Pinto Bean Stew


I can honestly say that this is one of the best recipes I have ever invented. This morning I was longing for lunchtime, just because I had leftovers of this stew. It is so flavourful, plus a healthy vegan meal. Filling, healthy and satisfying – the perfect combination for me.

The sweet potatoes give a hint of sweetness, and the Morita chilies add a little smokiness. If you’re not a fan of a lot of spice, no worries, the Morita chilies aren’t very hot, and you can always add a little less jalapeño pepper. When serving you can also add some of your favourite hot sauce to spice things up a little; this is a great option, since everyone has a different tolerance of spice. One person’s ‘warm’ is another person’s ‘deadly.’

I had a taste of the stew after cooking it yesterday when I made it. The flavours seemed even better today, so I would imagine this would freeze well. I think I won’t have any leftovers, so I won’t be able to test that. Please comment if you freeze it and let us know how it was after thawing. I’d also love to hear if people make substitutions; this is one of those recipes that could be great with so made different ingredients.

The garnishes really add to it, but aren’t necessary – a tiny bit of salty Cotija cheese, some chopped cilantro, and the crunch of the toasted pepitas.

What you need:

  • 1 & 1/2 cups dry pinto beans, soaked the night before
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 dried Morita chilies (a smoked red jalapeño)
  • olive oil
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, minced
  • a few mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 small can cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 bunch cilantro (stems go in the stew)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Garnishes: crumbled Cotija cheese, toasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds), cilantro

What you do:

  1. Soak the beans in a large pot of water the night before you are going to make the stew.
  2. Drain the beans, then cover them with fresh water. Add the whole carrot, celery stalk, 1/4 of the onion, the bay leaves, and the chilies. All of these vegetables are for flavouring the stew and will be removed before serving. Bring the contents of the pot to a simmer.
  3. While the beans are simmering, heat a frying pan to medium and add a little olive oil. Add the mushrooms and fry until cooked, then add them to the pot. Dice the rest of the onions and brown them lightly, then add them to the pot.
  4. Add the minced jalapeño (or half if you you’re spiciness scares you), the diced zucchini, sweet potato, and canned cherry tomatoes to the pot. Chop the cilantro stems and add them to the pot, along with the bouillon cube.
  5. Simmer the stew for 1 & 1/2 hours, stirring now and then, until the beans are soft and the stew has thickened.
  6. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve garnished with crumbled Cotija cheese, toasted pepitas and cilantro.

Thug Kitchen’s Sweet Potato, Zucchini, and Black Bean Enchiladas

thug kitchen enchiladas - trustinkim

This vegan recipe comes from the Thug Kitchen cookbook, which came out of the Thug Kitchen blog. It’s a great recipe, but since the book is full of expletives (a lot of f***ing this and that), I’ve written up a clean version for those who prefer that.

It’s a super tasty recipe, and I enjoyed my leftovers for a few days.

For those who feel they really need some meat in their enchiladas, Mexican chorizo would be a nice addition.

I serve this with lots of Cholula hot sauce, along with some Mexican cotija cheese sprinkled on top for those who are not vegan.

What you need for the Enchilada Sauce:

  • 2 & 1/4 cups vegetable broth
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 2 & 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 & 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice

What you need for the filling:

  • 1 large sweet potato (about 1 pound), chopped into nickel-sized pieces
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 medium zucchini, grated
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 & 1/2 cups cooked black beans (or one 15-ounce can)
  • 1 teaspoon maple syrup
  • a pack of tortillas (mine were a corn and flour blend)
  • sliced avocado (garnish)
  • chopped fresh cilantro (garnish)

What you do:

  1. First make the enchilada sauce, which can be done ahead of time and refrigerated. Put all the ingredients for the sauce except the lime juice into a medium saucepan. Whisk the tomato paste and let the sauce simmer for 10-15 minutes until it has thickened up a bit. Add the lime juice and take the sauce off the heat.
  2. To make the filling, begin with the sweet potato. Put a few centimetres of water into a medium pot and place a steamer basket in it. Bring the water to a boil. Place the sweet potato in a steamer basket to steam for 10-15 minutes, until tender. When the sweet potato is done, put it into a bowl and mash it. It’s okay to leave some chunks.
  3. While the sweet potato is steaming, heat a large frying pan and add a little oil to the pan. Sauté the onion until it begins to brown, then add the zucchini and cook for another minute. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, garlic and black beans and cook for another few minutes. Turn off the heat and stir in the sweet potato and maple syrup.
  4. Preheat the oven to 375F. Spread a bit of the sauce in the bottom of a large baking dish. Warm up the tortillas in a frying pan or microwave. Dip each tortilla in a bit of sauce so the bottom of it is coated. Fill the tortillas with a few spoons of the filling, then roll and place it seam-side down on the baking dish.
  5. Spread the remaining enchilada sauce over the tortillas, then cover the baking dish tightly with foil. Bake for 20 minutes, then take off the foil and bake for 5 more minutes.
  6. Top with avocado slices and cilantro. Serve with hot sauce or your favourite salsa.