Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Rice with Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans and Chipotle

There are those weeknights when I want to make something fast and easy that I can have for dinner that night and lunch the next day or two. This is one of those meals. 
Burritos are a favorite fast food here at our house. To make them a little better for you than the typical meat and cheese variety I added sweet potato and chilies as well as onion, tomato and black beans. You could use brown rice to up the nutrition here considerably. Brown rice is not fast to make but it can be cooking away while you relax a bit before dinner. I try to often make this when I have a left over baked sweet potato and brown rice so I can just throw everything together in a matter of minutes. This rice is so flavorful and moist you could skip the cheese and sour cream if you are lactose intolerant or vegan.

There are actually two ways to prepare this dish. It is easiest for me is to throw some rice in a rice cooker and while it cooks, get a big pan to cook everything else and then add the cooked rice to it. However, some of you may not have rice cookers and not want to dirty another pot to cook rice in. If you prefer, you can add raw rice to the one pan right after you add spices. Sauté for couple minutes then add the amount of water or broth the package calls for and add in the tomatoes and chipotle. Cover with a tight fitting lid and cook on low until rice is tender. Add in the lime juice, beans and sweet potatoes. This is a great way to make this a one pan meal.  I have done this both ways and it really depends on if you want to watch the stove while the rice cooks or let it steam to perfection in the rice cooker but have to wash another panJ
Another option here is level of spice. Chipotles in adobe sause are sold in grocery stores around here but they are quite spicy and not universally available. Feel free to substitute any chilies such as a can of mild green or a fresh jalapeno, or skip the chilies all together if you are serving this to those who are not fond of spicy foods. I would say that for the non- spicy folks this would have plenty enough flavor with out added heat. If you like it hot, add a bit more chilies or some hot sause like we tend to do.
Well, hope this quick dinner or lunch recipe helps you on your busy days, too!

Rice with Sweet Potato, Black beans and chipotle

1 ½ cups rice, brown or white, cooked according to package instructions or see note above
About two Tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tsp. minced garlic
1 tsp. cumin, lime or lemon pepper, salt
½ tsp. each garlic powder, onion powder, chili powder or cayenne, sugar
1-2 chipotles in adobe sauce, canned, minced or pureed OR 1 can mild green chilies--optional
1 can tomato, diced, fire roasted
1 can Black beans, rinsed, low sodium preferred
2-3 tsp. lime juice
1-2 sweet potatoes, baked (or raw*), cut into bite sized pieces
Chopped cilantro, optional
Cheese, for sprinkling (sharp cheddar would be a good choice)
Flour Tortillas to make burritos or serve along side

*Note on Sweet potato: I like to bake an extra sweet potato or two and keep them on hand for some other dish. If you have an extra baked sweet potato or have time to bake one, use it in this recipe. If you don’t want to bake it, simply cook it right in the same pan before you add anything else. Place oil in pan and add chopped sweet potato, cooking on low for 7 minutes. Add a few Tablespoons warm water and cover, cooing another 7-10 minutes till soft. Remove to another dish until time to add it in and the end.

(I start this by cooking the rice in a rice cooker since I don’t have to watch it but if you prefer to cook it all in one pan, see notes above.)

While the rice is cooking, get out a very large shallow pan. Heat oil and cook onions on low for 5 minutes. Raise to medium and add garlic and spices. Cook for 1-2 minutes more then add chipotles, beans, lime juice and tomato. After a couple, minutes add rice to pan and mix quite thoroughly. Blend in sweet potato and heat well.

You may serve this topped with cheese and cilantro, if you like or use it as a filling for burritos, which is my favorite way to eat this nutritious rice dish.


  1. Like you I love cooking two meals in one - I usually cook something big up on the weekend I bring as lunch every day during the week. This looks like a great recipe for that, and boy do I love sweet potato :) Glorious recipe!

  2. Thanks so much! Yes, it sure does make life easier to have left overs. I don't really like sandwiches so something like this is nice.

  3. This has some of the best and healthiest ingredients in it... I love my sweet potatoes and my black beans. Well done!! I would definitely eat this any night of the week! ~ Ramona

  4. Thank you!! I am so glad you like it. I so appreciate hearing for you.

  5. I love sweet potatoes and this is such a filling meal. I can't imagine having leftovers.