Last night, I went to dinner with good friends in an area of town I do not frequent often. By the time we left the restaurant the clouds had lifted, the rain stopped, and although there was a slight chill in the air, walking though Mala Strana was a beautiful way to end our evening out. Recently, I have been making an effort to look around me with fresh eyes when I am walking to and from familiar places. I find that in my daily commute I often become detached from the beautiful city I live in and miss out on some amazing views! Continuing my efforts to notice new things, I mapped my long run to include streets I don’t usually walk on. I noticed a really beautiful church in the Karlin neighborhood. I saw a new Mama Coffee location on a street close to a friends house. I also noticed a really long set of stairs that would be great for cross-training on.
By the time I was finished with my run, I was STARVING! But after an evening filled with four types of beef, I was NOT in the mood for animal protein to regenerate my muscles. In fact, I have been trying to get my protein through other natural sources such as quinoa and beans. I had a friend stopping by for lunch and a few hours of working on a project. That meant I needed to prepare something both healthy and Gluten Free!
I recently saw this recipe on the Biggest Loser. (Yes, I am publicly admitting that I watch an American reality television show.) Reality TV or not, these people are struggling with real issues of obesity, emotional eating and low self esteem! I often find myself crying throughout the episodes because to some degree I do understand what they are going through. I have come very far on the journey of maintaining a hefty weight loss, and I understand the challenges of emotional eating, gaining weight, and hiding behind food and fat! Well, lucky for me today, I had two sweet potatoes that needed to be used. So I loaded them with spicy black beans then topped it with fresh tomato and avocado. Yum! I would have preferred a few jalapenos on top or fresh salsa but it is not necessary… the flavors in this are very tasty! You can feel good about eating this loaded potato. Enjoy!
Loaded Sweet Potato with Spicy Black Beans
ingredients: 1 small red pepper (diced), 1/3 of fresh chili (finely diced), 1 clove garlic (chopped), 1 teaspoon ground cumin, 1 teaspoon dried koriander, 1 tablespoon fresh flat leaf parsley (chopped), 1 can low sodium black beans (drained and rinsed), half a ripe avocado, 5-6 plum tomatoes (chopped), 1/2 lime
Optional: You can additionally top this with your favorite cheese, sour cream, or salsa for added flavor and creativeness.
Fork the sweet potatoes 6-8 times each, wrap in tin foil and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C or 375 degrees F for approx 30-45 minutes. (Length of baking time depends on the size of your potatoes!)
Heat 1 tsp olive oil in a medium saucepan.
Add garlic, koriander, cumin, and fresh chili. Heat for 3 minutes then add red pepper.
When peppers are soft add black beans and squeeze the juice of 1/2 fresh lime.
Cook on a low heat for 8-10 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
Just before the potatoes are finished, add and stir the parsley into the beans.
Stuff the baked potatoes with the black bean mixture then top with the avocado and tomatoes.
Eat it up!