Fresh Sweet Potato Protein Nachos

Sweet Potatoes are more of a Southern thing, I get it. Recently, my campus farmers market actually had “Sweet Potato Fest” and I picked up A LOT of sweet potatoes from one of my favorite farmers. Like way more than I could use. So I decided to get a little creative with them.

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I typically see sweet potato chips with barbeque- yet another Southern thing, but I decided it was totally going to work with Mexican nachos, one of my absolute favorite things in the world. Nachos were one of the first “meals” I made as a kid, because it was so easy and I could do it in the microwave. Half the time I said screw the microwave, and just ate tortilla chips with cold shredded cheese. I loved cheese as a child, and still do to this day.

While the homemade sweet potatoes definitely take the most effort in this dish, the real shining stars are what you choose to put on. At my disposal I had: avocado, radish, pico de gallo, green onion, black beans, and ground turkey. (Most of which came from the farmers market). So I am writing this recipe based on that, but as always feel free to do whatever you’d like with them. The beauty of nachos is that they really work with just about anything.

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One reason I did choose to use turkey and black beans (aside from the fact that I just had leftover turkey from meatballs I made over the weekend) was that they are incredible sources of protein! Protein is important for so so so many bodily functions, but from a culinary standpoint- protein keeps you full. I couldn’t finish this plate of nachos. But I’m willing to bet if you’re reading this, you’re going to try!

However, if you’re more the vegetarian type, feel free to omit the turkey completely and maybe double up on the black beans. If you’re gluten-free, good news πŸ™‚ this one is perfect for you!

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Ingredients: (for two-three servings)

  • Two large sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 pound ground turkey
  • 1/2 cup cheese
  • 1/4 cup black beans
  • 1/4 cup avocado
  • 1/4 cup pico de gallo
  • 2 small radishes, sliced super thin
  • 2 scallions, sliced thin
  • Olive oil
  • Lime and cilantro for garnish

(Note: While I did put measurements to make prepping easier, feel free to use however much of whatever you’d like. Don’t like radish, don’t use it! Like your nachos extra cheesy? Load it on up!)

Cook:

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit
  • Peel and slice the sweet potatoes into very very thin slices. Use a mandolin on the smallest setting if you’ve got it. (Tip: once sliced, soak the sweet potatoes in cold salty water for an hour or two prior to cooking. This makes them leech some of their starch content, resulting in a crispier sweet potato chip!)
  • Drizzle the sweet potato slices with olive oil, then season with salt, pepper and whatever else you’d like. Place them on a tin foil-lined baking sheet that is sprayed with light cooking spray.
  • Pop the sweet potatoes in the oven. Check on them after about 8-10 minutes and flip for another 3-5 min.
  • While the sweet potatoes cook, brown the ground turkey on medium meat until cooked through.
  • Once sweet potato chips are sufficiently crispy, let cool for about 5 minutes (they’ll crisp up more this way)
  • Arrange chips how you like, I clump mine in a generally flat pile, and add on a layer of cheese. Place back in the oven for 2-3 minutes until cheese is melted.
  • Add cooked turkey and black beans. Add another layer of cheese, if desired. Cook for another 3-5 minutes.
  • Once nachos are ready, place on serving tray or plate using a metal spatula. Then top with diced avocado, sliced radish, pico de gallo, scallions, extra cheese, cilantro, whatever you’ve got! The more the merrier when it comes to nachos!

 

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And there you have it! Fresh, healthy sweet potato nachos with some serious protein power! The lovely mix of vegetables in here gives it wonderful color as well as an awesome array of nutrients. Colorful plates are typically the healthiest! (Someone must have told that to whoever made that awful purple ketchup.)

-Pam

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