Baked Sweet Potato with Black Beans and Spinach

January 25, 2016

Start to finish: 50 minutes
Hands on time: 15 minutes

When I offered my husband a baked sweet potato for dinner the other night he thought, hmmm. We’re supposed to be eating light after the holidays and potatoes are kindof heavy. And isn’t a baked potato usually a side dish? But hang in there with me for a minute, I said. We’re going to top it with black beans for protein along with a bunch of sautéed spinach and sweet/tart grape tomatoes. No longer a banal side, these tubers will transform into a delicious meatless meal for two. I promise you’ll love it and you won’t be hungry at 10 pm.

And he did and he wasn’t.

Always filling, sweet potatoes are super tasty this time of year. They’re moist and rich and good enough without butter or maple syrup. Just a sprinkle of salt and pepper usually works for us, but this simple meal is made complete with a savory topping flavored with a little garlic, green onion and lemon juice. This is a very clean meal if you ask me; no dairy, meat or gluten.

Plus, you’re going to love how this colorful dinner practically makes itself. To make things even more amenable, check out the wine suggestion and pour yourself a glass while you wait for the potato to bake. Relax. This low fat, supper is the perfect meatless meal for a busy weekday night. Cheers.

It’s that easy: Sweet potatoes are one of the most nutritious foods you can eat. Full of beta carotene and vitamin A, they make a complete meal when paired with protein packed black beans and iron packed spinach.

2 sweet potatoes, about 1 lb
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
2 green onions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
5 oz [140 g] bag baby spinach
1 cup 70 g] halved grape tomatoes
1 cup [215] drained and rinsed black beans
1/4 tsp salt plus more for sprinkling
Freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp cilantro, minced

Preheat oven to 375°F [190°C]

Poke the potatoes with the sharp tip of a knife and rub them with 1 Tbsp olive oil.

Heat a 12-in [30.5 cm] skillet over medium-high heat and when hot, lay the potatoes inside. Transfer the pan to the preheated oven and roast the potatoes for about 45 minutes or until they are soft and wrinkly. Transfer the potatoes to two heated plates.

Add the remaining olive oil to the hot pan (careful the handle will be hot) and over medium-high heat, sauté the green onion and garlic for 30 seconds. Add the spinach and toss until it wilts, about 2 minutes. Add the grape tomatoes and black beans along with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper. Toss until heated through about 1 minute. Stir in the lemon juice and cilantro.

Cut the sweet potatoes in half, leaving the bottom attached and scrunch the ends to make a concave bowl for the black beans. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and fill with the black beans and spinach. Serve hot.

Extra Hungry? Toast up a couple slices of sourdough drizzled with olive oil then rub them with a clove of garlic to make quick and easy garlic toast. Or top the potatoes with a fried egg.

In the glass: I like a Chardonnay with sweet potatoes. Look for Edna Valley Vineyard Paragon Chardonnay for a tasty bottle that will pair up with a variety of foods.

In my ears: Chain of Fools

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