atlanta has been a rather fickle friend this winter, switching back and forth from hot to cold faster than a couple of middle schoolers in love. as winter storm jonas led people up north to call out an S.O.S., we waited A Little Bit Longer to see whether we would actually get snow or end up Burnin’ Up. and yes, i did just incorporate three jonas brothers song titles into that sentence. #winning
the ever-changing weather has kept me on the edge of illness for the past week, so i made a warm, cozy sweet potato stuffed to the brim with goodness to nourish our souls and immune systems as we hunkered down and waited for the potential snow. we only got a light dusting of flurries around our neighborhood, but i felt ready to conquer the world after such a nutrient-dense and delicious meal. stuffed with a soft-boiled egg, goat cheese (an occasional indulgence for me that my body agrees with more than anything made with cow’s milk), green lentils, and a sautèe of caramelized onions, garlic, and broccoli leaf in a balsamic reduction, this is the mother of all sweet potatoes.
sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamins A and C, as are broccoli leaves, which also offer antiviral and antibacterial properties, vitamins K and E, and calcium levels that rival those of whole milk. garlic is another antifungal and antiviral wonder often used as a natural remedy for a multitude of ailments. and it makes your breath smell ahhh-mazing. onions are another example of nature’s antirviral breathmints, so i think it goes without saying that my husband was ready for a big kiss from yours truly after this meal. the balsamic vinegar was an added source of detoxification, and, quite frankly, it makes all things tastier. protein came from the soft boiled egg, goat cheese, and lentils, along with a plethora of other added health benefits. like i said, this meal was top-notch tasty and it helped boost my immune system while cleansing my kidneys, spleen, and liver. what’s not to love about it?
if you are vegan or have an egg or dairy allergy, omit components to suit your diet. otherwise, i highly recommend using all of the listed ingredients for maximum health and tastebud benefits. it won’t disappoint.
The Not-So-Basic Sweet Potato
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- knob of ghee or coconut oil
- 1 small yellow onion
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2-3 broccoli leaves
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup of green lentils (i usually prepare a larger amount, then keep them in the fridge to use throughout the week)
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. wash potatoes, then use a fork to poke a few holes in the top of each potato. once the oven has preheated, bake potatoes until tender when squeezed, typically around 40-45 minutes.
- while potatoes cook, rinse lentils thoroughly, put in a pot, and cover with water that sits 1-2 inches above the legumes. bring to a boil on the stove, skim off any foam that rises to the surface, then cover and simmer on medium-low for 15-18 minutes. when finished, remove from heat, stir in a bit of salt, and let sit, covered, for five minutes off heat. to finish, strain the lentils, rinse, drain, then reserve in a bowl or storage container.
- your taters are roasting, your lentils are taking a soak in the hot tub, and now it’s time to slice your onion, mince your garlic, and chop your washed broccoli leaf into strips (i made mine roughly 1 inch by 2.5 inches). heat your ghee or oil, add your onion and sea salt, then sautèe until the blissful state of caramelization is in its prime. add your garlic and oregano, stir in for about a minute, then add the broccoli leaves and mix so they are coated in the oil. add balsamic, and stir occasionally as it reduces. when the leaves are beginning to crisp, remove from heat and set aside.
- by now your lentils should be done, so the pot you cooked them in should be free for use. high fives for reusing and fewer dishes to clean! fill with 1/2 inch of water, add eggs, put on stove to bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 6.5 to 7 minutes. once finished, immediately run the eggs under cold water to stop the cooking process. gently peel them and put them with all the other goodies waiting to find their ultimate purpose inside a sweet potato.
- speaking of, your sweet potatos should be done or close to it at this point. once they are, you’re ready to go! slice them down the middle and rough up their beautiful orange interiors. slice your eggs in half and immediately place two halves in each sweet potato so their soft yolks can ooze into the flesh. add goat cheese, then top with the veggies and a hefty sprinkle of lentils. finish with salt and pepper to taste.