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This Mexican(ish) recipe starts with a base of pinto beer beans, which are so good on their own, you might want to turn them into a regular side dish. Then, pile on some roasted potatoes (both sweet and regular), fajita-like bell peppers and onion, followed by crisp romaine lettuce and avocado. Serve with tortilla chips or warmed tortillas and dig in! This is a meal you can enjoy in sweatpants on the couch, or serve for a casual get-together with chips and guacamole.
Mexican Roasted Veggie Bowl with Beer Beans
(Makes 4 servings)
Roasted potatoes and red bell peppers:
- 1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 3/4 pound Yukon Gold or russet (baking) potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
- 2 Tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided, or more if needed
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- Fine sea salt
- 2 red bell peppers, sliced lengthwise into 1/2-inch- wide strips
- 1/2 medium white onion, cut into 1/2-inch-thick wedges
- 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped yellow or white onion (about 1/2 small onion)
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 cans (15 ounces each) pinto beans, rinsed and drained, or 3 cups cooked pinto beans
- 3/4 cup Mexican beer* or water
- 2 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 Tablespoon lime juice, or more if needed
Garnishes (the more, the better):
- Chopped romaine lettuce
- Sliced avocado or Quick Guacamole (Get the recipe in Love Real Food.)
- Crumbled feta cheese
- Tortilla chips and/or warmed corn tortillas
- Red salsa, homemade (Get the recipe in Love Real Food.) or storebought, for serving
1. To roast the veggies: Preheat the oven to 425°F with racks in the middle and upper third of the oven. Line two large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.
2. On one baking sheet, combine the sweet potatoes and potatoes. Drizzle 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over the potatoes, followed by the cumin, chili powder, cayenne, and a sprinkle of salt. Toss until they are lightly and evenly coated, adding extra olive oil if necessary. Arrange the potatoes in a single layer and bake on the middle rack until they are tender and caramelizing on the edges, 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway.
3. Meanwhile, on the second baking sheet, combine the bell pepper strips and onion wedges. Drizzle with the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and gently toss until evenly coated, leaving the onion wedges intact if possible. Arrange the veggies in a single layer and bake on the top rack until they are tender and caramelizing on the edges, 20 to 25 minutes, tossing halfway.
4. To prepare the beans: In a medium saucepan, warm the olive oil over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onion and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is tender and turning translucent, 4 to 6 minutes. Add the garlic, chili powder, and cumin and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
5. Add the beans and the beer. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat as necessary to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the beans are very tender and the liquid has condensed somewhat, 15 to 18 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cilantro and lime juice. Season to taste with additional salt (I usually add up to 1/4 teaspoon more, which helps counteract any remaining bitterness in the beer), and a little more lime juice, if necessary.
6. Portion the beans into bowls, followed by the roasted veggies and your choice of garnishes. Serve with your favorite red salsa on the side.
*Ingredient Note: These beans are extra tasty when cooked with beer. My personal favorite is Negra Modelo, but if you're sensitive to bitterness in beer, choose a lighter beer, such as Corona. Don't worry—these beans are still great with water if you're avoiding alcohol (I can't promise that all of the alcohol evaporates during cooking).
Find this recipe and 100 more in Love Real Food, including make-your-own instant oatmeal mix; fluffy, naturally sweetened, whole-grain blueberry muffins; hearty green salads; warming soups; pineapple pico de gallo; and healthier homemade pizzas.