Spring is almost here! March is always one of my favorite months because it finally feels like the days start getting longer, there’s more chilly days than freezing days, and if we’re lucky here in the Midwest we even have a couple warm days tossed in.
All the sunshine got me craving a lot of summertime flavors so when I was putting together some prepped meals for leftovers this week I wanted to change up my sweet potato toppings. I usually don’t rave too much about baked sweet potatoes (I mean….come on, it’s just a baked sweet potato). But this one, this one is worth sharing.
This mix got started when I discovered an almost untouched bag of pine nuts in my fridge. I had bought them a while ago for another recipe I was testing, used about 10 of them, than apparently stuffed them so far back in my fridge I accidentally hid them from myself and forgot about them. And if you’ve ever bought pine nuts before you know how pricey they can get. Cha-ching! Like winning the secret refrigerator lottery.
I’ve got other plans for the rest of them but the first recipe I used them for was this one. I had the other things already on hand (maybe you do, too!) so no extra trip to the store. And the best part was that aside from baking the sweet potatoes and roasting the chickpeas, no cooking needed.
[Tweet “Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes bring fresh flavors to meal prep – enjoy leftovers all week!”]
My oven is pretty small so I can’t fit two baking sheets side by side. The day we upgrade to a modern kitchen is going to be the best day ever, but until then, I settle for placing the sweet potatoes on the lower rack and the chickpeas under the broiler. I find I like the texture best when I roast them about 30 minutes and flip/shake/stir them at about the 20 minute mark. But every oven is different so play around with yours until you get chickpeas that are truly crispy and crunchy.
I used a store bought hummus but if you’re feeling ambitious or you’re the DIY type, there’s plenty of awesome hummus recipes out there. Here’s a few I really enjoy from some fellow dietitians and foodies:
I should note that chickpeas can trigger some uncomfortable GI symptoms in some people (they are a high FODMAP food). So you know that’s you, here’s a few DIY options that are chickpea free:
- Edamame Avocado Hummus from Julie of RDelicious Kitchen
- Sesame Free White Bean Hummus from Chelsea of C It Nutritionally
- Red Lentil and Carrot Hummus from Lindsey of Tasty Balance Nutrition
When you layer all these toppings on start with the hummus first. The heat from the baked sweet potatoes will transfer over and make it even more creamy and delicious (as if that was possible, right?) and help it mix really nicely.
These guys are great for meal prep but if you plan on leftovers I recommend keeping everything separate. The chickpeas won’t be quite as crispy or crunchy after you chill and reheat them but that’s alright. You just want to keep the tomato-parsley mix separate so you can reheat the sweet potatoes and chickpeas, then add the hummus and other toppings so they’re fresh, not soggy and…well, gross.
So here’s the full recipe below – mix and match and add whatever. I’m thinking next time tzatziki sauce would be awesome. And I’m not into olives whatsoever but if that’s your thing, by all means. Pile ’em on!
Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- Coarse sea salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 4 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/2 bunch curly parsley, about 1 cup unpacked
- 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1 cup hummus
- 1/4 cup pine nuts
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash the sweet potatoes and pierce with a fork or knife. Place on a baking sheet and bake 40 minutes (for medium sweet potatoes) or until fully cooked.
- Next, dry the drained and rinsed chickpeas to remove as much moisture as possible. Add to a small mixing bowl with cumin, red pepper flakes, and smoked paprika. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the olive oil and mix to evenly coat the chickpeas. Spread in a single layer on a baking sheet and place in the oven when there are 30 minutes remaining. If needed, transfer the sweet potatoes to the middle rack and roast the chickpeas on the top rack.
- While the sweet potatoes and chickpeas are roasting, roughly chop the parsley and remove any large stems. Add to the same mixing bowl with the cherry tomatoes, onion, garlic, and lemon juice. Stir to combine, then chill until ready to serve.
- When the sweet potatoes are finished baking, remove from oven and allow to cool slightly (about 5-10 minutes). Slice each potato in half and fluff with a fork. To serve, spoon 1/4 cup of hummus per potato, distributing evenly on each half. Then add the tomato-parsley salad, crispy chickpeas, and pine nuts. Serve immediately.
Hope you all get a chance to enjoy some nice spring sunshine! Summer will be here before we know it and I can’t wait! What are you most looking forward to?
P.S. Don’t sleep on this breakfast version of this recipe: Breakfast Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Scrambled Eggs. And since I can’t get enough of stuffed sweet potatoes, I also have a sweetened up version: Breakfast Blueberry Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Walnuts.