Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Lord of the Chard - Now in Color

The gloomy blanket of rain and cool temperatures still envelopes New England, but here at the Boston LotC headquarters we have decided to press on with spring - whether or not the elements are with us. This means injecting a little color into our lives.
New season = new running shoes. I won't get hit by a car in these!
Laura and I were talking last week about the fruit/veggie composition in our diets. We both felt as though we had no problem getting the recommended fruit servings each day, but vegetables were more hit or miss. I will mindlessly snack on apples and plums all day long, but I seldom reach for a green pepper when I want to munch.

For me the key dominating the vegetable category is working in two categories. First, green smoothies. Are you making these yet? Good. You just got a few servings of vegetables just by sipping a delicious treat. Zam! Secondly, I've got to remember to load up the extra vegetables in my actual meals. It is far to easy for me to whip up an egg quesadilla and walk away from dinner with a goose egg for a veggie score. I actually do really love most vegetables, so I just need to make sure I get them stuffed in all of the little crannies of my meals. I think a good way to check myself on this is to make sure my meals all have lots of bright colors - no all beige plates!

Sweet Potato and Greens: The Enchilada Edition
2 Large sweet potatoes
Large bunch of greens (I used kale and collards)
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 bell pepper
1 cup cooked black beans
1.5 cups enchilada sauce (I have used this recipe before, this time I went for the can)
1 T butter
1 t vegetable bouillon + 1 cup water (or veggie broth)
1 cup grated cheese
1 can Black olives
6-8 whole wheat tortillas

First you want to take care of your greens and onions. Cut up your onion into half moons and separate them. Cook them in a large saucepan with the butter until they are soft and turning translucent. This will take about 5-10 minutes. Meanwhile cut up your greens. I have demonstrated my method for collard cutting below.
Cut the collard leaf in half, removing the tough inner stem in the process.
Stack the Leaves and roll them up so they look like cigars.
Cut the collard cigar horizontally but continue to hold the halves together.
Slice vertically down the collard cigar.
You will find yourself with perfectly chopped collard pieces!
Ok, now your onions are ready and your collards are chopped. Throw them all in the pan along with the broth. This will seem like a lot of greens, but they will cook down significantly.

Place a top over the pan and let the greens simmer away for about 15 minutes, stirring them regularly so they don't stick to the bottom of the pan. If you need more liquid - well add some.

Do you have a mandolin? Good, because it would be a pain to slice all of these sweet potatoes by hand.
Watch your finers, there were several slices of ellen in those piles.
This would also be a good time to slice up your black olives, peppers and grate your cheese. You guys don't need me to show you how to do that. You are all stars. This is also a good time to preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

When the greens are done and you have finished your prep work start your assembly line. I like to make enchilada pie rather than individual enchiladas since it makes it easier to have the portion size you want, but this is personal preference. Pour a little sauce into a baking dish so that the bottom is covered. Add a tortilla and then layer a all the filling components. Add more sauce. Add another tortilla. Ad infinitum.

Bake for 60 minutes. If the top starts to get too brown cover it with foil for the remainder of the time. After baking let it sit for a bit. Otherwise you will burn your tongue and that will be sad.
Look at those layers...
I think this is a fantastic dish for leftovers throughout the week, and it even tastes better on day two.

Anyone have any other good make ahead meal ideas? How about tips to load up on the veggies?


  1. a) How do you have a mandolin and I do not?
    b) Those layers do look delish!
    c) We made tacos tonight, while they are not very exciting...lots of veggies are included. Does it seem like all other countries eat way more veggies than us?
    d) Anyone have a tasty dip for dipping veggies to bring to work? Leanne I am looking at you!

  2. oh and e) Such cute shoes!

  3. I got my mandolin for about $3 at Bed bath and beyond using one of those coupons they are always sending out. Totally work it just for baked sweet potato chips.