Vegan Sweet Potato “Steaks” with Black Bean Salad & Creamy Avocado Sauce
This is, hands down, my new favorite way to cook sweet potatoes. And we eat a lot of sweet potatoes at our house. READ: A LOT. I think this says quite a bit about this cooking method. When sliced thick and slow-roasted in a hot hot oven, your sweet potatoes will get extra caramelized all over and become perfectly tender sweet inside. TO.DIE.FOR.
Kind of like a savory dessert if you will.
^^ just look at that caramelization! Drool.
Disclaimer: I didn’t come up with this cooking method all on my own. I had some help from Smitten Kitchen. One night I was browsing the internets, as I do, searching for new and creative ways to utilize my most favorite root vegetable. This recipe got my attention specifically because of the words “laziness” and “steak.” So I tried it, and yep, they were perfect. I am making sweet potatoes this way at least once a week at this point.
And guys. There are just soooo many good ideas for how you can dress these babies up.
I decided to go the avocado and black bean route, because, naturally, these are more ingredients that I love truly and deeply.
And they came out so cute! And striking. And satisfying and yummy and all the things. If you’re serving a crowd, I recommend you double this recipe and plate ’em up on a pretty platter.
The fact that I made two additional components for this dish might sound ambitious. Do not be fooled. I did it because the sweet potatoes are so freaking easy to cook this way (hello: you don’t have to peel ’em!), and I thought it was only right.
Black Bean Salad
I kept “taste-testing” this salad as it was sitting out, marinating and doing its thing. That’s the perk of being the cook, right? You get to eat things by the spoonful before serving them up. Right? Right?!
Creamy Avocado Sauce
This sauce is delish and it tastes like a mix between guac (<3) and tomatilla salsa (<33). It’s definitely closer to a guac but whatever it is, it’s tasty and it’s another part of this dish I found myself eating TASTING by the spoonful while I was cooking…
Also, BONUS #2, this sauce keeps in the fridge for much longer than your typical guac. I think it’s probably because the lime juice is really well blended into the avocados. Oh, and also, you’ll want to put a layer of plastic wrap along the edge of the sauce to prevent oxidation.
Try these sweet potato “steaks” out if you’re looking for something a bit different to jazz up your Tuesday night. You will not be disappointed!
PREP: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Slice the sweet potato into 3/4"-1" rounds. Zest and juice limes. Chop jalapeno. Mince garlic cloves. Julienne radishes. Chop pumpkin seeds.
ROAST: Spread 1-2 tbsp olive oil evenly on a baking sheet. Place sweet potato rounds on the sheet, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Put in the oven and roast for 15 minutes undisturbed. After 15 minutes, removed from oven, flip, season with more salt and pepper and roast until cooked through (about 10 minutes).
MAKE BLACK BEAN SALAD: In a medium bowl, whisk 1/2 minced garlic and 1/2 lime juice with 1 tbsp olive oil and maple syrup until combined. Mix in the black beans and half of the radishes (leave the remaining ones for topping). Mix in the pumpkin seeds just before serving. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
MAKE CREAMY AVOCADO SAUCE: In a food processor, add avocados, cashew cream, 2 tsp olive oil, lime zest and remaining juice, jalapeno and remaining minced garlic. Process until smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
SERVE: Place a healthy dollop of Creamy Avocado Sauce on the bottom of the plate. Layer the sweet potato round on top. Top with Black Bean Salad and reserved julienned radishes.
You may end up with leftover Avocado Sauce. Use it as a dip for tortilla chips, dipping sauce for quesadillas, etc.
Make ahead: All of the elements to this dish can be made ahead of time and assembled when you're ready to eat.