Roasted butternut, kale, black bean and goat cheese enchiladas with a roasted red pepper/pecan sauce

Kale and butternut enchiladas

Kale and butternut enchiladas

Here at The Ordinary we have an institute entirely devoted to the study of time passing. We had thought, up until a few months ago, that we were mere moments away from complete understanding. Lately, however, our grasp is slipping, we are perplexed. We are, in point of fact, reeling. Surely it was August, only yesterday, the boys were home all the long day, and our greatest concern was finding a place for them to swim? Surely these mornings that we wake up and it’s dark and cold, and before you know it, it’s dark and cold and dusky, with just the winking suggestion of a pale wintery day in between, surely these days are just a dream, or a memory. Surely it’s not the middle of December. Did we have autumn? Did we have glorious fall colors and crisp, clear days? If so, we didn’t notice, which breaks our heart, because, here at The Ordinary Institute for the Study of the Passing of Time, noticing is our business! It’s what we do. We study each passing, perfect, irreplaceable moment, and then we capture it, and we put it in a glass jar with a filmy lid of wax. We study it and label it. We used to store all the jars on shelves in a darkened room, so that you could see how they glow, but this year we’re giving them away for christmas, because everybody is gifting with ball jars this year! Just everybody. We’ve known for some time, of course, that time travels at different rates for different people depending on the time of day. It goes quickest in the morning, when you’re lying in a warm bed, with the sun struggling weakly to light up the cold day, and all of your chores and worries swirling around your head. This time of year it travels faster for an adult, who has so much to take care of before Christmas, than for a seven-year-old, because no matter how many times he asks, each and every day, how many days are left until Christmas, it’s always the same answer, each day, all day long. Sigh. Time is running and passing, and I can’t keep up, so here I am by the side of the tracks, holding my baggage by my feet, watching it rattle and whoosh as it crashes by.

You know the seasons are changing because I just composted the last of my CSA produce. They’ve been in the vegetable drawer for a few weeks now. They seemed very precious, because they were pretty golden and peppermint striped beets. I had something very special planned for them. But never quite special enough, so I kept waiting and waiting. Until they were unusable. I have fun keeping up with the CSA veg, but there’s something liberating about buying whatever sort of vegetables you please in the grocery store. I try to stay mostly seasonable, but, let’s face it…nothing is growing in NJ in winter. I try to keep with a wintery mix of butternut squash, cauliflower, greens, mushrooms, fennel, things like this. And then I combine them all in a big beautiful enchilada!! These enchiladas have a lot of flavors, but they all go very nicely together. It’s not as complicated to make as it might sound, because you can roast squash, boil kale, and make a sauce all at the same time. I used goat cheese inside the enchiladas, because I love the flavor with butternut squash, and because I thought it might make for a lighter texture than wads of melted cheddar or jack. There’s melted cheddar on top, though! Wouldn’t feel like enchiladas without some type of melty cheese! I apologize for the picture, I know it’s not one of the best, but it’s really hard to take an attractive picture of an enchilada!!

Here’s Tom Waits with Time. I think I’ve probably posted it before, but it’s just that good!

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Black bean & butternut squash enchiladas

Enchiladas

What makes these Halloween-y? They’re black and orange, of course! They’re also a welcome warm and spicy meal on a cold autumn night. The earthiness of the black beans and the spinach contrasts nicely with the sweetness of the squash. Chipotle puree and red pepper flakes add some zing, and fennel and cilantro brighten it all up. The sauce is a spicy tomato-almond sauce, and it’s delicious! These enchiladas are not drowned in sauce or cheese, they’re lighter and dryer, and the tortillas become nice and crispy on the edge.

Here’s Enchilada by the Scamps. Enchilaaaaaaaada….enchilaaaaaaaaaaada! The maniacal laughter makes it a good halloween song, too!
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