Recipe: Sweet Potato Taco Bake

Yes, I know it sounds weird.

Jessica and I eat a lot of sweet potatoes, primarily for three reasons. 1) Sweet potatoes are the easiest, most abundant crop I’ve ever grown, so we have on multiple occasions had an abundance of them. 2) Sweet potatoes are pretty healthy for you. 3) Sweet potatoes are delicious.

This has led to some creative kitchen endeavors with sweet potatoes, and the discovery that I really like savory and spicy sweet potatoes. So, as today is Cinco de Mayo, may I present for your enjoyment a recipe of my own crafting, sweet potato taco bake.

Ingredients:

2-3 good sized sweet potatoes, cut into ~1” cubes

1 lb ground turkey

1 can black beans, drained

1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in halves

1 bunch spinach, chopped

1 bell pepper, diced

1 onion, diced

3-5 cloves of garlic, minced

taco seasoning of your choice

Optional:

1 cup heavy cream

2 Tbs butter

3-5 garlic cloves (can use here instead of above)

A few pinches of flour

8+ oz shredded cheese of your choice

Brown the turkey and the black beans together in a skillet. Season as you would for tacos, set aside to drain.

Sauté bell pepper, onions and garlic (if using here) in same skillet. When onions begin to become translucent, add the cherry tomatoes. When tomatoes begin to cook down, add the spinach, one handful at a time. Cook until spinach is wilted.

Combine vegetable mixture, meat mixture, and cubed sweet potatoes in casserole dish large enough to hold it all. Salt liberally.

Optional: melt butter in sauce pan. Sauté garlic in butter. When garlic begins to brown, add flour until a good roux is formed. Slowly pour in cream while stirring. Keep stirring over gentle heat until whole mixture is homogeneous and begins to steam, but not boiling. Pour this mixture over everything in the casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese.

Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 425 F for an hour or until potatoes are soft. (Poke around with a toothpick; if the toothpick goes in easily and comes out clean in various places, the whole thing is done.) Garnish with cilantro or chives.

Anticipated Questions

 

You really eat this?

 

Yep.

Is this healthy?

 

It’s pretty healthy without the optional cream and cheese, and still decently healthy with those. The cream mixture works well as a binding agent, but isn’t really necessary. The cheese is just plain delicious. I’ve tried it with cheddar and pepper jack and both are good.

What kind of taco seasoning do you use?

 

The stuff you can get in a little packet at the grocery store is fine I’m sure. Whatever you would typically use for making tacos. Me, I just use a lot of cumin, plus paprika, chili powder, cayenne powder, salt, black pepper, oregano and a splash of vinegar. Whatever works for you.

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