Tex Mex Sweet Potato Beef Skillet

In the mood for a smoky, satisfying dinner which can be cooked in a single skillet? Try this Tex Mex Sweet Potato Beef Skillet. It’s chock full of vegetables – satisfying sweet potatoes, sauteed onions, wilted spinach, creamy avocado, and layers of flavor boosting ingredients, including lime juice, scallions, cilantro, oregano, and cumin! This skillet meal also has a variety of textures thanks to the mix of cooked and fresh produce. Grab a spoon and dig into this one dish meal tonight!

Tex Mex Sweet Potato Beef Skillet

Hearty skillet meal with smoky Southwest flavored ground beef and lots of veggies.  (AIP option, paleo option, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Servings: 4 servings

Ingredients

Cooked Vegetables

  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper (omit for AIP)
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn (omit for paleo, AIP)
  • 1 large handfull spinach

Beef

  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp cumin (omit for AIP)
  • 1 tsp oregano

Fresh Garnishes

  • 2 avocados, peeled and sliced
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges
  • 3 scallions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped

Instructions

  • In a large skillet on medium-high heat, add all ingredients under "Beef" ingredient heading above. Stir occasionally until fully cooked and browned. Remove from heat, pouring into a bowl and covering.
  • In skillet, add sweet potatoes, olive oil, 1/2 tsp each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until sweet potatoes are lightly browned and can be easily pierced with a fork.
  • Add ground beef back into pan along with corn and cook until heated. Remove from heat. Add spinach and gently incorporate while allowing spinach to wilt.
  • Garnish with sliced avocado, lime wedges, scallions, and cilantro.

Notes

Best served immediately.
If made in advance, store garnishes separately from rest of cooked sweet potato beef skillet to allow for reheating before adding fresh garnishes.

Lazy Girl Sweet Potato Mash

I have always been a fan of the humble sweet potato. Often with minimal effort, you have practically limitless ways to incorporate this nutrient-dense, relatively shelf-stable, hearty vegetable into your meals. Microwave a sweet potato as a quick side dish for dinner, jazz up a leftover baked sweet potato (they reheat beautifully by the way!) to make a loaded sweet potato for breakfast, roast them, fry them, mash them… you get the idea. Just please don’t ruin them by putting marshmallows on them!

I am aware though, that not everyone shares my love of the sweet potato. My husband has been in the “don’t prefer sweet potatoes” camp for years. “Too stringy,” he said. But this recipe had him taking a third helping at dinner – yes, you read that right! No, I didn’t disguise them. No, there was no bribery involved. Yes, he knew he was eating sweet potatoes.

I will let you in on my secrets for creating a sweet potato convert. First, I cook my sweet potatoes by baking them in the oven rather than boiling them in water on the stove. This cooking method concentrates the rich flavor of the sweet potato and reduces moisture content, rather than water-logging the veggie pieces by boiling. Also, it’s a lot less work, because there is no potato peeling or chopping! Win, win!

The second trick has to do with optimizing consistency of the mash. To achieve the delightfully luscious texture of my Lazy Girl Sweet Potato Mash, you blend the sweet potatoes. By throwing the sweet potatoes in the blender, there are absolutely no stringy strands of fibrous veggie left. Only velvety, creamy goodness, my friends!

In case you’re not convinced, here are some side-by-side pictures to illustrate my point. The pictures speak for themselves, really. In the first image, the sweet potatoes were mashed with a fork (common instructions given in other recipes). The middle bowl was whipped with a whisk. In the third image, the sweet potatoes were blended.

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Fork

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Whisk

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Blender

My sweet potato mash is tasty paired with any roasted meat or as the base of a “bowl” dish with toppings of your choosing such as roasted vegetables plus a fried egg, shredded meat and/or nuts and seeds.

Next time you make mashed sweet potatoes, you could mash them with a fork or potato masher or even whip them with a whisk. OR you could throw everything in the blender and press a button; then tell everyone how to long you spent mashing out every last tiny lump and wait for their applause 🙂 The only thing left to say is – if you’re not peeling, chopping, and mashing potatoes, how will you spend your extra free time?

 

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  1. Lazy Girl Sweet Potato Mash

    Easy-peasy method for achieving the smoothest, most flavorful mashed sweet potatoes. (AIP, gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free, soy-free, nut-free, seed-free, nightshade-free)
    Prep Time15 mins
    Cook Time1 hr
    Resting Time15 mins
    Total Time1 hr 15 mins
    Course: Side Dish
    Cuisine: American
    Servings: 6 servings

    Ingredients

    • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
    • 1/4 cup refined coconut oil
    • 1 tsp cinnamon
    • 3/4 tsp salt

    Instructions

    • Preheat oven to 350F.
    • Place washed sweet potatoes on baking sheet into the oven. Bake until a fork very easily slides through the flesh. Cooking time will significantly vary depending on the size and shape of your potatoes. Keep a close watch and check smaller/thinner potatoes first as these will cook faster.
    • When sweet potatoes are very soft, remove from oven. Allow to cool off enough to handle before removing potato skins.
    • Add peeled sweet potatoes to blender along with coconut oil, salt, and cinnamon. Blend until completely smooth.
    • Remove from blender and pour into serving bowl. Optional garnishes include: additional cinnamon, a drizzle of maple syrup, (avoid the following for AIP) grated nutmeg, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, or pecans.

    Notes

    May be made in advance. Reheats well.

     


Sweet Potato Salad with Stoneground Mustard and Bacon

While the calendar says it’s October, we’ve still been getting some 80 degree days. Anytime it’s nice and warm on a sunny weekend, a part of me is thinking about standard picnic fare, such as potato salad – or at least a twist on it.

Traditional and tasty as potato salad may be, sometimes a mayo-based salad with white potatoes just isn’t what you’re looking for. Maybe your friend has an egg allergy, so store-bought mayonnaise is out. Or maybe your cousin doesn’t tolerate white potatoes, a member of the “nightshade” vegetable family which is sometimes problematic for people with certain health conditions such as autoimmune diseases. Or maybe you’re just looking to shake things up a bit and try something new. Either way, this recipe is for you!

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The creamy potatoes contrast well with the crunch of the fresh vegetables. And the stoneground mustard dressing and bacon provide a punch of flavor! Dig in and enjoy! This sweet potato salad is tasty alongside grilled chicken or ribs, among other things.

You may have been expecting the sweet potatoes in the picture to be orange in color, and noticed they were more golden. This is because I used a specific variety of sweet potato called a Hannah sweet potato. If you’re unfamiliar with Hannah sweet potatoes, or white sweet potatoes, now is the perfect time to get acquainted.

In comparison with traditional, orange sweet potatoes, these babies are less sweet and have a more mild flavor. They also have less moisture and seem starchier. In short, my impression is that they’re somewhat of a cross between a white potato and a regular sweet potato in terms of taste and texture. These characteristics not only lend themselves well for making a potato salad, but also sweet potato fries – but that will have to wait for another post! Now the only potential downside to these is their limited availability, at least in my locale. In my area, the only store in which I have found these tasty beauties for sale is Whole Foods. However, some people in other locations find them readily available in their stores. They’re worth the hunt though, I promise!

 

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Sweet Potato Salad with Stoneground Mustard and Bacon

Flavorful sweet potato salad with crispy bacon bites and zesty stoneground mustard dressing. (paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free soy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free)
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Resting Time2 hrs
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 large Hannah sweet potatoes (whit sweet potatoes)
  • 12 ounces bacon
  • 1 small red onion
  • 1 mini cucumber
  • 3 celery ribs
  • 4 green onions
  • 1/3 cup light tasting olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp palm shortening
  • ½ lemon, juice of
  • ½ tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • ¼ cup stoneground mustard
  • Himalayan pink salt, to taste
  • Black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Peel and cube sweet potatoes. Place sweet potatoes in a pot and fill with water, ensuring the sweet potatoes are fully covered. Bring to a boil on high heat.
  • Cook sweet potatoes for about 5 minutes or until a fork can easily pierce the potato pieces. The potatoes should be tender, yet still firm.
  • When potatoes are cooked, remove from heat and drain water completely. Transfer potatoes into a bowl and refrigerate for a few hours until chilled.
  • While the sweet potatoes are cooling in the refrigerator, make the dressing by combining the olive oil, palm shortening, lemon juice, and ½ tsp salt in a bowl.
  • Using an immersion blender or traditional blender, blend ingredients on high until liquid becomes creamy. This should only take about 1 minute.
  • Next, add the stoneground mustard. Mix until combined; then refrigerate.
  • Fry bacon until crispy. Remove from heat and allow bacon to cool. Roughly chop the bacon into small bite-sized pieces and set aside, refrigerating if prepared in advance.
  • After the sweet potatoes have chilled, take them out of the refrigerator.
  • Finely dice the red onion, celery and cucumber. Add these vegetables and the dressing to the potatoes. Stir to combine until the potatoes are evenly coated with the mixture.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the bacon and lightly stir to distribute throughout. Sprinkle green onions on top.

Notes

May make in advance.