Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos
Let's talk tacos. I joined a friend for Taco Tuesday a few weeks back and after my meal, I sat back in complete satisfaction and I said " You know, every day should be Taco Tuesday! ".Since that day I have been in a search for the best taco.
Soft. Tasty. Acidic. Spicy.
Tacos are simple and satisfying. It is clear to me however, that simplicity is only what we see on the surface. With just one bite, the perfect taco will begin to reveal it's delicious layers.
3 am, breakfast, lunch or dinner.
In my opinion, tacos can be eaten any time of the day.
My favorite taco creation as of late is roasted sweet potatoes, spicy black beans, and cilantro topped with a creamy avocado and pepita dip. The dip alone makes these simple, homemade tacos taste amazing! This recipe is vegetarian but you can modify to fit any dietary requirements. I provide some suggestions below.
This recipe yields 8 to 10 good-sized tacos.
Roasted sweet potatoes
2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes), peeled and sliced into 1-inch chunks
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ to ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon sea salt
Spicy black beans
2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups cooked black beans)
1 small yellow or white onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons ground cumin
¼ teaspoon chili powder
⅓ cup water
1 teaspoon sherry vinegar or lime juice
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
2 avocados, pitted and sliced
1 cup cilantro, packed (mostly leaves, some small stems are ok)
½ cup pepitas
1 jalapeño, seeded and roughly chopped (or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes)
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 small lime, juiced or 2 tablespoon sherry vinegar
2 tablespoons water
1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Tortillas and garnishes
8 to 10 small corn tortillas
Optional: finely sliced radishes, quick-pickled cabbage, chopped green onions, cilantro, hot sauce, etc.
1. Roast the sweet potatoes: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss the prepared sweet potatoes with olive oil, cayenne pepper and salt. Arrange in a single layer and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, tossing halfway, until the sweet potatoes are tender and caramelizing at the edges.
2. Prepare the black beans: Warm the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and a sprinkle of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions have softened and are turning translucent, about 5 to 8 minutes. Add the cumin and chili powder and cook for about 30 seconds while stirring. Pour in the beans and ⅓ cup water. Stir, cover and reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove the lid and use the back of a fork to mash up at least half of the beans. Remove from heat, stir in the vinegar, season with salt and pepper, and cover until you're ready to serve.
3. Make the avocado dip: First, toast the pepitas in a skillet over medium heat until they are fragrant and starting to make little popping noises. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. In a food processor or blender, combine the avocado, cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, water and salt. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the processor/blender as necessary. Add almost all of the pepitas (reserve a couple tablespoons for garnish) and blend until the pepitas are chopped small (some remaining texture is desirable).
4. Warm the tortillas: Heat a cast iron skillet over medium heat and warm each tortilla individually, flipping occasionally. Alternatively, you can warm them directly over a low flame on a gas range.
5. Assemble the tacos: Spread black beans down the middle of the tortilla, top with sweet potatoes and avocado-pepita dip. Garnish with feta (or a Mexican cheese), pepitas, and anything else that strikes your fancy.
Repeat with remaining tortillas and serve.
MAKE IT VEGAN: skip the cheese. Chopped, pickled jalapeños would help make up for the feta.
MAKE IT GLUTEN-FREE: Make sure your tortillas are 100 percent corn/certified gluten free.
Just skip the pepitas if you're allergic/can't find them/don't like 'em/whatever.
If you'd like to serve a simple green salad with these tacos, try topping this lime-marinated kale with feta and pepitas.
STORAGE SUGGESTIONS: Leftover taco components should keep well for a few days. Store them individually in the fridge, covered. Press plastic wrap against the surface of the avocado-pepita sauce to help prevent oxidation. Add a splash of water to the beans if they dry out during reheating.
Did you make this recipe?
Please let me know how it turned out for you! Leave a comment below and share a picture on Instagram with the hashtag #milkandhoneyeats!