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Sweet potato

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

roasted sweet potatoes, black beans, and corn with green onions and cilantro

I created this Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad many years ago when I was teaching culinary classes.

I originally wrote this post in 2011 when I was creating new recipes for my students to prepare in class. There still is nothing quite as wonderful as hearing from readers (or students) how delicious my recipe is or how easy it is to make. Or how it made everyone come to the table with a smile on their face.


My winter quarter classes begin next week and I couldn’t be more excited about the menu.  I’m proud to say this will be my fourth year teaching cooking classes for our local Co-op market here in Seattle.

PCC is the Puget Consumer and Co-op Natural Market that began in 1953.  An amazing story about 15 founding families who wanted to improve the quality and nutrition of available food.  Now over 45,000 members strong, PCC continues to support our local farms with the PCC Farmland Trust and educate our community through our IACP Award winning PCC Cooks.

It does my heart good to see the community supporting our local farms and farming communities.  I think you know how much I’d love to be a farmer. 🙂  Until then, I savor the opportunity to do my part in food education.

Teaching people to cook is essential to good health.  Teaching home chef’s how to make local, seasonal produce, meat, fish and poultry taste delicious is my goal.

Black beans, sweet potatoes, lime vinaigrette

This brightly colored Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad couldn’t be more tempting.  Beautiful to the eye and bursting with flavor to the tongue.  I love versatile and this is one of those versatile salads that can be tweaked to your tastes.

I personally love it loaded with cilantro and green onions.  But I have a friend who doesn’t care so much for cilantro.  Leaving out the cilantro and replacing it with chive or Italian parsley would be also be fabulous.

Sweet potatoes are divine in this recipe but feel free to substitute with winter squash. Especially if that’s what you have on hand. Pumpkin would also be fabulous as a substitute.

Delicious wishes for a healthy and happy winter!

Loads of Love,


Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad

Serving Size: 4-6

Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Salad


  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 2 limes, zested and juiced (if the limes are large and juicy, only one may be needed)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or 1 teaspoon chili powder)
  • 3-4 scallions, finely chopped
  • 1 cup corn, I use local organic frozen corn during the winter months (or a little more, especially if you're making this in the summer when fresh sweet corn is readily available)
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup chopped fresh cilantro


  • Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Or, if your oven runs cool pre-heat to 425F.
  • In a large bowl, toss the cubed sweet potatoes with a little high heat oil, such as sunflower, safflower or coconut and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a parchment lined baking sheet and roast for about 10 minutes, just until crisp tender. Be sure not to overcook. We wouldn’t want mashed sweet potato salad.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, whisk together the lime juice, zest, salt, pepper, honey, olive oil and chipotle chili powder.
  • Add the cooled potatoes, scallions, beans and cilantro. Toss gently.
  • You may serve at room temperature or refrigerate.
  • Notes

    Roasting the sweet potatoes or squash is preferred. I’ve tried it both ways, boiled and roasted. Roasting brings out the sweetness in the sweet potato and squash, and adds a nice subtle “crisp” on the outside.

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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sweets vegetarian

    Sweet Potato and Apple Bread Pudding

    Sweet potato bread pudding

    Much of my daily culinary work leads me down the path of nutrition.   It’s amazing the healing power of whole foods, herbs and spices.

    “Food should not only satisfy our hunger, it should nourish our body, feed our soul and delight our senses”  Karista~

    This runs through my mind constantly.  Especially when I’m writing recipes for a culinary class or customizing recipes for a client.

    sweet potato bread pudding

    So now that the holiday season has officially begun (for me that’s the day after Halloween), I thought I’d list a few whole foods, herbs and spices that are nutritious but make holiday recipes delicious.  Ha! Whoever thought one could combine “holiday foods” and “nutritious” in one sentence?

    We see a lot of sweet potatoes this time of year.  And I love it!  Sweet potatoes seem to turn a recipe into something just a little more special, almost indulgent.  They’re slightly sweet, dense, with a creamy texture that blends well with most spices, herbs and aromatics.  Making this one of my favorite whole foods.  Especially for the holidays.

    sweet potato bread pudding

    Sweet Potato and Apple Bread Pudding

    The sweet potato is a root vegetable, not a potato and not a tuber.  There are many variety of sweet potatoes, all with slightly different texture, taste and sweetness. The darker the better.  So when you’re choosing your sweet potatoes at the market choose the darkest in color.

    They are extremely rich in carotenes (precursor of vitamin A).  They are also an excellent source of vitamins C, B2, B6, E and biotin (B7).  In the minerals department, they provide good amounts of manganese, folate (folic acid), copper and iron.  Also rich in dietary fiber.   Whoo Hoo!

    Sweet potatoes are also excellent sources of plant proteins with very low calories (unless of course you add tons of sugar).  Unlike other starchy root vegetables, it’s low in sugar and a good blood sugar regulator.

    Sweet potatoes have also been found to contain a high amount of anti-oxidant, making it suitable for combating inflammatory problems like asthma, arthritis, gout, etc.   This fibrous root is also suitable for diabetics as it’s a good blood sugar regulator, helping to stabilize and lower insulin resistance.

    Who wouldn’t eat a sweet potato now?!  Of course, simply roasted with a pat of butter or coconut oil and a good dose of cinnamon is one of the best ways to eat sweet potato.  However, in this beautiful holiday season, jazzing up the sweet potato with a few additional ingredients is always a tasty idea.

    I add sweet potato to soups, stews, roasted with chicken instead of potatoes, souffles, muffins, breads, cakes, in polenta and most recently I’ve added it to my breakfast bread pudding.

    I seem to have gone long on my sweet potato post, so I’ll reserve the remaining holiday foods, spices and herbs for the next few posts.  🙂 But just to name a few (because I’m so excited about them):  Fresh cranberries, cinnamon, onions, leeks, garlic, ginger, peppermint, horseradish, daikon radish, turnips, parsnips, oatmeal and wheat berries.  I’ll make the effort to keep it short and sweet in the next post, while mentioning a few lovely compliments about each ingredient.

    Meanwhile, for additional informative and interesting nutritional, health and well-being information, I love these two websites:

    Wishing you all a most delicious, healthy and happy holiday season!

    Loads of Love,


    Sweet Potato and Apple Bread Pudding with Whipped Maple Butter

    8-10 servings


    2 cups sweet potato puree (usually 3 large sweet potatoes)*

    6 eggs

    1 cup heavy cream*

    1 cup whole milk*

    1 tablespoon cinnamon

    Pinch of salt

    Dash of vanilla

    ½ cup real maple syrup or maple flavored Agave syrup

    1 loaf Cinnamon Raisin Bread, 1 inch cubed (If using gluten free cinnamon raisin bread, let it sit for 15-30 minutes prior to baking)

    2 apples, peeled and diced

    4 Tablespoons butter (or coconut butter), divided


    In a 9×13 baking dish or 8-10 individual ramekins, grease with 2 tablespoons butter or coconut oil.

    *I roast my sweet potatoes by pre-heating the oven to 400F.  Pierce the flesh of each sweet potato with a fork or knife.  Set on a lined baking sheet.  Bake for about 40-45 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are soft.  Once the sweet potato has cooled, peel the flesh (it comes off easily) and place the sweet potato in a blender or food processor to puree.

    Blend together in a food processor, blender or vitamix the sweet potato puree, eggs, heavy cream, milk, cinnamon, a pinch of salt, dash of vanilla and maple syrup.

    In a large bowl, toss the sweet potato mixture with the cubed cinnamon raisin bread and apples.  Pour mixture into the baking dish, or individual ramekins.  Dot with a little more butter or coconut oil and refrigerate overnight or at least 2 hours.  If using gluten free cinnamon bread do not let it sit for longer than 30 minutes prior to baking.

    Pre-heat the oven to 350F.  Bake the 9×13 pan for about 40-45 minutes or until the center is set.  Bake the ramekins for about 25-30 minutes or until the center is set.

    Remove from the oven and let the bread pudding rest for about 10 minutes before serving.  This bread pudding is also great refrigerated and re-heated the next day.

    If desired, whip together 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, slightly melted, with about ¼ cup of real maple syrup.  Drizzle over the top of the bread pudding and serve.

    You can also sprinkle a dusting of cinnamon or cocoa over the top and serve with a dollop of honey yogurt.

    This makes a lovely holiday breakfast served with chicken or pork breakfast sausages and fresh sliced melon.

    *I’ve also substituted the 1 cup heavy cream and 1 cup milk for 1 can of organic coconunt milk.   It turned out great!

    Nutrition information source:   and

    Chicken Karista's Kitchen Soup vegetarian


    Mulligatawny Soup from Karista's Kitchen

    Every morning I find myself sitting on the kitchen floor in front of my baby chick’s crate, coffee cup in hand, chatting and playing with my four fuzzy little gals. This morning was no different.

    I heard Ranger Craig walk up the stairs to the kitchen and out of the corner of my eye, I caught a  slight smile forming around his mouth.  He tells me I need a farm.  I tell him I’ve known this for years. 🙂

    My oldest gal suggested we get a pig.  Not a “raise it for ham” sort of pig, but a “play with the cute little piggy” pig.  That’s out of the question… but did mention I’d love a goat?

    Mulligatawny Soup from Karista's Kitchen

    Mulligatawny Soup

    My new friend and local blogger Wendy, over at Chez Chloe , recommends two Nigerian Dwarf Goats.  I agree!  I have a Washington cold rain forest jungle behind my house.  I’ve often thought a few goats might take care of that jungle for me.  And fresh goats milk for cheese sounds delightful.

    If you’re my neighbor and you’re reading this, never fear.  I won’t be getting goats any time soon.  Mostly because my two sassy (human) gals would probably sneak them into the house.  That would not be good.

    Until then, I’m completely happy sitting on the kitchen floor… talking to my baby chickens.


    This is a soup with many variations.  A tumeric laced soup with huge flavor and usually includes beef, chicken or lamb.  My version of Mulligatawny is filled with all the wonderful flavors of Autumn.

    Apples, sweet potatoes and the lovely Indian blend of spices, Garam Masala.  Instead of rice, I’ve used wheat berries.  I adore Jovial Foods Einkorn Wheat Berries, nutty, with a little hint of sweetness, these wheat berries make a delicious substitute for rice.

    Serves 4-6  can easily be doubled


    2  teaspoons freshly ground black pepper

    1  tablespoon Garam Masala or:

    2  teaspoons ground coriander

    1 teaspoon ground turmeric

    ¼ teaspoon ground cumin

    ¼  teaspoon ground nutmeg

    Pinch of ground cloves

    3 garlic cloves, minced

    1 teaspoon grated or minced fresh ginger

    1 tablespoon butter

    1 onion, diced

    1 carrot diced

    4-6 cups chicken broth (or veggie broth for vegetarian version)

    3 tablespoons tomato paste

    1-2  teaspoons Thai Kitchen Roasted Red Chile Paste (or a teaspoon of hot sauce)

    1 apple peeled and diced

    1 sweet potato, peeled and diced

    2 cups diced cooked chicken (optional)

    2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar

    1-2 cups cooked wheat berries

    Salt to taste


    Mix together the black pepper and Garam Masala.  If using the individual spices, mix together the spices and black pepper and set aside.

    Heat the butter over medium heat in the bottom of a soup pot and then add the onion and carrots.  When the veggies have softened and wilted add the garlic, ginger and spice mixture, stirring for about one minute.

    Then slowly mix in the chicken broth.  Stir in the tomato paste, roasted red chile paste, apples and sweet potatoes.  Let the soup simmer for about 20 minutes, until the sweet potatoes are soft.

    Add the diced cooked chicken and cooked wheat berries.  Taste for seasoning adding salt as needed.  If you feel the soup needs a “lift” in flavor, add a teaspoon or two of apple cider vinegar.  The longer this soup sits the better it will taste.

    An excellent soup for freezing.

    Additional add ins:  Diced parsnips, diced turnips, or winter greens.