A Midwinter Night’s Baked Sweet Potato

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Ahhh baked sweet potatoes… So simple, yet so satisfying. I don’t know why I like them so much. But there’s just something comforting about them. Sure, when I think about “comfort food”, they aren’t the first thing rushing through my mind. I tend to immediately picture a steaming bowl of mac n’ cheese, or lasagna. But they definitely come as a close runner-up. Our heater broke because of the cold last night and I couldn’t think of anything else to warm me up. This dish was just prime comfort food with ingredients that I had on-hand. Additionally, it turned out to be a great way to use some left-over beans and onions. The dressing made it all come together nicely. It added this great sweet and savory taste to the dish. All in all, this one’s a keeper if you’re looking for some warmth on a cold winter’s night. Bon appétit!

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Prep time: 35-40 min 

Ingredients:

  • 1 sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup cooked black beans (rinsed and drained)
  • 1/2 avocado (mashed)
  • 1/4 yellow onion (chopped)
  • olive oil

Peanut-Honey Mustard dressing:

  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp water
  • 1/4 tsp honey
  • salt, pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Prick the sweet potato with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until you can pierce through the flesh easily with a fork.
  2. Once the sweet potato is in the oven, make the peanut-honey mustard dressing by mixing all the ingredients together until the mix is homogenous.
  3. Also meanwhile, sauté the onions with olive oil, on high heat, in a small pot for about 5 minutes. Add a splash of water and let it evaporate to further soften the onions. Add the black beans and cook for about 5 more minutes on medium heat.
  4. Once the sweet potato is done, cut it in half with a knife, but not all the way, and spread both sides apart. Stuff with the black beans and onions, and top with the mashed avocado. Drizzle with the sweet and savory dressing and enjoy while it’s hot!

TIP: you can substitute lentils or chickpeas for the black beans and you can also sprinkle with cheese for extra comfort food! 

Super (Rice) Bowl

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I know what you’re thinking: “super bowl was last week… you’re a little late”. Truth is, I’ve never actually watched it. The closest I’ve come to it, was when I saw Beyonce’s performance last year. So the reference in the title is purely fictitious, and this recipe has nothing to do with the actual Super Bowl. Though I suppose one could argue that this would be a great meal to eat while watching football on TV. But anyways. Rice Bowls are so versatile! It’s incredible how much you can do with such a simple base. Though I do enjoy an occasional stop at Chipotle, nothing really compares to a homemade bowl of veggie goodness. This recipe will take you about 20ish minutes, which isn’t much more time than you’d wait in line at the famous Mexican hotspot. The “reverse” caramelized onions really add a nice sweet touch to this savory dish. It’s healthy and can be tailored exactly to your needs. Bon Appétit!

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Prep Time: 20 min

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup dried rice
  • 1/4 cup black beans (drained and rinsed)
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 yellow onion (sliced finely)
  • 1/2 tomato (extra chopped)
  • salt, pepper to taste
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil

Directions:

  1. In a small pot, put water and salt to a boil. Cook the rice for the time indicated on the packaging (mine takes about 15 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, make the “reverse” caramelized onions by adding the thinly sliced onion in a dry pan over medium high heat. Sauté for about 5 minutes, or until the slices become brown. Next, add the olive oil and salt and let it cook for about 5 more minutes. Add a splash of water and stir until it evaporates and the onion is done.
  3. Add the black beans and cook for about 5 extra minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Mash the avocado in it’s shell.
  5. In a bowl, put the rice, beans, “caramelized” onions and chopped tomatoes. Top with a dollop of mashed avocado. Salt and pepper to taste, and drizzle with tabasco.

TIP: You can also top it with some sour cream or grated cheese. Additionally, you can swap the tomatoes for corn or diced bell pepper.