Thursday, February 3, 2011

Super-Addictive Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

I found a great recipe online at AllRecipes for something called Addictive Sweet Potato Burritos. Addictive? Now, that’s a bold claim. Or so I thought. I made them and got hooked instantly, and once I realized how easy and healthy they are, and how great they are for lunch at work, I decided to make another batch, only this time tailored to my own tastes. The original recipe calls for kidney beans, and that’s what I used the first time around, but I think black beans taste better. Below is my own customized recipe. And if you’re like me and you like recipes that have pictures of the food, then you can click here to see a gallery of photos from people who made the original-recipe Addictive Burritos. My burritos don't look much different, except mine don't have cheese.

My Super-Addictive Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos

Makes enough for four people, two burritos each. I only have one because they’re very filling, but they’re so good, you’ll probably want two. Or three.

  • 1 can (19 oz.) of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups of cooked sweet potato, skins left on, cut into cubes. The number of raw sweet potatoes to start with depends on the size of the sweet potatoes. I usually start with two large raw, cut into big chunks, and I still have a bit left over after cooking and measuring.
  • 4 medium cloves of garlic, or to taste – chop two and mince or finely grate the other two
  • ½ cup of thinly sliced onion
  • Small amount of oil, roughly 1 tsp – I use olive oil, but canola should be fine
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • ¾ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of cilantro paste (I use the Gourmet Garden stuff in the tube), or some freshly chopped cilantro to taste (OPTIONAL – not everyone likes cilantro!)
  • Juice and zest of one lime
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 8 medium tortillas - I use whole wheat


1. Cut raw sweet potatoes into large chunks with skins left on and boil until soft (you can add salt to the cooking liquid, but I don’t). Drain the potatoes but reserve some of the cooking liquid, about ¾ - 1 cup. When the potatoes are cool enough that you can handle them, cut them into smaller cubes, enough to make 2 cups.

2. In a nonstick pan, heat oil and sauté onion and 2 chopped cloves of garlic until soft on medium heat. Add chili powder and cumin, stir into onions and garlic, and cook for one minute. Remove from heat.

3. Drain and rinse black beans. Add to food processor along with sautéed onions and garlic. Add the 2 finely minced garlic cloves, zest and juice of one lime, and cilantro to bean mixture. Process everything until smooth in a food processor. You can use some of the reserved liquid from cooking the sweet potatoes if the mixture is too thick, adding a little bit at a time until the desired consistency is reached. Depending on the size of your food processor bowl, you may have to remove the bean mixture before processing the softened sweet potato, and then combine the two mixtures in a bowl after. That’s what I do. Otherwise, add sweet potatoes to the bean mixture and process until smooth and combined, using a small amount of the reserved potato-cooking liquid if it becomes too thick. Or you can just throw the beans and cooked potatoes in together after the onions are cooked and process it all together at the same time. Remember to stop and scrape down the sides of the processor bowl about halfway through to make sure that everything gets combined. Or, if you don't have a food processor, you can just mash it all by hand.

5. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Divide filling into 8 equal portions, and spoon onto warm tortillas, and roll/wrap up.

The amount of filling should be enough for 8 generously filled tortillas. The recipe as it is above is suitable for people who don’t like really hot, spicy food, even though I love hot, spicy food. You can easily add cheese to each burrito before rolling it up, and if you like extra heat, you could probably add some finely chopped fresh or pickled jalapeno, ground cayenne, or other hot peppers to the mixture before processing, or serve some pickled peppers or hot sauce as an accompaniment on the side. You can also arrange these in a baking dish, top with grated cheese, and bake in the oven for a few minutes until the burritos are warmed through and the cheese is melted, but they’re great eaten cold like a sandwich wrap on their own, without anything else. But if you did want to serve them with anything else, serve with salsa, sour cream, chopped green onions, hot peppers, lime wedges, and guacamole, or anything else you might like with Mexican food,

These are great to freeze, too. I make 8 burritos all at once, wrap them individually in plastic wrap, and freeze them together in a Ziploc bag. Then I take one out of the freezer at night and let it thaw to eat at lunch at work the next day along with some carrot sticks and red pepper strips.

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