Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Paprika Roasted Sweet Potato Tacos With Black Bean Pineapple Salsa

I think I was a vegetarian in another life. I could go without meat for a few weeks and probably not even notice. I've mentioned my issues with the way meat is farmed/raised/produced in this country so I won't get into it again. I try to stick to a high protein diet most of the time and since I find alternative proteins like tofu, seitan, and tempeh to be gross, meat it is.

I've had this recipe bookmarked forever and I'm delighted that I finally got around to making it last weekend. The original recipe is all about making fresh tortillas and while I'm sure that's just fantastic, I wasn't about to do that. Some day! Trader Joe's whole grain tortillas worked just fine for now.

For 10 tacos (obviously I only made 2 so adjust accordingly):

2 large sweet potatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
1 heaped tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
Salt and pepper

Pre heat your oven to 390. First, wash your sweet potatoes. I just use a wet dish towel and scrub them, but if you have one of those sophisticated potato scrubbing brushes then by all means use that. Chop the sweet potatoes into about 1 inch pieces, making sure they're all about the same size so they roast evenly. Also, leave the skin on! It's packed with nutrients and it's yummy.

Line a baking pan with foil and spray it with a tad of non-stick spray, just in case. Arrange the sweet potatoes in one layer and drizzle with the olive oil, smoked paprika, thyme, salt and pepper. Mix everything around with your hands and make sure each sweet potato is covered with goodness. Pop them in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes. When they're done they'll look like this and your mouth will be watering:

While the sweet potatoes were roasting I made the salsa. Here's what's in it:

1 cup cooked black beans
1 cup sweet corn
1/2 red onion, chopped
1 spring onion
1/2 cup chopped pineapple
1/2 large red or green chili pepper, chopped
1 heaped tbsp chopped flat leaf parsley
1 heaped tbsp chopped cilantro
Juice of 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper

Put the beans and corn in a large bowl. If you're using canned beans and corn like me, don't forget to rinse them. If you're adding the red onion and the chili, add them now and mix. I happen to hate raw onions and I don't like chilies that much so I left them out. I did add about a 1/4 of crushed red pepper flakes, though.

Next, add the spring onion, parsley, cilantro, lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Spring onions (Or green onions or scallions have a milder flavor than red onions so I prefer them.) Add the pineapple. I did a pretty tiny dice on the pineapple since the salsa looks much prettier with everything the same size. Season the salsa again, if needed. The end result is a lovely little bowl of this:

This is a great alternative to a run-of-the-mill salsa and would definitely work in place of it for just about anything. All I had left to do was assemble my tacos. Sweet potatoes first, then salsa, and finally some fresh sliced avocado.

These are absolutely delicious and will definitely be going into my meatless meal rotation. The sweet potatoes are soft and chewy and the smoked paprika taste reminds me a little of BBQ potato chips (YUM). The salsa is sweet, tangy, and spicy and goes together perfectly with the sweet potatoes. These were so incredibly easy to make and I don't think you'll miss the steak or chicken that usually goes in a taco.

How do you feel about eating vegetarian? Feel free to share your taco love with me, regardless of their meat inclusiveness.

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