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Kelly Ripa Arms

January 14, 2011

It’s a new year. You’re probably attempting to shed a pound or two. You’re probably staring at a Twinkie right now.

Look away. Now. Look here. FOCUS. Remember you’re training for a half marathon. That Twinkie won’t help you with those Kelly Ripa arms you have drooled over for years. Concentrate. Pick up your shake weight and keep reading this post.  

Sweet potatoes. Only 130 calories. About 4 grams of dietary fiber. Chock full of calcium, potassium, beta carotene, folate, vitamin C and vitamin A. Plus, they taste good, too. Drop the Twinkie and venture into sweet potato-ville with a black bean chili drizzled atop.

On a sidebar, I just wanted to extend my sincere, heartfelt thanks for all of your thoughts, kind words and prayers regarding my puppy, Dorothy. She was such a sweet dog. I just keep thinking she’s going to appear on my doorstep raising one of her fat paws up, tongue out and big ol’ eyes staring up at me.  Reality sucks sometimes.

It will be OK. Although we can never replace Dorothy, it is certainly not our last dog. Am I a bad dog parent for wanting to fill the void immediately with another four-legged friend? Perhaps a lab? Golden retriever? Poodle? Border collie? Newfoundland? Another doodle? Pug? Brittany? Any other recommendations for me?

Now, enjoy this sweet potato topped with vegetarian chili on me.

Oh, you can put down your shake weight now.  

Sweet Potatoes Topped with Vegetarian Chili

Adapted from The Flavors of Bon Appetit cook book, 1994

Notes: The original recipe calls for four sweet potatoes but that was back in ’94 when the hormones weren’t as strong and the potatoes weren’t as large.

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper
  • 1 cup of chopped onion
  • 1/2 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon of chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 14 ounce can of diced tomatoes
  • 15-ounce can of black beans
  • 1  jalapeno, minced
  • 2 lime wedges
  • 2 dollops of Greek yogurt

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork, cover with tin foil and place them in the oven. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes.

While the potatoes are baking, heat olive oil in a Dutch oven. Add onion and peppers. Saute for about 10 minutes. Add garlic, chili powder and cumin. Stir. Add tomatoes and beans. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Add jalapeno. Cover and cook for another 10 minutes.

Cut potatoes in half. Spoon chili over the potatoes. Squeeze lime juice on each and add a dollop of sour cream. Save the other potato and remaining chili for lunch.

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