Monday, January 5, 2015

Sweet Potato Burritos

Smoky sweet potato pieces stuffed into a tortilla filled with black beans, corn, red bell pepper and onion, topped with the most delicious, cool and creamy avocado spread you can imagine. These Sweet Potato Burritos are vegetarian and rank in our top 5 favorite meals. 

Sweet Potato Burritos

We're back to kick off 2015 with a Meatless Monday meal. How many of you would like to try to incorporate more meatless meals into your diet? How many of you have men at home who say: "Me man. Me eat meat and potatoes!"? Ya, that's what I thought.

Is was not incredibly tricky for me to get Dave on the meatless wagon, but that's because I was feeding him incredibly delicious meals, such as these Sweet Potato Burritos.

For those of you who read this and think "ew," I am going to ask you to open your minds. Just trust me. Seriously. These burritos are our absolute favorite. Dave asks for them almost every time I ask what he wants for dinner that week. I have to cut him off and opt for making them about once a month. They NEVER get old.

I am in no way a vegetarian, I just like to eat less meat when I can. Sometimes, I don't crave it for days. I love that these are easy to make healthier: Opt for whole grain wraps instead of flour tortillas, load with veggies & bam! You're eating healthy.These Sweet Potato Burritos are a great way to get in your veggies!

Sweet Potato Burritos

So what can you expect from these yummy burritos? Let me break them down:
  • Cubed sweet potatoes that are tossed in a blend of spices, giving them a slightly smoky flavor, then baked until crispy on the outside. I could eat the pan of potatoes with nothing else. 
  • Corn. Dave is a Nebraskan, so yes, we add corn to almost anything we can. A common phrase in our house is "Can of corn. Can of corn and I'll be fine. Canna corn" Watch this and you'll get it. 
  • Black beans, red bell peppers, any veggie you like. Just toss in any veggie you like. If you want them hot, add jalapenos, etc. You get the idea. 
  • And last, the crazy good, cool avocado cream sauce. This stuff is packed with zingy garlic (that adds a kick), cilantro, lime juice, garlic salt and salsa verde.We add a hint of jalapeno for a kick, but not too spicy. You can adjust the spice as you like it. 
Sweet Potato Burritos

Tips for making perfect burritos: 
  • Cube your sweet potatoes up fairly small. We chop ours into about 1/2 inch - 1 inch pieces. The smaller they are, the faster they cook and the crispier they get. Some of our really small ones don't make it into the burritos because they get a little over-done. 
  • Bake the sweet potatoes at high heat and use a spatula to flip them half way through baking. This allows them to get that crispy, flavorful crust on the outside. They will stay soft inside. 
  • Use your food processor to make the avocado sauce extra smooth. I know. I know. Food processors are bulky, require a lot of cleaning, and while they may be one of the greatest gifts to the kitchen, they can be a big pain. It's worth it if you want the sauce smooth and creamy. If you prefer a thicker, chunky sauce, you can mash by hand. 
Sweet Potato Burritos

Sweet Potato Burritos with Avocado Sauce

Prep time: 10 minutes 
Cook time:  90 minutes 
Yield: 6-8 burritos

For the sweet potatoes: 
2 very large or 3-4 medium sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon Spanish paprika (smoked or regular paprika is fine)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (depending on preference)
1/2 teaspoon coarse black pepper
3/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the burritos: 
6-8 flour tortillas (8 inch size)*
1 can low sodium black beans, rinsed & drained
1 can Green Giant Mexicorn (or 1 1/2 cups of any Mexicorn blend), drained
1 small onion, diced
1 red bell pepper, cut into thin slices
2 cups of shredded cheese, Fiesta blend or Colby Jack preferred
3 green onions, chopped

For the avocado sauce: 
2 ripe avocados, roughly sliced
1 (7 oz) can of Herdez Salsa Verde (or 1 cup of any salsa verde)
3 cloves of garlic, sliced roughly
1/2 a jalapeno, deseeded and roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, loosely packed
1+ tablespoon lime juice
1+ teaspoon sea salt, divided
1/2+ teaspoon black pepper

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Scrub the sweet potatoes clean, and chop them into large, bite-sized chunks, about 1/2 inch to 1 inch cubes. Toss the sweet potatoes with the olive oil, cumin, smoked hot paprika, cayenne pepper, sea salt and pepper. Stir well to make sure the potatoes are lightly coated in oil and spices on all sides. Pour the sweet potatoes onto two medium-large baking sheets lined with parchment paper. You want there to be room between the potatoes. Spread them out into one layer. Bake for 20 minutes, then remove the sheets and flip the potatoes with a spatula. Return to oven and continue baking for 25-35 minutes. The potatoes should be crispy on the edges.

Step 2: As the potatoes bake, make your avocado sauce. Place your avocados and salsa verde in a food processor. Blend or pulse until the mixture is mostly smooth.* Add the garlic, jalapeno and cilantro and blend until smooth, then add the lime juice, 1/2 the salt and pepper. Pulse to combine, then taste test your sauce. It should have a bit of a kick from the garlic and jalapeno, but not be spicy. Add more lime juice, salt or pepper, if needed. This step is all about tasting and adjusting the spices to your preference. If you want it spicier, add more jalapeno, etc. Just remember, the sauce cools down the spicy potatoes, so you may want to go easy here. 

Step 3: Once the potatoes have finished baking, lower your oven temperature to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Move all your potatoes to one baking sheet and line the other baking sheet with a new piece of parchment paper. Lay a tortilla down on the newly lined baking sheet and spoon in about 1/3 cup of the potato pieces down the center of the tortilla, then layer on a spoonful of black beans, corn, sprinkle on some red onion, and lay a few slices of red bell pepper down. Top this with about 1/4 cup cheese, sprinkled down the burrito. Fold in each flap of the tortilla and secure with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining tortillas and ingredients until all are used. Note, over-stuffing your tortilla will make it hard to fold. Sometimes I make giant ones for Dave though. Place the folded burritos in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the cheese has melted completely. Keep an eye on your tortillas to make sure they don't brown on the edges too much. If this starts happening you can stop the baking at that point, or, if the cheese isn't melted yet, cover them with foil. 

Remove the burritos from the oven and slather them with a thick layer of the avocado sauce. Yum! Top with chopped green onions and enjoy!  

*You can use whole grain tortillas to make these burritos healthier

*If you prefer a chunkier guacamole, I suggest adding all your ingredients for the avocado sauce to the food processor and pulsing just a few times to maintain the thicker texture. You can also skip the food processor and opt for mashing the avocados by hand. 

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*Original recipe adapted from Cookie & Kate. 

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