August 12, 2015

Sweet Potato, Black Bean, and Corn Salad with a Maple Lime Dressing

This is the quick and easy lunch that I've been shamelessly eating 2 - 3 a week. I'm pretty sure that I'm going to be sick of it in a few weeks, along with vanilla yogurt, and peanut butter, but for now it's all I can think about. I'm finding it harder and harder to come up with fun and interesting recipes because my mind is constantly thinking about what my life is going to be like with a tiny baby and questioning if I will ever sleep again? When I'm not thinking about the baby and 'oh, shit we need to set up that car seat', and 'seriously Heather, you need to finish that babies room', and 'what about a heart rate monitor, do we need that?' I am seriously distracted by the painters who are painting the exterior of our house - although, I'm pretty happy with the color we chose, it's a sort of dark teal/blue/gray. The house has many personalities and changes in the various lights, so it's hard to really pinpoint the exact color, which I love. I'll have to share some pics once it's all finished, the painters are no longer swinging from ropes and destroying my gardens, and I have my new black front door that I've been obsessing about for weeks.
Last weekend I had the most relaxing few days that I've experienced in weeks. I went to a wedding in the Olympic Park, stayed at a cozy lodge in the woods, experienced the most desirable weather imaginable. Overcast, cool, and absolutely amazing. I forgot how lovely the weather could be in the PNW. Most of my friends from Seattle were there, and we spent the weekend relaxing (me), hiking and canoeing (them). I managed to make a pretty good dent in a book dedicated to baby sleep training, which, to be honest, has left me more confused than ever. I ate sooo much good food, slept a ton, and overall feel really good about things. I witnessed two really fantastic people share their love for one another and it was really beautiful. I now feel as rested as a pregnant lady at 35 weeks can feel, and I'm ready to get some stuff done before this baby gets here.

Now, this salad. I think half the reason I like it so much is because of the dressing, which is everything to me right now. It's light, sweet, fruity, with a touch of tang. I had originally created it for a taco salad, but now I eat it on everything. It contains 4 simple ingredients - oil, lime juice, maple syrup, and salt - which really couldn't get any better. The salad is a combination of my favorite foods, and now that I seem to have the whole picking a good avocado skill down, I am eating avocado not only in this salad but in serious quantities. For this salad, I like to boil the sweet potato and black beans in broth to give them a bit of flavor, and to ensure that the sweet potato is nice and tender in the middle. Often times I'll fry a sweet potato from raw and the exterior crisps up nice, but the center lacks that velvety smooth sweet potato texture. The method of boiling first ensures that you'll get nice and tender sweet potato pieces with a crunchy exterior. Once all of the ingredients are prepared you just toss them in a bowl with a generous pour of dressing. If you need me, I'll be in the kitchen shoveling the rest of this salad into my mouth.


serves 2 as a main
prep time: 10 minutes
cooking time: 20 minutes

6 cups vegetable stock
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 cup black beans
1 cup corn kernels
1 tbsp oil
4 cups spring mix
1/2 avocado, sliced
1 green onion, sliced

4 tbsp canola oil
2 tbsp lime juice
2 tbsp maple syrup
1/2 tsp salt

Bring the stock to a boil. Add the sweet potato and black beans. Boil until the sweet potato becomes tender but not soft, approximately 7 minutes. You don't want to be able to pierce a fork through the sweet potato, but you don't want it hard either. In between. Drain and set to the side.

In a large frying pan, heat the oil on medium-high. Once hot, add the sweet potatoes, black beans, and corn. Fry until the sweet potato has a nice golden crunchy crust and is soft in the middle.

In a small jar, add the dressing ingredients and shake.

Add the lettuce, sweet potato mixture, avocado, and green onion to two dinner bowls. Drizzle with the dressing. Serve.


  1. I love easy lunches like this! I'm a creature of habit too..I like to eat the same thing until I just can't eat it anymore. Definitely need to add this to the menu!

  2. easy lunches and weeknight dinner like this is what i need right now..

  3. This salad recipe is sooo healthy and I just know it's delicious, because I eat a lot of vegetables, avocados and beans. I love this type of foo and it's perfect for the Summer! I like your food photography and food styling style!

    Take care!

  4. So yummy! I love the dressing!

  5. I do the same thing- I have one recipe that I'll keep eating for weeks until I get sick of it!! I go through phases :) But I can see why you're stuck on this salad, it looks so delicious! :)

  6. Hi! This salad sounds amazing - ridiculous question - did you use canned black beans or dried black beans? I don't want to mess up! Thank you!!

    1. Not a ridiculous question (I hope!) as I was wondering the same thing!

    2. Hi Taryn, I used canned black beans!

  7. What's not to love, here. The kind of salad I could eat every day and never tire of. Thanks for sharing this.

  8. We are totally lunch twins! I eat a salad just like this about three times a week. No shame, just pure goodness. :D Beautiful post!

  9. That looks amazing! I'm so making this.

  10. Sweet potato and avocado is 100% my favorite flavor combination. This looks delicious! xo

  11. This looks so amazing, I will definitely be trying this within the next couple of days. Beautiful photography too!!

  12. This is fantastic. Not a a vegetarian....wish I was! I did make a few adjustments. I browned the sweet potato alone with about 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin. I added the canned black beans and corn only at the end for about a minute or so. I added as a garnish a small amount of good sharp cheddar, more green onion than called for and lime wedges to bring a little more tang. I used romaine rather than a mesclun mix....I like more crunch. Yum yum......Thanks for the recipe!