Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Black Bean Chili

I can’t believe summer is almost over.  We’ve had a fun and busy summer with not one but two great vacations.  We took a two-week trip through Oregon and Washington in June, and we took a trip to Disneyland the first week of August. (I know we are spoiled). 

My daughter starts her senior year in high school this week, and I’ve been living my life in denial (both that summer is over and that I’m old enough to have a senior in high school), but reality came crashing back at 2 am last Sunday morning when I remembered I still needed to order my daughter’s school books and tackle my 6th grade son’s forever-long school supplies list.  I got back to sleep by telling myself that nothing could be accomplished at 2am.  I woke feeling sad, but I had to face the fact summer was almost over, so Sunday morning I ordered my daughters books and Les and I took our son to buy his school supplies.

Sunday afternoon I was in need of something to take my mind off my end-of-summer blues, so I headed into the kitchen to try a new recipe.

Since last October, I have been slowly been overhauling my family’s diet to a more Mediterranean diet (less refined grains and sugar and more whole grains and beans).  We have been doing well with it, even on vacation in the Northwest and Disneyland (my chocolate covered frozen bananas, ice cream and caramel apples not withstanding).  I bought Fast & Fresh Vegetarian by Marie Simmons right before we left for Disneyland, and I was itching to try some of the recipes. 

Les and my daughter enjoyed Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Black Bean Chili, although the chili was a little too spicy for my daughter.  My son even liked the spicy chili, but he wouldn't touch the sweet potato.  I liked the combination.  The chili was spicy, but I thought the spiciness went well with the sweet potato and the cool yogurt and avocado.

Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Black Bean Chili
Adapted from Fast & Fresh Vegetarian by Marie Simmons
4 small sweet potatoes or yams, scrubbed and cut in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, separated
½ small onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 15 oz cans black beans, rinsed and drained
1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
1 chipotle chili in adobo, chopped (more or less to taste)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
Plain Greek yogurt
Juice from one lime
2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
1 avocado, sliced

Heat a large baking sheet by placing it in the oven and preheating the oven to 450°F for 10 minutes.  Brush cut sides of sweet potatoes with one tablespoon of the olive oil.  Remove the hot pan from the oven, and place the sweet potatoes cut side down on the baking sheet. Roast for 15 minutes.  Turn the potatoes with a spatula and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes are tender when pierced with the tip of a knife. 

While the potatoes are roasting, heat the remaining tablespoon of olive and the onion in a large Dutch oven or skillet.  Cook the onion on medium-low heat until tender and golden, about 8 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook for one minute, and add the chili powder and cumin to bloom for about 20 seconds.

Add the black beans, tomatoes, ½ cup water, chipotle chili and salt and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 minutes.

Mix yogurt, lime juice and cilantro in a small bowl.

Assemble the potatoes by scraping the flesh of the potato with a fork and topping the potato with the chili and the yogurt mixture.  Add the sliced avocado and serve.


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