This is a weekly cooking column by Fort Collins chef Linda Hoffman.
Several times a week I choose a meatless meal — whether lunch or dinner — for a variety of reasons. Partly to reduce my meat intake but mainly to ensure an adequate intake of vegetables that provide a wide array of necessary nutrients.
A favorite base for a meatless meal is a baked potato or sweet potato that can be topped with all kinds of vegetable additions to make a complete and flavorful meal.
Loaded Southwest Sweet Potato
4 sweet potatoes
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained
¾ cup diced red onion
¾ cup diced red bell pepper
2 minced garlic cloves
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
¼ teaspoon ground chipotle powder or to taste
Salt and pepper
Olive oil or butter
2 diced avocados
Salsa or Primal Kitchen’s chipotle-lime mayo
Optional: grated cheddar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake the sweet potatoes until tender, 40-60 minutes depending on size.
Rinse and drain the beans.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil in a large skillet and cook the onion, bell pepper and garlic until softened with a pinch of sea salt. Stir in the beans, cumin, paprika and chipotle powder.
When the sweet potatoes are done, split them lengthwise and open them up to hold the toppings. Drizzle with a little olive oil or a pat of butter, sprinkle with salt, and spoon the bean mixture over the top. Serve with your choice of garnishes: diced avocado, chopped cilantro, a dollop of chipotle-lime mayo or your favorite hot sauce.
Baked Potato with Greens
4 potatoes, russet or sweet
4 cups of baby spinach
2 cups chopped kale
1 cup sliced onion
3 minced garlic cloves
Juice of a lemon
1 tablespoon olive oil
Toasted sunflower seeds, pine nuts or pepitas
Bragg’s Nutritional Yeast flakes or grated Parmesan, chopped olives
Bake the potatoes as above.
Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet. Cook the onions until soft and caramelized. Add the garlic and continue to cook.
Stir in the washed spinach and chopped kale, tossing with tongs. Sprinkle with a little sea salt and cook until wilted. Squeeze lemon over all.
Top the split potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of sea salt, followed by the greens mixture. Top with toasted nuts or seeds and sprinkle the yeast flakes over all.
Broccoli Topping for Baked Potatoes
4 potatoes, russet or sweet
4-6 cups broccoli florets
1 ½ cups sliced mushrooms
1 cup diced onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
½ cup toasted walnuts or pecans
Grated Parmesan or nutritional yeast flakes
Bake the potatoes. Meanwhile cook the broccoli until tender but still bright green in a little salted water.
Heat the oil in a large skillet and stir in the onion, mushrooms and garlic with a pinch of sea salt. Cook until softened.
Top the split potatoes with butter or olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, the broccoli and onions. Top with cheese or yeast flakes and toasted nuts.
Fort Collins chef Linda Hoffman teaches cooking classes emphasizing dinners in 30 minutes or less. Visit comebacktothetable.com.
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