There’s no argument that cooking from scratch takes longer. Preparing foods in their unprocessed state requires more steps. It just does.
I always cook from scratch. That’s just how I learned to cook. Back when I stopped eating meat, in 1978, vegetarian convenience foods were unheard of. I’m quite used to the amount of time it takes to prepare food, and I just account for it when I plan a meal.
So it’s a real treat to find something easy, quick and satisfying to make for a weeknight meal. Today’s Meatless Monday recipe comes from Oh She Glows Every Day by Angela Liddon. The yams are what initially attracted me to this recipe (I love yams!). And black beans are always a great complement to yams. The avocado crema added a piquant accent. All in all, the flavors are perfectly balanced.
While I usually like to pressure cook dried beans from scratch, I’m not averse to using canned beans when I’m in a hurry. So that’s what I did here. The only thing that takes much time in this recipe is baking the yams, but that’s all inactive time. You can accomplish a whole lot of other things in the 45-60 minutes it takes for the yams to bake. I put together the avocado crema a few hours beforehand so that the flavors could meld. It also made the final assembly really easy.
Meatless Monday: Stuffed Yams with Black Beans and Avocado
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
For the Avocado Cilantro Crema:
- 1/2 cup of fresh cilantro, large stems removed
- 1 small clove of garlic
- 1 medium avocado
- 4 tsp fresh lime juice
- 1 tbs water
- 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
For the Black Beans:
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 cup diced sweet onion
- 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp ground cumin
- 1 (14-ounce/398 ml) can of black beans, drained and rinsed.
- Salt and pepper for taste
- 2 green onion, thinly sliced
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Poke holes all around the potato. Bake on a roasting pan for about 40-60 minutes. It may take longer depending on your oven. Bake until soft, until a knife slides right through.
- For the avocado crema: Add garlic and cilantro to a food processor and process until minced. Add the rest of the ingredients and process until mostly smooth, but still slightly chunky.
- For the black beans: Using a medium skillet, heat the oil, add onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes, until soft. Stir in the chili powder, cumin and black beans and cook for another minute or two. Add salt and pepper at the end and stir to combine.
- Slice the sweet potato in half lengthwise. Using a fork, gently mash the flesh to loosen and fluff. Sprinkle in some salt and pepper.
- Layer with the avocado crema and black beans by the spoonful. Garnish with green onion, a pinch of chili powder and cumin, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.