Sunday, April 27, 2014

Chipotle Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco Salad

I often think that having a second one of myself at home would be pretty great. I'm fun. I'm easy going. I cook. Right now, for example, my stomach is grumbling so loud that it could possibly be mistaken for the thunderstorm outside because it's after 10 am and I haven't made anything for breakfast. (But wait!! I have showered and combed my hair, so let's not go making any assumptions about how productive I will be today.) So, anyway, while this girl lays on the couch wondering what to eat, the other Lindsey would've already made some sweet potato almond butter muffins and the house would smell like fresh baked yum.

Yeah. Since that's not happening... I do have another sweet potato recipe that I'm pretty excited to share with ya'll this weekend. It's sweet. It's smokey. It's spicy. And guacamole.

My recipe is inspired by this one, written by Erin of Naturally Ella. These tacos have made their way into our bellies a few times already. The first time we made them, I was so pleasantly surprised by the flavor combo that I didn't for one second miss the cheese or sour cream that generally adorns your average taco or taco salad.

This go 'round, I decided to skip the tortillas and mix everything together with some salad greens to increase leaf intake (it's all about the beans n' greens, ya'll) while cutting the refined carbohydrates. With a little extra lime juice and a big dollop of guacamole, I didn't need to add salad dressing, but a light avocado vinaigrette would work really well here (if you are so inclined to make some, try blending avocado, white wine vinegar, lime juice, and olive oil with a little S&P).

Did you know that chipotle peppers are really just smoked jalapeños? These babies truly supply the flavor to this dish and cannot be substituted or omitted. Chipotle peppers come either canned in adobo sauce or dried. J and I both keep the dried variety in our respective spice cabinets. While this kind does take a little time to rehydrate and we miss out on the adobo sauce, they're super cheap and so easy to pull out  at a moment's notice (without an extra trip to the grocery store). If you purchase the canned variety, you should omit the water and add the adobo sauce to the blender instead.

Intimidated by the heat of chipotle? The spice is toned down a bit with the addition of honey, but you should probably use a small pepper (or half of a large one), or de-seed a dried pepper if you are not sure you can handle the spice. Definitely use less chipotle if you are reducing recipe. For the guacamole, you may also choose to substitute a de-seeded jalapeño for the serrano since jalapeños are not quite as hot.

 Chipotle Sweet Potato & Black Bean Taco Salad with Guacamole

Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 30 min
Servings: 6

1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 large onion, chopped
3 medium sweet potatoes, cubed (about 3 cups)
4 cloves garlic
1 dried chipotle pepper, rehydrated in ¼ cup warm water for 30 minutes
1.5 Tbsp honey
Juice of 1 large lime
29 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
Guacamole, for serving
10 cups salad greens - or - 12 corn tortillas
avocado vinaigrette, optional (see text)

2 small, ripe avocados
1 clove garlic, minced
¼ large onion, chopped
1 serrano pepper, minced
¼ cup cilantro, chopped
1 roma tomato, seeds removed and chopped
Juice of 2-3 lime wedges
¼ tsp salt

1. Heat olive oil in a large, deep skillet. Add onions, garlic and sweet potato. Saute for 4 minutes.
2. In a blender or food processor, liquefy the rehydrated chipotle and water with honey and the juice from one lime. Add the chipotle sauce to the skillet and cover. Cook for 10 minutes.
3. Add black beans to the skillet and gently mix to combine. Cover and cook for an additional 10-15 minutes or until sweet potato is cooked through.
4. While sweet potato mixture is cooking, prepare guacamole. Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl and mash with a fork. Add lime juice and salt to taste.
5. Spoon sweet potato mixture over salad greens (or into corn tortillas) and top with guacamole. Serve with a lime wedge and a cold beer.

NUTRITION INFORMATION (per salad serving, 6):
Calories 337, Total Fat 10 g, Cholesterol 0 mg, Sodium: 192 mg, Protein 12.4 g, Fiber 15.2 g

Try it this week! As I alluded, the original recipe is for sensational tacos, so if you are in the mood for un-salad, by all means - grab a couple of tortillas and get busy! I recommend small corn tortillas over flour. You won't be disappointed. Either way, the final addition to this delicious tasty fest is a cold beer with a slice of lime. Dos Equis is my favorite. Obvi. 

Speaking of XX, we should probably add that to my invisible grocery list. If I had another Lindsey around here, she'd probably be writing this down and making plans for dinner tonight. Just sayin'.

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“We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect.”
― Anaïs Nin