Before the Winter finally and completely settles in, I thought I would share with you this amazing Fall-inspired tacos recipe. I’m a huge fan of mixing together savory and sweet flavors together. I remember, as a little girl, I would love to have a piece of cheese along with my raspberry-flavored yogurt. I guess that explains why I’ve never been able to pick between a savory entrée and a sweet dessert. I love them both! So when you’re faced with the dilemma of having both a sweet and savory tooth, you deal with it as best as you can. In my case that entails satisfying the two within one single dish.
With this recipe I used the combining strategy to its fullest. On Team Savory we have the nutrient-packed sautéed kale, the dense corn tortillas, and the smooth avocado. The Team Sweet opponents consist of the tender cinnamon-spiced sweet potato, the decadent maple candied pecans, and the creamy tahini dressing. The fresh mint stands on neutral grounds, alternatively rooting for both teams. Pleasantry aside, the idea for this recipe came to me out of nowhere. I was inspired by this unique combination of flavors, had a vision and decided to put it up to the test. My mother (World’s best recipe tester) tried the tacos and she loved them. I tried them and I loved them. Now you should try them and be sure to love them. ;)
Autumnal Tacos // Roasted Sweet Potato, Sautéed Kale & Maple Candied Pecans – serves: 8 tacos | prep time: 20 min | cooking time: 50 min
for the maple candied pecans
- 1 cup raw pecans
- 2 tbsp pure maple syrup
- ½ tsp filtered water
- a pinch of nutmeg, ground ginger, cayenne pepper and Himalayan salt
for the roasted sweet potatoes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
- ½ tsp cinnamon
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
for the sautéed kale
- 4 large handfuls of kale, stems removed
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 yellow onion
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ tsp coarse sea salt
- black pepper, to taste
for the base and toppings
- 8 corn tortillas
- 1 large ripe avocado
- 1 handful fresh mint leaves, stems removed
- chili flakes, optional
for the tahini dressing
- 2 tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp tamari
- 1 tbsp pure maple syrup
- dash of ground ginger and cayenne pepper
Begin by making the maple candied pecans. Preheat the oven to 350º F and lay the pecans on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Roast the pecans for 10 minutes.
Combine the maple syrup and spices in a saucepan on medium heat, stirring occasionally until slightly bubbling (about 5 min).
Once the pecans are ready, add them to the saucepan along with a splash of water. Keep stirring for about 4 minutes, until the nuts are caramelized and the mixture is completely incorporated.
Pour back the pecans on the baking tray and let cool down for 20 minutes.
Then make the sweet potatoes. Bring the temperature of your oven up to 375º F. Peel and dice the sweet potatoes into small cubes and toss them into a medium bowl.
In a small bowl, pour the melted coconut oil with the cinnamon and salt. Mix well with a spoon and pour the mixture over the sweet potatoes. Toss well to combine.
Place the sweet potato cubes onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, flipping the cubes over half way through.
While the sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the kale mixture. Mince the garlic and chop the onion into thin half moon shapes. With your hands, tear the kale leaves apart into smaller pieces (like you would for a salad).
In a large nonstick skillet, pour the olive oil and let heat up for about 1 minute on medium heat. Add the onion slices and let them cook until translucent (about 3-4 minutes), stirring occasionally. Then add the minced garlic until it reaches a light brown color. Finally add the kale leaves, along with the salt and pepper, and sauté for 5 minutes or so. You don’t want the leaves to become too wilted.
Prepare the dressing. In a small bowl, stir all the ingredients together until you reach a creamy consistency.
Once the sweet potatoes and kale are cooked and ready, you can cut the avocado into thin moon-shaped slices and roughly chop the mint leaves. Warm up the corn tortillas: place them for a couple minutes on a nonstick pancake pan, one at a time, flipping them over halfway through.
You can now assemble the tacos! Place a couple spoonful of the kale mixture at the base of the tortilla. Then add another couple spoonful of sweet potatoes. Pour one tbsp of the dressing over the vegetables. Layer a couple slices of avocado on top, along with a few chunks of candied pecans. Finally, sprinkle some mint over the tacos and an optional dash of chili flakes.