Tag Archives: peppers

and Dance

Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie


Welcome to May’s installment of the Secret Recipe Club  and what I hope is the start of a lot of new blog posts.  I wound up taking the last month off in order to deal with our kitchen renovation and a fantastic little stomach bug.  Now I’m back – with an awesome new kitchen that can’t wait to be used!  Today’s recipes is one of the first I did in the new kitchen, and was a great way to “break it in” since it required the stovetop as well as the oven.  The interesting part is that the recipe I wound up using from BCmom’s kitchen was not one on my original list.  My first plan was to make her delicious sounding Sweet Potato and Chickpea soup but then the weather decided to warm up, so I needed a new plan.  It was in my second search that I saw her Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie.   I had to make a few changes in order to make it vegetarian, essentially dropping the meat and doubling the vegetables!

and Dance


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1 medium onion, diced

1 small green bell pepper, diced

1 Tbsp minced garlic

1 Tbsp chopped green jalapeño

1 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp chili powder

1 tsp ground cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

1 can Rotel Diced tomatoes

1 1/2 cup frozen corn

2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1 cup fresh spinach

1-1/2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in chunks

1/4 cup sour cream


  1. Place the sweet potatoes in a pot of water and bring to a boil. Cook for 25 minutes, or until soft.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook for 5 minutes before adding the garlic and jalapeno, cook for an additional 5 minutes.
  3. Add the tomato paste along with the spices to the onion and pepper mixture. Stir well and cook until the paste has mostly dissolved then add the diced tomatoes and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add the final ingredients and continue simmering for 10 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 400.
  6. Drain the sweet potatoes, and return to pot. Mash with the sour cream.
  7. Pour the tomatoes and pepper mixture in to a 9x9 baking dish (or 2 qt casserole dish) and top with the sweet potatoes.
  8. Sprinkle with cheese (optional) then bake for 30 minutes.
  9. Serve and enjoy!

There are more ingredients, and steps, to this than most of my recipes but it still comes together rather quickly.  I served this with some avocado,  a dollop of sour cream, and some tortilla chips in order to ensure every last drop was enjoyed.  Another fantastic dish thanks to the SRC!

My Clarity

Avocado Taco

Avocado Taco

I got more than a little excited when I saw that avocados were the theme ingredient for this week’s /52weeksofcooking challenge.  I thought about the various ways I could use avocados, and when I couldn’t pick just one decided to try two of them in order to enhance my favorite sweet potato tacos.   The original plan was to grill two of the avocados for a salsa but mother nature didn’t like that idea so the salsa became more of a deconstructed guacamole.  However it was still amazing, which is what really matters, and I’ve always been a big fan of the chunkier salsas.  The other avocados become a delicious dressing – using Greek yogurt to make a healthier version of the standard Green Goddess.

Avocado Salsa

makes 2 cups


2 avocados, cubed

2 plum tomatoes, diced

1 tbsp cilantro

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 serrano pepper, diced (and seeded) - optional

1/4 cup onion, diced


  1. Gently mix all the ingredients together then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour. Mix again and then serve.

Avocado Green Goddess Dressing

makes 1 1/2 cups


2 avocados, cubed

1/2 cup Greek yogurt ( regular or So Delicious Coconut)

1 jalapeno pepper, diced (and seeded) optional

2 cloves garlic


  1. Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend well. Add more yogurt based on desired consistency then refrigerate until time to eat.

Everything came together extremely fast and the leftover dressing tasted amazing the next day mixed with some quinoa and tomatoes.   Most importantly the cool avocados provided the perfect contrast to my spicy sweet potatoes, making me wish I had tried this earlier!