Simply Healthy Family: Cuban Style Sweet Potatoes, Yams and Black Beans with Pineapple Salsa


Cuban Style Sweet Potatoes, Yams and Black Beans with Pineapple Salsa

Some of the best things happen by accident. Or, if you rather, "Necessity is the Mother of Invention."
Last minute dinners as a result of poor planning can be the invention of a new family favorite if you stock your pantry with healthy ingredients. I always have a variety of brown and wild rice (bulk/bag, not boxed w flavor packets) and cans of  low-sodium beans for when I'm super lazy.  I also always keep on hand, a variety of flavored vinegars and oils, sun dried tomatoes, peppers in oil, Tamari, spices, ginger, garlic, onions, broth and crushed tomatoes. 

These are my Kitchen Staples ie. things I always have in my pantry and fridge.  My feeling is, if you keep healthy foods and ingredients stocked in your kitchen and NOT junk, you will be forced to make healthy foods instead of grabbing for unhealthy ones.

I always think of  my husband's favorite movie " Field of Dreams" when I reach for one of my trusty ingredients. In the movie the mysterious voice/dream Kevin Costner keeps hearing says "If you build it, they will come".  So the voice in my head says " If you buy healthy foods, healthy recipes will come to you."  Or, "If you keep it on hand, they will eat it".  What? No, no I'm not crazy. Alright maybe a little. The point is, some of our favorite dishes have been not from fancy recipe books or sites, but from common kitchen ingredients I keep on hand and my master mommy mind!

What are some of your Kitchen Staples
and what do you commonly do with them?

Last minute pineapple salsa. I was going to toss the pineapple in with the potatoes the last few minutes of baking but found these sweet peppers hanging out in my pantry that wanted to join the party.
If you've never tried these little peppers, you should. They are sweet and delicious. We commonly use them as dippers for hummus, but they were perfect for fruit salsa. I added a jalapeno too for a kick!
If you have young children, set aside some pineapple minus the jalapeno, onion and cilantro for them.

I used crushed pineapple, sweet mini peppers, jalapeno, minced white onion and cilantro.

I sprinkled about a tablespoon of Jamaican Allspice, a bit of salt and cracked pepper onto the yams and potatoes and tossed with oil. The contrast of the savory, sweet allspice with the cumin in the beans was excellent!

Peel and cube  sweet potatoes into 1 1/2 inch pieces.  Put in large bowl and drizzle with just a little extra virgin olive oil, add spices, toss to combine. Too much oil and they will be mushy. Pour into a large casserole dish and bake at 400F for 30-45 minutes, depending on how many you use and how small you cut them. As soon as they are easily pierced with a fork, remove from oven. you don't want mashed potatoes, you want them slightly firm.

Meanwhile, in a sauce pot, add Ranch Style black beans, drained. 1/2 cup chicken broth or water, chopped cilantro, cumin and salt. Cook covered over medium heat to combine flavors.

Serve over brown rice to make a "complete protein" dinner.



  1. LOL, I love your cumin ;) This sounds absolutely delicious. Sweet potatoes in any form are the ultimate magnet for me. YUM!

  2. This looks awesome!! Some of my kitchen staples would deg be Cayenne pepper, minced onion, and garlic!

  3. Delicious! What a vibrant and nutritious meal. I love how you incorporated Field of Dreams in your post (we love that movie) and now I want to hang your motto up on my fridge. It's amazing how many meals you can create when you have a well-stocked pantry. Thank you for sharing this with us...a job well done!

  4. This looks so good, Gwen! So fresh and the cumin is awesome!

    My pantry staples are good organic marinara sauce which allows me to make either, pizza, spaghetti or tomato basil soup for when I'm feelin' lazy. I always have good pastas. Garbonzo beans for hummus. Root veggies are always a must too!

    Thanks for your support Gwen and sharing the love! hugs, girly!

  5. OH! I totally forgot to tell you how much I love your new look for the blog! it's really, really nice. very chic.

  6. girlichef~ that's what happens when I forget to picture an ingredient... which is often ;-)
    Jennifer~ thank you so much! I put those in almost everything!
    Monet~ As always, thank you for your thoughtful comments... and for supporting my habit of talking to myself. ;)
    Lauren ~ Thanks! ;) marinara is def a must. and makes me smile that you like my new look. I'm still working on the details and will have to get a grip on my OCD and leave well enough alone.

  7. Love the pineapple salsa! My girls love fruit salsa and we'll have to give this a whirl. They're always begging for fresh pineapple at the store. I also love the combination of sweet potatoes with black beans. That sounds super yummy.

  8. I love this and can't wait to try it. So many healthy ingredients put together in a flavorful dish!

  9. adventuresome kitchen and Mother Rimmy, I hope you both give it a try, the flavors are wonderful! Let me know if you do, I'd love your feedback!


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