Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos

with Roasted Corn Salsa and Avocado Cashew Crema

NUTRITIONAL NOTES

 

SWEET POTATOES: Orange fleshed sweet potatoes are unsurpassed sources of beta-carotene and have a superior ability to raise our Vitamin A levels in our blood.  Adding healthy fat when eating sweet potatoes actually increases your uptake of beta-carotene. Sweet potatoes have powerful anti-inflammatory effects while helping to control blood sugar levels.

BEANS: Beans are a wonder food - an excellent source of vitamin-rich, low-fat protein.  Beans help to lower cholesterol, combat heart disease, stabilize blood sugar, reduce obesity, relieve constipation, hypertension and type II diabetes, and lessen the risk of cancer.  

AVOCADOS: Although high in fat, the fat avocados contain is unusual and provides significant health benefits. Avocados are one of the most anti-inflammatory foods, aiding in protection against many ailments from cancer and to arthritis. Avocados support heart health and help to regulate blood sugar levels.  Eating avocados actually helps absorb important nutrients in other foods, specifically two key antioxidants in the fight against cancer, beta-carotene and lycopene. 

CASHEWS: Not only do cashews have a lower fat content than most nuts, but over 80% is heart-healthy unsaturated fatty acid. Cashews are also high in copper and magnesium, the first vitally important in antioxidant defenses and energy production, and the latter helping with bone strength.

Vegan, Gluten-Free

Yields about 12 tacos, depending on size

Serves 4-6 people

INGREDIENTS:

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes:

2 pounds sweet potatoes (3 to 4 medium sweet potatoes),        diced into 1-inch chunks

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

 ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional

 ¼ teaspoon fine sea salt

 

Spicy Black Beans:
1 tablespoon olive oil​

1 clove garlic, minced

1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped

2 teaspoons ground cumin

½ teaspoon chili powder

2 cans black beans, rinsed and drained (or 3 cups cooked

     black beans)

juice from 1/2 lime

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Avocado Cashew Cream Sauce:

½ cup cashews

½ cup water

1 small avocado

½ to 1 whole garlic clove, depending on your taste      

     preference

juice of 1 lime

salt and pepper, to taste

 

Roasted Corn Salsa:

4 medium ears of corn

2 large tomatoes, seeded and diced

½ red onion, finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic

1 can black beans, rinsed and rained

2 tablespoon chopped cilantro

2 limes, zested and juiced

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 tablespoon red wine vinegar

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon cumin

salt and pepper, to taste

 

½ purple cabbage, shredded

½ cup vegan cojita cheese, crumbled (optional)

1 package (12 count) taco sized corn tortillas

 

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 425.

  2. Begin by soaking your cashews for the Avocado Crema. Combine cashews and water and let stand for at least an hour.  

  3. Shuck and clean your corn if needed.  Place ears on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with a little salt and pepper.  

  4. Place in oven and roast corn for about 20 minutes, or until most of the kernels on the ear are golden brown.  You may need to turn the corn about half way through to get an even golden brown. When roasted, remove from oven and let cool.  

  5. Meanwhile, work on the rest of your salsa ingredients. In a large bowl, combine diced tomatoes, onion, garlic, beans, cilantro, lime zest and juice, olive oil, red wine vinegar and spices.

  6. Once the corn is cooled to the touch, cut the corn off the cob by standing the ear upright and running a sharp knife from the top to the bottom of the ear, and then working your way in sections around the reminder of the cob.

  7. Place the corn kernels in with the remaining salsa ingredients, mix through.  Cover and place in refrigerator for at least 1 hour. 

  8. When ready to prepare the meal, for the roasted sweet potatoes, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then drizzle with a little olive oil. Sweet potatoes have a tendency to stick to the pan, so help yourself out by preparing the pan first.  Place diced sweet potatoes on the sheet and drizzle with a little more olive oil.  Sprinkle over spices and salt.  Roast in oven for about 20 minutes, turning mid-way through for an even golden brown.  

  9. While potatoes are roasting, make your avocado cream sauce by first draining any excess water from your cashews.  Add your cashews, avocado, garlic, lime and a pinch of salt and pepper to a blender.  Blend until smooth.  Check seasoning and add more salt and pepper if needed.  

  10. Now, prepare your beans by heating up a large sauté pan, adding olive oil, then garlic and onion.  Cook for two minutes, or until onions are translucent and aromatic.  Add spices, salt and pepper. 

  11. Add beans to pan, and sauté until warmed through. Add lime juice.  

  12. Combine the roasted sweet potatoes and black beans into one pan, or into a large bowl. Check seasoning. 

  13. To serve, place black bean mixture in tortilla, adding shreds of purple cabbage on top.  Dress with corn salsa, avocado crema and crumbled cheese (if using).  Enjoy!

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