Jun 2, 2012
I am the mother of a baseball family. Just two years ago, that sentence would not have meant much to me; so what? Your kids play baseball. But I have quickly learned that the role of “baseball mom” requires hours of rounding-up bats and gloves, washing uniforms, filling water bottles, cheering in the sun, and chasing a toddler around the fields while her brothers play. It is so much fun, which is good because more than half my week is consumed by preparing for and attending baseball games.
And of course, Jim is the coach. Of two teams. We haven’t seen each other since the beginning of April…
All that said, I still have to feed the whole family, preferably before the game so they have energy to play and can get showered and in bed at a reasonable hour. With all the rushing around that happens around here on game nights, it is essential that these meals are quick, compact, and get as much nutrition into each bite as possible (especially for my Coach Dad who sometimes can only eat half of his meal before rushing to the baseball diamond).
Sandwiches and wraps fit the bill perfectly. I can pack them full of veggies, hummus, and whatever else might be inspiring me that night and everyone is happy. However, we are now two months into baseball season and I am running low on sandwich inspiration. So tonight, we are leaving the bread in the bread box and having…
…Stuffed Sweet Potatoes!
This little idea of mine made me so happy that I could hardly wait to start cooking dinner tonight. Baked sweet potatoes loaded with black beans, sautéed onions and red pepper, topped with salsa and chives. So simple, and yet so fresh and new! The best part is that all those ingredients are tucked into one little package: a whole meal stuffed in one potato. Each bite is bursting with layers of flavor and packed with all kinds of good-for-you stuff (Dr. Oz said that sweet potatoes are a superfood, so they must be, right?!). I served them with baked polenta drizzled with butter-flavored grapeseed oil. Take that, sandwich rut!
STUFFED SWEET POTATOES
4 orange-flesh sweet potatoes
1 red bell pepper
½ cup vegetable stock
1 can black beans
Your favorite salsa
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prick sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour.
While potatoes are baking, heat vegetable stock in a pan over medium-high heat. Chop onion and pepper and add to pan. Cook in stock until liquid has mostly evaporated and vegetables are soft (you may have to add a little more stock if it evaporates too quickly…keep an eye on it!). Rinse and drain beans and add to the pan, cooking until heated through.
Split potatoes and top with a generous helping of beans and vegetables. Top with chives and salsa. Dig in.
I used Trader Joe’s prepared polenta, sliced into ¼ inch rounds, and baked on each side for 10 minutes. Drizzled with Wildtree butter-flavored grapeseed oil, this is an easy, delicious side dish.