Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato and Black Bean Tacos with Smokey Chipotle Salsa

Taco night! I hinted at this amazing taco night a few weeks ago. Sauteed beet greens topped with cumin-scented sweet potatoes and black beans, drizzled with smokey chipotle salsa and sprinkled with tangy crumbled feta. These tacos are a great way to incorporate more greens into your diet. My CSA box had several bunches of golden beets, and after hearing so much about the nutrients in beet greens (most notably beta-carotene, vitamin C, iron and calcium), I have been wanting to try cooking with beet greens. You could use any green in this dish, such as Swiss card, spinach, mustard or collard greens. 

I found myself with more sweet potatoes than I know what to do with, so I made a mixture of roasted sweet potatoes, onions and black beans scented with cumin and incorporated it into the taco. The tacos would be delicious with just sauteed beet greens or with just sweet potatoes and black beans. But the combination of nutritious beet greens, sweet potato and protein and fiber packed black beans gave the tacos a little more substance and protein, transforming taco night into a nutritious, healthy vegetarian dinner.


The smokey flavor of the chipotle salsa was amazing, and we were so thrilled to have extra to enjoy with tortilla chips! I used a recipe by Rick Bayless and became instantly flooded with memories of many wonderful meals (and margaritas) at Frontera and Xoco. You know we love smokey flavors, as evidenced by our obsession with mezcal.

Beet greens don't keep well so as soon as I got my box I immediately trimmed all of the healthy looking greens, washed and dried them; you want to wash the greens similar to the way you wash lettuce: soak in a large bowl and wash in several changes of cold water. I sauteed the greens with red onions, garlic, red chili flakes and vegetable broth. I did this in advance the day before. 

I rubbed sweet potatoes and onions with olive oil and cumin, and roasted them in the oven. I tossed the roasted sweet potato mixture with black beans sauteed with chili powder and cumin. I think this would be delicious on its own with some lime juice, diced jalapeno and some cilantro. I love the creamy texture of the roasted sweet potato!

While the sweet potatoes roasted, I pan roasted tomatilloes and garlic in a non stick skillet and pureed the tomatilloes and garlic with two chipotles en adobo sauce, water and salt. Super easy and delicious!

When we sat down for dinner, we just couldn't get over how delicious the combination of beet greens, sweet potato, black beans and smokey chipotle tasted. What a flavorful, healthy, and filling vegetarian taco! We cannot wait to have this again!

Swiss Chard, Sweet Potato and Black Bean with Smokey Chipotle Salsa Taco
sauteed greens (see below)
sweet potato and black beans (see below)
1 cup crumbled feta or queso fresco
1 cup smoky chipotle salsa
12 white corn tortillas

Heat tortillas on a hot griddle pan or wrap in a paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds. Spoon in sauteed beet greens then the sweet potato and black bean mixture. Spoon in smokey chipotle salsa and top with crumbled feta. 

Sauteed Greens
1 bunch beet greens (OR spinach, Swiss chard, turnip, mustard or collard greens), tough stems removed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large yellow or red onion, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper, or to taste
1/2 cup vegetable broth, low-sodium

Cut the greens crosswise into 1" ribbons. In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onion, cooking until translucent but still crunchy. Add garlic and crushed red pepper, cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add vegetable broth and greens. Season lightly with salt. Stir to incorporate. Cook covered on low heat, until greens are almost tender, anywhere from 2 minutes for spinach, 5 minutes for Swiss chard, and 8-10 minutes for beet greens, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and increase heat to medium and stir until the mixture is nearly dry. Taste and adjust salt as needed. Set aside. Can be made a day in advance, store covered and chilled.

Sweet potato and black beans
1 lb sweet potatoes, scrubbed, peeled and cut into 1/2" dice
1 yellow onion, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 15 oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp cumin, divided
1/2 tsp chili powder
sea salt 

Preheat oven to 425. In medium bowl, combine onions and sweet potato. Drizzle with 1 tbsp olive oil, season with 1/2 tsp cumin, salt and pepper. Toss to coat well. Spread in a single layer in a jelly roll pan. Roast for 30 minutes, until just tender. Remove from oven and let cool.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp canola oil over medium high heat. Add 1/2 tsp cumin and 1/2 tsp chili powder, stir until fragrant. Add black beans and stir to coat well. Cook for 5-7 minutes. Add sweet potato and onion mixture. Stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside. Can be made a day in advance, store covered and chilled.

Smoky chipotle salsa (Rick Bayless)
3 garlic cloves, peeled
4 medium tomatilloes, husked, rinsed and cut in half, about 8 oz in total
2 chipotle chiles en adobo, from a can
1 cup water

Heat a large nonstick skillet for 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Place tomatilloes in the skillet, cut side down. Let the tomatilloes roast until soft and well-browned. Add garlic cloves and turn the tomatilloes over and brown the other side. The tomatilloes should be completely soft. Transfer garlic and tomatilloes to a blender or food processor. Add chipotle chiles and 1 cup of water. Pulse to a coarse puree. Season with salt. Store covered in refrigerator for up to a week.


  1. Amazingness!!!!!!

  2. I have really enjoyed catching up with your posts after returning from traveling in Europe. Your delicious recipes are perfect for this cool fall weather.


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