Posts in Main Dishes
Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas + My Plant Based Transition

Do you love enchiladas? I have always loved enchiladas ever since I was a kid! It didn’t matter if it had a red sauce, green sauce or a spicy salsa as the topping, I loved them all!

That’s why I’m so excited to share these AMAZING sweet potato and black bean enchiladas with you! You may have never thought to use sweet potatoes as the base for the filling, but it truly makes these enchiladas something special.


You’ll also note that this recipe is plant based! Have you heard this term before? It means that this recipe focuses on making the plants the star of the show. You wont see any dairy or animal product in this recipe.

Why am I focusing on more plant based recipes?

Because I LOVE plants and I LOVE that they have given me more time with my husband.

Without being TMI, Brian has a stomach condition where he can’t process animal proteins. Dairy, beef, chicken all irritate his stomach which equals less time being present in the moments of life if you catch my drift.

This was not a new issue for us. We had been trying to understand what was going on for years, really ever since I met Brian 10 years ago. We knew it was diet related so we tried paleo, gluten-free, Whole30 and a host of other elimination diets with little to no success. The most effective thing we tried was going dairy-free, but it didn’t solve the problem.

We randomly watched a documentary on Netflix in the spring called Forks Over Knives ( a documentary about plant based diets) and we laughed and said maybe we should try eating a plant based diet for a week or two to see what happens. So we did as we had nothing to lose by trying it. After all it probably wasn’t going to help right?


You guys we were SHOCKED with what happened over those two weeks. I was amazed at how Brian’s stomach calmed down. He was spending more time with me than in the bathroom and the new energy we both had was insane!

Anyone in my family will tell you that I’m the most skeptical person there is. You tell me a diet or a product is the cure all and going to work and I’ll instantly shake my head and not believe you.

And if you’d told me that as a chef I’d be making plants the star of the plate over animal proteins, I would have laughed you out of the room.

But I can’t argue with what I see before my eyes and how much happier and healthier Brian is.

So all this to say that you will be seeing a plant forward focus in my coming recipes! It’s how Brian and I have been eating since the spring and I’m so excited to share our favorite recipes with you! Trust me when I say that they will be insanely delicious, easy and filling!

Now check out this epic enchilada recipe and give it a try! It meal preps well and is so so filling!


Sweet Potato and Black Bean Enchiladas

Makes 10 enchiladas


1/2 tablespoon olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried oregano

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 cups spinach, chopped

2 cans (14.5oz each) black beans, drained and rinsed

2 large sweet potatoes or three small, scrubbed well

10 whole wheat tortillas (I use La Tortilla Factory)

2 cups of your favorite salsa

Salt and pepper to taste


1 cup prepared guacamole ( I usually get Wholly Guacamole)

Hot sauce

Shredded romaine

Fresh cilantro, chopped


Heat oven to 375 degrees. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork 5-6 times. Place the sweet potatoes on a microwave safe plate and microwave for 10 minutes. Rotate the potatoes halfway through. Once the potatoes are soft and cool enough to touch, slice in half lengthwise and scoop potato into a bowl. Set aside.

Meal prep tip!! I like to cook my sweet potatoes on Sunday and save them in the fridge to make this meal a snap on weeknights!

In a very large skillet, add olive oil and onion. Stir and cook over medium heat until onion becomes translucent (about 2 minutes). Add garlic, spices, spinach, beans and mashed sweet potato. Stir and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until spinach is wilted and beans are slightly mashed.

Place 1/4 cup of the filling in the center of the tortilla and roll into a burrito. Place seam side down in a baking dish. Once you have your enchiladas rolled, pour the salsa over the top of the enchiladas. Place in the oven and bake for 20-25 minutes.

Serve with the toppings. Meal prep tip!! Store the toppings on the side with this meal or else they will make the enchiladas soggy! This meal last well in the fridge for 3 days!

PERFECT Sweet Potato Fries
Kat Marris

A crunchy sweet potato fry is like a unicorn, you know they exist, but you can’t seem to find one!!

Most of the time, I see sweet potato fries that are soggy, wimpy or mushy…ewww. It felt gross just typing that!

What we want is a fry that you bite into and it goes CRUNCH on the outside with a light fluffy inside. Perfect for dunking into a big ole bowl of ketchup or BBQ sauce!

I’m here today to tell you that crunchy sweet potato fries DO EXIST!!! They just take a bit of time and care! Use my tips below to make yourself a batch of the crispiest, crunchiest and tastiest fries you’ve ever eaten!

Here’s how to do it!!

Fresh and Balanced

Tip 1. Cut the fries as close to the same size as possible. Soak fries in a bowl of cold water for 30 minutes to one hour

Tip 2. Drain and dry the fries well. Toss with 2 tablespoons cornstarch per four sweet potatoes.

Tip 3. Use parchment paper on your sheet tray and don’t crowd the sheet pan. Leave lots of space or your fries will steam and not get crisp!

Tip 4. Flip the fries halfway through and switch the pans top to bottom in the oven.

And there you have it! Follow those tips with your next batch of sweet potato fries and glory in the crispy goodness!!

Caprese Pesto Salad
Fresh and Balanced Kat Marris

I love any recipe that can act as a two for one! This recipe fits that requirement in the most delicious way possible!

This recipe is both the perfect cookout or pitch in side dish AND a lovely meal prep lunch! WINNER!!!

Make the recipe as is and bring to your next cookout or BBQ for a show stopping side dish. Then save some leftover grilled chicken, ribs or whatever you have on hand and add it to the salad for a delicious lunch to take to work!!

The salty olives, mellow mozzarella and tangy tomatoes all work together so well on a bed of crisp zucchini noodles. The final addition of bright and herby pesto really takes it over the edge!

Have fun with the olives as well! I kept it simple with Kalamata, but feel free to go crazy at the olive bar and add green, black, stuffed or any other olive that catches your eye!!!


Pesto Caprese Zoodles .jpg

Caprese Pesto Salad

Makes 6 servings


1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 cups mozzarella pearls

3 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

3 tablespoons homemade or store bought pesto

1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

5-6 medium zucchini, spiralized

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, gently stir together olives, mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto. Add in zucchini noodles and gently toss to combine. Top with chopped basil.

Cheesy Sausage and Cauliflower Casserole

Today is a cold rainy day where I live! It’s a perfect day to make this super easy and filling cheesy sausage casserole. It’s warm, comforting and exactly what I crave on cold rainy days!

Don’t be fooled by the title and picture, while this casserole looks like a cheat meal it’s actually low carb and on the light side due to using low fat cheese!


I used a spicy chicken sausage to add depth of flavor and contrast the creamy cheese and cauliflower. You could also use chicken or bulk spicy pork sausage, just make sure to fully cook it before using it!


You can also play with the type of cheese. Cheddar cheese, cream cheese or Swiss could all be fun flavors to try, jut note that those will increase the calories in this dish.

This is a great meal prep recipe or weekend dinner, enjoy!

Cheesy Sausage and Cauliflower Casserole

Makes 6 servings


  • 1 head of cauliflower, chopped into florets

  • 4 Spicy turkey sausages, pre-cooked and sliced 

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder 

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder 

  • 1 cup of low fat ricotta cheese

  • 2 cups low-fat mozzarella cheese, plus 1/2 cup more for topping  

  • 1-2 cups baby spinach

  • Olive oil for greasing pan

  • Salt and pepper to taste 


Heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a deep casserole dish and set aside. 

In a large bowl, add onion powder, garlic powder, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese and spinach. Stir well to combine. Add cauliflower florets and sausage and stir. 

Pour into prepared casserole dish and top with reserved mozzarella cheese. Bake for 20-25 minutes until cheese on top is brown and cauliflower is crisp tender.