Soyrizo-stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Here’s a tasty dish I whipped up last night partially to use up several different leftovers: a single link of soyrizo, a couple of poblano peppers that had seen better days, and a little less than a cup of cooked black-eyed peas. I also had a box of super-cute baby sweet potatoes from the farmers market that I wanted to base my meal around. I just combined all of that stuff et viola!

Soyrizo-stuffed Sweet Potatoes

4 large baby sweet potatoes or 2 medium regular sweet potatoes
1 link vegan chorizo (“soyrizo”)
2 poblano peppers
1/2 – 1 cup cooked black-eyed peas
shredded vegan cheese (I used jack flavor) (optional)

I used the largest 4 in a box of baby sweet potatoes, but you can also use regular sized ones. Poke them a few times with a fork, rub lightly with olive oil, and bake them (the toaster oven is perfect for this) at 400 degrees Fahrenheit until a fork pierces them easily. How long this will take will depend on the size of the potatoes; my baby potatoes were probably done in 30-40 minutes. Remove them from the oven, make a slit lengthwise down the top of them by poking with a fork, then put one palm on either end of each potato and press your hands together until the split opens up to a perfect pocket for stuffing.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare the filling. Roast the poblano peppers. If you have a gas stove, you can do this right over the flame. I have an electric stove (bleh), but this pepper roaster works great on an electric stove. You could also put them under the broiler for several minutes, though if you do that, I’d stem and seed them first instead of after roasting so you don’t have to turn them. In any case, roast them until the skins are black and charred, then pop them into a paper bag, close it up, and set aside to cool. After 10 or 15 minutes, the charred skins will slide right off the peppers. Remove the seed and stems and chop the peppers.

Heat some oil in a small skillet, then add the soyrizo, chopped roasted peppers, and cooked black-eyed peas and saute for a few minutes.

When this mixture seems thoroughly cooked, spoon it into each of the sweet potatoes. If you’d like, top with shredded vegan cheese.

Pop back into the oven until the potatoes are warm and the cheese, if using, is melted.

I served this with kale chips seasoned with cumin, chili powder, and smoked paprika, and a garden salad tossed with a homemade lime vinaigrette. (I believe the vinaigrette was olive oil, lime juice, garlic, salt, cumin, and cilantro.) The leftover potatoes and kale chips made a nice lunch today.

I haven’t posted any raccoon pictures lately! This was was taken from within a cage that I was cleaning. One of our wild mother raccoons was bringing her babies by for a visit.

We released 19 raccoons a few weeks ago. We’re lucky in that we can do what is called a soft release, which means we can release the animals right on the property, leaving their cages open and providing food for a few days until the more cautious are ready to totally make on their own and go find their own territory. A few take off as soon as we open their little escape door and we never see them again, but many hang around for varying lengths of time. This is a raccoon that we released this summer who was lurking around the deck hoping for a food handout.

Speaking of raccoons, if you have three minutes, this is an awesome video by the Humane Society that explains how we receive many of our orphaned babies – in fact it features Dogue Hollow! So if you want a tiny glimpse into where I spend a chunk of every weekend, watch through to the end.

In other nature news, about the only thing I don’t like about Occoquan Bay National Wildlife Refuge (other than the fact that their website looks screwed up right now) is they aren’t open from sunrise to sunset like many parks. Instead they are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the spring and summer and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the fall and winter. This is frustrating because the majority of wildlife comes out at dusk and goes back in at dawn. As the closing time changes to 5 p.m. next month and the days are getting shorter, this is a good time to go down there after work to take pictures because it’s one of the few times of the year you can really be there near sunset. So that’s what I did last week. Unfortunately I didn’t encounter much wildlife other than these turkeys …

… but the sunset was pretty.


(Yes, I was naughty and stayed past 7!)

5 Comments »

  1. Jes Said,

    September 26, 2013 @ 12:22 pm

    Baby sweet potatoes?! Those are a thing? I need to get my farmer friends on this stat!

    Love the raccoon pictures per usual–seriously the cutest. And the sunset photos are fantastic too!! Stinks about the park’s weird hours though.

  2. Chantal Said,

    September 29, 2013 @ 5:00 pm

    Hello Renae,

    Thanks to your guidance, I have been spending part of my weekends rehabing raccoons as well since May. I was surprised by the difference in size between the raccoons pictured here and the ones where I volunteer. I guess being up north, they don’t have that much time before the snow comes in and makes most of their food unavailable so that they have to fatten up much more and much faster. Yours truly look trim and svelt in comparison.

    Cheers!

  3. renae Said,

    September 30, 2013 @ 10:17 am

    Chantal, that’s so cool!! That’s interesting about the size difference; I’d never have thought to describe any raccoon as trim and svelte – yours must really be roly-poly! There is quite a lot of variance in size amongst our raccoons. Now that I think about it, we have several mothers that routinely have their litters in the nest boxes right up against the house at Dogue Hollow (one of them is the one pictured here with her babies) and all of those mothers are pretty tiny, comparatively speaking. I wonder if it is because they know they have a warm, safe place to sleep even in the winter and a good supply of food. Some of our orphans do get pretty big, but it makes total sense that up north they’d have to get bigger faster. I do know that the raccoons in Florida are even smaller than ours in the Mid-Atlantic region.

  4. Chantal Said,

    October 2, 2013 @ 6:33 pm

    I have a picture of 5 raccoons we released last weekend. I wish I could attach it here (can I?) so you would see. They really are fatsy-fat-fat. We are also lucky to care for other mammals and turtles at the Sanctuary. Squirrels mostly. But we also have a few skunks, rabbits and porcupines. I really love doing this. Had I know 15 years ago what I know today, I wouldn’t be working in the same field for sure.

  5. renae Said,

    October 2, 2013 @ 7:16 pm

    I know how you feel: I like my job (when the government isn’t shut down and I’m allowed to work) but if I could do it all over again, I’d major in something wildlife-oriented.

    I don’t think you can attach a photo, but you can email it to me at renaemyers @ gmail.com; I’m curious to see these big guys!

RSS feed for comments on this post · TrackBack URI

Leave a Comment