I’m of the opinion that every household should have at least one never-fail bog-standard one-pot-wonder recipe kept up their sleeve. Preferably one that can be made in industrial sized quantities and frozen – just for those nights when all you want to do is collapse on the couch and never move again. Of course, take-away might appear to be the more obvious solution in these circumstances, but unless you pay for delivery that option involves going somewhere and at the very least calling up to place your order. Though nowadays more and more places are offering ‘order online’ options, so technically in some cases you don’t even have to call up. I’m still trying to wrap my head around that. Heck, until I was eleven we lived in a country town so small that there was no takeaway option. Frozen pizza singles were as exciting as it got.
This mexi-bean dish fits the specifications previously mentioned like a glove. It can also be pretty exciting to come home after a long day knowing that you have a healthy homemade meal to whip out of the freezer and blitz in the microwave. Can you tell I haven’t moved on much from the pizza single days? Please don’t confuse this dish with a vegetarian chilli con carne. It’s not. The distinction between the two is marginal, however it is less spicy than a chilli (in my mind that has to be pretty damn hot) and contains more veggies and less beans/veggie mince. You may disagree with my reasons and that’s totally fine. It’s just that I need to distinguish between the two because if my sister requests chilli and I mistakenly serve her this I will be met with a stony stare and “that’s not chilli” in a deadpan voice.
The roasted sweet potato boats add an interesting twist and are baked in the oven whilst the mexi-beans bubble away on the stove top. You can most definitely throw the mexi-beans on top of a bowl of brown rice, corn chips or mashed potatoes instead. Last week I froze it in lunch sized portions and simply transferred a container to the fridge the night before. In the morning I grated some cheese over it and by lunchtime it was completely defrosted and ready to eat – if you’re wondering, it tastes perfectly fine cold! So if you hadn’t already picked up on it, the versatility is a big plus. (By the way, how do you get across sarcasm in a blog? It beats me).
To wrap things up, this isn’t the best Mexican inspired meal I have ever eaten and it probably isn’t even in my top five. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t still taste pretty damn good. As I said in the first paragraph it’s a never-fail, bog-standard, one-pot-wonder weeknight recipe. Yup, I just wanted to be able to write that again. But it is true…make a batch and see for yourself.
Mexi-Beans on Roasted Sweet Potato Boats
3 small sweet potatoes (they should total less than 500g)
1 tbsp sunflower oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp chilli powder
¼ tsp paprika
½ tsp dried oregano
2 tbsp tomato paste
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 small zucchini, cut into 1.5cm dice
1 green capsicum, cut into 1.5cm dice
200g corn kernels
400g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
Big handful fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
Sour cream/avocado/grated cheese to serve
Preheat the oven to 200C. Wash the sweet potatoes, trim any ‘nasty bits’ and prick several times with the tip of a sharp knife. Place on a baking tray and bake for approximately 40 minutes, or until you can insert a fork with little resistance. Some bubbly explosions may occur but never fear – it’s just the juices caramelising.
Place a large saucepan over a medium heat and drizzle in the oil. Once warm, add the onion and cook for five minutes, stirring once or twice, or until very soft and light golden in colour. Reduce the heat, add the garlic, cumin, coriander, paprika and chilli powder and cook, stirring, for one minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring regularly, for a further two minutes.
Pour in the stock and tinned tomatoes, stir well and increase the heat. Tip in the vegetables and kidney beans. Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. Remove the lid and cook for a further 20 minutes or until the liquid has reduced and thickened a little. Stir in the coriander leaves (reserve some for garnishing) and season well with salt and pepper.
To serve, cut the sweet potato in half lengthways and hollow it out a little to create a slight dip. Stir any ‘scrapings’ through the bean mixture. Dollop spoonful’s of the bean mixture over the top of the sweet potato and sprinkle with extra coriander. Serve with sour cream/avocado/grated cheese.
Source: A Taste Without Waste original.