Today is Cinco de Mayo (yay!) it is also the middle of a strict springtime vegan-paleo goal for me. So what to do. I looooove Mexican foods, it will be one of my favorite cuisines ever and always. My eyes were first opened to mind blowing vegan Mexican food at Gracias Madre in SF. I was lucky to eat there many times, but it was a taco plate when I first fell in love. There were piles of cooked leafy greens, spiced sweet potatoes, and all the crunchy toppings. I think there were beans and loads of their wonderful freshly made tortillas. This today is my homage to them. The tortilla making is easy as pie, but if you love corn tortillas-by all means use those!
Chili Sweet Potato, Leafy Greens, and Avocado
Makes about 14 tortillas (taco "corn-tortilla" sized)
- 4 green plantains
- 1/4 cup hot water (or more)
- 1 bunch collards, swiss chard, or kale
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 4 sweet potatoes
- 1-2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
For these tortillas I want a savory or neutral sort of flavor so we use the unripe or green plantains. Peeling them can be a little bit of a chore, here is a link to my earlier instructions how to do this quickly. The plantains need to be peeled and sliced into chunks before boiling for 20 minutes. You will see the raw plantain is a very pale yellow color, once it has cooked in the boiling water there's a much deeper yellow color to the flesh.
When the plantains are fork tender drain into a colander in the sink. Wait 5 minutes so they cool a bit. Place plantains in the bowl of a standing mixer, mix on low for about 5-8 minutes. If you have the plastic guard that keeps things from jumping out the sides of the bowl now is the time to use it. If not you can hold a tea towel around the top of the bowl until pieces stop trying to jump out.
At first it may seem very dry and crumbly, but there is a nice point when everything comes dough like. Depending on your plantains and how ripe and cooked they are this may take more time than you expect just keep the mixer on. If everything is looking very dry, which happens due to moisture escaping through the steam, add a splash of hot water until you have a consistency like cookie dough.
With our plantain massa ready we can move onto shaping and cooking the tortillas:
You will need a tortilla press or two rigid cutting boards. Parchment paper folded in half or a plastic bag cut into two pieces.Some coconut oil or other oil of your choice. A hot griddle or frypan.
- Heat the griddle.
- Apply a tiny bit of coconut oil to the inside spots of the full department where you will flatten the dough.
- Roll a ball of the dough in your hands.
- Place in between the two sheets of parchment or plastic
- Position this parchment sandwich in between your two cutting board or tortilla press.
- Press straight down, with all your bodyweight.
- Remove the top cutting board and check your tortilla.
- Peel off the parchment carefully, this is easier than you imagine.
- Move the tortilla in hand directly to the griddle.
- Cook on each side for about 5 minutes. They will look dry, pale, with not much color. The edges will turn out just a bit.
Repeat until the dough is all used up!
Cut a bunch of collards or Swiss chard into thin ribbons. Cook on the stove with two cloves of minced garlic, salt, a teaspoon of cumin, and a 1/2 cup of water. Simmer and sauté until the water has about braided and your greens are tender and bright.
Cube your sweet potatoes into roughly half inch pieces. Toss to coat with olive oil and 1 to 2 teaspoons of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of cumin and 1 teaspoon of garlic powder. Spread on a sheet pan in one layer. Bake roast at 350° for about 30 minutes, until they're tender. There is no need to stir the sweet potatoes while they are roasting see you can just forget about them until the timer beeps!
Clearly, tacos should be assembled right as you are going to eat them. Place a small bed of greens as a base on the tortilla, followed by sweet potatoes, then topped off with thin slices of avocado, radish, cabbage and cilantro. salsa or hot sauce is always a good idea in my book.
***The tortillas will keep for a few days in the fridge kept sealed up in a bag. Very good just microwaved for 20 seconds to warm them up again. Or even better, throw on a hot dry pan till warm.