Southwest Twice-baked Sweet Potatoes

2 servings

Tip: As with many of my recipes, the ingredients listed are just a guideline. First, the sweet potatoes…instead of 2 medium, feel free to grab 1 giant to share. After baking, cut it in half the long way, scoop out the centers, proceed as directed below and refill your sweet potato “bowls”. Diced spicy or sweet peppers can be added, chopped zucchini or yellow squash, cherry tomatoes, even pre-cooked ground meat or chopped walnuts. Squeeze a little lime over everything when serving to kick up the zing. Make it your own southwest meal!

2 medium sweet potatoes
1/2 cup black beans
1/4 cup corn kernels (Note: Frozen roasted corn is a little smoky and perfect.)
1 stalk celery
3 scallions
1 clove fresh garlic
4 oz fresh mushrooms
1 Tbsp olive oil
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chipotle pepper
1/2 cup white cheddar

Prep and Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Scrub sweet potatoes thoroughly and poke a few holes along one long side. Place in glass baking dish, cover with parchment paper and microwave for 5 minutes. Move sweet potatoes to preheated oven and finish baking for about 20 minutes or until they are cooked enough to cut open and scoop the insides. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
If using canned black beans (vs dry beans cooked at home), rinse in cold water in a strainer, drain and measure 1/2 cup; reserve remaining beans for another use.
Peel tough strings from celery stalk; dice celery.
Trim roots and coarse greens from scallions; dice scallions.
Mince garlic.
Clean mushrooms and chop into bite size chunks.
Sauté celery, scallions, garlic and mushrooms in olive oil. Season with S&P. Set aside.
Wash, dry and roughly chop cilantro; reserve a few leaves for garnish.
Shred white cheddar cheese.
Cut a small slice from the long side of sweet potatoes that was poked with holes. Scoop the insides out into a bowl, leaving enough to hold the potato’s shape. Mash scooped potato in the bowl; stir in black beans, corn, mushroom mixture, cumin, chipotle, chopped cilantro and 3/4 of the shredded cheese.  Taste for seasoning and add more as needed. Scoop the filling back into the two potatoes and top with remaining shredded cheese.
Bake in 350F oven for about 10 minutes until heated through and cheese is melted. Garnish with a few cilantro leaves.

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