My first recipe is for a Mexican mixed bean pie with a sweet potato top. This is served with a delicious crunchy lime and chilli salad. This simple recipe that I made up a while back is always a winner and it is a particular favourite of mine as the ingredients never have to be the same.
The beans can be varied, you can replace some for lentils or just add more vegetables and it is delicious with aubergine in too. Whatever you have got in your cupboards or whatever your favourites are, it pretty much works any way you like. This recipe will serve about 5 adults but you can use smaller quantities or just freeze half the mix and have with rice another time.
Put a pan of boiling water on, roughly chop the sweet potato into cubes and put on medium heat to boil.
Heat about 2 table spoons of vegetable oil in a large pan on a medium heat and add onion and garlic. Once soft add courgette and mushrooms, continue to fry for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add beans/pulses and stir.
Add one tin of tomatoes, stir, add more if necessary, the mix should still be fairly thick and not runny.
Add spices, bay leaf and sugar, stir, add salt, pepper and chilli to taste.
Cover and leave to simmer for about 10-15 minutes. Taste and salt and pepper if needed.
At this point I like to lightly crush the chilli mix with a potato masher to give it a nice texture, but careful, you don’t want it mashed.
Drain sweet potatoes and mash until smooth, add salt, pepper, butter and oil, stir.
Transfer chilli mix to a large oven proof dish and top with sweet potato mash.
Put in oven for around 20 minutes.
In this time prepare the salad, it is up to how you do this, you can grate all the ingredients or chop to different textures, it’s about preference. Toss all ingredients together in lime juice and olive oil, add salt, pepper and chilli to taste.