Black Beans with Sweet Potatoes

Warm up a fall night with Black Beans and Sweet Potatoes!

Black Beans/Sweet Potatoes

A simplistic meal, nutritious and quick, it can be used in a myriad of ways:

– Eat it as is
– For more of a substantial bite serve atop rice or quinoa
– Use as a taco filling topped with avocado
– Eat cold as a salad for a power-packed lunch
– Add stewed tomatoes and chili powder to start a pot of chili.

A one-pot meal using cupboard staples and boasting versatility….a great way to perk up leftovers!

Black Bean and Sweet Potato

Black Beans with Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4-6

Ingredients:
1 Can of Organic Black Beans
1 small Onion (red, yellow or white utilize what’s on hand,) chopped
4 cloves Garlic, chopped (not a huge fan of garlic, use a clove or two less)
1 tsp. Cumin
1 tsp. Oregano
dash of Cinnamon
dash of Smoked Paprika
dash of Cayenne Pepper or Chili Powder
dash of Coriander
1 Tomato, chopped
1-2 Hot Peppers, chopped
***don’t have tomato or hot peppers on hand use 2 heaping spoonfuls of your favorite salsa instead!
1 Sweet Potato, cooked and cubed
1/2 bunch of Cilantro, chopped
Juice from 1 Lime
1 tsp. Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

To Prepare:

Begin by boiling or roasting the sweet potato until cooked.
Boiling Method: Fill a pot with water, enough to submerge the sweet potato, boil 25-30 minutes, until tender.  Drain and allow to cool.  The skin with easily slip off at this point, then chop into cubes.
Roasting Method: Cut sweet potato into cubes. Heat oven to 375°. On a well oiled baking sheet, place potatoes in a layer. Bake until tender, 15 minutes; let cool.

In a sturdy saucepan heat olive oil on medium heat.  Add onions and saute until softened and carmelized, then add garlic, spices and pepper.  Saute about 3-5 minutes before adding the beans, tomatoes or salsa.  Bring beans to simmering then add diced sweet potatoes and cook until heated through.  Add juice from fresh lime and chopped cilantro before serving.

Gomen and Lentils

The familiar collard green stars in the Ethiopian dish, Gomen:

Gomen with Lentils


Typically served atop a platter of injera and eaten with your hands, I served the greens over brown lentils. A powerhouse of vitamins and fiber not to mention flavor, Gomen tastes great eaten hot or cold.

There are few necessary steps to be made before having Gomen on the table, but I assure you it’s simple and worth it. Begin with Nit’ir Qibe otherwise known as, spiced clarified butter/oil which gives Ethiopian cooking its signature flavor. Nit’ir Qibe is best made in a larger quantity using what you need, and storing the rest for later use. It has a longer shelf life compared to regular butter and can be kept handy to add flavor to soups, stews and anything else you deem flavor-worthy.

Forkful of Gomen

NIT’IR QIBE-ETHIOPIAN SPICED CLARIFIED OIL
Makes 1 1/2 cups
*in this recipe I used a good olive oil in place of the butter

Ingredients:
– 1lb. butter or substitute good olive oil
– 1/2 red onion, chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 3-inch piece of ginger, grated
– 1 cinnamon stick
– 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
– 1 teaspoon fenugreek
– 4 cardamom pods, ground
– 2 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
– 1 teaspoon dried oregano
– 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped

To Prepare:
Melt the butter or olive oil in a saute pan over low heat.  With the butter be sure to skim foam as it rises and discard, continue until no more foam appears.

Add the onion, garlic, ginger and spices and continue to cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes. Removed from the heat allow the mixture to sit until cooled and the spices settle to bottom of the pan.  Strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve into a heat-resistant container such as a mason jar.  Discard the onion and spices.

Cover the Nit’ir Qibe and store in the refrigerator, it will keep for about 3 weeks.

Gomen with Lentils

Gomen or Ethiopian Collard Greens
Makes 4 Servings
Ingredients:
– 2 bunches of collard greens, washed, stems removed and chopped
– 1/4 cup Nit’ir Qibe (see recipe above)
– 1/2 medium red onion, chopped
– 3 cloves garlic, chopped
– 2-inch piece of ginger, grated
– 3 Anaheim chili peppers, seeded and chopped
– 1 cup water
– Salt and Pepper to taste

To Prepare:

Heat the Nit’ir Qibe in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and saute until softened, about 5 minutes.  Stir in the chili peppers, ginger and garlic, cooking until the pepper softens.  Add the collard greens, water and season with salt and pepper. Cover, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook for 20 minutes, or until the greens are tender.  You may need to remove the cover to allow the liquids to boil off. Adjust seasonings accordingly

Serve with fresh injera bread or lentils.