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Chili-tinged sweet potatoes are loaded in all the right ways – flavor, nutrition and satisfaction

UPDATED: Wed., Feb. 17, 2021

Chili-seasoned black beans are a perfect complement to sweet potatoes.  (Laura Chase de Formigny/For the Washington Post)
Chili-seasoned black beans are a perfect complement to sweet potatoes. (Laura Chase de Formigny/For the Washington Post)
By Ellie Krieger Special To The Washington Post

You can count me in for pretty much any dish with “loaded” and “potato” in its name. Either of those words alone point in the direction of filling, comfort-food satisfaction, but together they are practically a guarantee.

With this loaded potato recipe, as a bonus, that gratification is delivered in a healthful way, too. It starts with a simply baked sweet potato in its naturally creamy, brilliant-orange glory split open and scored to help it embrace the layers of goodies to come.

First, pile on a mound of chili-seasoned, partly smashed black beans made in a skillet in about 10 minutes, their savory spice complementing the sweetness of the spud.

On top of that, add cooling dollops – one of mashed avocado and another of yogurt or sour cream (which can be omitted, or use a plant-based version to make this dish vegan). Then, shower the whole thing with an exuberant crunch of radish, tangy heat of pickled jalapeño and refreshing grassiness of cilantro leaves.

The result is a colorful, chili-inspired stuffed potato that is a nourishing meal in itself and one you can count me in for at any time.

Loaded Sweet Potatoes With Chili Black Beans

4 medium sweet potatoes (about 7 ounces each)

2 tablespoons olive oil

½ cup (about 3 ½ ounces) diced yellow onion

2 cloves garlic, minced or finely grated

One (15-ounce) can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

1 ½ teaspoons chili powder

½ teaspoon ground cumin

½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided

1 pinch cayenne pepper, plus more to taste

¼ cup water

1 medium ripe avocado, pitted and peeled

1 teaspoon fresh lime juice

¼ cup plain yogurt or sour cream

1 medium radish, cut into matchsticks

¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves

¼ cup pickled jalapeños

Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 425 degrees. Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Using a fork, prick each potato in several places, then place them on the baking sheet and bake for about 30 minutes. Flip over the potatoes and continue to bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened.

In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 2 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds more. Stir in the beans, chili powder, cumin, ¼ teaspoon of the salt and the cayenne pepper.

Add the water and cook, mashing the beans a bit with a wooden spoon, until most of the water has evaporated or been absorbed but the mixture remains a bit saucy, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm.

In a small bowl, mash the avocado with the lime juice and the remaining ¼ teaspoon of salt.

To serve, using a paring knife, slice each potato in half lengthwise and score the insides. Place the potato halves cut side up on plates and top each with about ⅓ cup of the bean mixture, 2 tablespoons of the avocado mash and a dollop of yogurt or sour cream. Top with the radish, cilantro and jalapeño and serve.

Yield: 4 servings

Storage notes: Leftover roasted sweet potatoes and beans can be refrigerated in separate containers for up to 3 days. Rewarm before eating.

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