Tacos, to me, are very much warm weather food. So I think I made these sweet potato tacos as much to tell myself it’s spring, even if the weather outside isn’t totally cooperating. Our snow pile has at least largely melted, but the last couple days it’s fleeted between sleet and rain. Not exactly encouraging spring fever. But really, I think I would use any excuse to have these tacos again as they were that good. Quick to make, great flavors and both vegetarian and pretty healthy, if you needed another excuse.
One of the fun things with tacos is you can play around with the filling as much as you like. You can keep it traditional, like pork carnitas with tomatillo salsa verde or chicken mole. Or, you can add in almost everything you can think of, like my chipotle tofu tacos with plantain. Here I have kept things relatively simple, though not exactly traditional, but everything works so well. The sweet potato is warm, gently spiced and soft. The slaw is crisp and zesty and the chipotle cream is smooth with a kick. All wrapped up in warm soft tortillas, they are delicious in every bite. You won’t even notice there’s no meat (if you have a dedicated carnivore around).
How they’re made
While there are three different things in the filling, they are all really easy and quick to make. The slaw just takes a quick few chops, add in some lime juice and seasoning then it’s left to mingle. The sweet potato is grated, onion sliced and both fried for a few minutes with cumin and paprika. Meanwhile, the chipotle pepper is chopped and mixed with the sour cream and the tortillas warmed. After that, it’s a quick assemble and serve them up.
The slaw is made with Brussels sprouts rather than the more typical cabbage for a few reasons – first, I hate finding part of a cabbage in the fridge after a week or two of me not getting round to using the rest of it (which is often inevitable) whereas you can easily buy a small amount of sprouts. Secondly, raw Brussels sprouts have a nice sharpness which work really well with the rest of the flavors, in particular the slight sweetness from the sweet potato.
These sweet potato tacos make for a delicious lunch, appetizer or even a light main meal, maybe served up with some rice and beans, fried plantain or a salad. They don’t take long to make but have that complexity of the mingling flavors and textures that they seem like they’ve taken much longer. I for one think I’ll be making them a few times over the coming months as a nice easy, light and delicious lunch. Hopefully the sun and warmth will come to join me soon. In the meantime, I’ll happily immerse myself in warmth through my tastebuds with these. Give them a go too; you won’t regret it.
- 5oz/140g brussel sprouts
- 4 spring onions/green onions
- 2 tbsp chopped cilantro/coriander
- 1½ tbsp lime juice
- salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp vegetable/canola/sunflower oil
- 2 cups coarsely grated sweet potato - from one medium sweet potato, approx 8½oz/ 240g
- 1 small onion, halved then thinly sliced
- 2 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp ground paprika
- 1 tbsp chopped canned chipotle in adobo (approx 1 pepper)
- 4 tbsp sour cream
- 8 small-sized corn or flour tortillas
- Chop the end off the brussel sprouts and peel off any tough outer leaves. Halve the sprouts lengthwise then slice thinly. Chop the end off the spring onions and thinly slice.
- Put the sprouts, sliced spring onions, chopped cilantro/coriander, lime juice and some salt and pepper in a small bowl and mix well then set aside.
- Heat the oil in a skillet/frying pan and add the grated sweet potato and sliced onion. Add the ground cumin and paprika and mix together.
- Cook, stirring now and then, for around 10 minutes until softened and starting to brown slightly.
- Meanwhile, chop the chipotle pepper (remove seeds if you want to make a little less hot) and mix with the sour cream.
- Warm the tortillas - this is best done in a dry skillet/frying pan but can also be done under the grill or in the microwave.
- Assemble the tacos by putting some of the sweet potato mixture on each, followed by some slaw and drizzle over the chipotle cream. Serve immediately.