Sweet Potato + Black Bean Salad

sweet potato + black bean salad

Years ago now, when my husband used to run the kitchen and bakery at Ouderkirk & Taylor Hand-Crafted Foods in downtown Guelph, this salad was one of his staple items. Sometimes he’d bring a tub of it home for me and I’d devour it, often as a salsa with tortilla chips. It’s packed with flavour and nutrition-dense fuel to help you do what you need to do, and it’s a great potluck salad or party salsa (with corn chips and a big bowl of guacamole).

4 cups cooked black beans
4 cups roasted sweet potato, diced into 1/4 inch cubes
2 ½ roasted red peppers, diced
1/2 medium red onion, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 ½ cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro
1 ¾ cups canned whole tomatoes, in their liquid
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons olive oil
6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

Soak the black beans overnight, then bring to a boil in plenty of salted water and cook until soft.  Alternatively, use canned black beans.

Peel and dice the sweet potato, and toss with a little olive oil and salt and pepper.  Then roast in the oven for approximately 20-30 minutes at 350°F.

In a large bowl, combine onions, garlic, the tomato (not the canned), and roasted red peppers with the spices.  When the beans have cooled, add them to the mix.

Measure out 1 ¾ cups canned tomatoes with their liquid.  Then, take the tomatoes out of the liquid and blend just the tomatoes in a food processor.  Add blended tomatoes with the separate tomato liquid, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil, and vinegar to the bean mixture.

Gently fold in sweet potato.

sweet potato bean salad

A little food for thought?

Taken from The 30-Day Vegan Challenge by Colleen Patrick Goudreau:

Rethinking Meat Cravings – Salt and Fat Taste Good

Let’s talk about one of the great misnomers about humans and meat. I’ve heard countless well-meaning people say things like “I tried eating vegetarian, but I just craved meat” or “Humans were meant to eat meat – just look at my teeth.” And then they point to those dull little eyeteeth that would shame any member of the cat family. Have you ever seen the teeth of a true carnivore? They don’t resemble human teeth at all. The teeth of obligate carnivores are meant for piercing flesh; their incisors are meant to strip flesh from bones.

Beyond teeth, when we compare the anatomy of humans with that of herbivorous animals and of carnivorous animals, physiologically, we resemble the herbivores substantially more than we do the carnivores.

Humans don’t crave the flesh, sinews, tendons, muscles, and blood of animals. Obligate carnivores do, such as lions and other members of the cat family; indeed they would die without animal flesh. What’s more is that they don’t grapple with a moral dilemma or find themselves in an ethical quandary when they contemplate their meals. We do.

Not only do we humans survive without animal-based meat, we thrive without it. We have thousands of plant foods from which to choose, bringing us both pleasure and optimal health. We do not crave the flesh of other animals, but what we do crave is fat, salt, flavor, texture, and familiarity, and all of these are found in plant foods.

Unfortunately, we’ve all been conditioned to think of the form of our craving (meat, dairy, and eggs) rather than the source of it (salt, fat, flavor, etc.). So when we think we’re craving “meat,” we’re most likely craving one or all of these elements.

Thanks, Colleen!  Find her website here.




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