|I cleared a space in my freezer. Five pans of enchiladas.|
Last night was my first meet up for the Freezer Meals group that I joined. One of the moms in my La Leche League group had the idea to start up a new group and there are five moms that are participating in this first meeting. Freezer cooking is a whole new world for me. I heard about stocking your freezer when you're expecting a baby, but I had no idea how to do it. Any busy family would find it helpful to have meals prepped in the freezer to whip out for a week night. I work from home two days a week, which helps because when I work in the office I don't have time to cook in the evening. I usually cook on Sundays for the week anyway. So freezer cooking appealed to me because you cook in bulk.
Our Ground rules: Our group decided to exchange frozen meals to serve 5 people in family. The meals should be healthy and if you include meat, it should be locally sourced without antibiotics. The idea is to provide a meal with a side dish or dessert and any add-on items for the pantry. We wrap up the meals in plastic wrap or foil and then freeze for the monthly exchange. The week before, the women add a blog post with their upcoming menu as the RSVP. I decided to make 5 meals to giveaway and 1 meal for ourselves, which I cooked on Sunday night.
My first freezer meal is Sweet Potato-Black Bean Enchiladas with homemade sauce and glazed carrots. I was disappointed with the corn tortillas because many broke open after I rolled them in the pans. But once you put the sauce on top, you won't notice. I make this filling all the time for my own family, but I wanted to make a homemade sauce similar to the one that my family makes.
|Enchiladas wrapped and ready to go with the sauce and side dishes. I packed shredded cheese separately for the exchange (left unfrozen).|
Red Enchilada Sauce (courtesy of Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon)
Makes 3 cups
I quadrupled this recipe to make 6 pans of enchiladas and I still have a couple more servings left with all the sauce. So I froze an extra batch to use later. The sauce is very thick compared to store bought. I couldn't find enough dried chiles for my extra large batch so I used 3 large poblano peppers chopped and cooked them with the onions and garlic.
4 ounces whole dried New Mexico or Ancho chiles
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
2 cups beef or chicken stock
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 small cans of tomato paste
1 tbs red wine vinegar
Sea salt to taste
- Wearing gloves, clean the dried chiles by removing the stems and seeds. Don't touch your face. Set aside in a bowl.
- Saute onion in olive oil. Add cumin and cook, stirring constantly, until well amalgamated into the oil. Whisk in garlic, tomato paste and vinegar. Add stock and chiles, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Simmer covered for about 45 minutes.
- Pass the sauce through a food mill or puree in the food processor. Season with salt to taste.
- 1 cup dried black beans, soaked over night.
- 1 sweet potato, chopped in bite-sized pieces
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno pepper
- Taco seasoning - dried oregano, ground cumin, and chili powder (1 tsp of each)
- Sea salt (about 1/2 tsp) for the filling
- 12 corn tortillas
- 2 cups of red enchilada sauce
- 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese for topping
- Garnish suggestions: sour cream, avocado, chopped fresh cilantro
- Cook soaked black beans in the slow cooker overnight or all day (on LOW for 8-hours). Water should be about 2-inches above the beans. See my blog post on detailed instructions.
- In a large preheated skillet, add cooking spray or olive oil. Cook onions, peppers, and sweet potatoes on medium-low until the sweet potatoes are tender (about 25 minutes). Add seasoning to the vegetables when you start to saute.
- To assemble: Mix black beans with sweet potato-onion mixture and add sea salt. Warm tortillas. Fill corn tortillas with about 3 tablespoons of bean-sweet potato mixture.
- **If cooking immediately: coat 9x13" casserole dish with cooking spray. Add a few spoonfuls of enchilada sauce to the bottom of the dish. Begin adding enchiladas to the pan. You can fit 8 across vertically and 4 horizontally at the top.
- **If freezing, line the casserole dish with plastic wrap. Build enchiladas in the dish in the same format. Freeze sauce in a separate container or bag. When cooking, add defrosted sauce on the bottom of the pan before baking.
- Add remaining sauce by spreading evenly on the enchiladas. Sprinkle with shredded cheese.
- Bake in a 350 degree preheated oven for 45 minutes.
Serve the enchiladas with vegetables or a green salad. Garnish with hot sauce, avocado, fresh cilantro, and sour cream. Let me know what you think!