Sweet Potato and Roasted Chicken Enchiladas

As the mornings feel cooler and the days grow shorter, I find myself clinging on to every trace of summer before the fall season hastily approaches. Although I love the crisp autumn air and brilliant color changes in the leaves, I’m not ready to surrender myself to this inevitable transition just yet. As the leaves on our tomato plants turn yellow and wither, and as our Thai basil begins to flower, I’m reminded each day that there is no endless summer, at least not where I live. I have always been a little melancholy and bittersweet during this annual transition. Summer provides an abundance of fresh produce and healing sunshine that I crave.  However, I know that I must soon welcome and embrace the beauty of the upcoming autumn with gratitude and appreciation.

The teachings and science of yoga encourage us to be mindful of our bodies as the seasons change, especially when it comes to nourishment. In order to prepare for the cooler months ahead, we must fuel our bodies with highly nutritious foods now in order to strengthen our immune system for the future.

Our garden produced a beautiful bounty of fresh produce this summer. All that’s left in our garden now to harvest are these jalapenos. Therefore, I’ve been inspired to create a dish that captures the essence of summer freshness while yielding subtle hints of warm fall flavors.  A tribute to the end of summer.

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Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes, baked
3 cups of roasted chicken, shredded
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup of frozen corn, thawed
2 fresh jalapenos, seeded and diced
1/2 cup green onions, minced
Handful of fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
Freshly squeezed juice of 1 lime
2 tbsp dried cumin
2 tbsp ground coriander seed
2 tbsp red chili powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp salt
2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup of jalapeno/jack or Mexican cheese blend
12 6-inch corn tortillas, slightly warmed

Garnish with avocado, tomatoes, sour cream and your favorite salsa, if desired. Here’s my recipe for Sunburst Salsa.

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Score the sweet potatoes and place them on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake them for approximately 1 hour, or until the center is tender.

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Depending on the size, cooking time will vary. In order to test if the potatoes are completely cooked through, insert a fork down the center to check if it’s tender. If the potato isn’t cooked through there will be inner resistance rather than a soft texture.

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When the potatoes have completely cooled, remove the skins and place them into a large mixing bowl.

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In the same bowl, combine the roasted chicken, black beans, corn, jalapeno, green onion, cilantro, and lime juice.

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For the spice blend, first mix the cumin, coriander, chili powder, cinnamon, salt and pepper in a separate bowl and then combine it with the entire mixture. This ensures that the mixture is seasoned completely.

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Mix in the grated cheese blend, saving about 1/2 cup for garnish.

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To assemble the enchiladas, spoon ¼ cup of the filling into each corn tortilla.

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Carefully roll the tortillas and place them seam side down into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Sprinkle them with the remaining grated cheese.

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Technique Tip: Wrap the stack of corn tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave them for 15-20 seconds. This will keep the tortillas soft and flexible, preventing them from breaking or cracking when assembling.

Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 20 minutes, until the cheese is nice and bubbly.

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Garnish them with avocado, tomatoes, fresh cilantro, green onions, sour cream, or anything you desire. Hope you enjoy!

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Autumn Quotes (3)

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