Saturday, January 8, 2022

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos with Sweet-Spicy Pickled Red Onions from Molly MacRae #recipe @MysteryMacRae


This is an easy, delicious vegan dish that’s full of flavor and has plenty of protein. Or move it up to vegetarian status by adding cheese or sour cream (or both). The original recipe calls for serving it with avocado crema. I haven’t included that recipe, here, because we decided that slices of avocado would be more satisfying (and we were sorry we’d used the only avocado for the crema and had no slices). The recipe calls these tacos, but we folded them up like burritos for neater eating. If you plan to use the pickled onions, make them first. They need to cool for an hour or so before using. The onions will keep in the refrigerator for up to a week.

If you’re looking for a good vegetarian cookbook, try The Complete Plant-based Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen. It’s super! Delicious recipes that don’t call for outlandish or hard-to-find ingredients and there are lots of pictures. Every recipe is prefaced by a paragraph about why the recipe works. Borrow it from your local library, first, to see if it’s a book you’d like to add to your collection. Or watch this space for my posts because many of them are adapted from my copy of the book (which has become loose-leaf because we use it so much).

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos with Sweet-Spicy Pickled Red Onions

(adapted from The Complete Plant-based Cookbook from America’s Test Kitchen)

Serves 4 (with leftovers)

Ingredients for the burritos

(We had inexplicably run out of onions, but had shallots and scallions, so that’s what you see in the pictures, and that’s what I used.)

3 tablespoons olive oil

3 garlic cloves, minced (you’ll see in the picture that either we can’t count or we love garlic)

1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin

1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander

I teaspoon mince fresh oregano or ¼ teaspoon dried

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon pepper

1 pound of sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into ½-inch pieces

4 poblano chiles, stemmed, seeded, cut into ½-inch wide strips

1 large onion, halved, then slice 1/2  inch thick

1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed (or 2 cups that you’ve cooked yourself)

¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 bunch scallions, sliced (in addition to the roasted onion or to help make up for missing onion)

8 10-inch flour tortillas, warmed 

What about cheese or sour cream? Sure! Go ahead and use your favorite.


Ingredients for the pickled onions

These zesty onions are good anywhere you use pickles.

1 red onion, halved and sliced thin through root end

1 cup red wine vinegar

⅓ cup sugar

2 jalapeno chiles, stemmed, seeded, and cut into thin rings

¼ teaspoon salt


Directions for the burritos

1.      Adjust oven racks to upper middle and lower-middle positions. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

2.      Whisk oil and seasons together in large bowl. Add sweet potatoes, poblanos, and onion to oil mixture and mix to coat.

3.       Spread vegetable mixture in even layer on 2 foil-lined rimmed baking sheets. Roast until tender and golden brown, about 30 minutes, stirring vegetables and rotating sheets between racks halfway through.

4.      Return vegetables to now-empty bowl. Add beans, cilantro, and scallions. Toss gently to combine.

5.      Spoon burrito mixture onto warmed tortillas and top with pickled red onions.



Directions for pickled onions

Put onion in bowl. Bring vinegar, sugar, jalapenos, and salt to a simmer over medium-high heat. Stir occasionally, until sugar dissolves. Pour hot vinegar mixture over onion, cover, and let cool completely, about 1 hour. Drain cooled vegetables in colander. Serve.



Something poisonous is coming March 1, 2022! 

About Argyles and Arsenic – book 5 in the Highland Bookshop Mysteries:

After 93 well-lived years, Violet MacAskill is ready to simplify her life. Her eccentric solution? She’ll throw a decanting and decluttering party at her family home—a Scottish Baronial manor near the seaside town of Inversgail, Scotland. Violet sets aside everything she wants or needs, then she invites her many friends in to sip sherry and help themselves to whatever they want from all that’s left.

But a murder during Violet’s party leads to a poisonous game of cat and mouse – with the women of Yon Bonnie Books playing to win.

 Available for pre-order in hardback and e-book from your locally owned independent bookstore, Barnes & Noble, and Amazon. And please consider asking your public library to consider ordering it. 

The Boston Globe says Molly MacRae writes “murder with a dose of drollery.” She’s the author of the award-winning, national bestselling Haunted Yarn Shop Mysteries and the Highland Bookshop Mysteries. As Margaret Welch, she writes books for Annie’s Fiction. Her short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine since 1990 and she’s a winner of the Sherwood Anderson Award for Short Fiction. Visit Molly on Facebook and Pinterest and connect with her on Twitter  or Instagram.



  1. Sounds very tasty.
    How hot are the two different peppers you list? I have 3 out of 4 eaters who can't tolerate heat. (And one who loves it...up to a point.)

    1. Good question, Libby. Poblanos aren't generally hot and these days you can find "tame" jalapenos - all the flavor, very little of the bite. Removing the ribs and seeds from peppers will also help tame them. You could easily leave the jalapenos out of the pickled onions and have them on the side for those who want them.

  2. This is a keeper. I like every ingredient! I'm slowly adopting vegetarianism while trying vegan recipes too. Being a fan of Tex-Mex has made the transition easier I think.