This is the third recipe in my vegan recipe week series for Veganuary.
Some recipes are perfect for the way they come from the recipe book, blog or website. Others need a little tweet here or there to meet our own tastes, a touch of pepper here, some parmesan there. There are other recipes which start out and end up just like they were on the page, but which you can see that you could totally reinvent and turn into something very different.
This is the third recipe in the vegan week series and, thankfully you might now be thinking, the last one with sweet potatoes in it. Three out of five dishes being made with sweet potatoes might seem a lot but they are so deliciously tasty whether roasted, mashed, baked or chipped. Oh sweet potatoes fries, are they any better kind?!
Why are sweet potatoes so good for me?
Sweet potatoes are some of the world’s healthiest foods. That gorgeously sweet, fluffy yet creamy flesh is a fantastic source of beta-carotene (the good stuff in carrots which made you mum think it would help you see in the dark).
Most of the sweet potatoes we see in the UK are the orangy flesh variety but they also come in a beautifully deep purple colour. These purple ones contain anthocyanins—primarily peonidins and cyanidins and also contain important antioxidant properties and anti-inflammatory properties. If you throw in just a little (3-5g) bit of fat in with your sweet potato meals it will help with the absorption of their beta-carotene.
To encourage you, just that little bit more (though why you’d need encouraging to have yummy sweet potatoes I don’t know) here are XX health benefits of sweet potatoes.
- High in vitamin B6: this helps to reduce the chemical homocysteine in our bodies. Homocysteine is linked with degenerative diseases such as heart attacks.
- They are a great source of vitamin C: Aside from helping to fend of those dreaded winter colds, vitamin C also plays an important role in bone development and digestion.
- A great source of Iron: which helps with energy levels, white blood cell production, resistance to stress (we all need more of that!) and the metabolisation of protein.
- Slow releasing energy: sweet potatoes slowly release their energy over several hours so you don’t get a sugar or energy spike.
Baked sweet potatoes with black bean chilli & lime
- 2 – 4 medium sweet potatoes (depending on size) scrubbed clean
- 3 tsp olive oil
- 4 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp bbq sauce (use chipotle paste to be more authentic, we just had this in the fridge)
- 380g tins of black beans with liquid
- 390 g chopped tomatoes
- 1 tbsp light-brown sugar
- 1 tbsp red vermouth
- Juice of 2 limes, zest of 1 plus extra lime wedges
- 2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnish
- Start by pre-heating your oven to 200°C / 180°C fan / gas mark 6. and preparing all the ingredients as directed. Prep the sweet potatoes by scrubbing them clean, so you can enjoy eating the crispy skins later. Rub them with half the olive oil and cut in half. Pop skin side down and bake in the centre of the oven for 35 minutes.
- While the potatoes are cooking heat the rest of the olive oil in a pan over a medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and gently saute for 5 minutes or till they are soft and taking on some colour.
- Add the cumin, cinnamon and bbq sauce. Cook for another minute or two whilst stirring then add the beans, and water from the can as well as the tomatoes, sugar and vermouth. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for another 10 minutes or so. Keep it simmering away till the potatoes are ready with crispy skins, you really can’t over cook this as the flavours will intensify.
- Serve the sweet potatoes on the plate topped with a good and generous portion of black bean chilli.
An adaption for the meat eaters out there
So, now I have convinced you to have a third round of sweet potatoes and shared a pretty damn nice recipe, let’s take a look at how you can adapt it. I mentioned that this is a recipe which you can take and then turn into something else. The bean chilli which you serve with the baked potatoes is just brilliant. It’s easily the best part of any of the recipes in this week, and the best bit? It’s dead simple. Almost too simple when you look at it written down to think that it will be any good.
I thought it went brilliantly with the baked sweet potatoes but then Hana had a stroke of genius, though if you’re vegan or vegetarian you won’t be able to have this adaption. Hana suggested serving the chilli with homemade sweet potato fries and a grilled tuna steak. Very yummy and it would work so well.
Check back tomorrow for the next recipe in my vegan series, Superfood pesto with kale, sage and walnuts.