Am I correct in believing that loaded sweet potatoes are always a good idea?
I think so. Loaded sweet potatoes are one of my all-time favorites. I make them all the time for an easy entree, especially when Dan is out of town and I need a convenient meal for one.
I load up my sweet pots a little differently each time I make them – this is a meal with endless potential flavor combinations.
My most recent combo utilizes the season’s fresh herbs and mushrooms to create a savory dish that’s brimming with spring flavors.
A great loaded sweet potato is made up of three main parts – (a) the sweet potato itself, (b) the veggie and bean filling, and (c) a flavorful sauce.
Sweet potatoes offer up fiber and beneficial antioxidants like beta carotene and are one of my favorite sources of energy-providing carbohydrates.
To save time, feel free to roast your sweet potatoes ahead of time. (Batch cooking a couple over the weekend allows you to bring meals like this together within minutes.) I roast mine directly on the oven rack for easy cleanup – just pierce with a fork a few times and throw ’em in the oven until tender.
The second component of a great loaded spud is the filling.
Here is where you can have some fun and get really creative…or just use up any veggies that are on their way out.
Just try to include plenty of non-starchy vegetables, like shiitake mushrooms and kale, as well as a source of plant-based protein. I used cannellini (white kidney) beans in this recipe but chickpeas, black beans, tofu, tempeh, and seitan all work well too.
The final component is a flavorful sauce to top it all off. This is a great place to add healthy fats like extra virgin olive oil, avocado, nuts, and seeds.
I had tons of fresh spring herbs on hand (so yummy) so went with a lemon pesto sauce this time. I have also used guacamole, tahini sauce, and vinaigrettes as a loaded spud sauce with success.
Depending on the size of your sweet potatoes (and how much you “load” them) this recipe may leave you with some leftover filling and sauce. Leftover filling is great on its own or can be served over salad greens or brown rice/quinoa. Toss extra pesto with pasta or roasted veggies or use it as a pizza topping.
Believe me, you’ll be more than happy to make room in your fridge for these leftovers.
- 2 sweet potatoes, rinsed
- 1 tbsp cooking oil (I used grapeseed)
- 1 sweet onion, diced
- 3 cloves garlic
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped (I used shiitake)
- 1-15 oz can cannellini (white kidney) beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 cup kale, chopped
- ½ cup (packed) fresh basil
- ½ cup (packed) fresh parsley
- ¼ cup almonds
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 1 tsp paprika
- Crushed red pepper, salt, black pepper to taste
- 2-4 tbsp water
- Optional toppings: pine nuts, nutritional yeast
- Preheat oven to 425º F. Pierce sweet potatoes a few times with a fork and then place directly on oven rack to roast. Roast until tender, about 40 minutes.
- While sweet potatoes are roasting, prepare the filling. Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, mushrooms, and beans and cook for a couple minutes before lowering heat to low until sweet potatoes are ready, stirring in kale in last 5 minutes of cooking.
- Prepare the pesto: add pesto ingredients to a blender or food processor and pulse until creamy. (Start with 1-2 tbsp of water and add more if needed to reach desired consistency.)
- Once sweet potatoes are fork-tender, remove from oven and place on cutting board. Allow them to cool slightly and then slice in half lengthwise. Add mushroom filling, pesto, and optional toppings as desired before serving.
Which ingredients would you use to create your perfectly loaded sweet potato?
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