As a kid, the only time Mr. Sweet Potato showed his face was during the holidays. You know what I'm talking about... butter, brown sugar, pecans, cinnamon, marshmallows, the whole nine yards & thousands of calories later: the infamous sweet potato casserole. This lady loves herself some sweet potatoes with her turkey but further exposure to the orange spud was lacking for me until about a couple of years ago. Now I am proud to say they are a staple in my kitchen.
Let me throw some sweet potato facts atcha:
- When folks think of beta-carotene, the pro-vitamin that is essential to vision, they typically picture the carrot. However, sweet potatoes contain the same level of beta-carotene! Beta-carotene is also known as vitamin A, in case you were curious.
- Vitamin A is one of the most potent antioxidants, making it useful in the prevention of several different types of cancers.
- Vitamin A also helps protect your skin from UV damage caused by sun exposure.
- In addition to vitamin A, sweet potatoes contain lots of the vitamins C and E. These guys help prevent diseases!
- Oh, vitamins C and E make ya prettier too. They contribute to the health of your skin and hair.
- You know all those other potatoes?? Well, sweet potatoes have 2 times the amount of fiber as the white & yellow guys!
- Because of all this fiber, the caloric energy is burned slower meaning they keep you full longer. Bonus, right??
- Manganese is also found in sweet potatoes. Manganese is a mineral that stabilizes your appetite. This makes it another little helper in the "keep you full for a long time" department.
- They are heart healthy. Sweet potatoes contain lots of vitamin B6. B6 keeps your arteries and blood vessels flexible so blood flows more efficiently.
- Sweet potatoes also have high levels of potassium. Potassium helps keep your blood pressure in check by ridding your body of sodium.
- They are also yummy. Just saying.
Now, if one of these reasons haven't convinced you to make this quesadilla then I just don't know what to tell ya except that it is good & you are missing out.
Cumin Roasted Sweet Potato Quesadilla
4 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced (see picture below)
1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained & rinsed
1 cup salsa
1 tbsp cumin (more or less to suite taste)
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1. Preheat oven to 425. Toss diced sweet potatoes in a big ziploc bag with the cumin and olive oil. Spread sweet potatoes out on a baking sheet. Roast for 10 minutes. Stir the sweet potatoes around and roast for 5 more minutes or until done.
2. In a saucepan on medium heat, combine black beans and salsa until heated through.
3. Once the sweet potatoes are done, prepare your quesadillas: lay a flour tortilla flat on a non-stick skillet. Sprinkle some cheese all over the tortilla. Spread about a tablespoon full of black bean salsa mixture over 1/2 of the tortilla. Top this with some sweet potatoes. Fold tortilla in half.
4. Cook quesadilla about 4 minutes on each side or until crispy. Repeat with remaining tortillas and bean/potato mixture. Cut in half or thirds and enjoy!
Also, if ya get lazy and don't feel like getting out the skillet, just pile everything directly on top of the tortilla and bake it in the oven for a fast tostada. Now go getcha some sweet taters.