(Almost) Fully Loaded Sweet Potatoes with Pecan & Hemp Seed Sauce

(almost) fully loaded sweet potatoes with pecan & hemp seed sauce

I decided to name these "(almost) fully loaded sweet potatoes" rather than the usual "fully loaded sweet potatoes" mainly because these are just not your conventional stuffed tarters; and I would rather not get your expectations up only for you to end up disappointed. And we all know that when expectations don't meet our reality. To be honest though, it's only a recipe at the end of the day. If this doesn't meet your expectations, let's not cry over spilt (almond) milk, ok? Secretly I know though that this recipe will tick all of your boxes ;) 

The other day I realised I had a box of red lentil pasta from Happy Earth People and just didn't know what to do with it. Lentil bolognese? Basil pesto? Creamy avo? Cauliflower cheese sauce? These were the more obvious ideas that jumped to the forefront of my mind but I wanted to make something a bit different. I then realised that this pasta was actually pure lentils but the Happy Earth People had sneakily morphed the lentils into a different shape! And what do I love doing with whole legumes? Eating them wedged inside potatoes, lavished in a smooth nut butter or guac of course.

So that's what I decided to do. 

Since this was turning into a rather unconventional loaded potato, it felt like the right thing to do to make a different topping other than the usual spicy guacamole. I found some pecan nut butter which was slightly sweeter than other nuts - nothing a sweet potato can't handle though - and made a yummy sauce to go with the whole shebang. 

This recipe is good for you because: 

Sweet potatoes: Very rich in beta-carotene, a major antioxidant and anti-carcinogenic substance, along with vitamin C and B-complex vitamins, iron and phosphorus. An excellent immune system booster. Aids digestion and is effective in curing internal and external inflammation. Yum, yum, yam! 

Lentils (in pasta form or not): A ton of protein and plenty of fiber. The plant protein found in legumes provide the body with steady long-lasting energy, muscle-building and overall smooth bodily functioning. Red lentils are rich in fiber and complex carbohydrates, low on the glycemic index and gluten free.

Pecan nuts: Native to North America and Mexico. Contains more than 19 vitamins and minerals – including vitamin A, vitamin E, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, several B vitamins and zinc. Good for the heart, digestion, bones, teeth and blood pressure. 

Hemp seeds: A complete protein, meaning all amino acids essential to optimum health are found in these little nutty seeds. An excellent source of essential fatty acids including Omega 3, 6 and GLA in the perfect balance. More digestible protein than meat, eggs, dairy, or any other high protein food.

Right, ready for this slightly unconventional meal? Let's go! 

ingredients 

2 orange sweet potatoes 

100g red lentil pasta (I used the brand, Happy Earth People - feel free to use black bean pasta or simply just use chickpeas, black beans or lentils in whole form!) 

1/2 walnuts, toasted 

1 tbsp pecan nut butter (feel free to use almond, peanut or tahini butter) 

1 tbsp nutritional yeast

1/2 small lemon 

1 tsp hemp seeds 

1/4 tsp soy sauce (liquid aminos or tamari also work) 

1-2 tbsp water

to garnish 

Fresh coriander, rocket and lemon

method

1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.

2. Wash the potatoes and place them on a baking tray lined with tin foil or a baking sheet. Prick some holes in tarters with a fork. 

3. When the oven is ready, pop the potatoes in for about 45-60 minutes. Check them around the 45 minute mark by piercing them with a fork to see if they're ready. 

3. While the potatoes are roasting away, make the pasta. Boil a pot with hot water. Add the pasta and cook for about 6-8 minutes (depending on your pasta brand). 

4. Make the hemp seed & pecan nut sauce by mixing the pecan nut butter, nutritional yeast, lemon, hemp seeds, soy sauce and water in a small bowl. Mix until smooth. Add more water to thin it out if needed. 

5. Toast the walnuts over a high heat over the stove until lightly browned. Toss them frequently to ensure even toasting. 

6. Take the sweet potatoes out the oven and cut length ways down the center. Fill the middle with the pasta, a dollop of the sauce and a sprinkle of nuts. Top with fresh coriander, peppery rocket and a squeeze of lemon.