We all have those moments.
Standing in front of of the open refrigerator, begging inspiration to strike.
You want something healthy and filling, but don’t want a big production. If you are feeding your family, you would like it to be kid-friendly while also being nutritious. You have leftover chicken from two nights ago that needs to be eaten, but you really don’t feel like a salad – again.
I have discovered the perfect solution:
Stuffed Baked Sweet Potatoes!
I was first inspired to try this out after seeing Danielle’s version here (warning: you may drool on your computer because her pictures are so gorgeous).
I don’t know why I hadn’t thought of this before! I’ve done it with regular potatoes but hadn’t thought about “stuffing” sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are the healthier cousin of the regular potato. They are high in Vitamins B6, D and C, and are a good source of iron, magnesium and potassium. While you may think they are high in sugar due to their sweeter taste, these are actually naturally occurring sugars and won’t affect you like processed sugar. The high fiber content helps to ensure your blood sugar won’t spike when eating these orange beauties and that you will feel full for longer after your meal. They are also gluten free, so, depending on your toppings, you can easily make this meal gluten free, dairy free, soy free, vegan or vegetarian.
Sweet potatoes are the perfect vehicle for any leftovers or toppings you would like! My version literally included what I had leftover in the fridge. I mixed together cooked lentils, a chopped red pepper, green olives, salsa, cumin and salt and warmed it in a salute pan. I did this in the five minutes it took to peel fruit for my daughter’s lunch. Then I poured the toppings over the baked sweet potato and, voila! The perfect lunch or dinner. (It’s important to note my two year old actually wanted to eat all of my lunch, and she had been refusing sweet potatoes for two weeks! The combination of fun toppings and eating off mom’s plate were too much to resist.)
The only preplanning you need to do is baking the sweet potatoes. I tend to keep a few on hand in the fridge, and I like to bake two at a time while I’m making dinner or doing food prep during the week. I rinse them and poke holes in them with a knife and then bake for 45-55 minutes at 400 degrees. They keep in an airtight container 3-5 days in the fridge.
You are only limited by your imagination when it comes to the toppings! Try marinara and mozzarella cheese, sautéed kale and shredded chicken, or spinach and a fried egg. I ate my version two days in a row to use up my leftovers, and am already waiting to have another one for lunch today. I’m kind of digging the fried egg idea. Hmmmm….
Let me know if you try it and what creative toppings you come up with!