A quick and easy 30 minute meal with these Gluten Free Southwest Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls. Healthy quinoa topped with crispy sweet potatoes and a limey mixture of fresh corn, black beans, and tender onions.
Happy Cinco de Mayo!!!
I realize I am a little late to the party. Most organized bloggers had their Cinco de Mayo recipes planned and posted over a month ago. But, alas, procrastination has once again gotten the better of me.
But that’s the great thing about Mexican parties…they last forever! There is no such thing as showing up late to a Mexican party.
So here I am…fashionably late.
Well, if you consider wearing workout clothes…from yesterday…fashionable.
These Gluten Free Southwest Sweet Potato Quinoa Bowls are a healthy, hearty, flavorable (Hahaha! That is not even a word. I am trying to type this post while talking to my mom on the phone…There may be a lot of typos).
There we go. That’s better. Yes, this is a flavorful meal. As in lime, cilantro, garlic, onion, and yummy, crispy bite-sized sweet potatoes kind of flavorful.
I think I love this meal so much because I am a sucker for sweet potato fries. Anytime we go out to eat at a burger place, I try and talk Ben into upgrading to sweet potato fries with his meal. Usually I just get an eye roll and an “Are you crazy?!” kind of glare. Yes, my hubby loves his plain old regular potato fries.
But, every once in a while I can get him to change his order and then I steal a few fries here and there, along with some bites of burger, while I am eating my boring old salad. Needless to say, I am not his favorite dinner date.
And so that’s the great thing about being able to make dinner. I make what I want and everyone eats it. I want bite sized sweet potato fries, I get bite sized sweet potato fries.
Since the rest of the meal is so healthy, and the sweet potatoes are fried in avocado oil, I don’t feel guilty eating a bowl full of this goodness.
Let’s go over some of these health benefits:
- Quinoa – whole grain packed with protein.
- Black beans – another good source of protein and fiber.
- Corn – fresh from the cob. Key word: fresh.
- Sweet potatoes – natural sweetness and a great source of fiber and vitamin A.
- Vegetarian – a filling, yet delicious, meatless option.
I love using quinoa in place of rice for some of my meals since it is a lighter option. I’m not left feeling quite as full as I would have otherwise. And especially since Mexican food can tend to be on the heavier side, the quinoa is a much more comfortable (for my pants) option.
The blend of spices used to flavor the onion, black bean, and corn mixture are bold and reminiscent of your favorite taco seasoning. It’s especially delicious crusted on the outside of the sweet potatoes.
The spices marry nicely with the splash of lime at the end of sautéing the veggies. There is nothing like fresh lime juice in any Mexican meal. It adds a level of freshness to a food genre that is not quite known for, well, freshness. Again, Mexican food can be quite heavy, and I love lightening it up with fresh ingredients.
And can we just say a quick hallelujah for corn season???! I LOVE fresh corn! It’s one of my favorite vegetables to eat.
I am a wimp, however, when it comes to getting my face all dirty eating corn on the cob. I’m one of those prissy girls that cuts the corn off the cob before I eat it. I’m also not a fan of corn all stuck in my teeth.
But seriously, the difference between frozen bagged corn and fresh, sweet, crisp corn from the cob is incomparable. Exactly why I used fresh corn in this recipe. It gives extra crunch and texture against the soft texture of the black beans, quinoa, and sweet potatoes. Delicious.
And there you have it. Our simple, yet satisfying, menu for this lovely Cinco de Mayo.
Now go out and PARTY!
What did you eat this Cinco de Mayo?
- 2 teaspoons chili powder
- 1½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon dried cilantro
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ teaspoon ground mustard
- ½ teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced into bite sized pieces
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- ¼ cup avocado oil or cooking oil (not olive oil)
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups fresh corn (2-3 ears)
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- juice of 1 large lime (or 2 small)
- 4 cups prepared quinoa (according to package directions)
- Additional toppings:
- Sour cream, cheese, tomatoes, cilantro, lime wedges, avocados, etc.
- Peel sweet potatoes and cut into bite sized pieces, about ½" cubes. Place in a microwave safe container, cover, and microwave on high for 5 minutes. Drain and spread on a paper towel lined cooking sheet to dry and cool.
- In a small container, mix together seasonings: chili powder, cumin, cilantro, salt, oregano, ground mustard, ground coriander, and black pepper. Set aside.
- Once sweet potatoes are cooled, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of cornstarch and half of the seasoning mix. Toss to coat evenly.
- Begin cooking quinoa according to package directions.
- In a large saucepan/skillet heat ¼ cup avocado or cooking oil over medium high heat. Once oil is hot enough that a drop of water sizzles, add sweet potatoes. Allow potatoes to cook in oil for 4 minutes, turn with a spatula, and cook for another 4 minutes. Lay new paper towels over cooking sheet and spoon potatoes, with a slotted spoon, onto towels to absorb oil.
- While potatoes are cooking, dice onion, mince garlic, shuck and cut corn, and rinse and drain black beans. After spooning potatoes out of pan, keep remaining oil in pan and return to stove. Reduce heat to slightly above medium. Add onions and cook for 6-7 minutes until tender, stirring occasionally to avoid burning.
- Add corn, black beans, lime juice, and remaining seasoning. Stir to coat. Cook an additional 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional 30 seconds. Salt and pepper to taste.
- To assemble bowls, fill each bowl with ⅔ cup quinoa. Top with corn and black bean mixture, sweet potatoes*, and other desired toppings.
- Serve immediately and enjoy your fiesta!