Toothsome sweet potatoes, assertive poblano peppers, and flavorful black beans, wrapped up in a crispy corn tortilla. These vegan tacos deliver a smoky Southwestern sensation with each and every bite.
Last year we visited Organ Pipe National Monument in southwest Arizona. As the sun set over a majestic field of cacti, we decided to make one of our favorite camp dinners: tacos. We’re pretty much taco fanatics. And when we’re in the Southwest, we tend to get a little obsessive.
Looking back over these photos, we’re reminded of just how delicious these tacos were. The sweet potatoes were perfectly chewy and absorbed tons of flavor. The peppers were definitely present, but not overly pushy. And the New Mexican chili powder and cumin transformed the black beans into something magnificent.
Corn tortillas are definitely the way to go, too. To get those blackened charred marks, we placed the tortillas directly on top of the burner. (You can do this with corn, but flour tortillas will tend to stick), 10-20 seconds on each side. Just make sure you have a good pair of tongs!
While there probably isn’t any better way to enjoy a taco then by watching a Sonoran desert sunset, the taco is a transcendent food, and can be enjoyed in just about any setting. So next time you’re out camping or at home, try taking a bite out of the American Southwest with these sweet and spicy tacos.
Sweet Potato Tacos
Prep Time: 5 Minutes
Cook Time: 20 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes
Sweet Potatoes & Peppers
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium sweet potato peeled (optional) and cut into ½-inch cubes
1 poblano pepper seeded and chopped into ½-inch pieces
1 tablespoon cumin
salt to taste
1 tablespoon oil
½ small red onion diced
2 cloves garlic minced
1 (15 oz) can black beans
2 limes juiced
1 teaspoon New Mexican chili powder
salt to taste
6 corn tortillas
½ red onion, avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, etc.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the sweet potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, 10 minutes. Add the peppers, cumin, and a pinch of salt and continue to cook an additional 10 minutes, or until the potatoes and peppers are cooked through and tender.
In the meantime, prepare the black beans. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a small pot. Add the onion and sauté 3-4 minutes, until it begins to turn translucent. Add the garlic and sauté until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the beans, lime juice, New Mexican chili powder, and a pinch of salt. Reduce heat to low and simmer about 15 minutes until the beans are heated through and the potatoes and peppers are done.
To assemble, heat the tortillas on a stove burner or over your campfire. Spoon a scoop of beans into the tortilla, add a scoop of the potatoes and peppers, and top with whatever additional fixings you’d like!
Equipment Used In This Recipe
Camp Stove – We use an electronic ignition two-burner Coleman Stove, but in reality, any two-burner camping stove will do.
Lodge 10.5″ Cast Iron Skillet – We love cooking with cast iron and use it for most of our recipes. It is great for this particular recipe because of how effectively it browns the sweet potatoes. Unlike steel or aluminum pans, cast iron cookware really radiates heat. That means not only are you cooking the side of the potato in direct contact with the pan, but you’re cooking the whole cube.
Opinel Multi Purpose Chef Knife– Sweet potatoes are not exactly super easy to cube, which is why we recommend using a very sharp chef’s knife. We have been using this 20cm chef’s knife from Opinel, which gives us a long sharp edge to make our chops.
Cutting Board – We’ve seen plenty of campground picnic tables and we wouldn’t want to prepare food on any of them. Bring along a small cutting board from home and prepare your food on a nice clear surface.
Measuring Spoons – Some people like to just wing it, but we prefer to measure – even when camping. When a recipe calls for 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper, we don’t want to flub it and risk turning our meal into an inedible sufferfest. (This has totally never happened to us!)
Wooden Spoon – While you could carve one, and you can manage without one in theory, a nice wooden spoon has an unending list of useful applications.
Tongs – For this recipe in particular, tongs are a must. In order to get that perfect blackened char on your tortillas you’ll need to be able to flip and at a moment’s notice.