Taco Beef & Sweet Potato Bake

Taco Beef & Sweet Potato Bake

  • Serves: 6
  • Prep Time: 00:10
  • Cooking Time: 00:40
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This healthy meal of Taco Beef and Sweet Potato Bake is the perfect weeknight meal. I've used my own MEXICAN SPICE MIX (Recipe link). Making your own Mexican seasoning is so simple, and this ensures it doesn't have flour, sugar, food acid and anti-caking agents that can be found in store-bought packets of taco seasoning. I love adding sweet potatoes to my recipes. It's nutrient-dense, naturally sweet and high in fibre, a rich source of beta carotene (vitamin A) and vitamin C. Also high in vitamin E and potassium. Traditional taco casserole is covered in cheese, but I've created a tasty, dairy-free, creamy and cheezy sauce to top the beef and potato mixture. Then, I served it with an assortment of coloured salad vegetables to make this dish look enticing and add extra nutrients.

Ingredients

* Please click on the green icon next to the ingredients listed below for extra details and helpful information.

  • BEEF & SWEET POTATO MIXTURE:
  • 750g (approx 2 medium) sweet potato(s), peel & dice
  • 3 - 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 Lge onion(s), finely diced
  • 700g grass-fed beef mince
  • 2 - 2 1/2 Tbsp Mexican Spice Mix, (see link to recipe above or below in the method)
  • 250ml (1 cup) organic passata/tomato puree
  • DAIRY-FREE CREAMY SAUCE:
  • 2 Lge egg(s)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 180g (3/4 cup) natural coconut yoghurt, or nut-based yoghurt
  • 1/2 cup salsa, choose a good brand without additives
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • TOPPINGS:
  • chopped tomato(es)
  • sliced kalamata olives
  • sliced spring onion(s)
  • sliced or diced avocado(s)
  • chopped coriander, leaves

Directions

Premix my MEXICAN SPICE MIX Recipe link here and store it in a sealed glass jar.

Grease a 30 x 22cm (approx 9x13in) casserole dish lightly with olive oil and set aside.

Heat a large 32cm frying pan on medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the diced sweet potato and cook, turning often, until tender but not mushy. Cook for approximately 6 - 7 minutes. The size will affect the cooking time; make sure the sweet potatoes are diced small. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of fine sea salt while cooking, and add more oil if needed. Once cooked, transfer to a plate and set aside while you cook the meat mixture.

Preheat your oven to 180c (fan-forced).

Add a tablespoon of oil to the pan with the onions and cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Add in the beef mince and break up any lumps with a spatula as it cooks. Once the meat has changed colour, sprinkle over the taco seasoning and mix well through the meat mixture.

Pour in the passata, return the cooked sweet potato to the pan, and stir, combining everything well. Simmer for 3 - 4 minutes.

While it simmers, prepare the Creamy Sauce. Add the eggs to a medium bowl and whisk well with a fork, then add the remaining sauce ingredients and whisk everything together.

Transfer the beef and sweet potato mixture to the casserole dish, making sure to create an even surface. Pour the creamy sauce evenly over the top and place it in the oven to set the sauce for approximately 20 minutes.

Allow to sit for 5 - 10 minutes before sprinkling over your toppings. Once the toppings are in place, serve immediately.

Store any leftovers covered in the fridge and suitable to freeze without the salad toppings.

sweet potato(s)

Sweet potatoes are a nutrient-dense root vegetable, naturally sweet and high in fibre. They are a rich source of beta carotene (vitamin A), on average one medium sweet potato provides more than 100% of the Recommended Dietary Intake (RDI) for vitamin C. Also high in vitamin E and potassium. Store in a cool place but not in the fridge.

olive oil

The olive fruit of the olive tree is pressed and crushed to released the oil. Healthy fats like olive oil are essential for brain function and to transport vitamins and minerals throughout our bodies. This is a delicious oil to drizzled over salads and vegetables.

sea salt

Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.

onion(s)

In my recipes when listing onion I am referring to a brown (also called yellow) onion. Onions are members of the allium plant family which also includes garlic, leeks, spring onions and shallots. Onions are valued more for the flavour they impart in cooking than for their nutritional content. Onions are know for their antibacterial effect helping to prevent superficial infections and their sulfur compounds may block carcinogens.

beef mince

Beef mince is ground down beef steak, it can make a meal very economical and is so versatile. It is used in many recipes including, hamburger patties, cottage pie, chili, meatloaf, bolognese and meatballs. Purchase organic and grass fed beef mince if possible. An excellent source of protein.

Mexican Spice Mix

Making your own Mexican seasoning is so simple. There is no need to use store-bought packets that contain flour, sugar, food acid and anti-caking agent. Use 2 tablespoons of my Mexican Spice Mix with 500g of beef or chicken mince when making tacos or 3 tablespoons for Chilli Beef or Taco Soup. Depending on the chilli powder you choose, the heat of the mix may vary a little. It's always best to use organic spices if available. Link to SPICE MIX RECIPE HERE. The recipe makes 110g (12 tablespoons). Store the mix in a sealed glass jar to have on hand to add to your Mexican dishes.

  • 3 Tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 Tbsp ground coriander
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp chilli powder, medium heat
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 Tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp fine sea salt
  • 2 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp cayenne
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper, ground

passata/tomato puree

Purchase organic tomato passata/puree in glass containers (pure tomato without sugar or salt). Tomatoes are acidic which increases the rate at which BPA enters food and this can be a concern with canned tomato products. Tomatoes are a useful source of vitamin C, beta carotene, folate and potassium. Tomatoes are a nightshade vegetable.

egg(s)

I have used large free range or organic eggs from a 700g carton in my recipes. Eggs are one of the few foods considered to be a complete protein because they contain all 9 essential amino acids, also studies have shown that lutein (yellow colour) in egg yolks protects against the progress of early heart disease.

nutritional yeast flakes

Also know as Savoury Yeast Flakes. It’s a fermented and deactivated yeast, which means it isn’t going to grow (and has nothing to do with brewer’s yeast or bakers’ yeast). It has a creamy cheesy flavour and I’ve used it in a few recipes to create a cheese flavour. Vegans use it as a condiment and a cheese substitute, and to also add additional protein and vitamins to their diet (it’s a complete protein). Nutritional yeast flakes are free from sugar, dairy, grains and gluten. Do not confuse it with yeast extract (MSG). Purchase from health food stores or in the health food aisle of supermarkets.

coconut yoghurt

You will be able to find a recipe for cultured coconut yoghurt online using grass fed gelatin or tapioca starch for thickening. If purchasing a commercial yoghurt, read labels as many use vegetable gums and additives. Coconut yoghurt can be made in a yoghurt maker or a Thermomix machine. If you can tolerate some dairy natural organic Greek yoghurt can be used in it's place.

salsa

I've used a jar of mild salsa. You choose the heat you prefer. If available, purchase an organic brand. Always read the ingredient list before purchasing to avoid additives and ensure the salsa is not packed with sugar.

garlic

Garlic is a close relative to the onion and has been used throughout history for both medicinal and culinary purposes. In most of my recipes I use minced garlic as I find it distributes better throughout the dish. When in a hurry I use organic minced garlic which I purchase in glass jars and store in the fridge. When garlic powder is needed for a particular recipe, I use 'Simply Organic' brand. Why is garlic so good for us? It is an immune booster, antibiotic, good for the heart, cancer fighter and it's also knew as a weight loss aid (appetite suppressant).

sea salt

Organic unbleached, unrefined organic Celtic sea salt or pink Himalayan salt is my salt of choice as these contain healthy minerals and trace elements that our body needs. Regular table salt has been bleached, refined and processed leaving minimal health benefits. If you choose to use regular table salt in my recipes you will need to reduce the quantity or the end result will be to salty.

tomato(es)

The tomato is a fruit but is much lower in sugar content than other fruits so it is typically eaten raw in salads and cooked in many dish and sauces from around the world. The tomato belongs to the nightshade family. Tomatoes contain carotene lycopene, one of the most powerful natural antioxidants.

kalamata olives

The Kalamata olive is a large dark purple olive, almond shaped with a plump smooth flesh. Kalamata trees are grown in southern Greece and primarily used for eating and not as much for their oil. Olives are high in good heart healthy fats and disease-fighting phytochemicals (antioxidants). Kalamata are my favourite olives due to their flavour and plumpness. Purchase organic if possible in glass jars, read labels as many brands contain caramel colour and preservatives (I purchase macro Organic Kalamata olives, which are reasonably priced).

spring onion(s)

Other names for spring onion are scallion or green onion. They have hollow green leaves and a small root bulb and can be eaten raw or cooked. The green tops are also used sliced or chopped as a garnish. The green tops are a good source of vitamin C and beta carotene.

avocado(s)

It is often mistaken for a vegetable, the avocado is a fruit. It has a rich buttery flavour and smooth texture. Avocados are a good source of healthy fats, vitamin C, E and B6, potassium and dietary fibre, also useful amounts of iron magnesium and folate.

coriander

Coriander is also know as cilantro. The fresh chopped green leaves in large amounts are a good source of vitamin C. The fresh leaves are an ingredient in many Indian, Thai, and Mexican dishes. They are usually tossed through just before serving as the heat can diminish the flavour. The dried fruits are known as coriander seeds, the seeds have a lemony citrus flavour when crushed. The word coriander in food preparation may only be referring to the ground seeds not the plant.