Friday, January 24, 2014

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

I was recently looking for some inspiration for some black beans I bought and was scanning one of my favorite recipe websites when I found it. As I looked down the list of ingredients, I got a good feeling about it. There were components of it that I found intriguing because I wouldn’t normally have combined them in the same dish, and so for that reason alone I had to try it.

Beans are good for several reasons: they have a bunch of fiber (and we know most of us don’t get enough of that), they are a great source of non-meat protein, and they are inexpensive, especially if you buy them dry and cook them yourself.  While a can of beans is inexpensive on its own, dry beans are usually half the cost, especially if you get them from the bulk bins at your grocery store (try Sprouts, Henry's or Whole Foods for those).
Black beans are especially great because they are really high in fiber and are visually interesting. Eating a variety of beans can also be fun - they come in all sorts of colors: red, pink, white, black, green – and when combined with other ingredients, make for a colorful assortment of things on the plate. But unfortunately, beans can be boring. Which is why I am always looking for interesting ways to flavor them. Thank goodness I came across this.

Here’s the recipe. It's packed with flavor.
Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew with Chilies and Grilled Polenta

·         2 tablespoons olive oil
     2 cups finely chopped onions
·         2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
·         2 teaspoons chili powder
·         1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
·         1 1/2 pounds red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams; about 2 medium), peeled, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
·         2 cups orange juice
·         2 tablespoons minced garlic
·         (2) 15- to 16-ounce cans black beans, rinsed, drained (or soak dry beans overnight, then cook 1 hour)
·         2 poblano chilies, seeded, chopped*
·         1 red bell pepper, chopped

Grilled Polenta Triangles
·         Sour cream (optional)
·         Avocado slices (optional)
·         Orange wedges (optional)

Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender, about 10 minutes. Add ginger, chili powder and cumin and stir 2 minutes. Add sweet potatoes, orange juice and garlic and bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until sweet potatoes are almost tender, about 10 minutes.
Stir beans, poblano chilies and bell pepper into sweet potato mixture. Cover and simmer until chilies are tender, about 15 minutes longer. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be made 6 hours ahead. Cover and refrigerate. Rewarm over low heat before continuing, stirring occasionally.)
Top with sour cream, avocado and orange, if desired. Serve with Polenta Triangles that have been grilled until browned. They are best when they have a little crust on the outside.

*If you can't find poblano peppers, you can do what I did. I used the following instead: ½ pasilla pepper, 2 medium sized jalapeno peppers, and 1 Anaheim chili.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Print Friendly