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Great minds think alike

February 26, 2013 - Taste Buds
Lunchtime in the newsroom usually begins with "Battle Microwave." Yesterday, Bud Shaunna beat the others to the break room. Today, Bud Em was the lucky first person at the box of radiating energy.

Bud Shaunna, impatient because her stomach was eating itself, raced to the back while Bud Em's lunch was still heating. Bud Em was still not in sight when the microwave sounded, so Bud Shaunna, being the great friend she is, took out Bud Em's lunch when it was done (and also so she could hog the microwave for 3 minutes). That's when she discovered -- the Buds brought the same homemade dish for lunch!

We're usually on the prowl for healthy, easy or tasty recipes, and we've both taken a love to the recipe site Tasty Kitchen. A few months ago, we both discovered a recipe for sweet potato tacos. It quickly became a Bud favorite and over time, we each adapted it to our own tastes. Now we'd like to share it with you.

Peel and chop about 3 good size sweet potatoes. Spread the chunks on a tray and roast them in the oven for about 30 minutes. (The Buds usually set the temperature somewhere between 375 to 400 - watch closely and stir occasionally so the potatoes don't burn.) While the sweet potatoes are roasting, get started on your meat mixture.

Brown about a pound to a pound and a half of ground beef (Bud Em likes ground turkey). Drain off any grease, and then add an 8 oz can of plain tomato sauce and your taco seasoning (you can use the seasoning already in a packet or make your own - Bud Shaunna always has a kitchen full of spices and makes her own taco seasoning each time according to her taste). Next, drain and rinse a can of black beans and add those. Let that simmer for a bit, and viola! Easy, tasty taco meat!

Once the sweet potatoes are done, remove them from the oven. Now you can begin constructing your taco. The Buds don't even use tortilla shells - we just eat these babies right out of a bowl! Add some of the meat mixture, top with a good bit of sweet potatoes, some cheddar cheese and chopped spinach. Sour cream is great on the side, as is homemade guacamole or salsa.

There are plenty of variations too. You don't have to use black beans, and instead of tomato sauce, add a can of crushed, diced or salsa style tomatoes. If you like onion, chop some of that up and toss it in before you start browning the meat. Also, instead of adding spinach as a topping, you can add it when you add the black beans and cook it in with the mixture.

The original recipe involved creating taco packets with foil. Skip roasting the sweet potatoes, but construct your packet with the meat mixture, a pat of butter, a layer of cheese, some spinach and top with raw sweet potatoes. Seal these packets up (makes about 6 decent sized packets) and bake them on a tray in the oven at 425 for about 25 minutes. You can find the original non-Budded up version of the recipe here:

Looking to spice up the same old boring taco dinner? Give the Buds' favorite recipe a whirl - we think you're gonna love it!


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