Chili-tinged sweet potatoes are loaded in all the right ways – flavour, nutrition and satisfaction

Ellie Krieger

THE WASHINGTON POST – You can count me in for pretty much any dish with “loaded” and “potato” in its name. Either of those words alone point in the direction of filling, comfort-food satisfaction, but together they are practically a guarantee.

With this loaded potato recipe, as a bonus, that gratification is delivered in a healthful way, too. It starts with a simply baked sweet potato in its naturally creamy, brilliant-orange glory, split open and scored to help it embrace the layers of goodies to come.

First, pile on a mound of chili-seasoned, partly smashed black beans made in a skillet in about 10 minutes, their savoury spice complementing the sweetness of the spud. On top of that, add couple of cooling dollops – one of mashed avocado and another of yogurt or sour cream (which can be omitted, or use a plant-based version to make this dish vegan). Then, shower the whole thing with an exuberant crunch of radish, tangy heat of pickled jalapeño and refreshing grassiness of cilantro leaves.

The result is a colourful, chili-inspired stuffed potato that is a nourishing meal in itself, and one you can count me in for anytime.

LOADED SWEET POTATOES WITH CHILI BLACK BEANS

Here, whole baked sweet potatoes are split open, then piled with chili-seasoned black beans, cooling dollops of mashed avocado and yogurt, and a shower of crunchy radish, pickled jalapeños and fresh cilantro, for a satisfying stuffed spud that is a nourishing meal in itself.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes With Chili Black Beans. PHOTO: THE WASHINGTON POST

INGREDIENTS

Four medium sweet potatoes

Two tablespoons olive oil

Half cup diced yellow onion

Two cloves garlic, minced or finely grated

One can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

One and a half teaspoons chili powder

Half teaspoon ground cumin

Half teaspoon kosher salt, divided

One pinch cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

A quarter cup water

One medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled

One teaspoon fresh lime juice

A quarter cup plain yogurt or sour cream

One medium radish, cut into matchsticks

A quarter cup fresh cilantro leaves

A quarter cup pickled jalapeños

DIRECTIONS

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with aluminium foil.

Using a fork, prick each potato in several places, then place them on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. Flip the potatoes over and continue to bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about two minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the beans, chili powder, cumin, a quarter teaspoon of the salt and the cayenne pepper. Add the water and cook, mashing the beans a bit with a wooden spoon, until most of the water has evaporated or been absorbed but the mixture remains a bit saucy, three to four minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice and the remaining a quarter teaspoon of salt.

To serve, using a paring knife, slice each potato in half lengthwise and score the insides. Place the potato halves cut side up on plates and top each with about a third cup of the bean mixture, two tablespoons of the avocado mash and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Top with the radish, cilantro and jalapeño, and serve.