Monday, October 15, 2012

Pumpkin & bean enchiladas

Have you ever caught -- and stopped -- yourself in the midst of doing something only to realize that you've actually been doing the same thing, unnoticed, for hours or days at a time?

My favorite example of this occurs when I'm shopping.  I'll be browsing around a store and begin picking up items when, after a few shirts, scarves, or sweaters are draped over my arm, I'll notice that every item is some shade of orange.  I'll picture my closet and think, "Hm, maybe I could use a pop of bright color and some more orange in my wardrobe," and head into a dressing room.

It's there, in the dressing room, when I'll catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror and put two and two together:

I'm wearing an orange sweater with an orange scarf.

I'll then realize that I've been in an orange kind of mood and worn something in that color every single day that week.  Now it all makes sense!  I wasn't trying to fill some pumpkin-hued void in my closet.  I was continually satisfying a craving to dress like a traffic cone.

Armed with this knowledge, I'll once again examine the items in my dressing room... and I'll try on all of 'em anyway.  There's no stopping me.  When a lady wants orange clothing, she's going to get orange clothing :)

Just like the newest additions to my wardrobe, my taste in foods over the past week has become quite focused: Mexican... ole!   Last week, we feasted on quesadillas, spicy chili, and tacos, but I didn't stop there.  I'd been sitting on a recipe for pumpkin enchiladas for a whopping 10 days and couldn't wait any longer to make them.  So, I didn't.

Thank goodness I have a personality that's likely to obsess over things (i.e. Mexican food and pumpkin) and a brain that doesn't contain a single ounce of patience.  These pumpkin enchiladas were fork, finger, and plate-lickin' delicious!

Who would've guessed that savory pumpkin dishes could be even better than their sweet cousins?

The creamy pumpkin was the ideal vehicle for all of those rockin' flavors like cumin and chili and sweet onions, perfectly enveloping the beans, packed full of protein.  All wrapped up in corn tortillas, smothered in more homemade pumpkin enchilada sauce, and topped with yummy cheese.  All the cheese.  I vow to you that I will never, ever skimp on cheese in a recipe.

Only because I loved these chicken enchiladas so much was I curious how a vegetarian pumpkin version would taste and if they could satisfy me.

Please take my word for it that what should've been 4 servings turned out to be 3 servings.  Oops.  They were that good.  And now my obsession has become even more narrow: pumpkin enchiladas.

There may not be another new recipe until I've totally depleted western Pennsylvania's supply of canned pumpkin.  Look for me on the 11 o'clock news.  I'll be the crazed woman decked out in orange, running from store to store.

Two years ago: Shrimp & white bean cassoulet

Pumpkin & Bean Enchiladas
(adapted from Peanut Butter Fingers, who adapted from Meals & Moves)
-serves 4

A few notes: Use whatever beans you prefer.  I used kidney but black beans would be equally delicious and even more Halloween-y!  As far as tortillas go, I used corn, forgetting that they aren't ideal for rolling and crack easily.  They were super flavorful, but if cracking bothers you, use flour tortillas instead.

3/4 yellow onion, diced (about 3/4 cup)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 (10 ounce) can enchilada sauce
2 1/2 cups pure pumpkin puree
1 (14.5 ounce) can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
 Large bunch of cilantro, chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground chili powder
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend
8 6-inch tortillas
Sour cream, for serving

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray.  Over medium heat, saute onion and garlic until soft and translucent, about 4 minutes.  Stir in enchilada sauce and pumpkin, whisking gently until combined.  Stir in cilantro, cumin, and chili powder.  Stir in beans.

In a 9-inch square dish (or 10-by-12-inch dish), spread 1/2 cup enchilada mixture and coat bottom of pan.  Fill each tortilla with roughly 1/4 to 1/3 cup of the pumpkin bean mixture.  Roll tortilla and place in the pan with the folded edge facing down to keep closed.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.  Top with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes or until cheese melts.  Serve with a dollop of sour cream if using.  Enjoy!


  1. I used black beans and added diced chicken. This recipe was a hit! And easy to make too!

    1. So glad you enjoyed it! I'm thinking we're long overdue for a batch -- adding them to next week's meal plan :)