Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco Packets

First of all, I just have to share my excitement at the birthday present I got this week – new stainless steel cookware!  I feel like a real chef now!  🙂 Aren’t they pretty!!!  I do realize I will have to do a bit of retraining as I was using non-stick before but I am up for it.  Not only are they great for cooking with, they are toxin free – nothing getting into my food from the non-stick coatings of my previous set!  Yay! image

Now, onto tonight’s dinner which was a complete winner (and I think it was because I got to use my new pans!). Just kidding… but truly, this meal was amazing!  I have been trying to use up the meat in our deep freeze because we are planning on buying a 1/4 of a grass-fed cow and will need the space.  I also didn’t have time to grocery shop this past weekend so have been just cooking from what is available in the pantry, fridge, and freezer.  With that being said, I am glad that I had on hand what I did because this dinner was a 10!!!

And, Wilford clan, you will get to try this as I plan on doing this for our meal over the 4th of July at the cabin.  It was so easy to make that I know I can easily do it for our group of 8 adults and 3 kids.  Although I cooked this recipe inside (due to our lovely unpredictable MN weather), I think it all could easily be grilled too!

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Sweet Potato and Black Bean Taco Packets

1 lb. beef sirloin
1/4 c. lemon juice or lime juice (I used lemon simply because I was out of lime but either would be tasty)
2 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. oregano
3 garlic cloves, minced

2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 1/2 c. fresh spinach, chopped
2-3 Tbsp. butter
1 can tomato sauce
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
Seasoning for foil packets: oregano, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, salt, pepper (*see note below re: amounts)

2 Tbsp. grape seed oil or coconut oil
taco shells (I found some G/F ones made with organic corn at Trader Joe’s)
shredded sharp cheddar

Optional: tomatoes, guacamole, avocado, salsa

*Seasonings Note: I didn’t actually measure the amounts of seasoning I put in the foil packets… just did a few shakes of each.  However, if you are someone who needs measurements, I would recommend using your favorite taco seasoning and just put about a 1-2 teaspoons of it in each packet.

Instructions:

In a large zipper bag, combine olive oil, juice, cumin, oregano, garlic, salt/pepper. Mix together and add sirloin. Marinate for at least 4 hours – the longer you marinate, the more tender the steak will be. Cut into bite-sized pieces. (If grilling, see “Food for Thought” before cutting up.)

Set out 6 squares of tin foil. In each square, add 1/6 of the sweet potato, spinach, tomato sauce, and black beans. Add a pat of butter and seasonings. Seal the packets (see below) and place in an oven preheated to 425 degrees. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until sweet potato is tender.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a pan. Add sirloin pieces and cook in medium high heat for 2-4 minutes or until desired done-ness.

Carefully open foil packets. Layer each taco shell with meat, shredded cheese, and sweet potato fillings. Add any other optional toppings you wish to add and enjoy!

Husband Rating: 10 out of 10

Food for thought: If you are grilling this meal, I would recommend leaving the steaks whole and grilling to your desired done-ness and slicing afterwards.  Just make sure you let them sit for a few minutes after you remove them from the grill to allow the juices to redistribute throughout the meat.  The foil packets should take a similar amount of time on a grill at a medium-high heat.

I also think that if you are looking for a good meatless meal option, simply have just the foil packets on tacos and leave out the steak.  It definitely could stand on its own and be a great meal!

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