Sweet Potato + Black Bean Wraps (v2.0)

Sweet Potato + Black Bean Wraps (v2.0)

Sweet Potatoes

I have been trying to cut back on the amount of Nightshades (white potatoes, tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, paprika, chili powder, cayenne pepper, etc.) I’ve been consuming.

I feel like we’ve slipped back into our old way of eating: pasta with tomato sauce on repeat, burgers and fries more often than not, and eating out a whole heck of a lot more than we’re used to.

Unfortunately, my body has been paying the price with more frequent headaches, irritability, stomach aches, hives, and break outs.

Black beans

So I thought it would be good to go on a Nightshade hiatus, and bring back some of our old favorites from the days where even the mere mention of a tomato would give me hives.

This sweet potato and black bean wrap was a staple in our diet those days. It was super easy to make and incredibly delicious. It was also something that both The Hubster and I enjoyed.

Sunflower Seeds

Bonus: it takes 15 minutes total to create.

Five whole minutes to peel and grate the potatoes (subtract two minutes if using a Cuisinart for the grating), five more minutes to cook the onions and sweet potatoes, and another five minutes to mix everything together and create a wrap (or two).

Know what else takes five minutes? Eating the wrap. Because it’s so freakin’ delicious.

baby spinach and whole wheat wrap

After we polished off our wraps, The Hubster asked why we hadn’t had these bad boys for so long.

I wasn’t really sure how to answer that. Looking back at the old recipe, I think it had a lot to do with the fact that Whole Foods stopped carrying my favorite salad dressing on the planet. The very dressing we used to make these wraps.

Sweet potato and black bean wrap

Needless to say, I’m glad the wraps are back in the rotation.

I also think this would be awesome sans the wrap. And perhaps with a fried egg or two on top. Come to think of it, that’s awfully close to the Breakfast Hash. Meaning it would definitely be awesome.

Sweet potato and black bean wrap

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Wraps v2.0

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com


  • 3 small sweet potatoes or yams peeled
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 15 ounce can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup sunflower seed shelled
  • 1/4 cup Apple Balsamic Vinaigrette or your favorite dressing
  • 1 package whole wheat tortillas
  • fresh baby spinach


  1. In a food processor, shred the sweet potatoes.
  2. In a large skillet saute the shredded yams with preferred oil {we used safflower} over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until crisp tender.
  3. Add onions and continue to for 5 minutes or until tender.
  4. Add the black beans and sunflower seeds, mixing well.
  5. Add the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
  6. Fill the tortillas, add a little baby spinach and devour.

Allergen Information

Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, Corn Free.

Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili

Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili

sweet potatoes for sweet potato and black bean chili

Posting about chili seems oddly appropriate today, in the aftermath of yet another snow storm in Pittsburgh.

Looking out my window, there are a good 4 inches of snow that have yet to melt. Mother Nature clearly didn’t get the memo that Spring was supposed to have sprung.

Black beans

What I love about chili: it’s the kind of meal that takes very little prep or effort, but has a huge payoff at the end. And if you make enough of it, it will payoff all week long.

Also, you get to eat it with cornbread. Lots and lots of cornbread.

parsley, basil and oregano

This chili was inspired by my love for black beans, sweet potatoes, and corn. Ingredients that I came to love in combination when the mere thought of a tomato gave me hives.

Also, I’ve been seeing people talk about this combination (sweet potatoes and black beans) in the form of chili for months, and only recently realized that I too could be enjoying a hearty bowl myself.

You know what? They were right. Sweet potato + black bean chili is kick-ass.

fresh parsley

Know what else is kick-ass? How colorful this concoction is.

It’s like eating a rainbow (ahem), with the red of the tomatoes, the orange of the sweet potato, the yellow of the corn, the green of the fresh herbs, and the purple/black of the black beans.

The only thing missing is blue, which could come in the form of blue cornbread.

sweet potato and black bean chili

Things you’ve learned today:

  • I have a deep-seated love for sweet potatoes, black beans, and corn.
  • Sweet potatoes + black beans + corn + tomatoes = amazeballs.
  • Eating the rainbow is pretty kick-ass.
  • There is such a thing as blue cornbread.

Now, go forth and make chili.

sweet potato and black bean chili

sweet potatoes for sweet potato and black bean chili

Sweet Potato + Black Bean Chili

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 -6
Author Emily Levenson | emilylevenson.com


  • 2 tbs cooking oil olive, canola
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 15-oz can black beans
  • 1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled and cubed
  • 1 cup corn fresh or frozen
  • 1 tbs dried parsley
  • 1 tbs dried basil
  • 1 tbs dried oregano
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 cups vegetable broth or water
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley chopped


  1. Heat oil over medium-high heat in a large pot or saucepan.
  2. Add onions and garlic and saute until translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add sweet potatoes and cook until slightly browned.
  4. Add tomatoes, beans, and corn.
  5. Bring to a boil.
  6. Add dried parsley, basil, oregano, salt, black pepper, and broth. Stir well.
  7. Turn heat down and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat and stir in fresh parsley.
  9. Serve with your favorite toppings and sides!

Allergen Information

Dairy Free, Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Soy Free, Egg Free.

Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Smothered Sweet Potatoes

I have to say that my first inclination when it comes to the gorgeous yam is not to smother it with tomatoes, paprika, or cayenne pepper.

Probably has a lot to do with the whole food sensitivity thing (stupid nightshade intolerance), and the fact that sweet potatoes were seen as a replacement to the things-I-couldn’t-have.

Thank goodness for Pinterest. And for blogs like Naturally Ella (a new favorite).

This whole sweet potato smothered with tomatoes, chickpeas, and spices was her idea.


I think it took my brain a bit to adjust to the flavor combinations.

Sweet potato and tomatoes aren’t intentionally combined in my kitchen. Unless, of course, you count sweet potato fries and ketchup. In which case, that happens a bit more occasionally.

The clove also took my taste buds a bit by surprise. Not a spice we use often.

I think the last time I did, it ended fairly crappily. Think pumpkin spice refrigerator oats—minus the cinnamon—with a heck of a lot of clove.



By the third bite, I was into it.

By the tenth bite, I was stuffed to the gills.

Who knew this was such a filling meal?!


Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Smothered Sweet Potatoes

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 2 -3


  • 2 medium to large yams
  • 1 tbs oil safflower, canola, coconut
  • 1/2 red onion chopped
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • dash cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp grey sea salt or regular
  • 1 15-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbs tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 1 15-oz can chickpeas or garbanzo beans
  • 1-2 tsp parsley for garnish


  1. Bake the sweet potatoes. If cooking in the microwave, cook approximately 6 minutes, turn over and cook for another 4-6 minutes. If using a conventional oven, preheat the oven to 400˚F, place on a baking sheet and bake for 45 minutes to an hour. Either way, sweet potato should be fork tender.
  2. Heat oil in a medium-large saucepan over medium heat. Add onions and sautee until translucent, approximately 3-5 minutes.
  3. Add cumin, coriander, cloves, paprika, cayenne pepper, and salt. Sautee for another 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, and vegetable broth. Stir to combine.
  5. Add chickpeas and bring to a boil.
  6. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  7. Remove from heat. Split open sweet potatoes, and spoon chickpea and tomato mixture over top.
  8. Garnish with parsley.
  9. Enjoy!

Allergen Information

Dairy Free, Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, and Corn Free.

Sweet Potato Latkes (Gluten Free)

Sweet Potato Latkes (Gluten Free)

peeled sweet potatoes

Hanukkah came and went. But that doesn’t mean that the best of the holiday treats have to go with it. My favorite treats this time of year: sweet potato latkes, homemade applesauce, and donuts.

Last year was a parsnip and sweet potato latke kind of holiday.

This year felt like it needed something a bit more simple, so I stuck with my favorite sweet potato.

sweet potato latkes frying in a pan

This year, I think I made about 10 dozen latkes.

That breaks down to: 10lbs of potatoes, 5lbs of onions, a dozen or so eggs, and a crap-ton of oil.

For a once-a-year treat, I’m okay with that. If that was how we ate all the time, I might need to rethink my profession…

sweet potatoes latkes being drained on towels

We paired the latkes with some pear applesauce.

It was awesome.

I also used the remaining pears to make a pear simple syrup for a fun mocktail (recipe coming soon!).

Nothing like celebrating the holidays in style.

a stack of sweet potato latkes

The best part about the holidays this year?

Being able to feed everyone. From the health-conscious to the food sensitive to the foodies. There was something on the table for everyone.

And that makes me one happy lady.

A bite of sweet potato latkes


Gluten-Free Sweet Potato Latkes

Servings 4


  • 4 cups grated sweet potato
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chickpea or quinoa flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • canola or safflower oil for frying


  1. Preheat oven to 250°F.
  2. Peel sweet potato and grate in food processor.
  3. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and combine with onion, flour, eggs, baking powder, salt, and pepper and still until well combined.
  4. Heat oil in a nonstick skillet over moderate heat until hot but not smoking.
  5. Spoon 1/4 cup of latke mixture into skillet and flatten. Add as many as the pan will hold, and cook until golden brown (about 1 1/2 minutes on each side).
  6. Transfer latkes to paper towels to drain.
  7. Keep warm on a rack set in a shallow baking pan in oven.
  8. Make more latkes in same manner, in batches of 4, with remaining mixture.
  9. Serve with your favorite toppings (applesauce, sour cream).
  10. Makes 9-12 latkes, depending on size.

Allergen Information

Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Wheat Free, Gluten Free, and Soy Free.

Wishing you and yours a happy happy Hanukkah!

Sweet Potato Bagels

Sweet Potato Bagels

Sweet Potato Bagels

I’ve made bagels only once in my life. Well, prior to making these bad boys.

And I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised at how do-able it was.

Time consuming, yes. Doable, absolutely.

Sweet potato chunks

I’ve been craving bagels lately. And being the cheap budgeting queen that I am, flat out refused to pay a whopping $12 for a dozen.

Making them was the only (cost-effective) option.

Besides, I got to pick the flavor (hello you gorgeous sweet potatoes, you) and the kind of flour (enriched and bleached…no thanks).

sweet potato bagel dough

I even enjoyed kneading the dough by hand.

Yeah. I could have used the bread machine. But that would sort of defeat the purpose of making them by hand.

bagels pre-boiling

And then came the point in the afternoon where I had to shape the bagels. The first batch I made, I rolled them and smooshed them, and created a big hole in the center. They were good, but…not perfect.

And then I stumbled upon this recipe and learned a much simpler way to get the perfect bagel: roll a ball and then put your thumb through the middle to make the hole.

Mind = blown.

Homemade sweet potato bagels

I think we got about 7 or 8 bagels out of this recipe. I’m sure we could have gotten a few more to make it a round dozen. I blame my amateur dough dividing skills.

Some of my bagels were huge. Some were a bit smaller.

Whatever the size, they were de.li.cious.

sweet potato bagel goodness

They are also full of sweet potato-ey goodness.

Practically making them a health food.

The you-can-eat-them-for-breakfast-every-morning-and-not-feel-a-stitch-of-guilt kind of health food.

toasted sweet potato bagel

P.S.—The Hubster was a bit surprised that they didn’t taste a thing like sweet potatoes.

P.P.S.—I bet they would be divine with a bit of cinnamon and sugar.

P.P.P.S.—They are also incredible with a bit of butter (aka Earth Balance) and salt.

P.P.P.P.S.—Just make the damn bagels.

sweet potato bagel goodness

Sweet Potato Bagels

Sweet Potato Bagels

Prep Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 50 minutes


  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup mashed sweet potato approx. 1 large sweet potato cooked and mashed
  • 2 tbs maple syrup
  • 2 1/4 tsp 1 packet active dry yeast
  • 2/3 cup + 2 tbs warm water
  • pinch of salt
  • corn or flax meal for dusting baking sheet


  1. Mix all ingredients (accept corn meal) in a large bowl—or stand mixer with a dough attachment—until it begins to form a dough and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. You may need to add another tablespoon or two of flour if it's too sticky.
  2. Turn onto a well floured surface and knead for 7-10 minutes, until smooth and elastic, adding water or flour as needed.
  3. Cover, and allow to rise for one hour.
  4. Preheat oven to 400F.
  5. After the dough has risen, turn out onto a floured surface and divide into 9-12 equal pieces.
  6. Shape into balls and use your thumb to make a hole in the center.
  7. Allow bagels to rest for 10 minutes, then press the bagels down to flatten slightly.
  8. In a large pot, bring about one quart of water to a boil.
  9. Drop in bagels, two to three at a time, for 45 seconds per side.
  10. Remove to a baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal or flaxmeal.
  11. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until browned. If using flax meal, keep an eye on the bagels as it can burn.

Allergen Information

Nightshade Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Egg Free, Corn Free (if not using corn meal).