The Chef’s Take: Sweet Potato Tacos at A.W.O.L.

Sweet potatoes aren't just for autumn. Try them in these spicy, summer-perfect tacos from the health-minded Brooklyn restaurant A.W.O.L. Eatery.



Typically, the sight of sweet potatoes on the dinner table leaves us dreaming of lavish Thanksgiving Day feasts. But at A.W.O.L. (that stands for All Walks of Life) Eatery, a funky restaurant celebrating farm-fresh ingredients in New York’s Williamsburg neighborhood, spicy sweet potato tacos — sans the company of cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes — may make an appearance on the daily-changing menu amid even the sultriest of temperatures.

“Sweet potatoes are versatile,” says A.W.O.L. chef John Powali. “You can do everything from grill to boil them. They work well in light dishes because they are so well adapted to citrusy flavors of the summer.”

At the health-minded A.W.O.L, where the kitchen enthusiastically accommodates eaters with even the most-severe dietary restrictions, omnivores, vegans and gluten shunners alike unite over this Middle Eastern-meets-Latin American concoction that melds the vitamin A-laden sweet potatoes with zesty ingredients like cilantro, curry, spinach and coconut.



“The dish starts out very aromatic by lightly sauteing the garlic, ginger, cilantro, parsley and chiles,” says A.W.O.L. chef Daniel Zuanetto. “Couple that with the smoothness of the coconut milk, sweetness of the potato and the hint of tart you get from the lime, and it’s perfection wrapped in a white corn tortilla.”

Spicy Sweet Potato Tacos
1 sweet potato
2 corn tortillas
1/2 cup spinach
1/4 cup coconut milk
1 tablespoon curry powder
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 teaspoon cilantro, chopped, plus 2 sprigs
1 tablespoon toasted coconut chips
1 teaspoon parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon ginger, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo, chopped
Salt, as needed

Peel the sweet potato and cut into ¼-inch cubes. Boil 2 quarts of water. Add 2 tablespoons of salt to the water and add the potatoes when boiling. Cook for 8 minutes or until fork-tender, then drain. In a pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil, ginger, garlic, parsley, cilantro and chipotle. Cook for 1 minute, and just as the garlic starts to brown, add the sweet potatoes, spinach, 1 teaspoon salt, and curry powder. Toss and cook for 1 minute. Add the coconut milk and continue to cook until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Heat the tortillas in the oven for 30 seconds until warm and malleable. Place sweet potato mixture into each tortilla and secure with a toothpick. In a bowl, add cilantro, lime, coconut chips and remaining salt. Toss to coat, and garnish the tacos.

Serves 2.

Per serving (salt not included): Calories 171; Fat 5 g (Saturated 2 g); Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 117 mg; Carbohydrate 28 g; Fiber 6 g; Sugars 4 g; Protein 3 g

Photos by Heidi Kikel

Alia Akkam is a New York-based writer who covers the intersection of food, drink, travel and design. She launched her career by opening boxes of Jamie Oliver books as a Food Network intern.

Next Up

10 Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes

Fall in love with sweet potatoes again and again with these 10 deliciously healthy recipes.

Can You Freeze Sweet Potato Casserole?

Yes - but there are a few important rules to follow.

Fearless Military Chefs Take Their Skills to the Chopped Kitchen

An all-new tournament with a $75,000 grand prize premieres Tuesday, April 25 at 8|7c.

How Sweet It Is: 7 Sweet Potato Dishes for Every Palate — Fall Fest

You'll forget starchy white potatoes in a heartbeat once you try these comforting fall sweet potato dishes.

How to Cook a Sweet Potato In the Microwave

You're just about 5 minutes away from sweet, tender perfection.

Where To Get Free Tacos on National Taco Day

These chains will help you get your taco on with deals and freebies on October 4.

Sweet Potato Casserole Latkes Combine the Very Best of Thanksgiving and Hanukkah

Don’t let your Thanksgiving sweet potatoes go to waste!

Make-and-Take Picnic Desserts — Summer Soiree

The need for a roster of packable desserts is real in the summer months, especially when the name of the game is outdoor eating.