Gluten Free Southwestern Black Bean Stew with Sweet Potato Mash RecipeI am not an indecisive person. If given a choice between a rock and a hard place, I use my head and my heart, make a decision and then commit to my choice 100 percent. When there is a difference of opinion between my hubby and me, we settle it in an intelligent, sensible, mature manner – Rock, Paper, Scissors!
This particular gluten free recipe, however, left me uncharacteristically indecisive – I just can’t decide whether it is best eaten as a stew spooned over mashed sweet potatoes or poured into a casserole dish, topped with the sweet potato mash, baked and served as a vegan, Southwestern version of Shepherd’s Pie.
In the end, it was trying to come up with a name for the recipe that swayed me slightly. Technically, a Shepherd’s Pie is made with lamb. When the same type recipe is made with beef, it is called a Cottage Pie. So what would I call a pie made with black beans, vegetables and Southwestern seasonings? Ranchero Pie? Garden Pie? Nothing stuck me as having the right ring to it.
The good news is you can serve it either way or even both – which is what we did. The first time we ate it in the stew version; then I turned the leftovers into individual pies that were easily reheated in the oven or microwave – perfect for our busy weekend.
Sometimes the secret to quick cooking is actually taking it slow. I started this recipe with a bag of Hurst Family Harvest Chipotle Lime Black Bean Soup Mix, let the beans soak in the fridge for a day, simmered the beans unattended for a couple hours and then about 30 minutes before dinner, I put some sweet potatoes on to boil and turned the soup into a savory, complex vegetarian stew by sautéing onions, corn, peppers and mushrooms and bringing it all together with a bit of gluten free taco sauce.
While this dish seems to have brought out an indecisive quality to my personality, there is one thing I am totally certain about – I love this recipe! In fact, I have been eating it all weekend and have yet to tire of it.
If you wish to turn this recipe into a Shepherd’s Pie type of meal, just pour the stew into a baking dish, top with the mashed sweet potatoes and heat in a 400 degree oven until the mixture is bubbly and the top starts to brown (about 15 minutes). You can even prepare the pie ahead, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate, then heat for about half an hour or so in the oven before serving.
Gluten Free Southwestern Black Bean Stew with Sweet Potato Mash Recipe
1 bag Hurst Family Harvest Chipotle Lime Black Bean Soup Mix
5 pounds sweet potatoes (about 6 large) – chopped
Salt & pepper
2 tablespoons butter or dairy free butter substitute
1 – 3 tablespoons milk or dairy free milk (optional)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 poblano pepper, finely chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels (if frozen, let thaw)
¼ cup gluten free taco sauce
1 tablespoon corn starch, tapioca starch or arrowroot powder
Place beans in a large bowl and cover by at least 2 inches of water. Let soak from 8 to 24 hours in the refrigerator. Reserve the seasoning packet.
Drain and rinse the beans, put in a soup pot with 6 cups water and the seasoning packet. Bring to a boil, cover the pot, reduce the heat and let the beans simmer for 2 hours or until tender and almost all of the liquid has cooked off.
30 – 40 minutes before the beans are done, place the chopped sweet potatoes in a large pot of cold, salted water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the water from the potatoes, return them to the hot pot and mash with a potato masher. Add the butter and salt and pepper to taste. If the potatoes are not creamy enough, add a tablespoon or two of milk or dairy free milk and mash to desired consistency.
While the potatoes are boiling, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the onions and cook until they start to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the bell and poblano peppers and the sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables have softened and are starting to brown, about 10 minutes. Add the corn, cook for another minute, then add the beans and any of the bean liquid to the vegetables. Add the taco sauce. Raise the heat and bring to a boil. Whisk the cornstarch (or tapioca starch or arrowroot powder) with 3 tablespoons of water, stir into the vegetable mixture and boil for 1 minute. Taste and adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
To serve, spoon some of the mashed sweet potatoes into a large, shallow bowl and top with some of the bean stew.
This Gluten Free Southwestern Black Bean Stew with Sweet Potato Mash Recipe serves 6-8
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