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Eat Well Apr. 21. 2015
Entreés

Sweet Potato Pecan Tacos

Apr. 21. 2015
Entreés
McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

McKel Kooienga, MS, RDN, LDN

Dietitian, Founder and CEO

These tacos are filled with roasted sweet potato, lightly dusted with cumin and blood sugar balancing cinnamon, a Black Bean Pecan Cream that’s out of this world, chopped tomatoes, red onion, and fresh cilantro, then topped with the simplest Lime Cream topping to bring the entire dish together, all encased in an organic corn tortilla. Cheers to taco season everyone!

 

 

Talkin’, tacos

I’m guessing most of us gravitate towards tacos this time of year with Cinco de Mayo around the corner, summer picnics, being outdoors, craving spicy foods, summer pool parties, or just wanting to have a little more fun with our food. Tacos are the ultimate fun food in my book, you can make them exactly how you want just by changing toppings to match the season or what you’re in the mood for. I’m even a big fan of getting a little experimental with tacos and making them into huge taco salads, with the base being heaps of greens, or even wrapped up in nori sheets kind of like these salad wraps.

Let’s take a minute and talk about these taco components, because they deserve some serious attention. I literally whipped up this Black Bean Pecan Cream while I was in the kitchen creating this recipe, which was first called Sweet Potato Tacos, but they needed something- you know that extra something that could hold the roasted sweet potatoes in place, compliment the flavors of the toppings with the corn tortilla and Lime Cream. I knew I wanted to use black beans, but plain black beans popped on a taco wasn’t innovative or exciting enough for me so I just put them in a blender with coconut milk and a couple seasonings and found this was delicious! Too runny, but delicious, and it was missing something more grounding, hearty, and had that ‘stick to your ribs’ feel; enter in pecans. I lightly toasted pecans to enhance their flavor and pureed them with the black bean mixture and boom. This epic Black Bean Pecan Cream was born and I’m so glad it happened. I’ve been eating this cream turned dip on everything this past week aside from these tacos like on raw veggies for an afternoon snack, dolloped on salad greens, even on nori sheets!

Just as you can use the Black Bean Pecan Cream in other recipes and dishes throughout the week, you can definitely use the Lime Cream in many other ways, my favorite being just as a salad dressing with a splash of apple cider vinegar and pinch of cayenne. You can also use this as the actual dressing for the taco salad option!

The way you top your taco is completely up to you, but here are my favorites that go really well with this recipe, here’s how you can get started:

  • Fresh cilantro
  • Fresh lime juice
  • Thinly sliced jalapeno
  • Thinly sliced red onion
  • Sliced avocado
  • Diced tomatoes
  • Chopped romaine lettuce
  • Lime Cream (recipe below)
  • Hot sauce of your choice
  • Olives
  • Sliced radish
  • Ultimate Kimchi, such a delicious addition, I promise!
  • Lemon Lime Guacamole 

As much as I LOVE huge salads for an entree, I do enjoy using wraps and tortillas at times, my favorite brand for the corn tortillas are the sprouted organic corn tortillas here. You can also wrap the taco contents in a nori sheet, in a large collard green, swiss chard, or romaine lettuce leaf like a boat; all of which are equally delicious!

 

Sweet Potato Pecan Tacos
Recipe Type: supper
Author: McKel Hill, MS, RD, LDN
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6
A delicious gluten free, meatless taco using sweet potatoes and pecans and a creamy dressing.
Ingredients
  • 4 cups diced sweet potatoes
  • BLACK BEAN PECAN CREAM
  • 1/2 cup canned light coconut milk
  • 15 ounces (about 2 cups) cooked or canned black beans, well rinsed
  • 1 cup pecans
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 jalapeno
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • LIME COCONUT CREAM
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 canned light coconut milk
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • GARNISH: chopped romaine, chopped jicima, sliced radish, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, jalapeno,
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a lined baking sheet, add chopped sweet potatoes and drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, ground cumin, and a pinch of ground cinnamon all to taste. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Set aside.
  2. In the meantime, make the black bean pecan cream in a food processor combine coconut milk, pecans, and black beans to create a paste. Add fresh lime juice, ground cumin, garlic, jalapeno, ground sumac, sea salt and black pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  3. To make the lime cream, in a small bowl pour the coconut milk and squeeze fresh lime juice and a inch of salt, stir to combine.
  4. To serve: gently warm corn tortillas in the oven (hot from roasting the sweet potatoes or on a skillet), dollop about 2-4 tablespoons of the black bean cream onto 1 corn tortilla, place roasted sweet potatoes on top, drizzle lime coconut cream and add garnishes as an option.

I highly recommend when you’re storing these taco components (i.e. toppings, Lime Cream, Black Bean Pecan Cream, etc.) that you do so separately so they all keep their texture and flavor integrity. My favorite containers have quickly become these glass ones I found after enlisting all of you on Instagram to help me pick the best of the best (you guys rock, thank you!).

Have fun trying these everyone, I can’t wait to see what your toppings include and how you make these your own! #nutritionstripped

xx McKel

p.s.

Miss out on the Spring Brunch in Nashville this past weekend? Have no fear! Tickets for the next supper club,  Summer Picnic are now on sale and I’m so excited about this one…Let’s just say there will be live bluegrass, bonfires, s’mores, healthy spins on your picnic favorites and so much more. Grab your tickets before these ones sell out quickly!

The Recipe

Serves 4-6

Print

Ingredients:

    • 4 cups diced sweet potatoes

 

    • BLACK BEAN PECAN CREAM

 

    • 1/2 cup canned light coconut milk

 

    • 15 ounces (about 2 cups) cooked or canned black beans, well rinsed

 

    • 1 cup pecans

 

    • Juice of 1 lime

 

    • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

 

    • 1/4 teaspoon ground sumac

 

    • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

 

    • 2 garlic cloves

 

    • 1/2 jalapeno

 

    • Freshly ground black pepper

 

    • 4 corn tortillas

 

    • LIME COCONUT CREAM

 

    • Juice of 1 lime

 

    • 1/2 canned light coconut milk

 

    • Pinch of sea salt

 

    • GARNISH: chopped romaine, chopped jicima, sliced radish, fresh cilantro, sliced avocado, jalapeno,

 

Directions:

 

    1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. On a lined baking sheet, add chopped sweet potatoes and drizzle about 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil, sprinkle with sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, ground cumin, and a pinch of ground cinnamon all to taste. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until tender. Set aside.

 

    1. In the meantime, make the black bean pecan cream in a food processor combine coconut milk, pecans, and black beans to create a paste. Add fresh lime juice, ground cumin, garlic, jalapeno, ground sumac, sea salt and black pepper. Adjust seasonings to taste.

 

    1. To make the lime cream, in a small bowl pour the coconut milk and squeeze fresh lime juice and a inch of salt, stir to combine.

 

    1. To serve: gently warm corn tortillas in the oven (hot from roasting the sweet potatoes or on a skillet), dollop about 2-4 tablespoons of the black bean cream onto 1 corn tortilla, place roasted sweet potatoes on top, drizzle lime coconut cream and add garnishes as an option.

 

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