Friday, February 3, 2012

NEW Family Favorite: Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Garlic Sausage Skillet

So, after having all these leftover black beans from the soup I made last weekend, I decided to use them up yesterday. I also had some garlic chicken sausage leftover from the sauerkraut skillet I made on Saturday (I can post a recipe for that next week if anyone's interested), plus some sweet potatoes. That was when inspiration struck and I recalled how nicely the Cuban-style Black Bean Soup went with a baked yam. Then I thought, How 'bout I just throw this altogether in a pan and see what happens? And that's what I did :)

Black Bean, Sweet Potato and Garlic Sausage Skillet
makes 4-6 servings


2 cups cooked black beans, undrained
1 large or 2 medium/small sweet potatoes, cubed
2 links sliced garlic chicken sausage (I used Al Fresco Roasted Garlic)
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup tomato sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Shredded cheddar cheese and/or sour cream for topping

In a large pot, boil some water then put the cubed sweet potato in and cook until slightly tender, but do not overcook as they will be added to the skillet and you don't want them to get mushy. Drain and set aside. If you have not already sliced the sausage, do so now; I sliced mine into little half moon-shaped slices as you can see in the picture below. I also removed the casing, but that is optional and up to you (my pup, Ogum, was happy to have them). Heat olive oil in medium/large skillet over low heat, and then add the onion and garlic, and saute for about 5-7 minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the sausage slices and stir with the onion and garlic for about a minute. Add the beans and tomato sauce and bring to a low simmer. Stir in all the seasonings, and add more to taste if desired. Lastly, add in the cubed yams and mix well, cooking for about another minute or two, then remove from heat and serve with a dollop of sour cream and/or shredded cheddar on top.

The red bell peppers were a nice touch that you could even throw into the skillet along with the onions and garlic

I discovered I was all out of sour cream when I made this, but I am guessing it will go well with this recipe for sure. Some fresh chopped cilantro would be a nice touch too! Alternatively, you could make everything separate from the yams and instead bake the yams whole, then cut open with the black beans and sausage served on top. Yummmm. The main reason I did not do that myself was because I didn't feel like waiting for the yams to bake. Some other add-ins could be:
  • sliced jalapenos
  • bell peppers
  • diced fresh tomato

I will be honest: Lily turned her nose up at this when I put some in front of her, but once I got her try it, she gobbled it all up. So, if you face a similar issue with your kid(s), just try to convince them to take one bite, and hopefully they will be as pleasantly surprised as Lily was. The flavor combination of garlic, cheese, sweetness, and a light spiciness made this an interesting dish, like a Southwestern-style party in your mouth (insert dirty joke here). I hope you enjoy it as much as we did!

Sweet potatoes are usually a big favorite for kids, but Lily is not very into them. I recently had a Facebook convo with my sister-in-law and some of her friends about how weird it was that we all have kids who seem to prefer broccoli to yams! Not that we're complaining, just pleasantly surprised!

But, don't let the yam's sweet deliciousness fool you into thinking it's anything less than good for you. Sweet potatoes contain a high amount of vitamin c, as well as fiber, potassium and manganese. They also provide cardiovascular support, and blood sugar and weight controlling capabilities due to their high amounts of dietary fiber and complex carbs. Wild yams are even used in traditional Chinese herbal medicine to help clean the kidneys, support the digestive system, and even help balance your hormones during menopause. It's a pretty incredible little root! Read more about it here.

Yams are a perfect first food for baby. It's soft texture and subtle sweetness is ideal for easing your little bundle into the world of solid foods. It's popularly sold by companies like Gerber and Earth's Best in ready-to-eat containers, but why bother when it's so simple to just bake or boil one yourself and mash it up with some breast milk or formula? 

For baby, simply mash up 1-2 tbsps of cold well-cooked sweet potato with a tbsp of breast milk or formula and serve. Baby will love it! For babies over 9 months:

1 tbsp cooked black beans
1 tbsp mashed or cubed cooked yam
1 tbsp plain yogurt

Mix together and serve it up, they will love it! Top with some cheddar cheese, too, if they like that. 

Well, that's all for today. Have a wonderful weekend and please stop by next week for the second Meatless Monday blog hop and a new meat-free recipe!


  1. this looks fabulous! i am going to give this a try vegetarian style -- i have a great italian veggie sausage that i think will fit this perfectly!!!! hugs...

    1. Veggie sausage sounds interesting- what brand do you use?

  2. Sounds really yummy! Thanks for linking it to the Share and Share Hop! I'll tweet it for you! Have a great weekend!

  3. That sounds really good! I love trying new recipes! I am visiting from Exposure 99% weekday hop and look forward to reading more of your posts!


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