Quick and Easy Black Bean Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Attempting to lead hardened meat-lovers towards a plant-based diet is difficult. Black Bean Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes goes a long way in getting them to stop saying, “some chicken would taste nice in this.” That’s a huge hurdle is jumped.
Moving folks closer to a plant-based diet is hard. The biggest issue is the mindset. When I was a vegetarian over twenty years ago, I have to admit, vegetarian food was boring and tasteless unless you ate Indian. There was salad, potatoes, pasta, and cooked veg — western European food without meat. I would go into the local co-op buying canned soups and chili, and honestly, they weren’t delicious. Add in fact, that people believed it isn’t going to be filling as meat and that it is expensive, it is a tough sell.
Times have changed.
With an influx of spices, veggies, and cooking techniques from around the globe, vegetarian food has become more robust with flavors and textures. One of my goals in writing Well Worn Apron is to share with folks that plant-based meals are just as tasty, filling, and affordable as meals incorporating meat. Don’t be afraid to use spices, onions, and garlic in your cooking. In my kitchen, I use a lot of chili powder, ground cumin, smoked paprika, thyme, dill, rosemary, gram masala, and curry powder. Pack your fridge with bottled minced garlic, ginger, and lemongrass. I keep spice mixes such as Montreal and Lemon Pepper seasonings. And eating more plant-based meals doesn’t have to be expensive if you stock your pantry. Buy lentils, beans, coconut milk, and veggie broth in bulk then add in the fresh veg or frozen veg. Slow cookers are great for vegetarian meals.
Black Bean Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes is an excellent recipe to sample as a yummy vegetarian meal. Even though my photo doesn’t do the meal justice. It tastes pretty darn good.
Black Bean Quinoa Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- - 6 small sweet potatoes
- - 1 cup cooked quinoa
- - 1 tablespoon olive oil
- - 1 yellow onion — diced
- - 1 red or yellow bell pepper — diced
- - 1 jalapeño — cored, seeded, and finely chopped
- - 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
- - 2 teaspoons minced cloves garlic
- - 2 teaspoons chili powder
- - 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
- - 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- - 1 (15-ounce) can black beans — rinsed and drained
- - 1/2 cup nonfat plain Greek yogurt or sour cream
- - Juice from 1 lime
- - 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
- - Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- - Line rimmed baking sheet with foil.
- - Scrub sweet potatoes, pat dry, and prick sweet potatoes with fork.
- - Place on the prepared baking sheet and bake until fork tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size.
- - Remove from the oven and let rest until cool enough to handle. Leave the oven turned on.
- - Meanwhile, cook the quinoa according to package instructions. You should have about 1 cup cooked total. Set aside.
- While the sweet potatoes bake and the quinoa cooks, prepare the filling.
- - Heat the olive oil in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium.
- - Add the onion, bell pepper, jalapeño, and salt.
- - Cook until the vegetables soften and the onion begins to brown.
- - Add the garlic, chili powder, smoked paprika, and cumin.
- - Stir to coat the vegetables in the spices, then cook until the spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- - Stir in the black beans and quinoa. Remove from the heat.
- - Stir in the sour cream/yogurt, lime juice, and 1/2 cup cheese.
- - Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired.
- Assemble the meal.
- - With a fork, make a split then open the split and lightly fluff the insides to make space for the toppings.
- - Place the sweet potatoes back on the baking sheet, then stuff with the quinoa–black bean mixture - Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top, then return the sweet potatoes to the oven.
- - Cook until the filling is heated through and the cheese melts, about 5 minutes.
A Tasty and Easy Sunday Brunch Sausage Egg Cheese Casserole
Having a Sunday brunch at home is a new concept for me. I have always lived somewhere where Sunday Brunch was readily available at many restaurants. Not so where we live now. Restaurants have yet to embrace it and actually be open on Sundays. The ones that are serve buffet-style dinners of BBQ and fried chicken. No eggs. No pastries. Nada.
I decided to have friends over for a Sunday brunch instead of making dinner as I usually do. I had big ideas of making Dutch and German breakfast pastries. The recipes were ready to go; however, I had had a crazy week and frankly wasn’t feeling so great. Going simple was the way to go. That’s where Sunday Brunch Sausage Egg Cheese Casserole came into the picture. This was the second time I have ever made a breakfast casserole. No clue why a casserole never enters my mind when it comes to breakfast.
Sausage Egg Cheese Casserole is a super quick and easy dish. The ingredient listed could not be simpler: sausage, eggs, milk, seasoned croutons, and cheese. Due the fact I was cooking a sweet dish such as croissant chocolate bread pudding to compliment the savory, I had whole milk on had, but low fat milk should do well. I used pork sausage; however, a spicy turkey sausage would work. Moisture can be an issue with this type of casserole so adding more than 2 cups of milk maybe worth doing. That is it. In sixty minutes you can have a homemade breakfast casserole to serve on Sunday.
Sunday Brunch Sausage Egg Cheese Casserole Recipe
- 1 pkg. roll sausage
- 6 eggs
- 2-2.5 cups milk
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 pkgs. (5 ounces each) seasoned croutons
- 2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
- Heat oven to 350 F.
- Cook sausage in large skillet over medium heat thoroughly cooked, stirring frequently. Draining if needed.
- Beat eggs, milk and mustard in large bowl with a wire whisk until well blended.
- Add bread cubes; stir gently until evenly coated.
- Stir in sausage and 1 ½ cups cheese.
- Pour into lightly greased 13×9-inch baking dish; sprinkle with remaining cheese.
- Bake 40-45 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.
My hands smell like fresh tomatoes and basil just picked from the garden… and chopped garlic. Glorious smells. Smells, which say something wonderful is being prepared.
In the time it takes to boil water and cook pasta you can have this wonderful sauce. This is a no-cook sauce. It is so fresh. And it is so simple.
Pull out the food processor. A cutting board and a knife.
Quarter 1.5 pounds of beefsteak tomatoes. I would only use garden ripened tomatoes or ones gotten from a local farmer’s market. The key is to have the tomatoes bursting with flavor.
Put the quartered tomatoes in the food process, add one clove of chopped garlic, some olive, salt, and pepper. Give it a whirl to puree the mixture.
Drain the pasta, spoon the sauce over the pasta, then add the chopped fresh basil mixing gently. Grate some fresh parmesan cheese on the top.
You’ve got dinner. In a flash. And healthy.