Lately, our grocery bill has gotten out of control.
I’ve been reprimanded by my in-house CFO.
I just get so excited about testing new recipes and forgot to practice a little restraint. Maybe I DON’T need to buy fish and berries and olives and fancy cheese each week.
It’s cool, just a new challenge.
Usually, when people think about budget meals they go to pasta, take-out or something packaged. Nothing wrong with any of those options but I like something healthy and homemade most of the time.
Also I wanna make something I can eat for lunch and not want to pass out 30 minutes later.
So I’m stuffin’ potatoes!
Not just any potatoes, but sweet ones cuz healthier and more satisfying. These are crazy filling and I was shocked at how delicious these were – adding just a little cheese to the top makes these feel extremely indulgent.
They also reheat really well in the microwave so it’s an easy lunch the next day.
Most items in this recipe are pantry staples and even if you don’t have some of the veggies you can really add anything you want/have.
The all-star of this dish is the harissa spiced crunchy chickpeas.
(thanks Maura for the spice blend!)
The recipe below feels like a lot, but much of this is all happening while potatoes are cooking.
It’s a chill process. No rushing. We’re making potatoes not fighting fires.
Turn on a movie, grab some wine. Do you.
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
(start making 1 hour 15 minutes before you want potatoes)
4 sweet potatoes
1 cup lentils (I used black, but use whatever you’ve got)
1 cup quinoa
4 cups veggie stock (1 carton)
2 Tbs olive oil (divided)
1 red bell pepper
2 cups spinach
1 small onion
2 cloves garlic
1 can chickpeas (rinsed, outside shells removed)
2 Tbs Harissa spice mix
½ cup salty cheese
Bunch of herbs
Turn oven to 400F – cut your sweet potatoes in half, and place face down on a sheet pan (I put slightly oiled parchment between the potatoes and the sheet pan for easy clean up). Put them in the oven for 40-50 minutes depending on the size of the potatoes.
While these are in the oven, you’ll mix 1 Tbs of olive oil, the harissa spice mix and rinsed chickpeas in a bowl until coated. If you don’t love heat, use less harissa. If you don’t have harissa, you can use a chili powder as a substitute. Put these on a sheet pan and roast alongside the potatoes in the oven. These will need about 30 minutes but check on them to make sure they don’t burn.
While these are in the oven add the quinoa, lentils and veggie stock to a pot. Bring to a boil, then cover, and simmer on low heat for about 30ish minutes. You’ll want these to cook until they absorb all the water.
*Note that you will have leftover quinoa/lentils, so set aside 2 cups for another day. Use this in salads all week or freeze for later!
While this is on the stovetop – chop pepper, onion, and garlic and saute in remaining oil until soft. Add chopped spinach until wilted.
By now your potatoes are done, bring them out and let them cool slightly so you can handle and flip them over. You can either use a spoon to push down/create a hole for your fillings or use a knife to criss-cross/create space for fillings in the potatoes.
I forgot to take a picture of this but essentially what you want is filling inside your potato. It’s going to spill over and get messy but it’s more fun to eat this way anyhow.
Mix the veggies you sauteed in your remaining quinoa/lentil mixture. Spoon into/over the potatoes.
Then, sprinkle over the chickpeas. Then, sprinkle on some salty cheese (like feta! Or cotija! Or parm!) and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes.
Throw something herby on top like cilantro or parsley. I used pesto because I had leftovers.
Eat potatoes all week.