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My Favorite Pulse Dish: Sweet Potatoes, Butternut and Beans


This recipe is one of my favourites because it’s just so easy and quick to make and those bright colours are lovely for a winter meal. It is derived from a similar recipe for a Brazilian stew that used to be served at the World Food Café in London’s Covent Garden. Sadly the Café is gone, but the cookbook remains and over time I made that recipe my own.

This is a very simple dish to make, it can be made as a vegetarian recipe – or not – and can be customised to fit your taste! It’s ready in 30 min or so and can easily be reheated too…

Sweet Potatoes, Butternut and Beans 

For 2-3 as a main course


  • Half a butternut, peeled and cubed
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed
  • 2 or 3 cans of beans – choose the ones you like best, this one is made with butter beans and pinto beans but anything goes!
  • 2 red peppers, cut into pieces
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • Vegetable or chicken stock
  • Feta or a similar tangy cheese
  • Olive oil
  • Cumin – 1 tablespoon
  • Smoked paprika – 1 tablespoon
  • Oregano (fresh or dry) – a handful fresh or 2 small teaspoons
  • Optional:

    • Chorizo or another type of spicy sausage
    • Pancetta, diced
    • Fresh or flaked dry chilli peppers (1 chilli chopped or less, to taste)
    • Avocado, sliced


  • Sauté the garlic in olive oil
  • When it starts to become a little transparent, add the cubed sweet potato and butternut
  • If using cooking chorizo, pancetta, or chilli, add now
  • Add the spices
  • Sauté for another 5-10 min
  • Add the vegetable or chicken stock until the vegetables are just covered.
  • Put the lid on let it simmer 15 min
  • Add the drained and rinsed beans
  • Add the cubed peppers
  • Let it simmer until the sweet potato and butternut are cooked through
  • Add salt and pepper to taste
  • Serve with feta crumbled on top and optionally, a slices of avocado

You can serve with a side of rice also.

Isabelle Coche

Isabelle has significant experience in advocacy and communications at the international and regional levels, and a broad knowledge of development and agriculture issues acquired through previous work in international organisations, private sector and NGOs. She has also successfully led key public affairs projects in highly sensitive issues, such as agricultural biotechnology and intellectual property rights. Isabelle holds a master in gender studies from the London School of Economics and a BA Honours in Political Science and Economics from McGill University. She has lived and worked in Africa and Asia and speaks fluently English and French.

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