Thursday, December 13, 2007

Black Beans + Rice w/ Sweet Potato Cubes

Fortunately or not, I did not grow up eating sweet potatoes. Sure, I may have unknowingly consumed one at some point in time, but I honestly have no recollection of doing so. Thus, I have no preconceived notions about them, or how they're "supposed" to be prepared.

On one hand, that's a bit of a bad thing, if only because it prevents me from commiserating with people who obsess about their love/hate relationships with those sweet potato-marshmallow conglomerations that are often served on Thanksgiving.

On the other hand, it's a really good thing, because it means that I tend to work with sweet potatoes in exactly the same manner as I do with plain ol' white potatoes. And since I LOVE potatoes in general, it's nice to have zero boundaries when it comes to cooking with all varieties of spuds.

Thus, this post is dedicated to a delicious combo of two of my fav foods: black beans and potatoes. Now, even if you're prejudiced against sweet potatoes, or can't imagine eating them with something other than sugar, you have to try this dish. It's soooo scrumptious that I took the fist bite and immediately started kicking myself for not coming up with it sooner.

For real.

Recipe: Black Beans + Rice w/ Sweet Potato Cubes

Black Beans:
2 cans black beans (partially drained)
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/3 jalapeño, seeded & minced
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. Kosher salt, + more to taste
olive oil for sautéing

Sweet Potato Cubes:
3 - 4 sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed
2 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. Kosher salt (+ more after potatoes are done)
pinch cayenne pepper
1 Tbsp. (or more) olive oil

*Brown rice & cilantro are also required for this dish; sour cream/vegan sour cream, optional.
**Note: Feel free to use more or less of each spice according to your personal preference.

1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees F, & grease small baking dish.
2.) Place potatoes in large bowl, add remaining "Sweet Potato Cube" ingredients, & mix to coat. Add more olive oil if spices are not sticking.
3.) Pour potatoes into baking dish, & cook for approximately 35 mins, stirring half-way through.
4.) Next, prepare brown rice according to package directions.
5.) Meanwhile, add olive oil to sauce pan & heat on medium-high. Add onion, garlic, & jalapeño, & sauté until soft.
6.) Add cumin & cayenne pepper to onion mixture, stirring until fragrant, about 45 seconds.
7.) Next, add black beans, tomatoes, & salt to pan. Continue cooking over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thoroughly heated.
8.) Finally, after potatoes & beans have finished cooking, place cooked rice in serving bowl, & top with beans & sweet potato cubes. Sprinkle extra salt on top, garnish with freshly chopped cilantro, & add sour cream/vegan sour cream (optional).

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Yep, sheer deliciousness is peeking out of that bowl...

black beans and rice with sweet potatoes


  1. YUM! Black beans, lentils and sweet potato are 3 of my favourite foods so how could I resist them together?!?!

    I've never eaten sweet potato as a sweet dish, it's always been a savoury food for me, I use it to fill burrito's, I use it in crepes, I use it in casseroles and soups. I love the stuff. I can't imagine it with sugar! Something about that idea scares me.

  2. Errr sorry, not sure where I got lentils from. But it still sounds like something I'd love :P

  3. LOL, Vegetation!

    Don't worry about the lentil thing, you might have just inadvertently come up with a great variation on this dish!


  4. I'm one of the weirdos who has only eaten sweet potatoes with a sugary component. While adding beans and rice definitely does strike me as unusual, I love black beans and I love any kind of potato, so I bet it's delicious!

  5. I absolutely LOVE black beans & rice, but have never really been too keen on potatoes... but your addition of the sweet potatoes sounds so perfect with this dish, I think I must give them a second chance!! :0)

  6. ohhhhhh your sweet cubes would never make it into the rest of the recipe for me - I'd eat them all first >_<

    looks great

  7. i didn't grow up on sweet potatoes either, but now that i've tried them, i'm in love! black beans with sweet potatoes sounds like a great duo; i've had rice bowls before with black beans and mango (salsa) and those are yummy together as well!

  8. I never ate sweet potatoes as a kid either. Actualyl I don't think I reall ate them until going vegan. And even though I like the sweet varieties, I love doing it up savory as well. You don't have to convince me, I think black beans and sweet potatoes are the perfect combo!!

  9. Love your blog!

    Sweet potatoes and black beans are a joy I've only recently discovered, and now I can't get enough. I also like to smash a sweet potato in a tortilla and fill it up with beans, onions, and peppers. I will definitely have to try this recipe!

  10. Trackback

    Love your blog.

  11. I am like years late to this, but this recipe is the bomb! Sooooo yummy

    1. Fact: You're NEVER too late to leave such a nice comment! :)

      I'm glad you liked this - it's one of those recipes I come back to again & again! Sweet potatoes & black beans are pretty close to heaven on a plate...


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