No. 82: Black Bean Bowl with Sweet Potato + Bonus Enchilada Recipe

Ah, Wednesday. Hump day. When I always start to ask, "Gosh, what sounds good for dinner?"

I had plans for a salmon dish, but one look at Mr. McCormick's reaction told me it would be best to skip it for another night.

To the pantry I went, to see what we had on hand. Luckily, plenty!

Black Bean Bowl

This veggie bowl made good use of several of my kitchen staples: brown rice, sweet potato, black beans and kale. I also love any recipe that combines sweet potato and black beans (see bonus recipe below).


Serves 2
I large sweet potato, diced
1 small red onion, diced
2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, divided
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3 cups loosely packed chopped kale
1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 3.8 ounce can sliced black olives, drained*
2 cups cooked brown rice
1/3 cup chopped cilantro*
2 limes, cut into wedges

*Skipped the olives because we aren't fans and the cilantro because I forgot it. The latter would have been so good though!

To make

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place sweet potato on a foil lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Gently toss.

Sweet potato

(Promise these were really sweet potatoes, despite the yellow color.)

Place diced red onion on another small foil lined baking sheet and toss with oil, salt and pepper.

Roast sweet potato and onion for 20 minutes. Remove onion and continue roasting sweet potoato until golden and cooked through, about 10 more minutes.

While potato and onions roast, start cooking your rice (if you haven't already). Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over over medium heat and add chopped kale. Season with salt and pepper and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder. Sauté for approximately 3 to 5 minutes, until wilted and cooked through lightly. Transfer kale to a large bowl and allow to cool to room temperature.

In the same skillet, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil over medium heat and add black beans. Season beans with salt and pepper, cumin and 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder. Heat through for about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and add bean mixture to bowl with sautéed kale.

Kale and onion

(Kale and onion before adding the beans. They smelled so, so good.)

As ingredients finish, add the cooked brown rice, onions and sweet potato to the bowl as well. Serve warm with wedges of fresh lime to squeeze over top.

The results

Wow, what a great mix of flavors. I was a bit hesistant about the garlic powder, but it combined with the cumin, salt and pepper bolstered the flavor of all the other elements.


I'd also forgotten how phenomenal roasted red onion can be. I'm filing that reminder away for another day. It was all I could do not to start popping the sweet little charred pieces in my mouth.

I did un-veggie this by throwing in some bacon bits leftover from making the beef stew earlier in the week. I could hardly taste them, that's how much else was going on in the flavor department.

I'd highly recommend this for a mid-week dinner when you need something on the table in under 45 minutes. Fast, easy and very filling.

Bonus Recipe: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Enchiladas

I made these enchiladas about a year ago for good friends and have been meaning to repeat the recipe ever since!


Serves 6
2 medium to large sweet potatoes (3 cups diced)
15 ounce can black beans
1 cup canned diced green chilies
1 medium red onion, diced
1 tablespoon cumin
1 tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper
1 1/2 cups salsa verde
6 to 8 ounces Colby jack cheese, shredded
8 8 inch whole wheat flour tortillas
Sour cream
Fresh cilantro, to garnish

To make

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Peel and dice the sweet potato. Place in a pot and cover with water with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, around 12 to 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, finely chop the red onion. Drain and rinse the black beans. Chop cilantro for later use.

In a large bowl, combine the cooked sweet potato, black beans, red onion, green chilies, cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, kosher salt, and fresh ground pepper. Mix to combine.

Warm the tortillas for a minute in the microwave, or in a pan for a few seconds per side. In a large baking dish, spread 3/4 to 1 cup of the salsa verde. Fill each tortilla with a heaping scoop of the filling, add a handful of cheese, and roll it up. Place the enchilada seam-side down in the baking dish. Repeat for the remaining tortillas.

When all enchiladas are in the dish, top with the remaining salsa verde, about a 1/2 cup, and the remaining cheese. Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until the cheese is melted. Serve garnished with sour cream and chopped cilantro.

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Amelia McCormick

Kansas girl transplanted to Asheville, North Carolina. Smiler, lover of great food and wine, facilitator, runner, storyteller, wife, optimist, and mother of sweet twins:)

Asheville, North Carolina