Recipe facts: Wheat-free, Meat-free, Dairy-free. NOT peanut free. Total time: about 45 minutes. (Though Betty says 10 min prep, 23 min cook.) Serves 6 (but that is probably an underestimate); Recipe at end of post
Sweet potatoes are good for far more than the (in my opinion) sickeningly sweet sweet potato casseroles drowned in brown sugar and marshmallows many of us grew up on. Here’s an easy, weeknight sweet potato dish I made on Tuesday that went pretty fast, was extremely inexpensive to put together, and was absolutely delicious.
My friend Shara, who I had over for dinner, liked it so much that she asked for a copy of the recipe. One other guest who partook of leftovers gave it a big thumbs up. It’s vegan and gluten-free, but you’d never know it from tasting it. It’s again out of Betty Crocker’s Vegetarian Cooking (1 ed. — there’s a new ed. out now that may not have it). The great thing about this cookbook is it gives optional meat additions for families where some are vegetarian and some are not. You can just divide your recipe in half if necessary, or add the meat in at the end for the carnivores. This recipe has such an option.
I chose this recipe because I was looking for ways to use (yet more!) sweet potatoes that had gone on sale for 79 cents a pound at King Soopers. It caught my attention because it incorporates the rich flavor, protein, and good fats (primarily poly- and mono-unsaturated) of peanut butter with the protein and fiber of beans (I subbed black beans for the great northerns because I thought they would be prettier) and colorful tomatoes, sweet potatoes, and corn. There’s also some wonderful ginger and chili powders thrown in, with a little bit of cayenne for kick. Add it to taste, especially if you are heat-sensitive.
Jen’s version: I made a half recipe, because it supposedly serves 6. Even at half size, this recipe made enough food to feed an army. I’ve already had three meals from it (including 5 total servings so far), and it looks like I’ll get at least 3 more. I didn’t want to halve a can of corn, so I used about 3/4 c. frozen. As for the beans, I just threw the whole can in and figured it’d work out. I found that one large sweet potato yielded the requisite two cups of cubed sweet potato. Sadly, I did not notice the tip about peeling the sweet potato (see below) until AFTER I’d availed myself of the vegetable peeler. C’est la vie.
Since I had some leftover cilantro in my fridge, I threw that on as a garnish. That proved a good move (although check with your guests/family; some people think cilantro tastes like Joy dish soap). Finally, to top it all off, I made coconut rice using some leftover coconut milk that I had frozen. More on that in a subsequent post. The rich peanut flavor coupled with the tropical coconut of the rice made this dish really satisfying.
West African Sweet Potato Supper
Notes from Betty: To make peeling the sweet potatoes easier, microwave potatoes on High for two minute first. For a nice color contrast, try a can of black beans instead of the great northern beans.
1 T. vegetable oil
1 med. onion, sliced and separated into rings
1/4c. creamy peanut butter
1 t. chili powder
1/2 t. ground dried ginger
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. cayenne pepper
3 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2in cubes (about 4c.)
2 cans (14.5 oz ea) diced tomatoes with roasted garlic, undrained (if you can’t find ones with garlic, just get plain and add a couple cloves of crushed garlic)
1 can (15oz) great northern beans (or black beans), undrained
1 can (15oz) corn, drained (you can also use 1 1/2c. fresh or frozen corn)
Rice or couscous
1. Heat oil in 4qt dutch oven over med-high heat. Cook onion in oil, stirring frequently, until tender.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients. Heat to boiling; reduce heat to med-low. Cover and cook about 20-25min, stirring occasionally, until potatoes are tender. Serve over couscous or rice.
1 serving: Calories 340 (Calories from Fat 80); Fat 9g(Saturated 2g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 870 mg; Carbohydrate 62g (Dietary Fiber 11g); Protein 14g.
Meat option: Add 2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into 3/4-inch pieces, with the onion in step 1. Cook until chicken is no longer pink. Continue as directed.
p. 123 of Betty Crocker’s Vegetarian Cooking, 1st ed.