Monday, April 23, 2012

Loved My Dinner!

A few days ago, I became suddenly and utterly booooored with every one of our usual dinner options. The thought of making any of the same-old same-old just makes my skin crawl. As a result, tonight I made a dinner experiment. Sometimes my experiments are met with raves, sometimes they are total failures. Not much middle ground in this world of meal invention.

I started from a concept I'd encountered a couple of different places: Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos. The title alone is enough to lure me in.  Sweet. Potato. Black. Bean. Tacos.  I'm already smiling. :)

I put several large yams in the oven to bake. Okay, I know that technically nothing we have here is an actual yam (they grow in Africa, are white-fleshed and can become just huge!), but calling the pale ones 'sweet potatoes' and the orange-fleshed ones 'yams' works for me!

I ended up only using two of the yams, but they were pretty large. I peeled  and cubed them, and tossed them into a pan with a little (Spectrum non-hydrogenated palm kernel oil shortening. It is one of the won't-kill-you good fats). I drained and added a can of black beans, as well as a pinch of sea salt, a sprinkle of ground cumin and a bit of chili powder. That's all. I stirred it from time to time as it heated. The baking gave the yams a flavor that was not only sweet, but deep and rich.

Our grocery store had some blue corn-flax seed-wheat tortillas, and they sounded like the perfect complement to my concoction. I added some slices of perfect avocado (a perfect avocado always feels like suddenly discovered treasure), a little shredded mozzarella, sliced black olives, and a bit of sliced tomato.

It was so good!!!

I get meated-out fairly easily, and we've had a pretty meaty few days, so I was loving the meat-free nature of my dinner. The flavor was so rich, and the texture so satisfying that I felt no lack of 'meatiness' at all. So many good nutrients in such a tasty package!

Because some around me do want meat more than I do, I wanted an option for them as well. The store also had some Smoked Andouille Chicken Sausages, which I cubed and heated/browned in a separate pan. My husband added a few bits of sausage to his tacos, and said he liked the combination. They added another level of flavor and just a big of spicy heat, which he likes.

Right away after dinner, I wrote down how I made these, so I will hopefully be able to duplicate the feat another time.

I really love it when an experiment turns out so beautifully, especially on a very busy night when there is no margin for do-overs!

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