(vegan & gluten free) Sweet Potato Tacos / by audrey gebhardt

Once upon a time I worked at an Irish pub. 

There, I learned the most efficient way to clean a ketchup bottle top (soak it in hot water).

I learned how to pour a perfect pint with a shamrock on top (magic).

I learned how to stay awake for shifts that ran until 4am (chug a shirley temple with a splash of OJ in it at 11pm, brush your teeth at 1am for a quick minty rush).

I learned how not to have to make both decaf & regular (just make decaf, nobody can tell and placebo caffeine is real).

I learned how to direct attention toward my money making asset (neon orange bottle opener in my back pocket).

I learned how not to get caught kissing boys during my shift (behind the dumpster out back #classy).

I learned how to make everyone in a room feel special at once (remember what everyone drinks, always keep extra bud lights on ice for Tom, chill the stella glass for Kenny, play Marshall Tucker Band when Mark walks in, blow lots of kisses, don't forget the ice on the side!)

I learned how not to throw up behind the bar the day after my first St. Paddy's day as a legal adult (ginger ale + bitters with a side of oyster crackers).

I learned how to hack the menu that I'd been eating from for four years straight (tacos - meat + sweet potato fries = new secret menu item for all of the hippies at the bike store down the street & me).

I learned how to get the kitchen guys to sneak me sweet potato fry tacos on demand (giggle often, bat lots of eyelashes, try and speak spanish, send back ice water every half hour in the summer, salsa dance with them on slow shifts). 


My diet has changed a bit since the days when I would survive on the bowl of dead fries in the window and the occasional stolen mozzarella stick. I'm tryna (sometimes) replace sour cream with cooling cucumber ribbons and fried things with roasted things. We're not that mad about it! 


Sweet Potato Tacos
(makes 8 tacos)

\\ 8 corn tortillas
\\ 3-4 sweet potatoes
\\ 1 english cucumber
\\ 1.5 tsp cumin
\\ 2 TBSP olive oil

\\ 2 large tomatoes (or one giant heirloom tomato, like I used)
\\ 1 shallot
\\ juice of 3 limes
\\ handful of cilantro
\\ 2 TBSP olive oil

First, prep the Pico de Gallo:
\\ Dice the tomato, chop the shallot and cilantro, mix in bowl with the lime juice and olive oil. Add a pinch of salt, cover and let hang in the fridge until you're ready (or do what I did and eat so much of it with chips that you're not hungry for the tacos anymore).

For the tacos:
\\ Preheat oven to 375. Wash, peel & cube the sweet potatoes into 3/4-1" chunks. Toss in olive oil, cumin and a pinch of both salt and pepper. Bake at 375, flipping once, for about 40 minutes until crisp and browned on the outside and soft on the inside.
\\ Heat the tortillas- I did mine over the flame on my stove to give it a nice charred edge but if that's not available to you a minute or less in the oven will work just fine! Just heat them up so they can bend and party. 
\\ Top tortillas with sweet potato, a few spoonfuls of pico & ribbons of cucumber (just clean the cucumber and peel it with a veggie peeler into ribbons). 
\\ Serve with extra lime wedges and avocado, if you're so inclined.

I leave my cilantro standing up in a glass full of water in the fridge, as if it were a flower that I want to keep pretty. It always lasts for over a week when I do this! I just grab off handfuls as needed.