This guest post is from our favorite ladies, Natalie and Holly, over at The Modern Proper. Their mission is to reinvent proper for the modern homemaker, one delicious meal at a time. Check out more of their delicious recipes here.
Hi. Allow me please to be the millionth person you’ve heard from this month to talk to you about how bad they ate all of December and let you know that the New Year means food and I are changing our relationship. It’s not you nachos, it’s me. No, actually it is you. You’re so tasty, but so not what my over-tired, over-indulged, over-sugared and salted self needs right now. No, what I need right now is a reset…so we are breaking up, a least for a little while (I never can stay away for too long).
So what’s my reset you ask? In a nutshell, it means clean eating. It could take the form of paleo, or whole 30, or vegetarianism (whatever floats your boat)…but essentially, it means watching what I put into my body, eating things that fuel me rather than weighing me down, and coming up with new ways to feed my family and eat amazing food in the process. It’s no small feat, but in my experience is so, so worth it to take the time to care for myself, adjust my cravings, curb bad habits, and enter the new year with an all-around healthier perspective, and these loaded sweet potatoes with chipotle cashew cream sauce are a great place to start.
I don’t know about you, but if I’m going to be successful at maintaining a healthy eating plan for any amount of time I cannot constantly feel deprived. Salads day after day just don’t cut it. It’s cold outside, and even though I don’t want junk, I still want cozy. It’s with that in mind that this dish was born. Kale sauteed with onions and garlic, fill perfectly fluffy sweet potatoes. I opt for extra protein and add grilled chicken, and then really kick up with the flavor with sliced avocado, cilantro, and an amazing homemade cashew chipotle cream sauce that is just about as easy to make as it is to eat. The result is a meal I’d eat any time of year but particularly appreciate now as I’m trying to make up for a lot of bad choices over the last couple of months.
Food (even “healthy” food) should bring joy. You’ll never sell me on an eating plan that deprives me of flavor and variety and it’s recipes like this one that makes me wonder why I ever strayed from my good eating habits to begin with. So, here’s to a reset and a fresh start, and here’s to some dang good meals I’ll be eating in the process.
Loaded Sweet Potatoes
4 medium garnet red sweet potatoes
4 cups grilled or roasted chicken, shredded OR rinsed chickpeas
4 cups loosely packed kale, roughly chopped and stems removed
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tbsp olive or coconut oil
1 tsp sea salt
chipotle cashew cream
chipotle cashew cream
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight in water
½ cup water
⅓ cup lemon juice
½ tsp sea salt (or more to taste)
2 tsp nutritional yeast
1 small chipotle pepper from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce
1 tsp adobo sauce from can of chipotle peppers
For the cashew cream, place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend for 7-10 minutes until smooth, scraping down sides occasionally. Adjust seasoning as you see fit. We like it a little on the spicier side, so you can always add more peppers to turn up the heat.
Store in an airtight container in your refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Preheat oven to 325°. Using a fork puncture a couple holes into the sweet potatoes and line them on a baking sheet. Cook the sweet potatoes for 60-75 minutes or until they can be pierced with a fork.
While the sweet potatoes are almost done cooking, heat the oil in medium skillet. Add kale and onions and stir until coated with oil. Allow to cook at medium to low heat until onions and kale are tender, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and salt and cook for 2 more minutes.
Using a sharp knife, make a long cut into the sweet potato and pull open. With a fork, fluff the inside of the sweet potato and begin to add the toppings. Start with the kale and onion mixture, then add chicken, sliced avocado, cilantro and chipotle cream.
Serve hot and enjoy!