Meal Four with the Base Chop: Black Bean and Sweet Potato Stew

Here is a dish you can eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner for the next two days and not get tired of it!  Okay, grab two cups of the base chop and toss it in Grandma’s cooking pot.  Ours belonged to Roger’s grandmother.

What liquid to saute with?  Well, as you’ll see I’m going for a kinda Caribbean balance of sweet and tangy.  So perfect use for that apple wine we didn’t really enjoy drinking but is fun to cook with…

This morning I peeled about 8 sweet potatoes, cubed them, spritzed them with olive oil and tossed them with chili powder (to taste), 2 tsp. kosher salt and 2 tsp. black pepper.  Then I dumped the whole thing onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and stuck it in the oven for about thirty minutes, until the cubes were soft and nicely browned.  I’m thinking you can also simmer the sweet potatoes after you’ve sauteed the veggies in about four cups of water (but I didn’t do it this way.)

Once your veggies have softened, add four cups of water, three cups of ground peeled tomatoes (you can use one can, but I wouldn’t use as much as two), a can of rinsed black beans and the juice of three oranges. I also tossed in about a tablespoon of cumin, 1 tablespoon orange zest and a heaping tsp. of fresh ginger.  In addition, I put in 1/2 cup ‘tropical fire’ sauce, which I’ll be writing about in another post.  You can mimic this for the time being by adding chopped hot peppers or chili powder and something sweet–some chopped mango or pineapple, or even some agave nectar.  You are trying to balance the sweet/spiciness of the dish.  Simmer for a minute or two and taste, adjusting the seasonings.

Rinse 3/4 cup quinoa in a sieve and toss this in.  The quinoa will expand and your stew (which may be a little soupy now) will thicken up considerably.  Simmer this for 15-20 minutes until the quinoa has softened.  Ladle into bowls and serve.  I didn’t put much salt in this dish (it comes with the tomatoes and the beans), so I like topping the stew with chopped roasted peanuts and toasted coconut.  You decide. The crunchy texture is really nice.

Black bean and sweet potato stew


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