First, let’s get something straight. I am not a vegan. I have tasted life without cheese and I didn’t like it. I won’t go back voluntarily. However, on Facebook recently, I asked my readers to give me some ideas for recipes to post in January; and to my surprise, several people requested vegan recipes.
I am not entirely a stranger to vegan cookery – having a child who is allergic to beef, dairy, and eggs kind of thrust me in that general direction on occasion when searching for recipe inspiration. In fact, my favorite ever chocolate chip cookie recipe is Happy Vegan Chocolate Chip Cookies. I suppose if I were a vegan, I could forget about the cheese if I could eat those cookies all day long. Maybe.
In any case, as it happens, I do have a vegan recipe to share with you, my vegan friends! I bet you’re not surprised that it involves beans. And sweet potatoes! The two together work some pretty awesome magic, let me tell you. I started with this recipe for black bean stuffed sweet potatoes, and then livened it up just a bit.
If you’re not vegan (or dairy-free, if that’s the case), you can un-veganize it by dressing it up with a little cheese (you know what my choice is!) and sour cream if you’d like. But honestly, they’re delicious as they are. Even without the cheese. (Really.)
Black Bean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- 4 small-medium sweet potatoes
- 1-2 TBSP olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped green pepper
- 1/4 cup chopped hot pepper of some kind (I used Carman peppers)
- 2 cups cooked black beans
- 1 cup salsa (I used some leftover homemade salsa)
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp dried cilantro
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- Pierce the sweet potatoes with a fork several times, then place directly on the oven rack (make sure you have a sheet of foil on the floor of the oven to catch any drips). Bake at 400F for 45-60 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork.
- While the potatoes are cooking, prepare the bean filling.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Saute the garlic, onions, and peppers until fragrant. Stir in the cooked beans, salsa, and seasonings. Cook until heated through.
- When potatoes are finished cooking, cut them in half lengthwise, and top with the bean filling. If desired, sprinkle with shredded cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream.
The bean filling here, folks, is kickin’ awesome, I can assure you! I could eat that on its own endlessly. Thank goodness my boys were there to stop me, or they might not have had any lunch.
This is QUICK if you have cooked beans on hand. (I like to freeze extras, or I make them on a day when I have extra time in preparation for a meal like this.) If you don’t have cooked beans on hand, you’re going to have to plan ahead: soak them overnight the day before you plan to make this dish, then cook them in the slow cooker all day until you’re ready to get started with this recipe. Once you’ve got cooked beans to start with, you can make the black bean filling while the sweet potatoes are baking in the oven. Dinner will be ready in an hour or less!
It’s very EASY, for sure. In fact, it’s a one-pan meal, so that means very little clean up!
Both beans and sweet potatoes are super CHEAP, so this one’s a frugal winner in my book.
You’ve never seen so much HEALTHY packed into one little dish! You’ve got the Super Food Sweet Potato, combined with Vegan Protein Extraordinaire (otherwise known as beans), all wrapped up with antioxidants and vitamins from the cute little veggies and spices.