Saturday, August 13, 2011

Kind of a Jerk Tacos: Spiced Sweet Potatoes, Black Beans, and Jerk Sauce

Because I didn't have all the ingredients that normally go into a jerk sauce these are only "kind of a jerk" tacos. Grilled sweet potatoes, seasoned black beans, jerk sauce and lettuce tossed with some chopped up cilantro and a little lime juice* make up these tacos. Feel free to add avocados, onions, cheese or cheeze and to replace the lettuce with slaw if you're feeling really ambitious.

This dish was inspired by a trip to Taco Mamacita on a recent vacation. Their taco uses fried plantains, a mango salsa, and flour tortillas and was delicious. I prefer the crunch and lighter flavor that corn tortillas bring to the dish. I've also omitted the mango salsa because I am not a chef in a restaurant, I'm a mom of three and have to fit all my dinner prep in between things like nursing babies and cleaning poop off of the walls (don't ask).......
oookay then....

All good and hungry? Let's start on that recipe.

This is actually pretty easy to make if you already have seasoned black beans in your freezer like I do. If not, then I think you could heat up a can with some garlic, cumin and chili powder and get a similar effect. Long term though I really think everyone should have some seasoned black beans in their freezer, they are great for so many things, nachos, soups, tacos, black bean burgers. This recipe could be further simplified by using premade taco shells. Garden of Eatin' is a good brand for taco shells. :)

What you need:
Seasoned black beans (about 2 cups)
jerk sauce (I had no rum and baby sparkles doesn't like it when I eat chili so I omitted those and still had a yummy sauce)
Taco shells (I made my own out of corn tortillas)
2 cups chopped lettuce tossed with 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro and lime juice to taste
3 large peeled and sliced sweet potatoes
1tbs olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 tsp chili powder
1 tsp paprika
dash of cayenne
Large Ziplock freezer bag

Add the olive oil and spices to a large Ziplock bag and add the sweet potatoes. Close and shake until sweet potatoes are evenly coated with spices. Grill (or pan fry..mmmmm) until cooked throughout, flipping once. Take care when adding sweet potatoes to the grill to not inhale the spices like someone I know who shall remain nameless (**cough**) . Assemble the tacos as desired.

The hubster and I ate these with the works, I omitted the jerk sauce for the kids. These were the best dang vegan tacos I've ever made. They hit all the right notes for me, the crunch of the shells the sweet spicy contrast of the sweet potatoes and the jerk sauce. Definitely a winner.

*Big thanks to my friend Kelli who suggested adding cilantro and lime to the taco lettuce, it really gives it a pop.

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