Spiced Sweet Potato Black Bean Tacos with Brussels Sprout Escabeche


Well, hello there! Fresh off my trip to Green Grocer, I got to quick work in my kitchen whipping up a very veggie-centered dinner.

My daughter assistant helped me spot the previously mentioned Brussels sprouts in the store. She likes to “spot” things. Usually, it’s my hidden stash of cookies. D’oh.

Kiddy Shopper

Brussels Signage


Check them out. Brussels sprouts are underappreciated. Look at how cool they look on the stalk:

Miss M with Stalk

Let’s take a moment to give Brussels sprouts some props. Aside from many nutritional benefits, these suckers are absolutely delicious when prepared correctly. If you’ve only ever experienced these cruciferous babies in their over-boiled, mush-on-a-plate form, you’ve been done wrong. Real, real wrong.

Brussels sprouts recipes have been popping up on the internets like craaazy. Usually, the recipes involve roasting the sprouts. I take a departure here, utilizing this veg as a quick escabeche. Escabeche is essentially a pickled cabbage condiment. Crisp, tangy, and refreshing, it pairs perfectly with a taco made with black beans and spicy sweet potatoes. Just a few, simple ingredients pair to make one outrageously delicious vegetarian-friendly meal:


Mmmmmmmm. Cruciferous.


(makes approx. 6 tacos)



1/2 lb. Brussels sprouts, cored, halved, and sliced into ribbons

2 radishes, sliced paper thin

1 green onion, sliced

1 carrot, peeled into ribbons using a handheld peeler

1 large handful of cilantro, roughly chopped

3 medium lemons, squeezed, OR scant 1/4 cup fresh grapefruit juice

1 minced jalapeno (optional – I left this out because of my kids)

2 T. raw apple cider vinegar (optional)

1/4 cup good quality olive oil

1 T. pure maple syrup, agave, or honey

salt and pepper, to taste

1 large sweet potato, diced into cubes

1 T. chili powder

1 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. ground chipotle powder

1/2 tsp. ground ancho chili powder

1/2 tsp. oregano leaves

2 T. olive oil

15oz. can black beans (organic preferred), drained and rinsed

To Serve: Sliced red onion, tortillas of your choosing, crumbled feta or queso fresco (omit for vegan)


Assemble the escabeche:

In a medium bowl, mix together the sliced Brussels sprouts, ribboned carrot, sliced radish, green onion, cilantro, and minced jalapeno.

In a small measuring cup, add the juice of your lemons or grapefruit. If needed, add apple cider vinegar to reach 1/4 cup level. Add 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Whisk in 1 T. pure maple syrup until dressing is combined.

Toss escabeche with assembled dressing to coat. ***You may not need all the dressing. Just make sure the veggies are thoroughly coated with a little extra dressing pooled at the bottom of the bowl.

Set escabeshe into the fridge to marinate until serving time. (It will keep up to 24 hours and the longer it sits, the more the flavors will mingle.)

To prepare the hot taco filling:

Wash, peel, and cube sweet potato. Combine spices in a medium sized bowl and add the sweet potato cubes. Get in there with two spoons or your (clean) hands and ensure every surface of every sweet potato cube is coated with spicy goodness.

Add 2 T. olive oil to large sauté pan and heat. When oil is hot, toss in the sweet potatoes and cook over medium-high until crispy on all sides and cooked until tender. (You can speed this process by draping a piece of aluminum foil over the pan) You may need to add additional oil, 1 tsp. at a time, to keep potatoes from sticking.

Once sweet potatoes are cooked through, toss in rinsed black beans and cover pan with foil. Remove from heat.

Warm your tortillas and divide warm filling amongst them. Top each taco with about 1/4 cup escabeche and desired toppings, such as sliced red onion and/or cheese.

Here are some that might help clarify prep for less experience cooks:


Cutting the core out of the Brussels Sprout


Easy Carrot Ribbons (tattoo not required)



I like drizzling things. It makes me feel dainty.


To easily and safely create sweet potato cubes, first make large slices and stack

these on top of each other. Make four slices going the other direction.

At the opposite end from where you’ll be cutting, use your palm to firmly

hold the sweet potato in place. Cut pieces into chunks the size of dice.



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