With the exception of french fries and mashed potatoes (I mean, obviously), I can't say I'm a huge potato lover. Steamed, boiled or roasted potatoes are just not something I'm immediately drawn to on the dinner table. This slight aversion could also be related to the time before my wedding when I was pretty serious about getting in shape, and probably ate about half my weight in steamed potatoes.
But, whenever I have a particularly bad week of over-indulging in comfort food, namely processed carbs and sugar, I often look towards a "clean" meal to reset my body and appetite. This loaded sweet potato recipe from the cookbook Oh She Glows Everyday, by Angela Liddon, is one of my go-to good-for-you meals.
Not only does the sweet potato add a delicate sweetness to the overall dish, but it is also chock-full of healthy properties like vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. The black beans seasoned with cumin lend the dish a deep smokey flavor, while also providing you with tons of fiber, and the lime-y guacamole brings a note of freshness to everything. In a word, this meal is scrumptious. It's also addictive and my family requests it about once a week now!
It's the perfect meal to throw together on a weeknight, but to save even more time you can prep the black beans a day ahead and simply reheat when ready to serve. To make it more palatable for kids you can adjust the cumin seasoning accordingly. Another thing to note is that instead of making the avocado cilantro cream as outlined in the recipe, I usually take the ingredients and mash them all together in a bowl as I prefer a chunkier guac. I find that if you are making this recipe for 3-4 people then you will need around 3 avocados for the guacamole topping. A final dollop of sour cream or greek yogurt adds an indulgent touch of richness.
Loaded Sweet Potato with Black Beans and Guacamole
4 medium sweet potatoes
Sour cream or Greek yogurt to serve (optional)
For the Avocado Cilantro Cream
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, large stems removed
1 clove garlic
3 medium /large ripe avocados, pitted
4 teaspoons fresh lime juice, or to taste
1 tablespoon water (omit this if mashing by hand)
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
For the Black Bean Topping
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup diced sweet onion
2 medium garlic cloves, minced
1/4 teaspoon chili powder, plus more for garnish
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin, plus more for garnish
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed or 1/2 cup of cooked black beans
Sea salt and black pepper
Preheat over to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a fork, poke several holes into each potato. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 to 75 minutes until the flesh is tender and you can easily slide a knife through the centre. After baking, let the potatoes cool for 5 to 10 minutes.
Make the avocado cilantro cream. In a food processor, process the cilantro and garlic until minced. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until mostly smooth. There might be small bits of cilantro, but this is ok.
In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over med heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until softened. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and black beans and cook for another minute or two. Add the salt, pepper, and lime juice and stir again to combine.
Assemble the sweet potatoes. Slice each potato in half lengthwise. With a knife, score the flesh in a crisscross pattern. Gently mash the flesh with a fork to fluff. Sprinkle on some sea salt and pepper to season.
Layer the avocado cream and black beans by the spoonful across each potato half. Garnish each with green onion, a pinch of chili powder, and cumin and a sprinkle of salt and pepper. Top with a dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt. Serve immediately.