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Sweet Potato Boats with Avocado Cream

This dish is simple, and I got FOUR meals out of one sweet potato!

With a little advance preparation on the potatoes and black beans, this meal is quick and easy to assemble after a day of work.  I cooked the black beans with bay leaf, salt, onion and garlic in a slow cooker while I was at work.  I baked the sweet potatoes a day or two in advance when I was doing a bunch of cooking, so they were also done and waiting for me.  All that I had to do was assemble and make the avocado sauce when I got home. Easy!  The trick is to find a few hours when you can do most of your prep work for weekly meals all at once.  This way, cooking does not seem like such a chore.

A little bit on quinoa…Quinoa is an ancient Mayan grain.  It’s really a seed, but we treat is a grain.  Quinoa is the quickest grain to cook, and it’s also one of the most healthy.  Quinoa is packed full of fiber – twice as much as other grains, and it is a complete protein with all nine essential amino acids.  It contains iron, lysine, magnesium, B2 and more.  I made three cups of quinoa and repurposed the extra for breakfast (look for an upcoming post on this).  One of the cooking tricks of quinoa is to rinse it really well.  It can taste bitter if you do not.  So make sure you have a small wire strainer for rinsing your quinoa on hand.

Ingredients*

1 large sweet potato

1 can or 2-3 cups of dried black beans

2 cups of any quinoa (I used red)

Cherry Tomatoes (optional)

1/2 an onion (optional)

4 cloves of garlic (optional)

3 bay leaves (optional)

Directions

Decide in advance if you are using dried beans or canned beans.  If you are using dried beans, cook them in your slow cooker in advance so that they are ready for this recipe.  For this, rinse the black beans well with water and vinegar, then just water. Oil your slow cooker.  Add the beans, onion, garlic, bay leaves, and a few pinches of salt with enough water to cover everything generously.  Extra water will not hurt and makes a nice bit of sauce. Cook on low for 3 hours.  Taste and season as needed.  If you are using canned beans, you can use them right out of the can if you are pressed for time.  If you have more time, you can sauté the garlic and onion, then add the beans to give them more flavor.

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, or cook the sweet potatoes in advance.  As I mentioned before, I baked mine a day or two in advance on a Sunday when I do a lot of cooking preparation for the week.

Wash and scrub the sweet potato.  Cut the sweet potato in half, lengthwise.  Bake at 350 degrees facedown for 35 minutes or until the skin is easily pierced with a fork.  I use USA Pans so that I don’t have to use oil to bake.

Cook the quinoa in your rice cooker (this takes about 10-15 minutes).

Prepare your Avocado Cream (see below for recipe).

Place the sweet potatoes face up on two plates and cut in half again lengthwise.  I ate half for dinner and half for lunch, and so did my husband.  This dish is hearty and wonderful!

Add your quinoa to the split down the center of each potato.

Top with black beans.

Drizzle on the Avocado Cream Dressing (recipe below).

Add your cherry tomatoes.

Salt & pepper to taste.

Avocado Cream Dressing*

This creamy dressing can be used in so many ways from salad dressings, to toppings, dips, on soups, and more. Avocado provides a richness and pairs well with the cashew milk.

Ingredients*

1 ripe Avocado
2/3 cup Cashew Milk (can add more to thin out dressing to taste)
1/2 fresh squeezed Lemon Juice
1/2 tsp Paprika
1/2 tsp Garlic Powder
2-4 pinches of himalayan pink sea salt (start with 2 and then season to taste)
2 pinches of cayenne pepper (1/4 tsp if you like a kick)

Directions

Place all ingredients into a mixing bowl and blend with an immersion blender. If you don’t have an immersion blender, a food processor or blender will work just fine.

Taste, and tweak to your liking.

 

*Use all organic ingredients as desired.

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