Bleck-eyed beans with sweet potato and coriander

This is real comfort food and a great crossover dish for feeding vegetarians and carnivores at the same dinner table.  It’s pretty rich in protein do if you are feeding a vegetarian its a good choice.  But you can also serve it as an accompaniment to roast or grilled meat or fish.  I love to eat it as a vegetarian dinner with just a simple green salad or some steamed green/runner beans drizzled with olive oil and paprika.  The recipe was I think from Cafe Paradiso but I changed the recipe a bit to use non-toxic oils.   Hope you enjoy it.   It also works great as a salad in a box to take to work or school.




For 6 as an accompaniment or 3 as a main course

2 medium-sized sweet potatoes, peeled
1 large bunch coriander, stalks and all, chopped
400g dried black-eyed beans (health stores/most supermarkets) soaked in boiling water for 45 minutes
2 cans of tinned black eyed beans, drained and rinsed
2  tbs extra virgin oive oil (1 dsp for cooking and 3 dsp for mixing in at the end)
2 large red onions, peeled and sliced or chopped
1½ heaped tsp cumin seeds (the Asia Market good for inexpensive spices)
3 large cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
1½ tbs lime juice
¼ tsp Himalayan salt or Atlantic sea salt

1. If using dried beans (and not tinned) , drain the soaked beans and put them into a large pot, adding enough boiling water to cover the beans by a few centimetres, and bring to the boil.  Skim off any foam that comes to the surface and cook on a gentle boil for at least 45 mins.  Top up with more hot water if it reduces too much.  Test the beans to see if they’re cooked and continue until they’re done, when they should be drained, reserving the stock.  If using tinned beans, rinse and drain well.
2. Dice the sweet potatoes into ½”/1 cm cubes.  Then steam until the point of a knife goes in easily but they are not mushy.  Drain carefully and keep the liquid.
3. Place 1 dsp olive oil and 1 dsp water in a large heavy bottomed saucepan, add the onion and cumin and sweat (covered) on a medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions are translucent.  Add the garlic and cook for another 2 mins.  Add the lime juice, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat.  Gently mix in the sweet potato, beans, the rest of the olive oil (1½ tbs), coriander, ¼ teaspoon salt, plenty of freshly ground black pepper and ideally leave sit for an hour before serving. This intensifies the flavours.

Why this is good for you:
Extra virgin olive oil, is good for heart health. It contains anti-inflammatory vitamin E, polyphenols and a whole host of other compounds shown to boost our health and vitality.  Coriander helps sooth your digestive system and also helps reduce numbers of “bad” bacteria in your digestive system.  Too many unhelpful types of bacteria in your gut can cause acne, digestive disorders and even anxiety states and low mood.  

Beans are a rich source of magnesium, deficiency of which is linked to stress, constipation, insomnia, anxiety and difficulties with skin health.  Refined foods (sugar/white grains), alcohol, stimulants and smoking rob you of magnesium.