Alright y’all. Like I mentioned yesterday, I have been eating too much processed food lately. Energy bars, candy bars, frozen meals… you name it, if it is quick and easy (and probably not the healthiest), I was eating it.
I am happy to announce that as of Monday, I’m back on the healthy, clean-eating bandwagon. Hallelujah!
All of the processed foods I was consuming were doing a number on my body – I was tired. I had no energy. My skin and hair weren’t at their best. I felt bloated and exhausted… ALL of the time.
I’m sure you’ve heard this before but food is not just food. Yes, food is necessary to fuel our bodies but it also does so much more than that. If you put quality ingredients into your body, you can expect quality results as an outcome. I am the perfect example of this. While I have been eating processed, fried, not-so-good-for you “food”, I haven’t been functioning at my best while at home or at work or – most obviously – while running. I’m hoping that as soon as I get my body stuffed full of whole, nutrient-dense foods, it will stop sputtering like an old engine and start running like a Mercedes.
Bad analogy? What can I say, my brain has been running on processed junk ;)
So what does all of my rambling have to do with today’s recipe? Well, not much except for the fact that my Mexican Sweet Potato Casserole is a delicious, good-for-you recipe that is FULL of real, whole foods!
And while it might not be the prettiest, your body will get plant-based proteins from the quinoa and black beans, calcium from the low-fat cheese, healthy fats from the avocado and lots of fiber from ALL of the vegetables in each and every bite.
Mexican Sweet Potato Casserole (Adapted from SparkRecipes)
Makes 8 servings
- 1 cup quinoa, cooked
- 2-15 oz cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 3 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1-12 oz jar salsa
- 1 cup Mexican style low-fat cheese, shredded
- 1 sliced avocado, for topping
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Using a grater with large holes, grate sweet potatoes into a large bowl. Mix quinoa, beans, onion, asparagus and salsa with sweet potato and spread into a 9×13 pan. Top with cheese and bake, uncovered, for 35-40 minutes. Allow to sit for 10 minutes prior to serving. Serve with sliced avocado and enjoy!
- Grating sweet potatoes takes approximately 10 minutes and will be your arm workout for the day. Trust me on this one.
- If you like your dishes on the spicier side, add in 2-3 chopped jalapenos and 1 TBSP of cayenne pepper for an extra kick!
- Frozen corn would be a great addition to this casserole – I sadly didn’t have any on hand when prepping this recipe.
The next time you’re craving a Mexican-style meal, think about what ingredients go into your favorite, greasy Mexican restaurant entree. Then opt to make this instead. It might not be as quick but it will be just as – if not more – tasty and leave you feeling 100x healthier!
Do you have a cuisine that you have “healthified”? What is your take on companies calling processed foods “healthy”? Yay or nay?