Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Self-Care: Allison's Recipe Box

from Allison Hrovat, Adult Therapeutic Services Coordinator

I’ve mentioned before on this blog that one of my favorite self-care activities is cooking. While I know that for some people cooking can feel anything but relaxing, for me it really is a way to get out of my head, to use my hands and all of my senses to create…

I love combining different tastes, textures, colors and smells all on one plate. As the weather starts turning warmer, I think about the tastes of spring and summer---fresh herbs, bright citrus flavors, just a hint of spice. The following is one of my favorite easy recipes, perfect for a potluck or a summer picnic.

Whether you are a cook by passion or simply out of necessity, I hope you’ll enjoy this recipe and continue to find new and fulfilling methods of self-care in your own life!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

4 T olive oil
½ tsp. cumin
½ tsp. red pepper flakes (optional, depending on whether you like things a little spicy!)
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 1 lb.); peeled and cut into ¾ inch cubes
2 T fresh lime juice (the juice from 1 lime)
1 can (14.5 oz) black beans; drained and rinsed well
½ medium red onion, finely diced
½ c chopped fresh cilantro
Salt/ pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450. Preheat a baking sheet in the oven until the oven reaches temperature.
Meanwhile, toss peeled and diced sweet potatoes with 2 T olive oil, cumin, red pepper flake and salt and pepper to taste.
Remove heated baking sheet from oven. Pour sweet potatoes onto the hot baking sheet. Return to the oven, to the bottom rack, and roast for 25-35 minutes, turning once, until tender and browned on the edges.
In a large bowl, whisk together lime juice with remaining 2 T olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add sweet potatoes (once they are slightly cooled), black beans, onions and cilantro and gently toss to combine. Can be served immediately or chilled and served later.

This is a great salad to make additions to and experiment. Sweet corn, red bell pepper, queso fresco cheese and garbanzo beans have all been delicious additions. Buen provecho!

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