Roasted Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos: The Lighter Side of Taco Tuesday
I love TACOS!! I’m just not sure who doesn’t enjoy tacos of some kind. They are incredibly versitle, come in their own grab and go parcel and their just so much fun to eat — alone or especially with friends. The perfect crowd pleasure meal. This delicious lunch recipe was inspired by my niece (hi Imani🐿️). She is super amazing, smart, can always make me laugh and has the most adorable giggle. AND I love how she says, “Auntie Gina!” She’s been a vegetarian for a few years now and I’ve often thought about the challenges young women face when converting their style of eating. Often, she just eats all sides from a regular dinner. That’s no fun!Here’s a super fun lunch idea prepared with your eating style in mind and for when you don’t want to just eat ‘the sides’. Create a meal fueled with intense flavor with simple spices, easy preparation, and minimal cooking. These Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos are stuffed with spiced sweet potatoes, creamy flavorful black beans and a zesty avocado salsa. So, cheers Imani and friends, your next Meatless Monday or Taco Tuesday, just got a little lighter, more flavorful AND it’s a delicious full meal.
Course 10 Ingredients, Lunch, Main Course, Meals under an hour
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Vegetarian
2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (into 1/2-inch cubes about 2 1/2 cups) for a quick time saver, purchase pre cut packaged sweet potatoes in refrigerated produce section
1tablespoon olive oil or oil of choice
1 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon paprika
A few tablespoons water, as needed
One 15.5 ounce canblack beans (drained and rinsed)
1/4 cuppepitas salted and toasted, optional but really yummy
Cilantro Lime Avocado Salsa
1avocado (diced small)
1/4 cupcilantro (rinsed, dried and minced)
1/2 lime, juiced
1 teaspoonbrown sugar, honey or agave
tortillas or taco shells of your choice
This recipe is not only vegetarian, but can fit into a vegan or gluten free diet, depending on your choice of tortillas or taco shells.
Gather your ingredients, tools and equipment before you begin!
Roasting Sweet Potatoes
Preheat the oven to 425°F.Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or spray with baking spray.
Toss the diced sweet potatoes with the olive oil, chili powder, cumin and paprika until evenly coated.Spread onto a prepared sheet pan. Roast the sweet potatoes for 20 minutes.
Halfway through roasting, carefully remove the sheet pan from the oven and give a good toss to combine all ingredients. Return to the oven and continue roasting until fork tender.
TO CUT COOKING TIME DRASTICALLY — See How To Microwave Cubed Sweet Potatoes
SEASONED BLACK BEANS While the sweet potatoes are roasting, add the black beans to a small saucepan over low heat or place in a small bowl, cover and heat in the microwave to warm through. Season black beans with the same seasonings as the sweet potatoes: 1/2 teaspoon cumin, few pinches of chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon paprika, squeeze of lime juice, a few pinches of salt and fresh ground pepper. Or seasonings of choice. Add a few tablespoons of water to the beans if needed.
After the sweet potatoes are roasted to your doneness, carefully remove from the oven and place on a cooling rack or kitchen trivet. Allow to cool slightly.
Prepare the avocado salsa:
First cut the avocado into small cubes and add it to a small bowl.
Finely chop the cilantro and add it to the bowl with the avocado, then add the lime juice and sweetener.
To assemble the tacos:
Place the sweet potato mixture into the tortillas of your choice and top with the avocado salsa.
Here are a few of my favorite toppings to add more combination of flavors.
toasted pepitasfresh or pickled jalapeños sliced onionscotija or feta cheese crumbles or vegan cheese diced tomatoessalsa or pico de gallo
HOW TO COOK CUBED SWEET POTATO IN THE MICROWAVE
For an even shorter cook time, make sweet potato cubes! Alternatively, you can purchase pre cut cubed sweet potatoes in the refrigerated section of your market's produce section.
Image: Cubed seasoned sweet potatoes in a bowl.If using whole sweet potatoes: Wash the sweet potato thoroughly. Dry them with paper towels and peel them (although optional). Cube sweet potatoes into ½-1 inch. Try to keep the sizes uniform so they cook evenly.
Image: Cubed sweet potatoes arranged on the outer edge a white plate. Toss the diced sweet potatoes in a medium bowl with the olive oil, chili powder, cumin and paprika until evenly coated.Arrange the sweet potato cubes evenly spread out on the outer edges of a microwave-safe plate.
For seasoning your sweet potatoes I love to keep it simple with salt, pepper, sweet paprika, lemon pepper, taco or Italian seasoning . Though you can mix and match depending on what you are serving it with.Seasoning Suggestions: chopped parsley, grated parmesan, chives/green onions, coriander. Whatever seasoning, herbs you have on hand.
To avoid the outside drying out, wrap the sweet potato in a damp paper towel. This helps to trap the moisture and prevent potatoes from shriveling.
Cook in the microwave for 3-4 minutes. No flipping necessary.
Caution: The plate may be hot so remove with care using oven mitts.Check doneness by piercing the largest pieces. Add 30-second increments if they need more time.
Serve this cubed sweet potato as a side, or add to salads, casseroles, stews, and stir fries. Or store them for later use.