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 baby's 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 so 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 that 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.
SWEET POTATO, BLACK BEAN, AND CORN SALAD WITH A MAPLE LIME DRESSING
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.