Sweet Potato and Black Bean Burrito

Some time ago Good Morning America ran a low-fat, low-calorie Healthy Eating contest that asked viewers to submit original recipes for Best Entrée and Best Dessert. We received hundreds and hundreds of entries, narrowed them down, then flew the winner in each category to New York to make their dish on the show.

Dana Richardson from Durham, North Carolina, submitted a recipe for Sweet Potato Burritos, and although it did not win, I personally liked it a lot, enough to use it as the inspiration for this recipe. I have added a layer of black bean puree and upped the fat content significantly. (It’s still pretty healthy.) We all loved it, even the husband, who usually bites into a dish like this and grouses, “Where’s the beef?” Not this time.

2 sweet potatoes, about 10 ounces each
2 tablespoons vegetable oil, plus more for brushing
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 cups thoroughly cooked black beans or one 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup vegetable stock or water
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
Eight 6-inch flour tortillas
2 to 3 scallions, white part only thinly sliced
1 cup Monterey Jack Cheese
Shredded romaine, sour cream, and chopped pickled jalapeños for garnish

Serves 4

Preheat the oven to 400ºF. Prick the potatoes with a knife in several places and bake in a small baking pan until very tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute longer. Stir in the cumin and chili powder and cook for 1 minute. Add the beans and vegetable stock, cover, and cook until the beans are very soft and the flavors have blended, about 5 minutes. Use a fork or potato masher to coarsely mash the beans. Season with salt and pepper. You should have about 1 1/2 cups.

Remove the potatoes from the oven and cool. (Keep the oven at the same temperature.) When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, halve and scoop out the flesh. Place the flesh in a small bowl and use a fork to mash coarsely. Discard the skins. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. You should have 1 1/2 to 2 cups.

Spread the tortillas with roughly equal amounts of the bean mixture. Top with equal amounts of the potato puree. Sprinkle on equal amounts of scallions and cheese. Roll the tortillas into cylinders and arrange, seam side down, in a baking pan large enough to hold the burritos in one layer. For a soft burrito, cover with foil and bake until warmed through, about 20 minutes. Bake uncovered for a crisper burrito. Arrange the garnishes attractively in bowls and let diners garnish their own burritos.

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