Hello friends! I’m sure you have been just waiting for an email notification for a new post from twigfood every since I left you hanging months and months ago, right? Of course you were. I’m sorry, beautiful people, I encountered some very busy times in my life. I was too busy working more than full time, applying to grad school AND Bike & Build, training for Bike & Build, and oh, BIKING ACROSS THE COUNTRY with Bike & Build,
to justify taking pictures of food and then writing extensively about it. My apologies, my dears. But now, I am in a place where I am working less than full time and am taking only six credits in my first semester of graduate school. I am attending the University of Montana for a M.S. in Environmental Studies with an emphasis on Sustainable Food & Farming. There is nothing better than writing about, thinking about, talking about, and of course eating, food all the time! I think I made the right choice.
During my journey via bicycle across the U.S., I pedaled through the wilted waves of grain, as I saw firsthand how the drought was affecting the already water-intensive industrialized agriculture that is so dominant across the agricultural centers across the United States. It made me rethink my consumption of beloved soy, that comprises the milk substitute I drink, the tofu I eat, the Tofurky ‘dogs I occasionally chow down on, and so many other things that you and I both eat. The soy (&corn&wheat&alfalfa) fields spanned for hundreds of acres in the form of a biodiversity desert swath of monoculture. Whereas farming soy and any other plant is significantly less energy and water intensive than farming animals, and does not produce methane, it is still not great to grow plants in this way. Seeing this, and coupling it with the reading I have been doing lately for class, I will try to eat a little less soy. But it’s so delicious! And now for a bean recipe…
This recipe is something I have been making for a crowd-pleasing, hearty meal that is protein-packed and has a fiery kick, to boot, for my time as disaster relief cook to famished vegan rider on Bike & Build. The response is the same: Can I please have the recipe?! I eat this during all times of the year, but it feels appropriate now, as we’re all feeling, well, except maybe you folks in Texas, hints of the coming autumn. Pair this with some warm tortillas, some salsa and avocados, and voila! You have a dinner that will warm your bones and do a body good. Bon appetit!
Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos:
-1 medium sweet potato, diced into 1/2 cubes
-1/4-1/2 large onion, chopped or sliced
– 2 cloves garlic, minced
– 1/4 c. molasses
– 1 7.5 oz can chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
– 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes
– 6 cups cooked black beans
– 2 tbsp chili powder
– 1 1/2 tsp alderwood smoked salt, or any smoked salt*
– Olive oil
1) In a medium pan, heat the olive oil over low heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook until lightly browned and cooked through.
2) Add the onions and cook until transparent.
3) Add the garlic and cook until transparent, being careful not to burn it.
4) Add the remaining ingredients and heat until boiling. Let simmer for 5 or 10 minutes until flavors have melded and mixture is heated through.
* I usually use Liquid Smoke ™, but only had this delicious smoked salt on hand. If you have Liquid Smoke, I think a teaspoon will do at most. A little bit goes a long way, so feel free to experiment.