Adventures of the Heart
Mary Zalmanek
Entrees: Papaya and Sweet Potato Tacos

Serves 2


When we were innsitting in Costa Rica, papayas were plentiful.  I enjoyed experimenting with local foods, and eventually came up with this recipe.  Since it's not typical Costa Rican fare, it's listed here rather than under Costa Rican Cooking.

While in Costa Rica, I topped the tacos with tamarind ginger chutney using tamarind pulp readily available at the village market and ginger dug up in the yard. Here at home where tamarind pulp isn’t easy to find, I've used various store-bought salsas or homemade pico de gallo.  A tangy, sweet salsa like peach is a reasonable substitute for tamarind, but a hot salsa like Pace works well, too. 


1 medium sweet potato, peeled and diced

1/2 tsp paprika

1/3 whole nutmeg, grated or pinch ground nutmeg

1 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup papaya, peeled and diced

1 cup chicken, shredded (optional)

1 tomato, diced

1 avocado, diced

1/2 jalapeno, diced

1/3 cup shredded smoked Gouda cheese


Tangy, sweet salsa (like peach) or pico de gallo


Corn tortillas


Preheat oven to 350.  Drizzle olive oil on diced sweet potatoes, sprinkle with paprika, nutmeg and salt, then toss to coat.  Bake sweet potatoes until tender when pricked by a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes depending on size.


Assemble sweet potatoes, papaya, chicken, tomato, avocado and cheese on top of warm tortilla.  Top with salsa or pico de gallo.