Recently I was craving cheese-covered nachos, but wanted something more substantial and less of a junk-food snack. I remembered this recipe I saw a while back, which uses sweet potato fries rather than corn tortilla chips and decided to try it. The result: healthy AND satisfying! It even works as a side dish or light meal. Here is my lightly modified recipe:
2 large sweet potatoes
1 large tomato
½ can black beans
1 cup shredded cheese, or more to taste
salt + pepper
dried spices of your choice: garlic, onion, cumin, paprika, etc
optional (but very recommended!):
whatever you have in your fridge/pantry that can work as a topping! ½ cup corn kernels? do itttt
You will need a baking tray and parchment paper.
- Thoroughly wash your potatoes, then slice 1/8th inch disks. I peeled them lightly (read: lazily), mostly just the rough spots, and left about half of the peel on.
- The secret for a nice, slightly crisp texture: “soak your sweet potatoes for 60 minutes in cold water. Soaking the strips helps remove some of the starch. Starch retains water when baked, and can be responsible for soggy sweet potatoes. Remove your potatoes from the water. Dry thoroughly.” (60 minutes is long, i know. I suggest planning ahead so that you can use this time productively for things like taking a shower, doing laundry, or you know, reading a magazine.)
- Set the oven to 425ºF.
- Move your dried slices to a clean plastic bag. Add 1 teaspoon of flour (or brown rice flour if you’re doing a gluten-free variation) for each sweet potato. “Shake the bag until each slice is lightly dusted with flour. In this same step you can dust the fries with spices of your choice: cumin, cayenne, garlic and onion powder are good picks. However, NEVER add salt to your uncooked fries. Salt traps moisture in the fries, creating a mushy mess.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Arrange your slices evenly, but do not overcrowd the pan. Bake 10-15 minutes, flip, and watch for the last 10 minutes as needed.”
During the last 5 minutes: add tomatoes, black beans, red onions, and as much grated cheese as you wish. “When your fries are finished, turn off the oven, and open the door half way. Your fries will actually crisp even more if they cool in the oven! Salt your baked fries as needed.” Let cool and throw on the chopped avocado, hot peppers and squeeze some lime juice over everything.
Thank you Jill Clark for the recipe!