My body confuses me. Take my current smoothie addiction, for example. I went almost all of last summer without drinking a single one, and then got hit with the biggest craving for them in the middle of January — the coldest time of the year.
You’re looking at a girl who was sitting next to a fireplace sipping on frozen fruits and ice just so she could get her fix. My cravings make no sense.
In an ideal world, I’d eat seasonally from things I grew in my own garden — berries in the summer and squash in the fall.
But in the real world, I live in a condo that wouldn’t be able to support a garden even if I was willing to put in the work, and I drink blueberry smoothies in the winter and munch on roasted sweet potatoes in the the summer, or in the spring in this case…
Sweet potatoes are perfection. Not only are they delicious, but they also happen to be packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals, meaning you can bury them under cheese and avocado and still end up with a dish you can feel good about eating.
Why cheese and avocado? Because those are the best toppings for nachos!
I love nachos — absolutely adore. The crunch of the chips, the gooeyness of the cheese, the perfectly harmonious meshing of the flavors… be still my pounding heart.
But I also love to eat healthy [most of the time], meaning that I had to say goodbye to my habit of eating cheese and chips for lunch 4 times a week and find a better alternative.
Enter baked sweet potato rounds.
Have I mentioned they’re perfection? And a great alternative to chips? They may not provide the same kind of crunch, but they do have a pillowy quality that’s absolutely to die for; and they have no problem supporting a healthy helping of cheese…
But let’s talk toppings, since we know that’s where all the fun is.
I have to confess that, while I love Mexican, I’m an absolute wimp when it comes to hot and spicy foods. Anything beyond mild salsa is more than I can handle, and don’t even talk to me about cayenne and jalapeños unless you want to send me running full tilt in the opposite direction — it’s that bad.
I’m also a wimp when it comes to horror movies, but that’s neither here nor there.
That’s why I stuck to the basics with my nachos. I started with a neutral base of baked sweet potato rounds, black beans, and cheese…
Added a sprinkle of green onions and diced avocado…
And finished everything off with a spoonful of Greek yogurt before digging in…
Delicious and painless — what more could you ask for? And the best thing about a dish like this is that it’s fully customizable depending on your tastes.
Not a fan of beans? Swap them out for some cooked chicken or beef instead!
Toppings too simple for you? Add some sliced peppers, salsa, cilantro, guacamole, olives, or corn.
The possibilities are endless, which is why you should make this dish again and again — to find out which combination is your favorite!
- 2 large sweet potatoes, sliced ¼ inch thick
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 tsp. paprika
- 1 tsp. garlic powder
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed
- 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup chopped green onions
- 1 avocado, diced or smashed
- Greek yogurt or sour cream
- Preheat oven to 425F and lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray.
- Wash and dry your sweet potatoes, then use a vegetable peeler to peel them. Slice them into ¼ inch rounds and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil, using your hands to ensure that each round is evenly coated. Season with paprika, garlic powder, and salt and pepper, tossing well.
- Place rounds in a single layer on your baking sheet. Bake for 40 minutes, turning them over halfway through to ensure they don't burn.
- Remove from oven and transfer rounds to a cast iron skillet or oven safe dish, allowing the edges to slightly overlap. Top with beans and cheese before returning to the oven for an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.
- Remove from oven and sprinkle with chopped green onions. Serve with avocado, Greek yogurt or sour cream, and salsa.