Recipe: Mexican Roasted Sweet Potato, Radish & Tomato Bowl
In an average week, the amount of food I eat is frankly staggering. I don’t mean the usual three meals a day, but I’m talking about the amount of samples I test, many coursed meals I have, street food I graze on, just to be able to write about food and bring the best of it to you all. I’m not complaining; I’m lucky to have one of the best jobs in the world, but this means at home when I’m not testing recipes to make sure I’m not the size of a house (I hate the gym, so my main source of exercise is walking everywhere I can) I eat lighter meals at home, mostly plants, and usually vegetarian, sometimes vegan because lighter food is what I crave.
So that I can go out and enjoy things like the foie gras creme brûlée at Duck and Waffle, the braised pigs cheeks in plum sauce at Bala Baya and the disturbing number of gin and tonics that were consumed on the Gin Mare rooftop recently, I’ve found that keeping a good number of veggies like squashes and sweet potatoes that can be roasted for nutritious, filing texture, some fresh herbs and veggies, some pickles and things like nuts and grains on hand, all to be finished off from a punchy dressing (usually made with citrus juices and storecupboard oils and condiments) means I always have a filling, good for me meal to balance it all out.
Recently I’ve been on a roasted radish and sweet potato kick, and the other way while I was sitting at the kitchen table waiting for some rice for later to cook (we were having the Pea, Prawn & Mushroom Egg Fried Rice from Student Eats for dinner) I put together this vaguely Mexican (from the use of fajita spices, avocado, chilli honey, lime, jalapeños and coriander) bowl for lunch (though it is filling enough for dinner) with what I had in the fridge and kicking around the cupboard. I’ve found that Yushoi’s baked green pea snacks in various flavours are great for adding a bit of crunch in bowl food like this, especially if you’re going meat and dairy free so you will benefit from the extra hit of protein, so I used them in lieu of the tortilla chips I’m currently out of.
In other substitution news, you can use either pre-made fajita or taco spice mix (I use the Fajita Seasoning from Absolute Spice – you can get it online or in their London store at Westfield Stratford City – it’s on the corner by Waitrose) or make your own: I have a recipe here, and a slightly different one in my book. Smoked Chilli Honey makes for an incredible dressing with fresh lime and olive oil here (I use Gran Luchito’s), but regular runny honey will suffice and still make a wonderful tart/ sweet dressing. I always roast my sweet potato in flavoured oil (chilli infused rapeseed oil is my current jam) but any oil will do.
All the different elements can be prepared while the spiced sweet potato is roasting. You can use pickled jalapeños from the jar, but when I’ve been using fresh and I have a few left over I’m worried about going off I pickle three jalapeños, sliced in 4 tbsp of white wine vinegar, combined with 4 tbsp of water with 2 tsp of salt and 4 tsp of sugar dissolved in it, stashing the jar in the fridge until I need them. The quantities below serve one but are easily scaled; however, only 1 avocado can also be enjoyed between two if you buy a large one.
- 1 Small Sweet Potato, scrubbed
- Chilli Infused Olive or Rapeseed Oil
- 1 tsp Fajita Spice Mix
- 6 Large Radishes, Halved
- Large Handful Cherry Tomatoes, halved
- Small Handful Fresh Coriander
- 5-6 Pickled Jalapeño Slices, finely chopped
- 1 Small, Ripe Avocado
- Sea Salt
- Juice of 1/2 Lime
- 1 tsp Smoked Chilli Honey
- 1 tsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Large Handful Salt & Pepper Yushoi Green Pea Snacks
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees (395 fahrenheit) and cut the sweet potato into manageable cubes. Toss on a baking tray with a good glug of chilli infused oil and the fajita spices, and roast for 15 minutes. Make the tomato salad by tossing the tomato halves with the whole leaves of the coriander, stems removes, and the pickled jalapeño pieces. Peel and lightly mash the avocado with a generous pinch of sea salt. Make the dressing by whisking together the chilli honey, lime and olive oil. Add the radish halves to the baking tray and toss well so they’re coated with toasted spices. Roast for another 15 minutes. Assemble everything in a bowl, and drizzle with the dressing. Enjoy.
If you’re looking for any more vegan recipes from me, the girl who is practically wedded to her meat and yogurt products, but is eating increasingly more plant-based food at home, why not try my Hummus, Crispy Kale & Thyme Roasted Tomato Toast, Freeze Ahead Red Lentil Ragu, Roasted Tomato & Mushroom Pesto Rice, Giant (Israeli) Couscous with Pomegranate & Pistachios, Easy Avocado Spaghetti or my Raw, Vegan & Gluten-Free Chocolate Ganache Bars?
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