Stuffed sweet potatoes can be used as a nutritious and affordable main dish - or as a side. Or as a snack :)
Salt and pepper
Nutritional yeast - 1/2 cup
Garnish: Chives, Hemp seeds (or walnuts), Arugula
Weeknight meal hack: Pop the sweet potatoes in the oven the night before you plan to use them. Depending on size, sweet potatoes take ~45 mins to bake fully in the oven. If that feels too long for a weeknight, I recommend cooking a few at the beginning of the week, store in the refrigerator + use throughout the week in recipes like this one.
What to do:
Cook the sweet potatoes in the oven (350 for 45 minutes - until soft on the inside)
In a separate pot, cook the quinoa (1 cup of quinoa to 2 cups of water ~ 15 mins)
Separately, cook up the red lentils (3 cups of water to 1 cup of lentils ~15-18 mins)
Chop the onion and then sauté in olive oil. Careful not to burn the onions, stir regularly and sprinkle with salt, pepper, smoked paprika. Once the quinoa has cooked, fold the quinoa in to the onion mixture. Add the lentils and keep stirring to combine. Add a generous amount of nutritional yeast and keep stirring. Add a tiny bit of water if it helps to combine all the ingredients.
Sweet potatoes - Cut those in half (lengthwise) and remove some of the filling with a spoon. Be careful not to remove all of the filling as it helps to strengthen the skin so that we have a sturdy boundary and can add the filling. Save the sweet potato filling in a bowl.
Smash the sweet potato with a fork. Add the sautéd quinoa/lentil filling to the bowl and use a spoon to combine into a paste. Using a spoon, fill the sweet potato boats with heaping spoonfuls.
What I love about this:
You don’t have to follow an exact set of measurements to produce something delicious. I intentionally didn’t include specific measurements here, because it’s up to you! Using the basic ingredients listed above and some herbs/spices and a bit of salt will yield something delicious and satisfying. It’s entirely plant-based, so you don’t have to worry about undercooking something and getting sick.
Nutrient density - the quinoa + lentils + hemp seeds (or walnuts if you can’t find hemp seeds) are high in protein and help to make this a complete meal. The sweet potatoes and onions bring their own nutrients to the table — like a surplus of vitamin A, potassium and other vitamins (C and B-6).
The “garnish” in this recipe is more than that - the hemp seeds are a great source of healthy fats and protein. The arugula packs in extra vitamins (like A, C, and K) and adds a peppery flavor to contrast the sweet/savory combo of the rest of the dish.