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.

 

Chorizo Sloppy Joes with Tomatillo Salsa

A lot of my best dishes start as inspiration from other blogs. One of my favorites is Annie’s Eats – even as a working mother, she finds time to create delicious and healthy meals from scratch. And as the mama bear of my friends, I’m usually cooking for one or more of my cubs (plus the hubs) every night of the week. Food is my love language, and since I love a lot of people, I need a lot of fast, fun and healthy ideas.

Chorizo black bean sammie
All the best in Mexican food – chorizo, black beans, cheese, salsa, cheese…

The beauty of this recipe lies in its adaptability. Making it for a vegetarian? Just use all black beans (or add crumbled veggies patties/sausage.) Gluten free? Switch out the bun. Dairy free? Hold the cheese. I served this with a Mexican vegetable soup, but you could also serve with chips and salsa.

You’ll need: 

Sandwiches

  • ½ lb. Mexican chorizo (Spanish is usually fully cooked – Mexican has the consistency of breakfast sausage, but you’ll need to cut it out of the case.)
  • 2 15 oz. cans black beans
  • 1 large onion
  • 2-3 bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup Mexican beer (or any lager)
  • 4 rolls (I used pretzel rolls, YUM.)
  • 8 oz. cheese (I used Iberico because I got some on clearance, queso fresco or manchego would be good too.)
  • Sliced avocado

 Salsa

  • 8 – 10 tomatillos, cleaned and quarter chopped
  • 2  cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, torn off stems
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Splash of water
  • Salt to taste

Get cooking:

Salsa

  1. Pulse all ingredients in food processor until finely chopped. (Or whatever consistency you like – it’s really up to you.)
  2. Spread on sandwiches.

Sandwiches

  1. Saute chorizo until it releases some of its fat (2-3 minutes), then add in onions and bell peppers, and saute until chorizo is cooked through (7-8 minutes) and onions/peppers are soft.
  2. Deglaze pan with beer and cook until reduced by half.
  3. Spoon on rolls with cheese, avocado and salsa.