Fall is here–can you believe it? And so it goes, we tiptoe into the next season. I say this lightly because.. er.. it still feels a lot like summer here in Austin. But, there’s so much to look forward to. The Fall season is a time for grounding, resetting your routine and pumpkin spice everything.
I digress–yes, I love pumpkin spice just as much as the next person, but what I really get excited for is sweet potatoes (which, I admit, I eat year round even though they’re seasonal to fall/winter).
I’m obsessed with sweet potatoes for many reasons, not just because they taste amazing on their own.
Sweet potatoes don’t have the inflammatory properties of white potatoes and are packed with Vitamins A (in the form of beta carotene, responsible for their orangey color), B and C, potassium, manganese, niacin and dietary fiber.
The nutrient density of a sweet potato far exceeds that of a white potato–the two are not interchangeable!
Another reason sweet potatoes are one of my favorite foods (and should be one of yours, too) is because they’re one of the best (and easiest) foods for your meal prep routine. Almost every week I bake 2 large sweet potatoes while doing meal prep for the week. It’s so simple–just wrap them in foil and cook on high heat, about 400-425°F, for up to 45 minutes. Two large sweet potatoes yields 4 meals (1/2 is plenty!) and the prep is about as low maintenance as it gets.
Just like you would a baked potato, you can stuff a sweet potato any which way. I use them as a base for a lunch (or dinner) bowl and pile them high with veggies, sometimes grains and/or beans, nuts or seeds and a delicious sauce. It’s a fool-proof way to enjoy a healthy (and delicious) meal!
As many of you know, my food philosophy revolves around eating real foods and keeping it as simple as possible.
When you create your meals around whole, real foods (especially vegetables), you don’t have to worry about calories, fat, carbs, or any of the other dietary buzz words and labels, because you are giving your body the nutrients and fuel it needs to function properly.
A diet based on real foods and lots of plants will never cause you to gain weight.
Some people have a misconception that eating whole, real foods is bland and flavorless. This couldn’t be farther from the truth! Using herbs, spices and healthy fats can highlight a food’s natural flavors and make it just as rich and more delicious than using processed ingredients.
When you begin to add more real-food ingredients into your diet, you teach your body to crave the foods that are life-giving and actually good for you. The fake, processed junk becomes yucky and unappetizing.
One of my one-hit-wonder “tricks” for flavoring veggies is homemade sauces. Not the store-bought ones–those are full of processed, artificial ingredients and often a lot of sugar. It may sound daunting to make homemade sauce on your own, but it’s really very simple and totally worth it. All you need is a blender and a handful of mix-and-match (real food) ingredients!
A perk of making homemade sauce is that you can make a large batch and it will last up to two weeks in your fridge, which saves you a ton of time in the long run. An easy, efficient and healthy way to flavor anything you cook!
This is possibly my favorite sweet potato + homemade sauce recipe ever. No judgment if you spoon the peanut sauce straight from the blender.
Thai Stuffed Sweet Potato
Makes 4 servings
2 large sweet potatoes
4 eggs, fried or over easy
1 bunch kale
1 bunch cilantro, rinsed and divided in two
1 large shallot
1/2 jalapeño, sliced thin
1″ piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp butter or ghee
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
Salt and pepper to taste
Crushed peanuts to garnish
- Preheat oven to 425°F.
- Wrap sweet potatoes in foil and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until tender.
- When sweet potatoes are done baking, set aside to cool.
- While sweet potatoes are cooling, melt butter or ghee in a large skillet. Sauté kale, shallot, ginger, garlic and spices over medium heat, until kale is tender (8-10 min). Cook eggs in the mean time.
- Cut sweet potatoes in half and stuff with kale mixture, fried egg and Peanut Sauce (below).
- Garnish with jalapeño slices, cilantro and crushed peanuts.
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/3 cup coconut milk (full fat, from can)
1″ piece fresh ginger
1/2 bunch cilantro (use other half from above)
1 tbsp sriracha or hot sauce
1 tbsp tamari sauce (gluten-free)
Juice of 1/2 lime
1 clove garlic
Water to desired consistency
- Blend all ingredients in blender or food processor until smooth. You may need to add water if it’s too thick.
Ready for more seasonal cooking inspo? Download the Fall Foods Shopping List here!