What is The Vegan(ish) Experiment?

Our family (me, my husband D, and our four-year-old Molly) started 2009 with a mostly-vegan, macrobiotic-inspired diet (although I have to admit, the strict macro rules have pretty much gone out the window). I have seen a marked improvement in my chronic migraines, and I'm enjoying proving that we can make amazing, mouth-watering, memorable food without animal products. For a more in-depth intro, click here.

I stopped updating this blog quite awhile back, when life got in the way. I'm still keeping a mostly vegan kitchen, though, and loving it. Have fun browsing my recipes!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Day -14: Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos

First, thanks so much to the several wonderful folks who have commented in support of our experiment. I think that, just like any major change in habits, having a support group will be a big help.

I bought some sweet potatoes the other day, planning on making a yummy-sounding sweet-potato-and-lime dish I saw on The Crockpot Lady's blog. And while that still sounds good, I found something even better on Amy's blog, which I investigated after she commented on yesterday's post. So tonight I'm going to try Sweet Potato Burritos. Oh, yum yum! I know our experiment hasn't started yet, but (a) the recipe sounds too good to wait, and (b) I already cook a lot of vegetarian food -- so this won't be a shock to D or Molly.

Update after dinner:
It turned out tasty! D loved it (with lots of chipotle salsa), and Molly ate a few of the black beans and a whole tortilla - but wasn't into the sweet potato. Oh well.

Here's the pic:
This is my first real attempt at food photography. Out of focus, I know!

And the recipe, modified from the above link based on what I had in my pantry / fridge:

Sweet Potato & Black Bean Tacos
2 T. olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (1/2"-3/4" cubes)
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 T. cumin (or less if you aren't as much of a cumin fiend as me)
1/2 t. chili powder
1 t. ground coriander
dash cayenne pepper (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
3 T. tomato paste
1 1/2 c. water
1 can black beans
12 corn tortillas, warmed
shredded baby spinach

Heat olive oil in a skillet at medium low.
Saute onion, garlic, sweet potato, and spices until the sweet potato starts to soften (10-15 minutes).
Mix tomato paste and water and add to the skillet. Bring to a boil and lower heat to a simmer. Simmer until sweet potato is cooked through and soft, but not mushy (20-25 minutes).
Add beans and heat through. Use a potato masher to mash about half of the mixture. Stir well.
Overlap two tortillas on a plate. Place mixture on tortillas, adding shredded greens and salsa on top. (I used Trader Joe's salsa verde; D used homemade chipotle salsa prepared by blending Herdez chipotle peppers in adobo sauce.)

Serves 6.


  1. I've made burritos like these for a few years now (we call them sweet bean) and everyone LOVES them! They're also my go-to to take to someone sick, a new mom, etc. So good!

  2. I'll try tomorrow! Just happen to have sweet potatoes on hand, but ran out of tortillas - just have to make from scratch I guess...

  3. Thanks for visiting my blog! I hope you do well switching your diet over - I think I found the biggest impact by removing dairy, especially cheese. (I know, I know, it seems hard to get rid of the cheese, but it really makes a difference.)

    Also just adding in so many fresh fruits and veggies made me feel much better too.

    I will be checking in on you!

  4. Heather - Thanks for visiting the blog! I'd love if you'd share your own recipe for these burritos.

    Mom - I hope you like them. I thought they were really tasty. I wish I'd had bell pepper, though, to put in them.

    Jenny - Thanks for the encouraging comment! I made myself not put cheese on my taco tonight, even though it's 2 weeks before the experiment "officially" starts. Surprisingly, I didn't miss it.

  5. Check out a blog called the Vegan Spoonful. she has some wonderful recipes. I highly recommend the couscous with peanut sauce.

  6. I'm so glad you liked the recipe! I'm adding you to my blogroll and I promise to put up more recipes of what I've been making at home. Both Jenny (my sister) and I found that it really isn't that hard, it's more a question of a change in perspective.

  7. Wow! This looks like a really tasty meal. I loooove black beans. I commend you and your family for undertaking the worthwhile task of looking over your health!


    P.S. Are you C. Beth's twin?!

  8. Mary - thanks for the link. It looks fabulous.

    Amy - looks like my Mom is making the recipe, too!

    MikeFan - Yes, Beth is my twin sister! Identical, if you can't tell.

  9. This looks amazing! I am going to have to try this! I think your food photography turned out just fine!

  10. Michelle - Thanks! :) It is even better a couple of days later, when the flavors have melded -- I had leftovers for lunch today; didn't even make tacos, just ate the filling!

  11. Wow! What a pair of amazing Bloggers! :) I love both of your amazing blogging projects! You two look identical from the pictures I've seen via Blogger :)



I love it when people come back and tell me how the recipes turned out - please consider doing so! Thanks!


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