Sweet Potatoes with Collards and Aduki Beans

If I had to pick one dish that I’ve cooked so far this year that I like best it would be this one.  Slightly bitter collards contrasted by chunks of soft, slightly caramelized sweet potato.  Add the crunchy texture and nutty flavor of toasted sunflower seeds, and the sweet and tangy pop! of freshly squeezed lime and my mouth simply does cartwheels.  I honestly wished, after eating this for dinner, that I had doubled the recipe and had left-overs for the days following.

This dish is packed with so many good-for-you ingredients that it’s almost over the top.  The collard greens help to lower your cholesterol.  The sweet potatoes are loaded with beta-carotene.  The red bell peppers are rich in vitamins C and A.  And the aduki beans lend fiber, protein and iron.  This could certainly be eaten as a meat-free entree or as a side.  I opted to serve it as a side to lentil loaf and, boy, did it ever steal the show!

Ingredients:

2 medium sweet potatoes, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth, divided

4 scallions, sliced

1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped

1 bunch collard greens, sliced to 1 inch wide

1 (15 oz.) can aduki beans, drained and rinsed

4 teaspoons toasted sunflower seeds

1 lime, cut into 4 wedges

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400°F
  • Spritz sweet potatoes with olive oil and roast on a baking sheet until tender , 25 minutes or so

roasted sweet potatoes

  • Meanwhile, in a large skillet, bring 1/2 cup broth to a simmer over medium high heat. Add white and light green parts of green onions and red bell pepper and cook about 5 minutes or until onions are translucent

chopped collards, red bell pepper, and scallions

  • Reduce heat to medium and add remaining 1/2 cup broth, collards and beans. Cover and cook 10 to 12 minutes or until collards are wilted and tender, stirring occasionally

rinsed & drained aduki beans

  • Plate the greens. Top with potatoes, sliced scallion, sunflower seeds and lime wedges

sweet potatoes with collards and aduki beans

J

Recipe adapted from this post on Whole Foods Market’s site.

Bulgur with red pepper, corn & shrimp

From downtown Holyoke, kitchbitch welcomes back guest chef Neil (applause).  Neil selected this recipe for the health factor.  You see, bulgur is packed with fiber, then there are shrimp for protein, lime and cilantro which add flavor-POP!  You just can’t go wrong with this one.  Total for prep and cook time was about 20 minutes.  How’s that for a quick & healthy dinner?

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

3 cloves garlic, chopped

1 cup bulgur wheat

1/2 teaspoon salt

12 ounces raw shrimp, shelled and deveined

2 cups corn kernels

1 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 limes (1 juiced, 1 cut into wedges)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

Directions

  • Put 2 cups of water on to boil in a kettle or small pan
  • Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook garlic, stirring, until you can smell it
  • Add bulgur and salt and stir for a minute
  • Gradually stir in 2 cups of boiling water, 1/2 cup at a time (waiting until bulgur absorbs it to add more), until bulgur is slightly soupy, 8 to 10 minutes
  • Add the shrimp. Cook, stirring constantly, until it turns pink
  • Add corn, bell pepper, juice from 1 lime and red pepper flakes and stir, adding water to keep the mixture creamy. Cook, stirring, until corn and pepper are warmed through, 1 to 2 minutes

  • Add cilantro; serve with lime wedges (and preferably something else green on the side)

J