Do you ever sit down to write someone a thoughtful note and freeze? I do, all the time. I want to get it just right and the words just don’t come. While I know that it’s better to say something appreciative than nothing, perfectionism gets in the way and I go mute. Definitely something to work on.
I experience the same sense of trepidation when it comes to writing about someone’s work that I so admire. This recipe comes from a cookbook that I’ve been eagerly anticipating since I first heard it was in the works. It’s by one of my favorite food bloggers, Laura Wright of The First Mess. I’m always inspired by her honest writing, lush photography and brilliant recipes, which combine to create a powerful trifecta of skill and talent.
Her new cookbook, The First Mess Cookbook, is finally here and it’s everything I knew it would be—colorful, inspiring, and thoughtful. Her book offers over 125 plant-based recipes that offer creative uses for familiar whole-foods ingredients.
Now that I’ve crossed these amazing sweet potato burrito bowls off my list, I’m dying to try her mega clump granola, weeknight root vegetable dal, go-to kale salad with “master cleanse” dressing and fancy rice. What next?!
These burrito-stuffed sweet potatoes are everything that you might imagine on first glance—fresh, hearty and delicious. They’re conveniently vegan and gluten free, too. I was so hungry last night that I polished off two of these myself, so you might just want to go ahead and double the recipe. I suspect the leftovers would pack well for lunch, too.
- 4 small sweet potatoes (mine came to about 2 1/2 pounds total)
- 1/2 cup uncooked brown basmati rice, rinsed
- 1 cup cooked black beans (I used canned, rinsed and drained)
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 garlic clove, minced
- 1/2 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste
- Pinch of salt
- 1 yellow or red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 small red onion, chopped (mine came to about 3/4 cup chopped)
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- 1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 ripe, medium avocado
- 1/2 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro leaves
- Generous pinch of salt
- Shredded cabbage (Laura used green; I used purple) or romaine lettuce
- Hot sauce (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
- Place the sweet potatoes in the baking dish, and prick each one a couple of times with a fork. Slide the sweet potatoes into the oven and bake until very tender, about 45 minutes (mine took 5 to 10 minutes extra since they were a little bigger than specified).
- In a medium saucepan, combine the basmati rice, black beans, cumin, garlic, olive oil, tomato paste and salt. Pour 1 1/4 cups water into the pot. Cover and bring to a boil over medium heat. Lower the heat to a simmer, and cook until all of the liquid is absorbed, about 40 minutes. Cover and set aside to keep the rice warm.
- Make the rustic salsa: In a medium bowl, combine the bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, red onions, lime juice, cilantro and olive oil. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, and toss to combine. Set aside.
- Make the guacamole: Peel the avocado and extract the pit. Place the avocado flesh in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Once you've broken it up a bit, add the garlic, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Mash the avocado until the seasoning is evenly distributed and you have a chunky paste. Set aside.
- Place each baked sweet potato in a shallow bowl. Cut along the top of the sweet potato and pull back the skin. Spilt the sweet potatoes a little bit to make room for the fillings.
- Divide the rice and bean mixture among the sweet potatoes (spillover is fine!). Top each bowl with 1/4th of the rustic salsa. Finish each plate with a dollop of the guacamole and some shredded cabbage on top. Serve with hot sauce on the side if you wish.