Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Tacos

Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Tacos // Queen Smithereen.
I don’t know if it’s our culture, or if it’s the human condition, but I’ve noticed that we all seem to demand excuses for things. Let me tell you, working in the hospitality industry really magnifies the prominence of this affliction; worse, still, is the fact that whatever excuse or reason or explanation-no matter how justified-usually isn’t enough.

To be blunt–sometimes I just have to wonder, what is the point?
Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Tacos // Queen Smithereen.
And when I really think about it, there isn’t one. Justified or not, I can’t control the way people receive things; I can only keep track of the way I present them.
Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Tacos // Queen Smithereen.
Which means, friends, that if you find yourselves wondering why on earth I like to put sweet potatoes in places they don’t belong (e.g., in black bean soup, in curry, etc.), you are out of luck. In fact, the only answer I can provide is this: because it tastes AWESOME.
Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Tacos // Queen Smithereen.
And sweet potatoes in taco form might be my best invention yet. Roasted to caramelized, spicy perfection, the sweet potatoes are lovingly incorporated with perfectly seasoned black beans and ground turkey in a crunchy taco shell. Refraining from the addition of melty jack cheese and cool, creamy slices of avocado would be shameful. As in, on par with stopping after just one of these.
Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Tacos // Queen Smithereen.
One Year: Iced Coffee Sangria. Yes, please!

Turkey, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Tacos
Makes 12 Tacos

TACO SEASONING:
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp lime zest
1/2 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp cayenne
salt and pepper, to taste

TACO FILLING:
1 medium-large sweet potato, peeled and sliced into thin matchsticks
3 tbsp olive oil
pinch cayenne
salt and pepper, to taste
16 oz ground turkey breast
1/2 cup red onion, chopped
1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
juice of one lime
1 15-16 oz can black beans, drained

TOPPING AND ASSEMBLY:
12 crunchy taco shells
jack cheese
avocado slices
lime wedges

TACO SEASONING: Combine cumin, lime zest, chili powder, turmeric, and cayenne. Set aside.

TACO FILLING: Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Evenly coat chopped sweet potato with 1 tbsp olive oil, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Transfer sweet potatoes to baking sheet and roast until tender, redistributing every 10 minutes. Meanwhile, heat remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Season ground turkey with salt and pepper and add to skillet, dividing up with a fork and stirring frequently until cooked through. Add chopped onion and bell pepper, cooking until the onions are translucent. Stir in taco seasoning, ensuring that the turkey, onions, and poblanos are evenly coated. Stir in lime juice. Stir in black beans. Cook until black beans are heated through, about 5 minutes.

TOPPING AND ASSEMBLY: Preheat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Fill each crunchy taco shell with jack cheese and line on a baking sheet. Bake until the cheese has melted, about 3-5 minutes, then fill with turkey-black bean filling. Top with sweet potatoes and avocado. Serve with lime wedges for squirting.

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