While these may look gourmet, you don’t have to be a gourmet chef to make them. All of the elements of a nutrient dense meal are stuffed into a sweet potato. As a bonus, they are easy to prepare, budget friendly and perfect for leftovers.
4 small (or 3 medium) sized sweet potatoes or yams
2 (4 oz) chicken or turkey sausages, finely chopped or crumbled
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 large poblano peppers, diced*
½ yellow onion, diced
1 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP chili powder
1 TBSP cumin
½ tsp, each, salt and pepper
* Poblano peppers can be spicy. If you don’t like spice, remove seeds or replace with bell peppers.
Toppings (all optional)
1 large avocado, sliced
½ cup jicama, sliced into thin matchsticks
½ cup purple cabbage, finely shredded
¼ cup freshly chopped cilantro
Light sour cream, or Mexican style crema
Shredded Mexican style cheese or queso fresco (not pictured)
1. Thoroughly wash the sweet potatoes and poke holes around the skin with a fork. Place in the microwave and cook 4-5 minutes per side. Alternatively, bake at 400 degrees for 35-40 minutes. Sweet potatoes should be cooked through, and slightly soft on the outside. Cut in half and let cool.
2. In a large sauté pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, poblano pepper, salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes.
3. Add the chicken sausage to the pan and cook for another 8-10 minutes, until golden. Add black beans, chili powder and cumin during the last two minutes of cooking. Turn of heat and let rest.
4. Scoop out 2/3 of the sweet potato from each of the shells, give it a rough chop on a cutting board and add to the sauté pan. Stir gently to combine with the ingredients in the pan.
5. Place a heaping scoop of the filling into each of the shells. Serve hot, or reheat in the microwave or under the broiler in the oven.
Toppings (all optional)
1. If using cheese, sprinkle it over the topping and place under the broiler in the oven for about 2 minutes until melted.
2. Toss the jicama and cabbage together and scatter over the top of the sweet potatoes.
3. Lay fresh avocado slices on the top of the sweet potatoes, drizzle with sour cream and sprinkle with fresh cilantro.
Jessica Cerra is the owner of Fit Food by Jess, a private chef and catering company in Encinitas, Calif., and the co-founder of Harmony Bar. A former professional XTERRA triathlete, Cerra now races for Twenty16 Women’s Professional Cycling Team.