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These enchiladas have a surprise inside

Recipe: Pumpkin, black bean and pork enchiladas stretch ingredients

Before serving, top the enchiladas with guacamole and salsa.

Before serving, top the enchiladas with guacamole and salsa. Debbie Arrington

Ever-versatile enchiladas rank among my favorite ways to use up leftover roast meat. Combining roast pork with black beans and roast pumpkin stretches 8 ounces of meat into a full meal for three or four people.

Skip the meat altogether and increase the beans and pumpkin to 1-1/2 cups each. Or substitute cooked rice or potatoes for the pork or the beans. The idea is to make the most of what you have on hand -- very useful when you're sheltering in place and wondering what's for dinner.

This recipe works great with chicken instead of pork, too. (Did I say versatile?)

I’m still cooking with my fall pumpkin harvest (one left!), so I used fresh roast pumpkin in this recipe. But steamed pumpkin or canned pumpkin will work, too.

Roast pumpkin is the secret ingredient in the enchiladas.
Canned pumpkin also works.

Pumpkin, black bean and pork enchiladas
Makes 6 big enchiladas (3 to 4 servings)


1 cup onion, chopped
2 tablespoons cooking oil
1 cup pork roast, cooked and diced
1 cup black beans, cooked and drained
1 cup pumpkin, cooked
¼ cup mild chilies, seeded and chopped
½ cup salsa (fresh or jarred)
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
6 soft flour tortillas (soft taco size)

For sauce:
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
1/2 teaspoon chili powder

For topping:
1-1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
¼ cup sliced black olives

For serving:

Preheat oven 350 degrees F. Butter or grease a 9-inch baking dish; set aside.
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil and sauté chopped onion until translucent. Add pork and brown slightly. Add beans and pumpkin, stir lightly. Add chilies, salsa and pepper flakes; heat filling until warmed through.
Meanwhile, prepare sauce. In a small saucepan, combine tomato sauce, cumin powder and chili powder. Gently warm until almost bubbly.
One at a time, place a generous ½ cup of filling at the center of a tortilla; roll up and place in baking dish. Roll filling in each tortilla until dish is full. Cover with sauce. Top with shredded cheese and garnish with sliced olives.
Bake enchiladas in 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese starts to brown. (Put a cookie sheet under the baking dish to prevent overflow. If cheese browns too quickly, shield with aluminum foil.)
After removing from oven, let stand 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with guacamole and salsa.


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Garden Checklist for week of July 7

Take care of garden chores early in the morning, concentrating on watering. We’re still in survival mode until this heat wave breaks.

* Keep your vegetable garden watered, mulched and weeded. Water before 8 a.m. to conserve moisture.

* Prevent sunburn; provide temporary shade for tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, melons, squash and other crops with “sensitive” skin.

* Hold off on feeding plants until temperatures cool back down to “normal” range. That means daytime highs in the low to mid 90s.

* Don’t let tomatoes wilt or dry out completely. Give tomatoes a deep watering two to three times a week. Harvest vegetables promptly to encourage plants to produce more.

* Squash especially tends to grow rapidly in hot weather. Keep an eye on zucchini.

* Some weeds thrive in hot weather. Whack them before they go to seed.

* Pinch back chrysanthemums for bushy plants and more flowers in September.

* Harvest tomatoes, squash, peppers and eggplant. Prompt picking will help keep plants producing.

* Remove spent flowers from roses, daylilies and other bloomers as they finish flowering.

* Pinch off blooms from basil so the plant will grow more leaves.

* Cut back lavender after flowering to promote a second bloom.

* One good thing about hot days: Most lawns stop growing when temperatures top 95 degrees. Keep mower blades set on high.

* Once the weather cools down a little, it’s not too late to add a splash of color. Plant petunias, snapdragons, zinnias and marigolds.

* After the heat wave, plant corn, pumpkins, radishes, winter squash and sunflowers. Make sure the seeds stay hydrated.

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