I’ve never loved baked potatoes. I know… that’s hardly the way to begin a baked potato post. In my world (growing up), they came 2 ways: On our dinner table – plain with just a bit of margarine (sorry mom!)… and at the Yorktown Mall food court – those giant sour-cream-piled ones that seemed like a heart attack on a plate. (Which, by the way, were considered the “healthy” option because they were baked not fried! Gotta love the midwest in the 90′s).
The kind that wasn’t an option? This kind… baked sweet potatoes stuffed with black beans, a little bit of cheese (which is optional), toasted pumpkins seeds for crunch, and a big dollop of creamy chile-spiced greek yogurt. Healthy comfort food at it’s finest (and easiest).
This has become my go-to winter salsa/sauce right now while tomatoes aren’t in season. I posted this the other day alongside black bean soup, but I wanted to elaborate and show the actual steps. I’d always been a bit intimidated by dried chiles, but I’ve come to realize that they’re actually very easy to work with… (mostly thanks to watching many episodes of Rick Bayless’s, Mexico One Plate at a Time). Rick made it look easy, and well, it is. So here goes:
This isn’t the kind of “salsa” you necessarily want to dunk chips in… it’s not actually very spicy, but it has a rich bold flavor. It’s meant to be put on things rather than used as a dip. A little bit goes a long way, and it would be a great condiment to incorporate (for example) into some of these meals:
What I love about Superbowl week (and it’s not the game, of course – who’s even playing? and that’s football right?)… What I love is the amount of Mexican-ish comfort food that’s all over the internet. I haven’t been into a game since the superbowl shuffle, but suddenly I find myself craving spicy, chile-flavored foods with tons of avocado.
The soup part of this recipe is quick and easy… another good one for a cold weeknight. You’ll notice that I’ve complicated things a bit with the toppings, but definitely feel free to simplify to your liking… add a little avocado, some good store-bought salsa and call it a night.
If you want to get fancier make your own dried chile sauce – this is my go to “salsa” right now while tomatoes aren’t in season. And instead of sour cream, try blending sunflower seeds into a creamy sauce. It’s very similar to cashew cream (maybe even better).
I’m heading to Chicago later this week and I’m trying to think warm thoughts… It’ll be all of 1 degree when I land… and, (brr), my skin just isn’t that thick anymore.
These muffins are a variation of my absolute favorite childhood breakfast: my Grandma Kissel’s coffee cake. On cold snowy mornings, there was nothing better than waking up to smell of warm cinnamon-ey cake wafting through the house.
Of course these are slightly healthier and also vegan – using almond milk instead of sour cream and coconut oil instead of butter. But this is cake after all, so whatever you do, don’t skimp on the best part – the crumbly walnut topping.
There’s a category that’s seriously underrepresented here, and that is: lunch. Lunch, for me, is the meal that happens in between all of these recipe posts. It’s usually a quick throw-together meal that utilizes a previous night’s dinner and/or an assortment of random on-hand ingredients… (ie. a half of an avocado, a few leaves of kale, leftover quinoa, an opened container of greek yogurt). I love a big lunch salad but when I don’t have enough greens & things to make up a full meal, I take what I do have and put it in (or on) a pita.
I keep these Stonefire pitas on hand, usually in my freezer for easy access – they reheat and toast up perfectly. (And yes, they are sponsoring this post, but I’ve seriously been buying their pita and flatbread for years).
You’ll notice I haven’t included actual measurements in this ingredient list – since I’m usually “cooking” for one, my measurements are truly “a bit of this, a pinch of that.” Feel free to adapt & interchange things, using what you have. Everything here can be made ahead & stored for days in the fridge. It’s all pretty packable – just keep the pita separate and stuff it when you’re ready to eat. (A soggy pita would be a pity!)