Cheese, Black Beans, and Corn-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Crema
Healthy meals that are fast, easy, and don’t taste like health food are my kind of meals.
And this is right up my alley for warm, hearty, vegan, gluten-free comfort food.
I could live on squash, steamed Brussels sprouts, and spoonfuls of Honey Roasted Butterscotch White Chocolate Peanut Butter, but for my family’s sake, I try to get a bit more creative.
These cheesy stuffed sweet potatoes are a great way to spruce things up, but in a very low-key and easy way. They’re ready from start to finish in 15 minutes, and they’re a family favorite.
The recipe is written for one sweet potato, but if you need more, double, quadruple, etc.
Begin by microwaving one sweet potato for about 7 to 10 minutes, depending on the size. You could roast the potato in the oven for about 45 minutes, but I don’t want to run my oven that long for just one potato, and I don’t find the micro compromises the taste or texture.
Since I usually one make 1 or 2 potatoes at a time, the micro is great for me, but if you’re making 4 to 6 potatoes, the oven is likely a better choice.
I stuffed the potato with Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar Salsa. If you don’t have a TJ’s, use a chunky, hearty, texture-laden bean and corn salsa instead. There are so many to choose from in most grocery stores.
You can also use canned blacked beans, canned or frozen corn, and hit it with a little chipotle seasoning, but I think prepared salsas are a big time saver, and they’re always packed with flavor.
Top with shredded cheese (or vegan cheese) and pop it under the broiler just until the cheese is bubbly.
Watch your potatoes closely so they don’t burn. Broilers are very unforgiving.
For added flavor, plant-based creaminess, and some healthy fat to help me feel full and satisfied, I made avocado crema for drizzling. It’s optional, and if you prefer plain potatoes, great.
Simply blend together avocado, sour cream, lime juice, and salt before drizzling over the potatoes. It’s creamy and cooling against the spicier salsa-stuffed potatoes, and adds so much extra flavor. The lime juice and avocado, along with the cilantro garnish, really add a Mexican or Southwestern-inspired flair.
The only caveat with the avocado crema is that it makes more than you’ll use for one sweet potato. You could use half of an avo and half of a lime, but that’s silly to me, and I may as well just blend all of it. After the photos were done, drizzling turned into drenching. I used about 8 times what’s shown. Not photogenic, but highly tasty.
The extra is great as a guacamole-like dip for chips. If you’re making 4 or 6 potatoes to serve a larger crowd, you won’t have any issue using it all at once.
The soft sweet potato flesh, the crispy skin, the chunky texture of the filling, and the melted cheese, contrasted with the smooth avocado crema, provide so many textures in every bite.
Between the protein in the beans and cheese, the healthy fats in the avo, the fiber from the corn, beans, potato, and avocado, the potatoes are very hearty and will keep you full for hours. No meat necessary.
If you have no idea what to make for dinner, but know you don’t have much time to do it in, yet don’t want to break your caloric or financial budget with takeout or delivery, here you go.
Sticking to those New Years resolutions is easy.
Cheese, Black Beans, and Corn-Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Avocado Crema (vegan, gluten-free)
A healthy, filling, vegan, and gluten free meal by way of a sweet potato. There’s protein from the beans and cheese, and fiber in the corn, beans, avocado, and sweet potato keep you full and satisfied for hours. The rich creaminess of the avocado cream adds healthy fats and luscious creaminess to the hearty, texture-stuffed potato. Recipe is written for 1 sweet potato, but double, triple, quadruple, etc. the recipe as needed. Avocado crema portion of the recipe makes more than you’ll need for 1 sweet potato, but I prefer to use 1 avocado and 1 lime rather than halving them. I use the extra as a guacamole-like dip with chips. If you’re making 3-4+ sweet potatoes, you won’t have any issue using it up right away.
Sweet Potato and Filling
1 medium/large sweet potato
heaping 1/2 cup corn and black bean salsa (I used Trader Joe’s Cowboy Caviar Salsa, or use a similar chunky corn and bean salsa; or use about 1/4 cup cooked/canned black beans and 1/4 cup cooked frozen/canned corn)
salt and pepper, optional and to taste
heaping 1/4 cup shredded cheese blend (Mexican, Pepper Jack, Monterrey, vegan cheese, etc.)
1 medium ripe Hass avocado, peeled and de-seeded, reserving a small portion for garnishing
1/4 cup sour cream (or vegan sour cream)
2 tablespoons lime juice (from about medium 1 lime)
pinch salt, to taste
water, if necessary
cilantro, optional for garnishing
- Sweet Potato and Filling – Pierce potato with fork a few times before cooking in microwave on high power for about 7 minutes (medium) to 10 minutes (large). Cook until fork tender and done; don’t overcook because potato will be broiled briefly. I micro 1 potato for 7- 10 minutes, and 2 potatoes for about 10-13 minutes. This varies by potato size and micro strength. Alternatively, roast potatoes in a 375F oven for about 45 minutes, or until fork tender and done.
- While potato is in micro, preheat oven to broiler setting.
- Remove potato from micro and slice in half lengthwise on a cutting board.
- Hollow out a center column of each half with a spoon. I don’t remove any flesh, but just redistribute it so the center column is a bit shallower to make room for the filling, and there’s more flesh built up around the edges.
- Place the halves on a non-stick baking sheet.
- Evenly divide the corn and bean salsa between each potato half.
- Optionally add salt and pepper to taste
- Evenly top each potato half with cheese.
- Broil for about 3 minutes, or just until cheese begins to melt and is bubbly. Keep a very close eye on them so they don’t burn. Remove from oven and set aside to cool momentarily. While potatoes cool, make the avocado crema.
- Avocado Crema – In the canister of a food processor or blender (mini food processors work great here), combine most of the avocado (reserving a small portion of chunks or slices for garnishing and set it aside), sour cream, lime juice, salt to taste, and blend until smooth and creamy. If mixture is thick, add water 1 tablespoon at a time until desired consistency is reached. Drizzle avocado creama over potato.
- Garnish with reserved avocado and optional cilantro. Potatoes are best enjoyed warm and fresh. Extra avocado crema will keep airtight in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours, noting that some oxidation will occur.
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