I was longing for the flavors in a favorite dish from a local restaurant that I used to enjoy some years ago. It was topped with rajas. Rajas simply means sautéed onions and poblano peppers. I’ve simplified the same idea here adding a touch of sweetness and color with the sweet potato. This is certainly an easy weeknight dish!
Along with inherent sweetness, sweet potatoes contain a wealth of nutrients. Their color is a clear indication of their inherent goodness. Sweet potatoes may be able to lower the potential health risk posed by heavy metals and oxygen radicals. That risk reduction is important for individuals with digestive problems like irritable bowl syndrome and ulcerative colitis. However, everyone wanting to reduce the risk posed by heavy metal residues can benefit from consuming sweet potatoes. They are also full of key antioxidants that are readily available like beta-carotene that help mop up free radicals that cause aging and disease. They reduce inflammation throughout the central nervous system including the brain. They promote successful blood clotting, which is a key part of the body’s health and its ability to close off wounds and stop loss of blood, without causing the problem of unwanted blood clots.
One fascinating thing about sweet potatoes is their ability to actually improve blood sugar regulation even in people with type 2 diabetes. Cutting edge research shows that these orange colored gems increase blood levels of adiponectin in persons with type type 2 diabetes. Adiponectin is a protein hormone produced by our fat cells, and it serves as an important modifier of insulin metabolism. This area of research is exciting for anyone who loves sweet potatoes.
Historically onions have been used to treat colds, coughs, asthma, angina, bacterial infections and breathing problems. They are recognized by the world health organization as a treatment of poor appetite, as well as for each of the historical uses mentioned. Onions can help lower blood pressure and protect against cardiovascular disease, prevent stomach cancer and tumor growth. The onions with the strongest flavor and higher astringency appear to have superior health-promoting properties.
Mushrooms are the only fruit or vegetable source of vitamin D. Like humans, they produce vitamin D when exposed to sunlight. Look for “High D” or “Sunshine” mushrooms in stores soon. Mushrooms promote immune function by increasing the production of antiviral proteins that protect body tissue. They contain an abundance of B vitamins which are crucial for turning food into fuel and energy production as well as for the metabolism of fats and proteins. They are rich in selenium which is a trace mineral which helps lower the risk of certain cancers.
Black beans are full of antioxidants which protect the cells in our body from being damaged. Cell damage leads to degenerative and chronic diseases that are all too common. Also, black beans prevent signs of aging in the skin due to overexposure to sunlight. Black beans not only provide high amounts of protein they are also an excellent source of zinc, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, phosphorus and folate.
BAKED SWEET POTATO WITH POBLANOS AND ONIONS
4 large sweet potatoes, baked
1 large sweet onion, sliced
4 poblano peppers, sliced
1 T coconut oil
2 cups sliced wild mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 T chopped fresh oregano
1 can (15.5 oz.) black beans, drained
Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
Soy based sour cream (Tofutti) for garnish
Chopped cilantro, for garnish
Bake the sweet potatoes in a 400°F oven for 40 minutes or until cooked through. Meanwhile, sauté the onion and peppers in the olive oil, stirring constantly until onions are translucent. Add the garlic and oregano and stir in. Transfer to a large dish. Add the mushrooms to the pan with a little oil if necessary and cook stirring constantly until they release their juices and have reduced in size. Add the onion and pepper mixture to the mushrooms. Slice open the baked sweet potatoes and top each with 1/4 of the black beans. Layer with the vegetable mixture, salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with the soy based sour cream if desired and top with the chopped cilantro. Serves 4. ©Janice Moreland http://thekitchentwist.com