Winter means its time to dig up the root vegetables and enjoy the comfort of a staple winter food.
Sweet Potatoes. They are what I can only describe as real and essential bliss. Freshly roasted and cooled after a few minutes under the heat of the oven - steam rising from the punctured skin, a soft and sweet middle - I'd have them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner if I could, and I'd be happy as a yam to eat them plain.
However, they can surely be glammed up any way you like. And instead of resigning the sweet potato to "side dish status," let's make the sweet potato the center piece of your dinner plate, all forks on set. This luscious dish deserves all these photos, it's definitely center stage (or table) tonight.
I'll take those sweet potatoes any day. Bake them. Stuff them.
Start by halving a fresh sweet potato lengthwise and place it in the hot oven, baking until tender. It should look something like this:
How healthy and delicious are those little sweet potatoes? The bright orange colour just screams out the health benefits. Sweet potatoes are the highest source of beta-carotene - an antioxidant important for giving the carrots and the oranges the orange colour. Sweet potatoes are also bursting with essential vitamins for our diet, such as vitamins A and C.
Did you know that the sporamins in sweet potatoes, or "storage proteins," help the vegetable to heal itself after physical damage? Now I wouldn't mind getting some of that!
While cooking this recipe I thought of all the recipes which involve scraping the cooked sweet potato flesh from the skin to mash it with other flavourful ingredients before re-stuffing it into the skins. I admit, this is a delicious way to enjoy sweet potato, however, what's better than enjoying the sweet potato in all its natural flavours that it has to offer without the added chore of scraping, mashing and re-stuffing. That means following a more minimalistic route, skipping those steps, and simply cracking the golden babies open when they're hot from the oven to scoop a delicious mix of complementing ingredients over top. Or perhaps a Yam Tuna Bake is more pleasing right now?
Quinoa and Chard Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
Print recipe here.
Sweet potatoes sing and quinoa dances in this wonderful combination of nature's finest super foods enriched with a delicate chile sauce drizzled over top with spring onions and basil to serve - just sit back and let the health benefits of this delicious dinner take the stage.
2 small sweet potatoes
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water
2 cups freshly chopped chard leaves
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp sliced almonds
2 tbsp of baked sweet potato (taken from potatoes above), mashed
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 pinches chile powder
2 tbsp maple syrup
2 spring onions, sliced
3 basil leaves, chopped finely
Cook the sweet potatoes in an oven preheated to 400°F. Bake until tender, 45 minutes to an hour.
In a sieve, rinse the dry quinoa under cold running water. This will remove any "mush-promoting" grit remaining on the grain.
Combine the uncooked quinoa and water in a saucepan over high heat and bring to a boil, do not stir as it will disturb the cooking process.
As water begins to bubble, turn off the heat and place a lid over the pan. Allow the quinoa to cook - no peeking or stirring! - for 5 to 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, toss the chopped chard into a steamer over boiling water and cook until softened. Alternatively, cook in about 1 inch of water in a wide saucepan. Allow to cool slightly before combining with diced tomatoes and sliced almonds in a small bowl, set aside.
With the sweet potatoes out of the oven, place them in separate serving plates and spread the two halves apart.
Scoop one tablespoon from each sweet potato and mash in a small bowl, combine with mayonnaise, chile powder and maple syrup, blending evenly. To thin out the sauce mix in a dash of liquid - water, vinegar or oil - until the desired consistency has been reached.
Fluff the cooked quinoa with a fork before scooping onto the open sweet potato, dividing it equally between the two. Layer the chard salad over top, and drizzle with the sweet potato chile sauce.
Serve with the chopped spring onions and basil leaves sprinkled over.
Dive into the sweetest potato of all comfort food.
Labels: chard, chile, dinner, gluten free, health, quinoa, sauce, sweet potato