FRONT BURNER: Black beans, sweet potato add flavor to vegan tacos

Kelly Brant/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette 
Sweet Potato, Poblano and Black Bean Tacos
Kelly Brant/Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Sweet Potato, Poblano and Black Bean Tacos

Immediately after eating one of these tacos, I sent a text to my friend Celia telling her I needed her to have this taco recipe.

And Dear Reader, I need you to have it, too. What you do with it, is up to you, but I highly encourage making it and then eating every last morsel.

Like most people I know, I try to make a conscious effort to eat more vegetables. It is an irrefutable fact, vegetables are good for us. And when prepared well, vegetables can taste amazing.

This is one of those recipes.

I topped my tacos with radish matchsticks (crunch!), diced avocado (buttery!) and cilantro (herbaceous!). That combination, plus the tender sweet potatoes, spicy poblano, hearty beans and bright lime juice was a satisfying symphony of flavors that filled me up, but didn't weigh me down.

The mixture would be equally good over rice or even just on its own, if you don't do tacos.

I adapted the recipe from the soon-to-be-released "The Complete Beans & Grains Cookbook" from America's Test Kitchen, adjusting the serving size down from four and adding the lime for brightness. If you want to make the full four-serving recipe, use two sheet pans and wrap the tortillas in two stacks.

Sweet potato, poblano, black bean tacos

1½ tablespoons vegetable oil or olive oil

1-2 cloves garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¾ teaspoon ground coriander

¼ teaspoon dried oregano (Mediterranean or Mexican)

¼ to ½ teaspoon fine salt

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

1 small (6 to 8 ounces) sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½ inch pieces

1 small yellow onion, halved and cut into ½-inch pieces

2 poblano peppers, stemmed, seeded and cut into ½-inch pieces

6 (6-inch) corn tortillas

½ (15-ounce) black beans, rinsed and well drained

1 lime

Desired garnishes such as salsa, diced avocado, sliced radishes, shredded cabbage, cilantro

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the oil, garlic, cumin, coriander, oregano, salt and pepper. Add the sweet potato, onion and poblano pepper pieces. Divide mixture among both baking sheets. Roast, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender, about 30 minutes. Arrange the tortillas in a stack and wrap in foil. Place the foil-wrapped tortillas in the oven for the last five minutes or so, until tortillas are heated through. Immediately after removing the sheet pan from the oven, scatter the beans over the sweet potatoes and toss gently to combine. Cut the lime in half and squeeze half of its juice over the sweet potato mixture. Cut the remaining half into wedges. Serve mixture nestled into warm tortillas and garnish as desired and with a squeeze of lime, if desired.

Makes six tacos.