Everybody knows protein is important … but so many people seem to think you only get it from meat. This is simply not true. In fact, there are numerous sources of protein outside of meat. Beans, soy, quinoa, and various nuts, to name a few. To maintain a well-rounded diet and a well-functioning digestive tract, it’s important to get protein from a variety of sources.
That’s why I created this dish – to give you non-meat proteins and other nutrients while still being extremely satisfying. And boy, did it ever turn out tasty!
Many people are unaware of the health benefits sweet potatoes possess, comparing them to their regular potato counterparts. From high concentrations of Vitamin A, to multiple anti-inflammatory properties, to having potential antibacterial and antifungal properties, the results of eating sweet potatoes are nothing but beneficial.
Though sweet potatoes are already delicious by themselves, we added a topping combination that’s as healthy as it is tasty. With a nice serving of greens, immune-boosting garlic, and protein packed white beans, this entree is sure to keep you fuller, longer.
As far as the side dish, you can never go wrong with a fresh caesar salad. We have included our own dressing recipe for a healthy twist on the norm, and we have heard nothing but praise in its regard.
When it comes to comfort food that’s also healthy … this dish never fails to deliver. Enjoy!
Stuffed Sweet Potatoes and Vegan Caesar Salad Recipe
For the Sweet Potatoes
2 sweet potatoes, scrubbed and pricked all over with a fork
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 shallot, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small sprig fresh thyme
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
3⁄4 cups cooked (or canned) and drained white beans
3 cups kale, trimmed and sliced into ribbons
Juice of 1/4 lemon
1⁄4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400o F, and add sweet potatoes in an oven-proof dish. Bake until soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour (which gives you the perfect amount of time to prepare everything else!)
- Prepare the salad dressing (see below) then start the rest of the dish 15-20 minutes before the sweet potatoes are finished.
- In a large sauté pan or saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the shallot, garlic, and leaves from the thyme, and cook until the shallot is tender.
- Add the beans and pepper flakes and cook an additional 5 minutes, until beans are warmed through, then add the kale.
- Cook until the kale is tender, then add lemon juice, salt, pepper, and feta cheese.
- To serve, split each sweet potato lengthwise and push the ends together to open a pocket in the middle. Fill with the kale-bean mixture.
For the Salad
1 Tablespoon sesame seed paste (tahini)
1 crushed garlic clove
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
1 lemon, juiced
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
4 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 (5-oz.) package pre-washed romaine leaves, or 1 head romaine, leaves washed and torn
Shaved Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for garnish
- To make the dressing (can be made in advance): Add tahini, garlic, salt, pepper, lemon juice, dijon mustard, and olive oil to a bowl and whisk until well combined. You’ll be left with a thick paste.
****This should be a thick dressing, much like traditional caesar. If it’s too thick, add more lemon juice or a bit of water and whisk briskly until well combined.
- Add the greens, the dressing, and the cheese to a large salad bowl and toss well to combine, then serve.
- Eat up!