OK, now before you say anything, I do, in fact, realize this dish isn’t the most Pinterest-worthy looks-wise. But this is comfort food central, and is comfort food ever super-beautiful looking? My dad’s favorite is one called Slop Dinner. It’s literally called slop. Slop, slop, sloppy.
That being said, this dish has all the comfort and all the deliciousness, just without all the looks. I’ve been exclusively craving comfort food lately. I don’t know what it is, it’s not like we have snow, ice and are all hiding under parkas here. Although we did have three rainy, gloomy days last week, oh and um, everyone in the country was in town driving me bonkers because it took me an extra 30 minutes to get everywhere, including walking one block in my own neighborhood. Then there’s the four-year-old I recently started babysitting.
She asked about my husband and kids. When I told her I don’t have either she gave me the most confused look I’ve ever seen on a child’s face, then proceeded to ask me if I was a little kid. So then I explained I’m not little, but the judge still hasn’t made his decision on the whole child thing … just kidding, I told her I was at least trying to be an adult and then—wait a minute, I want to build up the anticipation a bit.
She tried to give me a toy. A toy, you guys. She looked at me with the saddest little glint in her eye and told me, “You need it more than I do.” I’ve officially been pitied by a four-year-old. Because if I’m not a child, the absence of a husband and kids in my life just makes me a sad, lonely adult. Yikes. Pass me all the comfort food. All of it. Now. Even if it looks like Mexican-Style Black Bean-Smothered Sweet Potatoes as long as it tastes like Mexican-Style Black Bean-Smothered Sweet Potatoes.
The smoky, spicy, black bean, tomato and chile mixture (probably one of my mom’s most famous recipes, and one of my favorites) perfectly compliments the creamy, warm, sweet flavor of the vibrant potatoes. At first I wasn’t sure this combo was going to work and then I took a bite, immediately remembered these Veggie Burrito Bowls and simultaneously fell in love. And you know what the best thing about this comforting comfort food is? It’s all veggie-packed and topped with protein, fiber and nutrients in that way that’s actually good for you. Healthful comfort food. Take that, four-year-old.
- 2 sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 16 oz can black beans, rinsed
- 1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes with chile
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon chile powder
- Handful cilantro, chopped
- Juice of ½ lime
- Optional: avocado and queso fresco for topping
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub, dry and poke holes in the potatoes with a fork. Bake for 45 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a medium pot over medium-high heat. Saute onion and garlic until tender and aromatic. Add in black beans, toss and allow to saute for about one minute.
- Stir in the undrained diced tomatoes, cumin and chile powder. Once the mixture begins to bubble, turn the heat to low and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Remove from heat, stir in cilantro and lime juice. Cut the potatoes in half and lightly fluff with a fork. Top each half with the black bean mixture as well as the avocado, queso fresco, fresh cilantro and a lime wedge if desired.