During cold and flu season, I try to do all I can to boost my body's immunity to avoid the sniffles. Of course, we all know that consuming high levels of vitamin C helps to fight winter weather bugs, but did you know that beta carotene also helps to enhance your immune system to protect against colds, the flu, and infections? Carrots are a great source of the compound, but when you're tired of crunching away at carrot sticks with your lunch every day, rest assured that there are lots of other yummy foods that provide the same kind of immunity boosting power. Both sweet potatoes and collard greens have a high amount of beta carotene, and they happen to make for a delicious sandwich when paired with antioxidant rich black beans.
Spicy Black Bean and Sweet Potato Sandwich
Black Bean Filling
1 can Black Beans, drained
handful Kalamata Olives
2 cloves Garlic, minced
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed Lemon Juice
1 1/2 Tbsp Tahini
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Cayenne
1/2 tsp Salt
Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
1 Sweet Potato, peeled
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
Slice potatoes into thin circles.
Arrange potato slices in a single layer on the baking sheet.
Lightly brush each slice with olive oil on both sides.
Sprinkle generously with cayenne.
Lightly sprinkle with salt.
Bake for 10 minutes and remove from oven.
Carefully turn over each potato slice and sprinkle with more cayenne.
Return to oven.
Bake for an additional 5 minutes, watching carefully so that potatoes don't burn.
Organic Collard Greens*, chopped, rough stems removed
Organic Soy Sauce**
Organic Vegetable Broth
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Heat about a tsp of oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
Add collards. (Remember that the collards will cook down to about 1/2 this size.)
Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring regularly to avoid burning.
Add vegetable broth (just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet), a few dashes of soy sauce, and a generous amount of liquid smoke.
Stir to evenly coat the greens.
Continue to cook over medium heat for 8-10 minutes until liquid is absorbed.
If the greens soak up the liquid really quickly, just add more vegetable broth to prevent the greens from burning.
Putting it All Together
Serve sandwich style on sliced ciabatta, layering sweet potatoes over collards over a generous amount of black bean spread. The more black bean spread you use, the messier - and the more delicious! Your immune system and your taste buds will thank you :)
Yields 4 sandwiches.
*Because collard greens grow close to the ground, they tend to have high pesticide residue levels. Organic is better. Local organic is best.
**Several very toxic pesticides are used to grow conventional soybeans, so be sure to use organic soy sauce.
5 hours ago