Sweet Potato Bites
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what makes me happy. I’ve gone through some major life changes over the past few months, which have caused me to think and rethink how I see the world and how I see myself. I broke up with someone I’d been with for three and a half years. He was a big part of my life and he helped me grow to be the person I am today, but as the last few months of our relationship wore on, it was more and more evident that we were not growing together, but apart. It didn’t feel right to me anymore and at my core, I knew I had to make the decision that was best for both of our futures (and feelings). It was difficult, but I am finally starting to feel at ease with the decision I made. That choice has made me think about what I really want in life and what I want in a partner. Right now, I’m not entirely sure about what I want out of life, but I do know I want to be happy. That is what is most important to me (and one thing I’m not willing to sacrifice).
On the eve of my 27th birthday, one of the things I am certain of are the things I enjoy doing most in life. They aren’t even complicated or extravagant things. Instead they are simple like as spending time outside, gardening, food (eating, cooking, and enjoying it with friends and family), writing, reading, and being creative (as well as appreciating others’ creativity).
Today, I was pulling up weeds in the garden, as well as planting a few extra squash plants my dad had given me and in one word, I felt content. I could have stayed out there for hours, but I had to come in and give my poodles some much-needed attention. Gardening just feels right to me. It is an activity I really don’t need to try hard to like. As Gretchen Rubin would say, “You can choose what you do, but you can’t choose what you like to do.”
What are the activities that make you happiest and that keep you going? What makes you want to wake up each morning to see the new day?
Sweet Potato Bites:
*Recipe potato seasoning recipe (changed only slightly) from Thom’s blog, Don’t Switch Off the Light (I’ve used his recipe for Vegan Mexican Roasted Potatoes so many times, but I never tire of it)
2 large sweet potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch slices (width-wise)
1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
1 large garlic clove, diced
1/2 tsp of cumin and oregano
1/4 tsp of salt, pepper, and garlic powder
For black beans:
1 can of black beans
1 tsp of olive oil
1 large clove of garlic, diced
1/4 tsp of salt, pepper, and chili powder (adjust the amount of chili powder to suit your taste, if you like it spicier then add 1/2 tsp)
For guacamole: (*I made this recipe in the past and it was delicious)
*either use your favorite recipe for guacamole made from one avocado OR use the simple recipe below
1 clove of garlic
2 tsp of fresh parsley, diced
1 lime, juiced
1/4 tsp of salt, pepper, and garlic powder
1- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. While the oven is preheating, slice the sweet potatoes and put them on a baking sheet. Then drizzle the olive oil over them. Sprinkle the spices on and then mix all of the potatoes together with the spices, until each slice is evenly coated. Bake the sweet potatoes for about 15 minutes before flipping them and cooking them for another 15 minutes. When finished, they should be tender and slightly browned on both sides.
2- While the potatoes are cooking, heat the olive oil, black beans, garlic, and spices in a pot over low heat. Stir periodically. Take off the heat and cover when the beans are warmed. *You can save this step until when the potatoes have been in the oven for about 15 minutes already.
3- Make the guacamole by halving the avocado. Then take the seed out. Score the avocado with a knife by slicing tic tac toe shaped lines on the fleshy part of the avocado (all the way down to the skin – 1 cut per 1/4 inch). Then scrape or squeeze the fleshy part of the avocado out of the skin. Add it to a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mash with a fork. Put the guacamole in the fridge until the potatoes are ready (to let the flavors combine). *If I’d had a tomato or cilantro, I would’ve added that to my guacamole too! I just happened to be low on ingredients since the next day was grocery shopping day.
4- Assemble the sweet potato bites by placing sweet potatoes on a serving tray. Then spoon about one teaspoon of black beans on each medallion-shaped potato. Top each with a small dollop of guacamole (Oh how the word dollop still reminds me of Martha Stewart). Serve immediately & enjoy.