In the Kitchen
Stuffed Sweet Potato
When people think of potatoes, they think of starch which has given sweet potatoes a bad rap, but sweet potatoes are actually nutritious and if you're eating a balanced diet, they help with meeting your daily value of nutrients.
Sweet potatoes contain a significant amount of magnesium, which is an essential mineral for normal body functioning. One of the most important benefits of magnesium is that it helps reduce stress and anxiety.
My fully loaded stuffed sweet potato is also packed with black beans which are prized for their high protein and fiber content as well as garbanzo beans/chickpeas which provide a variety of vitamins and minerals, and a decent amount of fiber and protein. There's also spinach which is high in insoluble fiber, and avocado which is packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fatty acids.
I enjoy making this on nights when I'm looking for something nutritious and filling. It's also the perfect mix of sweet, savory, and crunchy, which to me, is a winning combination.
Getting it done:
Once you’ve rinsed and strained your garbanzo/chickpeas, transfer them to a bowl, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt, pepper and, paprika. Mix and place it to the side.
To prevent potatoes from exploding in the oven, I pierce them with a knife. This is also helpful when cooking sweet potatoes because a sign that they’re ready is they’ll bubble like in the photo above. I have purchased sweet potatoes that didn’t bubble so another way to check is to insert a fork into the potato and if it glides in easily, it’s ready.
I prefer my sweet potatoes to be extremely soft so I typically leave it to cook at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes to an hour, sometimes longer. I also like to pop my chickpeas into the oven when there is 20 minutes of cook time left on the potato.
While the sweet potato and chickpeas are baking, it’s time to add olive oil to a pan and sautee the red onion and garlic (sprinkle with salt and pepper). Once the onion and garlic are golden brown, add the black beans, sun-dried tomatoes, and spinach.
When your sweet potato is soft; and your chickpeas are brown and crunchy (think crouton texture), it’s time to assemble your fully-loaded potato. With a sharp knife split your potato vertically down the center but be sure to only insert the knife halfway; you shouldn’t hit the bottom of the potato. Once you’ve cut it, fold the potato in half and fill it with your ingredients.
I suggest filling the potato with everything that was sauteed in the pan and then add the chickpeas as a crunchy topping. Lastly, cut your avocado into cubes, add it to the top of the potato, serve, and enjoy!
Fully-loaded sweet potato
This stuffed sweet potato is vegan but if you are not, adding grilled shrimp on top is seriously delicious!!