Sweet Potato and Garbanzo Bean Stew with Cornbread Topping


(This is Kim)

This recipe is originally called Southwestern Pot Pie in a small vegetarian Betty Crocker cooking magazine titled Easy Vegetarian. I bought it at a estate sale for twenty-five cents, though it was name-your-own-price and I probably could have offered two pennies and he would have accepted. But even if I had spent $5, it would have been a $5 well spent after making the Southwestern Pot Pie, or as I’m calling it, the Sweet Potato and Garbanzo Bean Stew with Cornbread Topping (admittedly a long title, but arguably more accurate).

Of course it has sweet potatoes, so I had to make it. Plus Garbanzo beans and no meat. I didn’t eat a lot of meat while at school, but now that I live at home, family dinners mean a main dish of meat, sometimes fish, (unless we’re having bean enchiladas, a family favorite!). Plus, a conversation with a friend, Christina, sparked a further interest in consuming less meat. She has decided to give up meat during the weekdays because she disagrees with how the meat industry is run and, I assume, the low quality of mass-produced meat products in terms of health. And who can ignore the treatment of the animals at those places (oh yeah, mostly everyone).

I’ve looked through vegetarian cookbooks before. My college roommate, Satpreet, had an amazing one, although most of the recipes were incredibly high in fat. Which is fine, but I found ironic after reading the introduction to the book, which suggested vegetarianism to maintain weight due to the lack of fatty meats.

Most of the vegetarian recipes I have access to now in books are side dishes or not very filling even if they technically are meant as the main dish. This Betty Crocker recipe magazine, however, had only main dishes. Ones that are usually made with meat, but translated into a vegetarian dish. Perfect timing!

The magazine, along with the amazingly delicious Southwestern Pot Pie, holds the recipes for a hearty chili, burgers, Italian and Oriental noodle recipes, pizzas, etc. And it’s all pretty simple to make, as (believe it or not) I’m a little scared of recipes that have 14 steps and 150 ingredients. Haha!

The recipe calls for 16oz of salsa, but doesn’t specify what kind. I had no idea how the different ingredients would meld together. It has sweet potatoes, cinnamon, and corn, so it would be slightly sweet – how does salsa fit in with that? Should I get a sweeter salsa, or would that be too much? I decided it’s Betty Crocker, so I got a very generic salsa (but a good one), Pace medium salsa. It was a good choice!

Sweet Potato and Garbanzo Bean Stew with Cornbread Topping

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 large onion
2 cups cubed sweet potatoes
16 oz salsa (a regular Tex-Mex spicy salsa would go very well, a sweet salsa might be too over powering)
1/2 cup water
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup whole kernal corn
2 cups garbonzo beans (I used dried, but you can use a 16 oz can. If so, drain and rinse the beans to get ride of the extra sodium)
Corn bread recipe with 4-8 servings.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Cook onion for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until tender. Stir in sweet potatoes, salsa, water, and cinnamon. Heat to boiling, and then reduce the heat. Cover and simmer for 20 to 25 minutes.

Meanwhile, follow a cornbread recipe, either from scratch or from a bread mix. It should make between 4 to 8 servings of cornbread (I used 8!)

After the 20 or 25 minutes, stir in corn and (cooked or canned) beans. Then pour the cornbread batter over the top. The recipe calls them dumplings, but boy, did that not work out for me. It was not liquidy enough for the batter to fall into the stew, they drops just plopped on top. In the end I just poured the batter right over the top, so I would not call them dumplings, but it sure looked amazing. I still followed the rest of the recipe – I put a cover on and cooked it for 20 minutes, and when I inserted a toothpick into the bread, it came out clean.

Wow, was the recipe amazing! We all loved it! The medium salsa tasted great with the sweetness of the rest of the recipe! I think you can use either a sweet cornbread or a spicy one, as both the sweet and spicy flavors could be emphasized to good results. I will definitely make this recipe again!

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2 responses to “Sweet Potato and Garbanzo Bean Stew with Cornbread Topping

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