Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans

Mark Bittman (probably my favorite guru of cooking), offers a relatively simple recipe for making a sweet potato and black bean salad this morning.  It sounds good.  But a good recipe is not enough to warrant its own blog posting.  However, what is worthy of posting about, is just how great sweet potatoes and black beans are together.  In fact I have already cooked a meal with both of these two ingredients earlier this week.  The way that I utilized black beans and sweet potatoes was as an alternative to spiced ground beef for the main body of tacos.  I first tried this combination probably almost a year ago, and was so impressed that I have gone back several times since.  If you are looking for a vegetarian alternative to ground beef tacos and feel that beans alone might not cut it, I recommend the sweet potato addition.  Here is the basics of what I do.

  1. Shred with a cheese grater (or food processor) 1 or 2 peeled sweet potatoes (depending on size) into a bowl
  2. In another bowl empty one or two cans of black beans (depending on how much you want).  Rinse the beans off and mash up a little bit with a fork.
  3. To the bean bowl add a bit of chopped garlic, cilantro, and some kind of chili pepper (I usually use serrano or jalapeño but others could work just as well).  Also season with a good bit of cumin, chili powder, and black pepper (if you are using canned beans you shouldn’t need much salt even after rinsing, if you’ve cooked your own beans you may add salt here).
  4. In a good size pan heat up some olive oil.  When the oil is hot throw in some chopped onion (red or white is best) and some more chopped garlic.  Cook till it is carmalizing a bit and then de-glaze with a few splashes of vinegar (white vinegar, with its relatively neutral flavor, works best).
  5. Turn the heat down to medium and toss in the shredded sweet potato.  Make sure to stir so that it does not burn.  You may need to add a little water to keep the potato from burning right away.
  6. After letting the potato cook for a few minutes add the beans.  Cook all for about 15-20 minutes, adding more spices if needed.
  7. Serve in soft taco shells with your favorite taco toppings (I personally like chopped onion, pepper, tomato with a bit of hot sauce and sour cream).

Really the most time involved in this meal is preparing the ingredients (shredding the sweet potatoes by hand can be a pain so if you have a food processor you might want to use that).  These sweet potato black bean tacos are amazingly filling and hearty.

I really like that Mr. Bittman and I have both found the combination of sweet potatoes and black beans to be a good one.  Furthermore both black beans and sweet potatoes are very nutritious foods.  According to wikipedia sweet potatoes are like super bad ass with nutritionbeing a rich source of carbohydrates, fiber, beta carotene, and vitamins C and B6.  So not only can you make tasty meals with these two ingredients but you can also feel pretty certain that you are eating healthy with them.

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~ by Nathaniel on September 30, 2009.

4 Responses to “Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans”

  1. I feel like it is also worth pointing out, right here, that this is my 800th post on this blog. So 800 posts since October 2006 seems pretty impressive to me and I am kind of personally pleased that I have continued to keep up with such a degree of writing, even if most of it is just random non-sense or insanity.

  2. yeah!!!! Go sweet potato!!

    • You guys might be pretty impressed to know that I have been eating vegetarian meals almost every night for the last two weeks. Also fish! I haven’t actually had a meal of fish in ages (besides shrimp which I eat every week), but this week I have ate fish twice. I sure love good healthy eating. Though I also love bacon and candy *shrugs*

  3. […] I love tacos.  I have always loved tacos.  I just made tacos (my sweet potato and black bean variety) earlier this week and will likely make them again […]

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