work. The sweet potato could be replaced by normal potato, and by fooling around with the herbs and spices you could make this appear to come from some other part of the world. Making an Indian or Middle Eastern flavoured variety should be pretty simple.

spenchilada4 Bake those babies for 20 minutes.

And another thing. I’ve been fooling around with cheese making this past week or so and appear to have successfully knocked out a batch of homemade feta. This makes Ms Onion immensely happy as it has been some time since there has been some form of elaborate home produce festering in the laundry or kitchen. The cheese has now been put in brine and graduated to the fridge for a little aging, so I shall report back in due course.

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Sweet Potato Enchiladas

Cooking: About 40 minutes
Serves: 4

  • 300g sweet potato peeled, quartered
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 1 red capsicum, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 400g tin black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 75g baby spinach leaves
  • salt & pepper
  • 300g jar salsa
  • 8 flour/corn tortillas
  • 12 cup grated cheddar cheese
  • Avocado, to serve
  • Preheat oven to 190°C.
  • Boil, steam or microwave the sweet potato until just tender and set aside for a bit to cool. Once cooled cut into bite size pieces and set aside.
  • Heat oil in a large frypan over medium-high heat.
  • Add onion and capsicum and cook for several minutes until soft. Add garlic and cook for another 2 minutes.
  • Add tomatoes, cumin, chilli powder and lime juice and simmer gently until most of the liquid has reduced. Add the beans and spinach and cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat and stir in the sweet potato. Season to taste.
  • Lay tortillas on a flat surface and place 2-3 spoonfuls of filling down the centre of each tortilla. Roll up to enclose.
  • Spread 14 cup of salsa over the base of a baking pan, then place enchiladas, seam side down, in the pan. Top with remaining salsa and scatter with cheese.
  • Bake for 20min. Top with avocado and serve