Sweet potato and black bean nachos (vegan/gf)

First of all, I am aware I’ve been kind of absent in the blogosphere lately… life happens.  I hope you welcome me back with open arms.  :)  Now let’s get to some good eats!

Sometimes I just need (well, I guess it’s a very strong want…) some nachos.  And is there any more perfect south-of-the-border flavor combination than black beans and sweet potatoes?  Didn’t think so.  (The sound of peepers – my neck of the woods’ version of crickets – was the only response I got, so I I’ll take that as a no.)  These cravings came together with the bag of delicious quinoa and black bean tortilla chips in my cupboard tonight for a fabulous meal.  Dig in!

IMG_3691Don’t worry, this fed both me AND Travis…  :)

Sweet potato and black bean nachos (vegan/gluten-free)

This recipe is a great base for nachos, but could also be a kick-butt quesadilla, taco or burrito filling.  It’s also customizable to your own preferences for spices and toppings.  Get to it!

1 sweet potato, peeled, 1/4-inch dice

~2 tsp olive oil, divided

Spices: 1/2 tsp cumin; 1/2 tsp paprika and/or chili powder; 1/2 tsp garlic powder/granules; 1/4 tsp cinnamon

1/2 onion, diced

2-3 oz mushrooms, diced (I used 5 cremini/baby bella mushrooms)

1/2 tsp salt

~1 and 1/2 cups cooked black beans (1 can, drained, or cooked dried beans)

1 cup greens, chopped (I used spinach, but kale, chard, or pretty much any cooking green would work great)

about 1/2 a bag of tortilla chips (I used Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Black Bean chips – 2 thumbs up)

Optional toppings:  shredded cheese or cheesy sauce of choice (check out this cheezy vegan sauce I reference HERE); salsa and/or hot sauce of choice (I chose Trader Joe’s pineapple salsa because I was out of tomatoes to make my own AND it’s delicious, duh); diced avocadochopped green onions or chivessour cream or plain yogurt of choice; jalapeños; banana peppers; fresh cilantro, ETC!  :)

Preheat oven to 350.  Prepare a baking pan or dish with aluminum foil or parchment paper and add sweet potato cubes.  Drizzle about 1 tsp olive oil over potatoes, then add spices.  Don’t be shy about how much of the spices you add!  Also don’t be shy about manhandling those potato cubes so the spices are nice and distributed.  :)  Bake until tender, about 20-25 minutes (although it took 14 minutes in our convection toaster oven, which is a fast cooker).  At this point you can choose to leave your oven on or turn it down while you prepare the nachos (you’ll need it again in about 15 minutes).  Add about 1 tsp olive oil to a sauce pan or skillet to coat over medium heat.  Add onion and saute for 1-2 minutes until a little softened, then add mushrooms, salt, and sweet potatoes.  Saute until mushrooms are softened, about 3 minutes.  Add black beans and greens and heat through, covered, until greens are wilted – I used baby spinach and it took about 5 minutes with a few good stirs, but heartier greens like kale will take longer.  Spoon black bean mixture over chips on a baking pan or dish, creating 2 layers of chips if necessary.  Add cheese, if using (I decided to go bare this time – doesn’t hurt that the Daiya brand vegan shreds I hardly ever use had mold on them… oops).  Bake until cheese is melty and chips are to your desired level of crispy.  About 10 minutes (while I prepared the toppings) worked perfect for me.  Pile on the toppings and enjoy!

IMG_3688All spiced up and into the oven they go!

IMG_3690This recipe could also be eaten as-is, or over rice or quinoa

IMG_3692I clearly like my nachos to have more topping than chips…  In addition to the black bean and potato mixture, I added avocado, salsa, hot sauce, snipped chives, and a dollop of plain soy yogurt.  What are your favorite nacho toppings?

Yield:  about 4 nacho servings (for hungry people).  Quesadilla estimate: 4-6.  Corn tortilla taco estimate: 6-8.  Burrito estimate: 2-4.

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9 thoughts on “Sweet potato and black bean nachos (vegan/gf)

    • Totally. I think I’m just going to not buy them again… My fiance and I are not completely vegan anyway, but we’re trying to kick our cheese habit, and for a die-hard cheese-lover like me the Daiya wasn’t cutting it anyway! I’m getting a food processor SOON and then I’ll try my hand at the nut cheeses people rave about! Thanks for stopping by, and good luck on your upcoming bar exam!

    • Woohoo, you won’t be disappointed (and you can blame me if you are, since I’ve gone and said that)! I find that they have a much deeper and richer taste than other beans that pairs especially well with earthy flavors like cumin and oregano (Latin flavors, on the whole, which is why you see them in many Latin dishes), and with slightly sweet earthy vegetables like sweet potatoes and winter squash. Are you ordering dried beans or cans/tins?

      • Look forward to trying them. I bought tins and dry beans. I have bought a book on beans so I am trying to try many of them. I guess when I worked in Mexico for a few months. I tried a few which were very delicious :) do you prefer tins or dry beans ? .. No I will not blame you :) I am sure they taste good ;)

      • As to preference, it’s really about what I’m using them for. These nachos, for example, were made with canned beans, because they were adding to the dish, not the entire dish themselves. I’m planning on making simmered black beans (to adorn corn tortillas, etc.) tomorrow night, and I most definitely will use dried for that. Dried beans cook down beautifully and make their own delicious sauce. I will be slightly pureeing them, but you can also cook dried black beans and keep them whole. Like other dried beans they should be soaked ahead of time, but black beans still take what feels like FOREVER to cook, so plan accordingly. :) I’ll probably post briefly about those black beans in my Fantastic Friday Five this week!

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