Roasted sweet potato burrito bowls

My latest foray into “how can I feed more people, more often,” is hosting a monthly book club. But my friends love everything from teeny-bopper vampire tales to gut-wrenching memoirs to aspirational career books – why would we want to read the same thing (that every other book club in the country is probably reading)?

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So we don’t. Each month we pick a theme, and read a book of our choice. Not only have we not spoiled a book for someone, we actually talk about books – plus, we get recommendations (on what to read – and what NOT to read).

I try to match the menu with both the theme and any dietary restrictions (in this case, vegetarian and gluten free). March’s theme was luck, so I wanted something green – but real green, not processed green. Enter roasted sweet potato bowls with green rice. Barely adapted from Cookie and Kate, these bowls were a HUGE hit – and I made a HUGE amount. This recipe could be halved (and even quartered) if you want a more manageable dinner. It multiplies well, is super filling and also really healthy. (We made up for that with dessert. And wine.)

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You’ll need:
Green rice
  • 3 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 c brown rice
  • 6 c broth (veggie or chicken)
  • 2 16 oz. bags frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed of liquid
  • 3/4 c cilantro
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 large red onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • Juice of one lime
  • Salt to taste
Sweet potatoes
  • 5-6 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into bite-sized chunks
  • Olive oil to drizzle
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 t paprika
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • Zest of one lime
  • Salt to taste
Black beans
  • 3 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 c salsa (any is fine)
  • 2 T chili powder
  • 1 T cumin
  • 1 t cinnamon
  • 1/2 t cayenne
  • Juice of two limes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
Garnishes
  • Avocado
  • Salsa
  • Cilantro
  • Queso fresco or chipotle cheddar
  • Lime wedges
  • Minced jalapeno
  • Sour cream

Get cooking:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Toss sweet potato with olive oil and spices, spread in one layer onto one large or two smaller baking sheets. (I use stones, so I don’t have to grease, but you may want to spray/parchment your pans. As long as they’re rimmed, you’re fine.) Bake, turning once or twice, until browned and fork tender (35-40 minutes.)
  2. For the green rice, blend vegetables in a blender or food processor until smooth. (You can thin out with broth if you need, it’ll depend on how much water your spinach has.) Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat, until shimmering but not smoking. Add rice, stirring and browning lightly. Stir in green blend, cook for a minute, then add broth and boil. Once it’s boiling, cover, lower heat to a simmer, and cook until rice is tender (35-45 minutes.) Once it’s done, remove the lid, cover the top of the pan with a paper towel and replace the lid (this soaks up excess moisture and helps the rice stay separated.)
  3. For the beans, combine ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until other ingredients are done. You can smash-up some of the beans if you want a more “refried” texture, or leave them whole.
  4. Once everything is finished, serve buffet style with all the garnishes, and let people assemble their own bowls. Serves 8 with a fair amount of leftovers.

 

Roasted Brussels Sprout Quinoa bake

I’ve managed to make the hubs love of a lot of things he thought he hated. Steak. Bell peppers. Broccoli. Spicy food. (Well, not spicy to me, but I can actually use sriracha now.) But nothing has shocked me as much as his absolute obsession with Brussels sprouts. Brussels sprouts seem to be the “hot new trend” in food – mostly, I think, because everyone thought they hated them. Including David. Until someone got the genius idea to roast them. Now, he loves them with everything.

He also is not a huge fan of me suggesting ‘meatless’ night. But this gem, via Cookie and Kate, may have changed his mind. I did serve this with a pork tenderloin, but it would have been plenty on its own. Warm, filling and actually good for you, this is a beautiful dish for entertaining, yet easy enough for any night of the week.

Roasted Brussels Sprout Quinoa Bake
Roasted Brussels Sprout Quinoa Bake – aka, David’s new favorite meal.

You’ll need:

  • 1.5 – 2 lbs. Brussels sprouts
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 2 cups water or stock
  • 1 cup milk (I used skim)
  • 6-8 oz. assorted cheese (I used buttermilk blue and swiss – the sharper you go, the less you need)
  • 3/4 cup hard cheese, grated (for the top – I used piave vecchio, but whatever you like works fine.)
  • 2 T olive oil
  • 1/2 t red pepper flakes
  • 1 t thyme
  • 1 t oregano
  • 1 t basil
  • 1/2 t paprika
  • Salt and pepper

Get cooking:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Cook quinoa in water/broth for 12-15 minutes, until liquid is gone (check your package, you may need to rinse your quinoa first.)
  3. Slice your sprouts in half (or quarters if they’re huge), toss with oil, salt and pepper, and roast for 10-12 minutes. (Just until they get some color, they’ll finish cooking later.)
  4. Once quinoa is done, mix in milk, cheese and spices. Add in sprouts, pour into a baking dish (mine was 1.5 quarts, but an 8×8 works), top with shredded cheese and bake 12-15 minutes, until top is just browning.
  5. Let rest 5-10 minutes before serving.

Serves 4-6 as a main, 6-8 as a side.