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THE CANNY COOK: Chipotle, black bean and sweet potato stew

I love a good podcast. I listen to them while I’m driving, walking and cooking and there’s a range of genres that I enjoy. 

I’ll often find myself immersed in a true crime series or be working my way through past episodes of Elizabeth Day’s How to Fail, but  unsurprisingly a lot of my favourite podcasts are about food. 

The Food Programme is a classic that I appreciate for its knowledge and breadth of subjects. For something more light-hearted there’s Off Menu, in which guests are interviewed about their dream meals. 

Then, for health and nutrition, I think the Zoe podcast is great. The nutrition world has become a noisy space in recent years and I’ve often felt unsure about where to go to get good advice. Zoe is science-led and looks at the latest research on areas like gut health and good dietary practices. 

There’s also a great website (zoe.com) if you’re interested in particular topics like cholesterol or blood sugar levels.

One of the clearest messages I’ve taken from listening to Zoe is that we should be eating a variety of coloured plant-based foods. They all contain fibre (essential for feeding our gut microbiome) and the range in colour guarantees an array of polyphenols and antioxidants.

I think this week’s recipe, with black beans (a great source of fibre), sweet potato and avocado, would get a thumbs-up. It’s delicious too!

 METHOD

400g can black beans in water

400g sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), 36p

400g can black beans in water, 49p; 400g sweet potatoes (about 2 medium), 36p

1 large ripe avocado, 89p

1 tbsp chipotle paste, £1.55

1 large ripe avocado, 89p; 1 tbsp chipotle paste, £1.55

Heat 1 tbsp cooking oil over a medium-high heat in a large frying pan/ saute pan or shallow casserole for which you have a lid.

Add 1 diced red or white onion and 2 chopped garlic cloves with a pinch of salt and fry for 5-6 minutes until soft. 

Scrub the sweet potatoes clean, but don’t peel  as the skin has lots of fibre, then cut into 1c,-2cm dice. Add to the pan with another pinch of salt and fry, stirring regularly, for 10 minutes or until the onion and garlic are golden and the potatoes are taking on some colour. 

Stir in the chipotle paste and fry for a minute, then add the rinsed and drained beans and 150ml chicken or vegetable stock. Bring to a gentle simmer and cover with a lid. 

Cook for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sweet potatoes are cooked through. You may need to add a touch more liquid, or you may want to take off the lid and reduce a little end. It should be saucy but not too wet.

Serve with rice or in tacos, with the avocados sliced over the top. Some lime juice and chopped coriander go nicely, too.

Do you have a great recipe for eating well and cutting food bills? Email [email protected]. If we print it here, we’ll send you a bottle of champagne

*This cost assumes you already have some basic store-cupboard ingredients. prices taken from Sainsbury’s and correct at time of going to press. 

Illustrations: Ellie Allen-Eslor 

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