Taco Sweet Potatoes

Serves 4.

Note: The key here is to find small sweet potatoes, or long, thin ones that you can cut in half for a single serving. In a pinch, you can slice up a cup or so of a big, baked sweet potato and warm it up, then top with the taco toppings. It’s all about making an easy meal. From Robin Asbell.

• 4 small sweet potatoes (6 to 8 oz. each)

• 2 c. grape tomatoes, chopped

• 2 large jalapeños, chopped

• 1/4 c. fresh cilantro, chopped

• 4 medium green onions, thinly sliced, white and green parts divided

• 1/4 tsp. salt

Filling:

• 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil

• 2 garlic cloves, chopped

• 2 c. mock beef crumbles, or cooked beans

• 1 tsp. chili powder

• 1/2 tsp. cumin

• 1/2 tsp. salt

• 4 oz. shredded Cheddar cheese or nondairy cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the sweet potatoes on a sheet pan, and pierce the top of each with a paring knife. Bake for about 30 minutes, until they are tender when pierced with a paring knife. Remove from oven and let cool on a rack. This can be done up to three days ahead; refrigerate, tightly covered.

To make salsa: Combine the tomatoes, jalapeños, cilantro, the green parts of the onions, and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Stir and reserve.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees, unless you are going to microwave the sweet potatoes. For the sweet potatoes, place the potatoes on an oven-safe platter and make a cut across the top lengthwise and then across, making a cross. Peel back the skin. Scoop out about half of the flesh, place on the cutting board and chop. Reserve.

To finish the sweet potatoes: Place the sweet potatoes in the oven to heat for about 15 minutes. Alternatively, you can microwave the sweet potato skins individually until hot, about 2 to 3 minutes on high, or all together, starting with about 5 minutes on high.

In a large skillet, warm the olive oil briefly over medium-high heat and add the white parts of the green onions. Stir for a few seconds, until they start to sizzle, then reduce the heat to medium-low and add the garlic. Stir for a few seconds. Add the crumbles (or beans, if using) and chopped sweet potato flesh, and stir until heated through, about 3 minutes. Sprinkle with chili powder, cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt, and stir to mix. Take off the heat.

Take the hot sweet potato skins out of the oven and fill with the sautéed mixture, then top with shredded cheese and salsa. Serve immediately.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 430 Fat 18 g Sodium 1,050 mg

Carbohydrates 48 g Saturated fat 7 g Total sugars 14 g

Protein 19 g Cholesterol 28 mg Dietary fiber 9 g

Exchanges per serving: 2 starch, 1 carb, 2 medium-fat protein, 1 ½ fat.