Sweet potato and black bean burritos

This recipe has become a staple of our winter diet. The ingredients are easy to find, and when you use whole wheat tortillas it feels pretty healthy.

I really recommend using organic yams if you can find them at your grocery store. I can tell the difference right away, both in the purple skin and the bright orange color inside. I’m pretty sure it means you’re getting even more beta carotine.

Sweet potato black bean burritos
from Simply in Season, a cookbook you must have

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1/2 onion, chopped
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
8 whole wheat tortillas
1 1/2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
Taco sauce, if you like it

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onions for a couple minutes, then add the sweet potatoes. Put a lid on your skillet and let the potatoes cook/steam for at least 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. About halfway through, add a little water to keep the onions from sticking to the bottom.

Once the potatoes are soft, add your black beans and spices and mix well.

Spoon this mixture into tortillas, sprinkle on cheese and a bit of taco sauce and roll them up. If you like you can bake them in a 350 degree oven for a few minutes, but I usually skip that step.

Pants cake

My friend Dave reminded me the other day about this cake I made a few years ago for our office. Just thinking about it makes me laugh.

We had a pretty laid-back staff, and I was writing a cooking column every week for college-age students. So I wasn’t exactly scouring Food and Wine for my recipes. Instead I found Claire Crespo’s Yummy Fun site, and her hilarious idea for a cake in the shape of pants. I can’t find it online anymore, but you don’t need a recipe. Just bake any cake in a 9X13 pan, remove it to cool, and cut out a triangle shape to separate the legs (this bit makes a good snack!)

Mix up a couple of colors of frosting and pipe on a belt shape to make it even more authentic.