Loaded Sweet Potato Boats
This unseasonably cold and gloomy weather has got me wanting to crawl back into full-on hibernation mode in front of the fire, swaddled in blankets. I mean, it was like natures cruel joke that I finally persuaded my husband to make the trek up into the loft with boxes of winter coats, hats and scarves; only to have him bring them all down again two days later. You can just imagine his delight. Given these chilly temperatures and constant downpours, I am craving warm, cosy and comforting meals instead of the usual May salads and gazpachos.
These vegan loaded sweet potato boats are healthy comfort food at its very best! They have the perfect combination of complex carbohydrates for slow release energy, healthy fats from the avocado, and plant-based protein from the chickpeas; meaning this meal provides the very best kinds of each food group. Not to mention a ton of antioxidants and micronutrients from the rainbow of veggies, as well as loads of that all-important fibre too. My son has a streaming cold at the moment, and I’m doing all I can to prevent the rest of the house succumbing to his germs. That’s when this meal really shines, because not only is it absolutely delicious, it also provides an enormous 943% and 41% of my daily Vitamin A and C requirements respectively, making it a wonderful immune booster for the whole family.
I always like to have some crunchy roasted chickpeas and seeds to hand, as I feel like they are so moreish and versatile, as well as being nutritious. I use them in place of croutons on top of soup, as some added crunch to a salad, or just alone as a snack. I like to switch up the type of herbs and spices I use to season them with – turmeric + smoked paprika is my favourite, but garlic + rosemary is also a winner.
One loaded sweet potato provides 427 calories, 17g of vegan protein and a massive 14g of fibre. Not to mention 53% and 28% of my daily calcium and iron needs respectively.
NOTE: The guacamole can be easily substituted for some simple smashed avocado if you are short on time or energy…or both!
· 4 Sweet Potatoes
· 4 Spring Onions - thinly sliced
· Handful of fresh Chives
For the Crunchy Roasted Chickpeas
· 2 tsp Dried Herbs/Spices of your choice (I used 1 tsp Ground Turmeric + 1 tsp Smoked Paprika)
· 2 tsp Oil
· A (400g) tin of drained Chickpeas
· 2 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds
· 170g tin of drained Sweetcorn
· Salt and fresh Black Pepper
For the Guacamole
· 1 Avocado
· ½ Small Red Onion
· Generous handful of fresh Herbs of your choice (Coriander, Dill, Chives or Basil all work well)
· Zest & Juice of 1 Lime
· Chipotle Chilli Flakes to taste depending on how spicy you like your food
· Optional – ½ tsp Spirulina Powder for an added nutritional boost
For the Lime Tahini Drizzle
· 2 tbsp Light Tahini (I use Belazu because it pours so well)
· Zest & Juice of 1 Lime
· Salt & fresh Black Pepper to taste
· Water to thin as desired
· Preheat oven to 180 degrees
· Either pop the sweet potatoes straight in the oven and roast for 45 -55 minutes, depending on their size; or else par-cook them in the microwave first for 10-12 minutes and then put them in the oven to crisp up for 20 minutes or so.
· Drain a can of organic tinned chickpeas, rinse well and pat dry.
· Place on some parchment paper in a single layer in an oven proof tray and drizzle with the oil, toss in the herbs and season with salt and pepper.
· Cook for 20 minutes before adding the drained corn and pumpkin seeds.
· Continue to cook for another 15 minutes or until crispy and golden brown.
· While that is cooking, make the guacamole - simply place all of the guacamole ingredients in a high-speed blender and pulse several times. Do not blitz completely, otherwise it will become a smooth puree and lose all of its texture. I like mine a little bit chunky.
· To make the tahini drizzle, simply combine all of the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well. You may need to add a little water or chilli oil to thin as desired.
· Once the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are ready, slice the sweet potatoes lengthways and if not vegan, mash a little butter into the middle and then load up with all of the goodies! Spoon on the guacamole, sprinkle with sliced spring onions, fresh herbs and the crunchy roasted chickpeas, pumpkin seeds and corn, and then drizzle with lime tahini to finish it off. Enjoy!
Calories — 427
Carbohydrates — 55g
Fat — 17g
Protein — 17g
Fibre — 14g (55%)
Vitamin A – 943%
Vitamin C – 41%
Calcium – 53%
Iron – 28%