Sweet potatoes have long been a part of my disease fighting diet. When compared to white potatoes they offer more vitamins and antioxidants and while they taste sweeter they actually have a slightly lower glycemic index score. Their high levels of beta carotene, magnesium and vitamin C all contribute to their anti-inflammatory properties (essential for preventing disease). Their high levels of fiber (about 6 grams/serving) can help keep your blood sugar stabilized, making you feel fuller longer, which makes them a great choice for lunch or dinner. This high fiber content also helps with supporting a healthy digestive system. Research links sweet potatoes to cancer and disease prevention, improved digestive health, eye health, blood sugar stabilization, and reducing inflammation.
Combining nutrient dense sweet potatoes with the additions of grains and veggies makes for the perfect meal. Prep in advance by storing the “salad” portion on the side (this makes an easy workday lunch or dinner).
Greek Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
4 medium sweet potatoes washed and scrubbed
1 cup cooked red or white quinoa
1 ½ cups cooked chickeas, rinsed and drained
1 bunch green onions, sliced thin
1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, diced
1 large cucumber, seeded and diced
¼ bunch parsley, finely chopped
¼ cup organic feta crumbles
¼ cup olives, chopped (green or black, your choice)
2 T. red wine vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 ½ tsp. sea salt
Homemade Tzatziki (optional, could use store bought)
1 cup sheeps milk yogurt or full fat Fage greek yogurt
1 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, pressed
1/3 cup cucumber, peeled and shredded
2 T. fresh dill, finely chopped
1 T. lemon juice
pinch sea salt
Mix all ingredients together, set aside while preparing potatoes
Preheat oven to 400 degrees (turn on convection oven if you have that option to speed up time). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil. Puncture sweet potatoes a few times with a fork, then place on lined baking sheet and place into oven for approx. 45 minutes (depending on size of your potatoes, may take more or less time). You can pierce with a fork to check doneness.
As the sweet potatoes are cooking, prepare your tzatziki sauce first (if you’re making homemade), then set I fridge for flavors to meld.
Next, prepare your salad filling. In a medium bowl, add the cooked quinoa, chickpeas, green onions, tomatoes, cucumber, parsley, olives, feta cheese, vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt. Toss and leave out at room temperature – adjust seasonings to your desire at this point.
When sweet potatoes are cooked to your liking, remove from oven and cut the sweet potatoes in half. Smash the inside of the potatoes with a fork and sprinkle with sea salt. Top generously with the greek salad and finish with a spoonful of the tzatziki sauce.