Before we dive into what will inevitably become a reverie about how AMAZING TACOS ARE, can I just talk to you about something kitchen-y first? I’ve been cooking for awhile; it’s been a 7+ year love affair at this point with no signs of slowing. And in that time, I’ve come to two super obvious realizations:
1. Good tools are a home cook’s best friend.
2. Fresh ingredients matter SO much.
Again, these are kind of obvious, right? Not exactly the biggest kitchen secrets in the world. But as I was making these tacos, I was reminded again about the first of those realizations, that good tools matter. I recently got a few new knives (gift to myself for finishing the cookbook manuscript, even though we are far from done with all the work for that project). I also sharpened my existing knives at the same time, so they’d all be on the same “schedule”. I also recently got a new, better garlic press.
OMG, guys, sharp knives and a good garlic press seriously make a WORLD of difference in my life. These are two items I use almost daily (yes, we love garlic).
This is also, actually my #1 bit of advice to friends who want to eat at home but don’t love cooking as much as me: good tools, man, they make everything easier. They also make great gifts… Just throwing that out there to the universe. 🙂
OK, enough about tools. Let’s talk tacos. Let’s… tac-o about it. (Sorry, I had to!) These sweet potato tacos get a protein boost with a little TVP in the mix. They are sweet, they are spicy, they are super flavorful, and they make for an excellent, healthy dinner. I highly recommend you give these a try at your next taco Tuesday.
1 sweet potato, mine was 335 g once peeled
2 cloves of garlic
1/3 cup TVP
2 tablespoons hot sauce, I love Cholula as evidenced by my nearly empty bottle
1/4 teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper
1 to 2 tablespoons olive oil (or other cooking oil you prefer)
1/3 red onion, sliced
1/2 large bell pepper, sliced and center removed
6-8 corn tortillas
1 tablespoon chopped cilantro
Peel and then shred the sweet potato. You can do this with a box grater or in a food processor. If you want to leave the skin on, you can, just be sure to rinse well before shredding. In a large mixing bowl, combine the sweet potato, TVP, garlic (mince well or press through a garlic press), hot sauce, cumin, and a generous sprinkle of both salt and pepper. Give that a big stir so everything gets combined well. The TVP may seem too crunchy at this stage, but it will absorb some liquid from the sweet potato while it sits in the bowl, and then soften even more when cooked, so don’t worry.
In a large pan, heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Sauté the onion and bell pepper for about 2 minutes over medium heat, until they begin to soften. Add in the sweet potato mix and continue to cook for 8-10 minutes until the potatoes are cooked through. At the 8 minute mark, just give it a taste to see if they seem cooked through to you. If you notice the mixture sticking to the pan too much, add a little more oil, but a few burnt bits are OK for me. 🙂
Meanwhile, cook each corn tortilla in a hot pan with a little oil. When we make corn tortillas at family events, my grandma or mother with usually cook them in oil to allow them to float, but I prefer just a little oil and heating them until I see some spots darken on each side and the tortilla is quite soft and bendable.
Fill the shells with the sweet potato mix and top with cilantro. Squeeze a little lime juice on just before eating. If you want to add some cheese or sour cream, go for it, but these are so flavorful I really think they are great all on their own. Yay for delicious plant-based meals – happy tacos to you! xx. Emma
Note: If you are enjoying these as part of the Weekday Weekend Challenge be sure to use corn or other whole grain tortillas and omit any dairy toppings. Don’t worry, you won’t even miss it with these!
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Photos edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.