Sweet potatoes aren’t a vegetable that I eat very often, and in fact, I can’t remember the last time I ate them, but I decided to try to make a dish with sweet potato noodles. So I bought a couple of sweet potatoes, brought them home, and peeled one. And unlike the ones in the recipes I’d been looking at online, they were white. I didn’t even know that they came in white and orange versions, but apparently the flesh can be white, yellow, orange or purple. The white ones are supposedly slightly less sweet than the orange ones, but I think either would work for this recipe. And now I want to try purple sweet potato noodles, mostly because they’d look cool.
Have you ever had colorful sweet potatoes? Do they taste different, or is it like Skittles, where the different colors pretty much taste the same? What color do you usually buy?
I’ve made pesto zucchini noodles, but this was the first time I’d made sweet potato noodles, and there were a couple of differences I noticed. First, I had to press a lot harder to make the noodles. For most of the noodling, I ended up just abandoning the handle, and turning the potato by hand. And unlike the zucchini noodles, when I cooked the sweet potato noodles, they didn’t shrink down in size. They also stayed more firm. I liked them a lot, and will definitely make them again.
Not really safe, but it worked.
Another unusual ingredient I used in this dish is soy curls. It’s that stuff that looks a lot like chicken. It actually doesn’t taste like chicken, but it has a similar fibrous texture. Soy curls are one of my favorite meat alternatives. They’re super easy to prepare, non-perishable, absorb flavors well, and the texture is really great. I buy them from the bulk bins at my local grocery store, but you can buy them online if your local store doesn’t have them.
Southwestern Black Bean and Corn Sweet Potato Noodles
1 sweet potato, peeled and spiralized into noodles
1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 small mild green pepper, sliced
1 cup frozen corn kernels
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup soy curls
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp salt
Freshly ground pepper
Cotija cheese (It’s not traditional, but I often use crumbled feta in place of cotija)
Lime, cut into wedges
Cilantro, chopped, for garnish
Place soy curls in a bowl, and cover with hot tap water. Set aside to re-hydrate for about 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, pour soy curls into a mesh strainer and press the soy curls with a large spoon to press out as much water as possible.
In a large non-stick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and peppers, sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, and cook for 5-7 minutes, stirring, until vegetables are softened but still have a little crunch. Add frozen corn, garlic, black beans, soy curls, 1/2 teaspoon cumin, and 1/2 teaspoon chili powder, and cook for 1 minute, until the corn is thawed and warmed through.
Remove the vegetables from the pan and place in a large bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat. Add the sweet potato noodles, sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon each of salt, chili powder, and cumin, and stir to mix. Cook, tossing the noodles with tongs until noodles are “al dente,” about 5-7 minutes. They should still have a slight crunch to them.
When noodles are done, toss with vegetables in a large bowl. Serve, and top individual bowls with a squeeze of lime and optional toppings like crumbly cheese, avocado slices, salsa, sour cream, and cilantro.
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