Monday, January 05, 2009

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

Even though Battle Orange is pretty much over except for an occasional skirmish, I still stockpile the ammunition. The last weekend in October, I brought home a 40 lb. box of sweet potatoes. They do keep quite well in the basement where it is cool and dark. And, hey, this whole "root cellar" thing is in now, right?

Be sure the farmer leaves the dirt on them as well. This keeps them from sprouting.

As I mentioned in my Predictions and Resolutions, (and Cheryl asked about) I plan on making more vegetarian meals this year. This dish definitely fits the description. It could even be vegan if you leave off the Cotija cheese. Either way, it has a lot of flavor, very little fat and a lot of nutrition.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew
1 tbs. canola oil
1 onion, diced
1 red pepper, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. Ancho chile powder
2 cups vegetable stock
2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and small dice (1/2 inch cubes)
1/4 cup diced tomatoes, canned is fine, preferable this time of year in fact
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup quinoa grain
1/4 cup Cotija cheese, crumbled (can also use Queso Blanco)

Heat the oil in a large sauce pan. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper. Saute for about five minutes. Add the Ancho powder and cumin. Add the tomatoes and any juice from them. Add just one cup of the vegetable stock. Heat to a boil.

Add the sweet potatoes. Lower the temperature to a simmer and cover the pot. Stir just once or twice, letting the sweet potatoes steam from the liquid simmering, until fork tender, about 20 minutes. In a small sauce pan, heat the other cup of vegetable stock and the 1/2 cup quinoa to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to a simmer for about 15-20 minutes, until the quinoa is tender and the inner germ spirals out.

When the sweet potatoes are cooked, add the black beans and heat through, about five more minutes. Add the cilantro, reserving a tablespoon for garnish. Salt and pepper to taste. Gently fold in the cooked quinoa. Serve, garnishing with the Cotija cheese and remaining cilantro.

You can also omit the quinoa, and serve with rice. I like to make Coconut Rice for variety. The grains complete the protein for a vegetarian meal and make it more satisfying.

Coconut Rice
1-1/2 cups white basmati rice
1 15 oz. can coconut milk
1/2 can of water
1 tsp. sugar

Bring rice, water and coconut milk to a boil. Cover, lower heat to a simmer and cook until rice is fluffy and liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Fluff the rice, stirring in the tsp. of sugar.

More Sweet Potato Recipes
Basil Orange Sweet Potatoes
Honey-Chipotle Mashed Sweet Potatoes (and some fritters)
Sweet Potato Parmesan Fries
Maple Orange Sweet Potato Souffle


Cheryl said...

This looks great! Thanks for sharing this.

Chiot's Run said...

I love coconut rice. I grew up in Colombia and whenver we would go to the coast for vacation we always looked forwar to the coconut rice. I make it occationally at home, but not as often as I should! Thanks for reminding me to make it.

Rachel said...

that sounds so yummy. I have a few sweet potatoes floating around in the cupboard and cooler weather this week. I might even do it tonight!

Anonymous said...

And I thought I was carried away buying 10 pounds of sweets just for me! My latest use was in muffins. Will blog about them soon. :)

ExpatChef said...

I love my orange food! Janet, drop me a link or I will stop by for the muffin recipe. I have some ground flax meal and want to experiment with a healthy muffin. Cheers!

ftgourmet said...

If you are going to provide recipes that you tout as healthy, you should also include the nutritional value of each portion.

ExpatChef said...

Noted. I have the software for that, too. It just runs on a PC, and I am on Mac. I will be happy to post the nutrition info for this one. Thanks.

Rumela said...

Wow, this black bean and sweet potato stew looks fabulous! my bf loves them, I was going to make him a special packed lunch for his birthday as he's got to do a stocktake at work and these would be perfect! thank you for shearing your post.