Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burritos

If we've talked this week, you're probably expecting the amazing ricotta recipes I stumbled on recently, and I promise you they'll be here soon, and worth the wait. The truth today is, however, I've had a head-spinning packed week; it's been all about looming Boston, just one week away, a couple of hovering deadlines, clusters of birthdays and friends' good news to acknowledge, and --I'm trying to remember not to hold my breath--it looks like I could have a book deal of sorts! An unconventional, very small, not exactly lucrative book deal that could well dissipate in an instant, mind, thus the wariness against breath-holding, but excitement that adds to distraction nonetheless! So, I am pulling from my mini stockpile of blog ideas before another week slips away from me. Not like anyone's out there gritting his or her teeth for an update, but there's the principle to consider, you know, the idea of loyalty to my little pet (project). I have to say, although I was responsible for and therefore vaguely aware of its presence, the fact that I have a mini stockpile of barely begun blog drafts took me somewhat by surprise. I love that feeling when, after convinced worry that you've forgotten something important, you realize you should have trusted yourself more, being the capable planner you are. I'm never quite confident I can trust myself, as alongside the teacher's and writer's instincts to hoard (materials/information/sources), I am really a minimalist, and I loathe clutter. In fact, it's been a nagging concern for decades already that one day my Mom will decide it's time to clean out the whole house, and all the sentimental items I count on her to store will inevitably come my way, and I'll be tempted to just throw them out. Not that I don't appreciate gifts. And, I do wallow in nostalgia. If something has a place that isn't in danger of over-flowing, I love having it; but in all honestly, I can't even bear to file too many e-mails, and have a tendency to delete important messages, relying on Dave to save them instead. At least in cyberspace, clutter can be contained out of sight until useful. Anyway, this rambling is becoming too digressive, and I could go on in self-analysis expecting kinship in thought unlikely to come, for a long while. The point I was getting to is, although I was too tired to fit in writing up the aforementioned ricotta recipes this week, these burritos are a delicious stand-in, made all the better for their simplicity. The filling is even terrific on it's own. Plus, they can be so easily adapted to fit just about any special diet. I know, because I've made them yeast-free, and I've discovered that a yeast free meal is far more tricky than gluten free, believe me (NO breads/yeast/pickled or fremented foods/peanuts/fruit juice/few fruits/low starch/no sugar...and that's just the beginning)...but more on that later.

Sweet potato and black bean burritos

  • 2-3 baked sweet potatoes, scooped and mashed (I used 3 medium, but 2 large would have done the trick, too)
  • 1 3/4 cups cooked, or 1 14-ounce can no-salt, black beans
  • 1/2 medium red onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 t cumin
  • 1 T chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 habanero chili, seeds removed, minced
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Fresh salsa to taste, optional
  • Shredded cheese, optional (I used a little under 1/4 cup sharp cheddar and pepper jack per burrito)
  • Organic whole wheat tortillas (warm before filling)
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

*You could boil and mas the sweet potatoes, but if you are using the oven anyway, or a day or two prior, baking brings out so much flavor, and they're so easy to work with!

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Place sweet potato mash in a large bowl. Add beans and stir to combine.
  3. Heat oil in a medium skillet, and saute onion and garlic until soft. Add cumin, chili powder, paprika, and habanero chili and cook a further 2 minutes, stirring continually.  Stir into sweet potato mixture.
  4. Divide bean mixture and mashed sweet potatoes evenly between the warm tortillas. Top with fresh salsa and sprinkle with cheese (if using) and cilantro.  Fold up tortillas burrito style, and place, fold down, on a baking sheet.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, and serve.

Photo credit: Flikr use roboppy