As promised, I'm coming at you with a new recipe every week in March in honor of National Nutrition Month. This first one (actually three) is a good one!
In case you didn't already notice, sweet potatoes have been having a moment. An extended moment, but still. I've seen them in everything from pancakes to chili to buddha bowls, or even as a stand-in for a burger bun (which while creative, is not my favorite use for them). Even though white potatoes are wonderful for a myriad of reasons, sweet potatoes offer a silky smooth flesh and a slightly sweeter taste, plus a hefty dose of vitamin A.
While they are perfect as is (roasted, mashed or baked), I have a favorite way to eat them as of late, loaded up with toppings for a quick and complete weeknight meal. There are so many possibilities but today I'm sharing three of my favorite combinations - buffalo chicken, chickpea and kale, and Mexican.
My favorite part about these is how fast and customizable they are. If you have a protein, something green, and a sauce of some sort on hand, these come together super fast with most of the time being hands-off (waiting for the potatoes to bake). If you want to make them even easier, bake the potatoes on the weekend and you'll have a 20-minute meal ready for you all week.
To bake the potatoes, just scrub them well (no need to take the skin off), slice in half lengthwise and place them flesh-side down on a sheet pan lined with foil and sprayed. Bake at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. Just a note: when in doubt, err on the side of leaving these in the oven longer - you don't want them to be undercooked.
Once out of the oven, I like to fluff the flesh with a fork and season well with salt and pepper before adding all of the toppings. Which of these combinations sounds most delicious to you?
Leftover shredded chicken (or rotisserie chicken)
Bleu cheese crumbles
Green onions + Cilantro
And last but not least, my favorite of the bunch! Spiced chickpeas are super versatile on their own. Think buddha bowls, wraps, or these stuffed potatoes. I topped them with sautéed garlicky kale for a bite and finished with a dreamy tahini sauce to pull everything together.
Spiced Chickpea and Kale Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Author: Leanne Ray, MS, RDN
Yield: 4 servings | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook time: 35 mins | Total time: 45 mins
2 medium sweet potatoes
One bunch kale, rough chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
15 oz can chickpeas, drained & rinsed (dried with paper towels)
1/2 tsp smoky paprika
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/3 cup tahini
1 Tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tsp hot chili sauce
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp rice vinegar
to taste salt and pepper
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Slice sweet potatoes lengthwise and place flesh side down on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork.
3. Meanwhile, heat a tablespoon of oil in a medium nonstick skillet and add garlic cooking just until fragrant. Add kale and stir to coat. Cook 1-2 minutes and then add 1/4 cup water, cover and simmer for about 5 more minutes until bright green and wilted. Transfer to a plate.
4. Heat another tablespoon of oil in the same skillet and add the chickpeas, smoky paprika, and garlic powder. Cook until brown around the edges, about 10 minutes stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
5. Lastly, to make the tahini sauce combine tahini through rice vinegar in a jar, mix well with a fork. Add about 1/4 cup hot water, put the lid on and shake until well combined.
6. Once the sweet potatoes finishing cooking, fluff the flesh with a fork and season with salt and pepper. Top with kale, chickpeas, and tahini sauce plus more chili sauce if desired.
Once you taste this tahini sauce, you might want to put it on just about everything which is why making it in a jar is even more of a genius idea (just put the lid back on and store any leftovers in the refrigerator for up to five days).