So what kind of meal would you make if you were hosting a dinner party after cycling 100km?
Without going to the grocery store, to boot.
While I prefer not to try new recipes on unsuspecting guests, I warned my brother and sister-in-law that this was a new recipe… AND that I would likely be pooped post-bike ride. They were fine with the menu.
The most important part of having them over is not about the food, you see, it was about catching up. How their plans for puppy parenthood are progressing, moving plans on both ends, and since my apartment is now on the market to be rented, it has never looked cleaner. Oh, and games. Fun was had by all as we introduced them to Bananagrams and Dominion.
I still get a bit stressed when choosing a menu for guests. My tastes have changed and I would like to showcase how great the food tastes. A bit harder to do without rehearsing a recipe, but I trusted the complementary flavours within this
soup stew. Yam, black beans, orange, cilantro – what’s not to like?
I adapted this recipe from Appetite for Reduction to create a heartier soup, I mean stew. I decreased the amount of yam, increased the black beans, used canned tomatoes instead of fresh and, of course, used Aleppo chili flakes instead of the serrano peppers.
The yams, partially mashed, created a creamy consistency which meshed well with the extra black beans. I squeezed 2 Navel oranges to acquire 1 cup of fresh orange juice. This added more of a lightness to the soup, rather than an intense orange flavour. The sweet cilantro and orange paired well with the slight zing from the Aleppo pepper.
Let me tell you how perfect this stew was:
1) It is a very easy recipe easy. I had no problems whipping this up after the bike ride, since it came together quite seamlessly.
2) It serves 8, so there was plenty of food for seconds. And (souper) leftovers for me!
3) It tasted very good. No complaints from my guests. Not a typical meal for company, but it would suit me well if I visited someone.
4) For recovery meals after endurance-based exercise, this was ideal with a high carb content. As is, this has a 1:5 protein:carb ratio, but enjoy it with a glass of soy milk for an overall 1:3.5 ratio. Apparently, liquid-based meals are easiest to digest while in recovery so a soup is perfect.
Sounds like a winning meal for everyone.
Yam and Black Bean Stew with Orange and Cilantro
1 tbsp canola oil
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1/2 tsp Aleppo chili flakes
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp ground cumin
1.5 tsp salt
15 oz canned whole tomatoes, diced
1 kg yam, cut into 1 cm chunks
3 cups water
1 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
3 cups cooked black beans (or 2x15oz cans of black beans, drained and rinsed well)
1/2 cup cilantro, stems and leaves, chopped (reserve some for garnish)
1. Heat a 4-quart pot over medium heat with the olive oil. Saute the onion for about 5 minutes, until softened. Add the chili flakes and garlic, and saute for another minute. Add the cumin, salt and canned tomatoes. Raise the heat to medium-high and allow the tomatoes to cook down for about 5 minutes. Add the yams and water. Cover, bring to a boil, and then simmer until yams are soft (around 15 minutes).
2. Turn off the heat and use a potato masher to squish the yams a few times, while still leaving a few whole. Add the orange juice, beans and cilantro. Allow the beans to get heated through, waiting 10 minutes or so. Stir well, garnish with cilantro and serve with bread and perhaps a salad.