This is my 100th post. A marker. A proud achievement. Yet, today, as I sat with a group of students enjoying an ice cream sandwich to celebrate the end of the academic year, I learned of the bombings at the Boston Marathon. Tragic events put life in perspective. They force me to pause and re-evaluate. So, instead of my weekly meal plan, I’ll share what the Boston Marathon means to me.
The Boston Marathon touches me in many ways. In college, it was an event to celebrate and I cheered, high-fived, and hugged runners as they passed in front of our campus. The Boston Marathon was the first marathon I’d ever witnessed, and 14 years ago, it inspired me to try running as an adult. Although I never qualified for Boston, I ran five marathons in my twenties. Running continues to be part of my life and routine. Today’s news also reminds me of my close friends and colleagues that live in Boston, especially a dear friend that lives only blocks from the finish line and today’s events. Thankfully, everyone I know is safe tonight, but I know this is not true for many others, in Boston and around the world.
In hard times, we have our coping mechanisms. I’ve often looked to the solitude of a long run or creativity in the kitchen to help me stay grounded and to clear my head. Tonight, with my husband abroad for work, I turned to both. A run after work and a simple dinner helped me process the day’s events. I am reminded of all I have to be grateful for, the people in my life, not awards, places, or possessions. In my happiest or darkest moments, the people I love are at the core. With that, I’ll leave you with the simple dinner that comforted me tonight. May peace be with you and yours.
BAKED STUFFED SWEET POTATOES WITH BLACK BEANS AND CORN
3 medium-sized sweet potatoes or yams, washed and scrubbed, skins on
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
juice of ½ a lime
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/3 cup fresh parsley, coarsely chopped
1 15.5 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 8.5 oz. can of corn kernels, rinsed and drained
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Pre-heat oven to 475F.
Prick each of the sweet potatoes several times with a fork on all sides. Drizzle sweet potatoes with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, then salt and pepper the potatoes generously. Wrap each potato individually in foil and place in the oven for 40-50 minutes, until the potatoes are fork tender.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the remaining tablespoon of olive oil, red-wine vinegar, honey, lime juice, cayenne (if using), and cumin. In a medium bowl, combine the corn, beans, and parsley. Add the oil and vinegar mixture to the beans, corn, and parsley, stirring to coat and combine. Salt and pepper to taste.
When the potatoes are done, remove from oven and foil. Slit each potato length-wise, and fill with black beans and corn mixture. Sprinkle the tops with the shredded cheddar cheese and place in oven for another 5 minutes, just to melt the cheese. Serve immediately. This is also great with a dollop of sour cream or non-fat, plain Greek yogurt.