Roasted sweet potato tacos

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We’ve been doing taco night once a week since we moved to Indy; I try to cook a different cuisine every night and “Mexican food” night usually becomes taco night- I’m well aware this is most likely politically incorrect, but enchiladas and fajitas take too long to prepare on a weeknight. Not only do tacos taste good but they provide a fairly good serving of protein, veggies, and dairy (cheese and sour cream) so I like to think they’re healthy. However, I wanted to change things up one night and add another pin to my “things I actually did” board on Pinterest- ironically yet to be created. That was the night I made Honey-lime roasted sweet potato tacos.

Of course, because this recipe is Pinterest-inspired, I’d like to give credit to where it is due. You can find the original recipe here. Like with any recipe, I made my own changes.

Ingredients

3/4 large sweet potato, peeled and diced into cubes
2 tsp olive oil
1 tsp cumin
salt, fresh ground black pepper and cayenne pepper to taste
1/4 cup diced green onion
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup pre-soaked and steamed black beans
1/4 cup pre-soaked and steamed chick peas
1/4 cup frozen yellow corn, thawed and drained
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 cup chopped romaine lettuce
feta cheese crumbles as proportionate, per taste

Directions

1. Line baking sheet with foil, drizzle potatoes with proportionate amount of olive oil, cumin, cayenne pepper, salt, ground pepper. Toss evenly to coat.
2. Roast potatoes in toaster oven at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes until tender.
3. In skillet, sautee other ingredients in 2 tsp olive oil and seasoning to taste. I didn’t wait to add the garlic. Coat with lime and honey
4. Add potatoes and adjust seasoning.
5. Toast corn tortillas in toaster oven until slightly warm
6. Put potato mix in middle of each tortilla, top with lettuce and feta cheese

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I think my directions are simpler- it is a very Indian thing to caramelize onions and garlic before adding other veggies, and continuing to add seasoning to each additional ingredient in saucepan to ensure even flavoring. I also definitely was not going to wait until the end to add garlic.

Chick peas also weren’t in the original recipe, but I decided to add extra protein to my tacos because I had extra in the fridge.

Top it off with any sauce you like- the recipe suggests pico de gallo, but I stuck with good ol’ Ortega taco sauce and it tasted great! Give this recipe a try with ingredients that are laying about your fridge- you can probably mix and match ingredients as you wish, and this would still taste amazing! I’m glad I found a new way to include sweet potato in my diet other than the fries at Steak and Shake.

Quinoa stuffed bell peppers

There is a story behind this choice of recipe for dinner. It starts on most Sunday evenings as I sit with the paper to determine my grocery list for the week. As a lacto-vegetarian, I rely on certain key produce to add to the flavor of my cooking. Most of the time this is bell peppers, which not only adds color but a certain spicy sweetness as well. Anyone who’s done any grocery shopping knows that bell peppers are EXPENSIVE. I’m talking, $2 per. Anyway, so in the past three weeks when peppers were on sale, I bought a LOT; so many that I had to chop some up and freeze them. 

I wanted to make stuffed peppers for a long time, so having a few extra was a good reason to do so. My inspiration came from this recipe found on Pinterest, but like with anything and as the recipe says I customized a little to account for cooking only for Pathik & I and for certain ingredients I didn’t have on hand.

For 2 medium-sized bell peppers ( serving size 1 pepper each, 2 servings total in recipe)

Ingredients
2 tsp canola oil
pinch of ground cumin
1/2 small onion, chopped
3 stalks green onion
1/4 shredded green chile pepper
1/4 cup canned kernel corn
1/4 cup canned or pre-steamed garbanzo beans
1/2 cup uncooked quinoa
1/4 cup feta and pepper jack cheese crumbles
2 bell peppers of any color (I used one green and one red)
salt to taste
freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions

1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a saucepan and add the quinoa. Once the quinoa returns to a boil, simmer on low covered until the water is absorbed. Then turn off the stove and keep the quinoa covered, it will continue to cook in the steam. This is a GENIUS method I got from some other recipe; the quinoa are nice and fluffy. I’ll have to try the same ratios with rice to see if it works as great. My rice is always so mushy.

2. On a stovetop skillet, warm oil and sprinkle in cumin. Once the cumin starts to sizzle, add onion green onion, and green chile pepper. Once the onions caramelize, add corn and garbanzo beans. Since the latter are already cooked, you can add salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste soon after. * I used garbanzo beans because I didn’t have any pre-steamed black beans and I didn’t want to use canned black beans. I try to avoid canned food as much as possible but pre-steamed and frozen corn kernels from summer cobs is just a bit too much to have on hand, so I resort to canned corn when needed.
Turn down the burner to a simmer until the quinoa is cooked.

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3. Chop off the stems and core out the peppers you will be using. Spoon generous amounts of quinoa mixture into each pepper, sprinking cheese in between spoonfuls and arranging on top. Bake peppers on a lined sheet in the oven for 30 mins.

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Stuffed spinach and ricotta cheese shells

I think the first dish I ever made for Pathik in college was stuffed spinach and ricotta cheese shells, which has evolved itself into becoming my signature dish which all my close friends from college have been served. It was one of my first forays into what I perceived as complicated cooking at the time, but there is nothing complicated about this recipe. It is quite easy and can be made in approximately 40 minutes to an hour. That is a realistic estimate- it really should not take you any longer. I find that the times listed on recipes are usually inaccurate, as they always take longer to make than what is listed. However, I do waste a lot of time reading and re-reading the fine print in a recipe to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

Here is a very straightforward (no fine-print) version of my own creation instead of from Pinterest or my mother -in- law:
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