Creamy, Crispy Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
THIS QUINTESSENTIAL COMFORT FOOD GETS AN UPGRADE, COMPLETE WITH HEALTHY FATS, ANTIOXIDANTS, AND B12
There’s something undeniably comforting about a velvety baked potato, loaded to the brim with a mix of crunchy, savory, and creamy accoutrements. We entrusted Sasha Pagni, our resident plant homecook and self-described “food alchemist,” to transform this staple into a nutrient-dense showstopper.
She’s slighted the usual sour cream/bacon/butter trifecta and upped the flavor ante with crispy, shiitake bites, a drizzle of nutritional-yeast hemp sauce, and a generous dousing of microgreens, chives, and cashews for phytonutrients and plant protein. Sasha suggests Japanese sweet potatoes for their subtle, earthy flavor (plus, purple foods contain anthocyanins, a family of antioxidants that strengthen memory and cerebral blood flow), but sweet potatoes, Hannah yams, or even butternut squash work well here, too. Each time you make this recipe, switch up the base and reap the benefits of a diverse, plant-rich plate.
- 1-2 medium sized sweet potatoes of choice, scrubbed
- 5 shiitake mushrooms, sliced into bite size pieces
- ½ teaspoon tamari
- 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon flaky sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ teaspoon paprika
Cheezy Hemp Sauce:
- ¼ cup cashews
- ¼ cup hemp seeds
- ½ cup of steamed or roasted squash
- 3 heaping tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 2 tablespoons hot water
- 1 teaspoon flaky sea salt
- Nuts + seeds, for crunch
- Green onion
- Microgreens (suggested here: micro-basil + micro-kale)
- Coconut yogurt
- Hemp seeds
- Cashew pieces
- Cook the Potato and Squash:
Steam: With a fork or knife, pierce the skin of each sweet potato in at least four places. In an instant pot or pressure cooker, place full sweet potatoes into the pot and steam for 10 minutes, using the steam function.
Bake: Preheat the oven to 400F. With a fork or knife, pierce the skin of each sweet potato in four places. Place the potatoes in the oven and roast for 45 minutes to an hour, depending on the size of the potatoes.
Once done, you should be able to pierce them with a knife easily. Cut the potato lengthwise, just through the top half of the potato. To prep the potato for ingredients, place hands at opposite ends of the potato and push towards the center, allowing the inside of the potato to fluff up.
Steam: Cut squash in half, in an instant pot or pressure cooker, place squash half into pot and steam for 10 minutes, using the steam function.
Roast: Preheat the oven to 400F. Cut squash in half. Place the squash on baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, then place in the oven and roast for 30 minutes or until soft.
- Make the “cheeze” sauce: Place squash, cashew, hemp seeds, nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, warm water in a blender and blend on high until completely smooth.
- Make crispy mushrooms: In a heavy bottom pan, such as a cast iron skillet, turn the stove to a medium flame. Pour in one teaspoon olive oil and allow oil to heat up.
- Once oil is warm, place shiitakes in the pan and cook for five minutes, allowing them to brown on each side, so stirring every minute or so.
- After five minutes, lower the heat and season by pouring in tamari; follow with the salt, pepper, paprika, and nutritional yeast, and cook for another five minutes on low heat, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms begin to crisp.
- Turn off heat and let mushrooms settle. Then, rough chop them into shiitake bits.
- Assemble the potatoes: With the potato split open, layer the “cheeze” sauce and crispy mushrooms, topping with green onions, microgreens, and hemp seeds. Place the potato on a plate with a dollop of coconut yogurt on its base. Serve and enjoy.
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