With the low-carb craze these days, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is about potatoes. Many people see potatoes as one of the worst “carbs that turn to sugar” offenders and so have pushed all types of potatoes aside and off their plates. Quite honestly this just makes me sad! Because usually, when people toss white potatoes out the window, they also toss sweet potatoes too, which I see as a huge nutritional mistake.
Sweet potatoes are one of our favorite starchy root vegetables and are eaten in our house at least once per week. As a dietitian, I love sweet potatoes because they are…
High in fiber and resistant starch- this means they cause less dramatic blood sugar spikes, slow digestion and help us feel fuller, and help feed beneficial gut microbes
Rich in vitamins A and C- which helps boost our immune system and reduces inflammation, which we know plays a role in heart disease, diabetes, and cancer
Loaded with potassium- to help lower blood pressure (because it’s not all about lowering your salt intake!)
Sweet potatoes are also very versatile ingredients in the kitchen! If you’re looking to switch your carbohydrate intake from one of white, processed grains, to more whole grain and high fiber choices, then sweet potatoes have got your back in so many ways. They are great prepared by…
Roasting as cubes or fry shapes
Steaming then mashing
Sauteing and then simmering in a soup or stew
Baking them whole in the classic way
While all of these cooking methods are great, you maaaay notice that they all require some time over the stove or with the oven on. If you’re also going through a heatwave, you may be saying, “Thank you, next.” Which is why I’ve lately been cooking mine in the microwave! Don’t worry, cooking a tater for 8 minutes in the microwave will NOT kill the nutrients, and in fact may actually retain more of the vitamins and minerals this way than if you boiled it in a large pot of water for 15 minutes. Microwaving also saves me time and allows a perfectly tasty and nutritious meal to come together all that more quickly. Hmm, something to think about…
This brings me to this super duper easy stuffed sweet potato recipe that I’ve been enjoying for a meal prepped lunch. Take 1 microwaved sweet potato, stuff it with some sauteed goodies, drizzle on a sauce, and you’ve got lunch packed in about 10 minutes.
The stuffing options are literally endless and you can really let your culinary creativity shine with sweet potatoes as your blank canvas! I hope you all enjoy this simple and totally nutritious lunch.
Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potato- makes 2 servings
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 poblano pepper, chopped
2 bell peppers (any color), sliced into thin strips
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 [14.5 oz] can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 cup plain greek yogurt or sour cream
1/2 cup cilantro
juice of 1 lime
avocado oil, as needed
salt to taste
Using a fork, poke holes in the sweet potatoes. Place them on a microwave-safe plate and microwave for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the avocado oil until shimmering. Then add the poblano and bell peppers and cook, stirring occassionaly, until they begin to soften and brown, about 8 minutes. Add in the red onion and black beans, stir and cook for another 2 to 3 minutes, then remove from heat.
Carefully remove the potatoes from the microwave and once cool enough to handle, use a knife to cut each open, careful not to cut them completely in half. Spoon the pepper and bean mixture evenly into the two potatoes.
To make the cream, combine the yogurt, cilantro, lime, and a tablespoon of avocado oil in a blender or food processor. Process on high, adding in more oil or a splash of water as needed to thin to your desired crema consistency. Taste and adjust salt and lime (or even heat with some jalapeno) to your liking. Drizzle this over your stuffed potato.
Serve immediately, or once cooled package into food storage containers for meal prepped lunches.