There are few things more beautiful than a bright orange sweet potato. Sweet potatoes are one of my staples. I have so many good memories attached to them growing up in southern Arkansas and herding around the Thanksgiving dinner table while waiting for my uncle to say grace so we could stuff ourselves with turkey, green beans and sweet potato casserole. The minute I tried this spicy taco recipe I was hooked! The combination of black beans, peppers, sweet potatoes and blackened chicken will have your taste buds in a tizzy.
Vegetables are the base of this recipe. The chicken is just an added protein bonus that can be omitted for a vegetarian option. You could also take away the sour cream and cheese toppings and make it vegan. I love this recipe because I can prepare it on a Sunday afternoon and it will last me for days without any loss in flavor. The spices are a simple blackening blend I have created and really hold it together.
Today is the second day of spring and I woke up with a massive head cold. Not being able to taste food is such a bummer for me because I thrive on diverse flavors. The warm spices blended in these veggies always woke me up and cleared out my sinuses. Cumin and chili powder have an intimate relationship in this spice blend. My wife prefers a heavier dose of cumin while I like the tang of more chili powder. Play around with the balance of these two and see what hits you right.
- 2lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped into small cubes
- 1 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 red onion, chopped
- 1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
- 2 tbsp cumin powder
- 3 tbsp chili powder
- 2 tsp hot paprika
- 2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 cans black beans, drained and washed
- 1 lb chicken tenders or breast
- corn tortillas
sour cream and grated jack cheese for topping
1. Turn oven to 425 degrees. Add sweet potatoes, bell pepper, jalapeno and onion into a large mixing bowl. Toss them together lightly with your hands or a large spoon. Add cumin, chili powder, paprika, garlic powder, black pepper and salt to the mixture and cover with the olive oil. Mix these ingredients together well. Spread the veggie mixture out on a large baking sheet. You will probably need two baking sheets because you want the veggies to have enough space so they do not clump together.
2. Place veggies in oven and bake for 45 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft and onions are starting to blacken and get crispy. Drain black beans in a colander and rinse off excess liquid. Move roasted veggies and black beans into large mixing bowl. Mix well and squeeze juice from lime over mixture.
3. Sprinkle the blackening spices on both sides of the chicken tenders. Heat pan to medium high heat and add one tablespoon of butter or olive oil. Cook chicken for 3-4 minutes per side or until juice comes out clear. Place chicken on plate.
4. Heat a teaspoon of butter or olive oil in a pan on medium high heat and cook tortillas until they are just slightly brown. Don’t skip this step of heating the tortillas up for a minute or so in the pan with butter. It really brings out the flavor in the corn! Spoon veggies and chicken into tortillas. Top with a spoonful of sour cream and some grated jack cheese and enjoy!