Sandwich #229–“Create Your Own Sunshine” Sweet Potato, Black Bean and Greens on Flatbread

By 300 Sandwiches

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229sweetpotatoLOIn the drab days of winter, I have to remind myself to create my own sunshine.

Yesterday, I picked a fight with E because he was happy and I wasn’t. Yes, ridiculous, I know (and mom, I know what you’re going to say so let me save you a phone call and an e-mail: I know, you’re right, yes, we’ll never make it to sandwich 300 if I keep acting like this, I’m trying, I will). I was in the kitchen early, looking for something to make a sandwich with, sacrificing my morning workout and some extra sleep to cook for my boyfriend. So when I saw E stroll into the kitchen, perfectly relaxed in that white robe, his iPad in hand, not a care in the world, I felt…resentful. How can someone just wake up so happy all of the time?

Then I went to that “there must be something wrong with you” place, because it’s much easier than going to the “there’s something wrong with me” place. No one likes it there.

Instead of letting him enjoy his happy morning bliss, I proceeded to pick on E for being lazy, which as you know is nowhere near true. “You never help!” I snapped. Poor kid never saw it coming.

I think I just have the winter blues: season affective disorder is common in the winter months, particularly up north and particularly this winter, when the snow never seems to end. Instead of mope around yelling at E, I took a break, did some yoga, and came up with an idea while I was in savasana: create your own sunshine. As in, when it’s cloudy and cold outside, or stressful at work, or the subway is packed or traffic is bad, make your own happiness. Think about something that makes you feel good to get you out of the dark. A warm sandy beach. Puppies. Margaritas. Fur coats. Idris Elba (while we’re on the topic, this will definitely make you happy). A fresh coat of red nail polish. Sandwiches. Anything to keep from attacking your poor unsuspecting partner who is just trying to drink his coffee and read the paper without causing harm to others.

For lunch, I made a light flatbread sandwich with roasted sweet potatoes with cinnamon olive oil and honey, and a dollop of ricotta because we still had some of the good stuff from Citarella in the fridge. Both of these sweet, creamy ingredients make me happy. Knowing E ate the sandwich for lunch and enjoyed every bite made me happy. And an apology from me for yesterday’s outburst made him happy.

2 whole wheat flatbreads
1 medium sized sweet potato, peeled and sliced
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1/2 cup black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup arugula (or spinach, which E hates, so I use arugula)
2 tablespoons ricotta cheese

Roast sweet potatoes: heat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly coat baking sheet with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Slice into ΒΌ inch thick slices and place them on the baking sheet. Sprinkle on cinammon, allspice, and drizzle on honey and another tablespoon olive oil on both sides of slices. Pop in oven and roast for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender, rotating the pan halfway during cooking.

Toast flatbread. Dress arugula in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil and black pepper. Lay flatbread on flat surface and smooth on ricotta cheese on one half. Then layer on sweet potatoes, arugula, and black beans. Cut in half and stack bare flatbread half on top of veggie stacked half. Serve.

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