Roasted Sweet Potatoes Stuffed with Quinoa and Spinach

 

It’s no secret that we love sweet potatoes (sometimes we even have boxes for sale in the gym from a local farm!) so you definitely can’t go wrong with baking and stuffing them with other tasty ingredients! Not only is this dish is pretty to look at and packed with protein and fiber but it can even help you mark off the “meatless Monday” meal planning box too. Perfect for a side dish or even served as the entree, it’s sure to be a hit with sautéed spinach, quinoa, cranberries, feta and pecans piled on top.

 

Ingredients:

2 medium sized sweet potatoes
6 cups of baby spinach – roughly chopped
1 clove of garlic – minced
1 tbs olive oil
1½ cups of cooked quinoa
¼ cup of pecan pieces
¼ cup dried cranberries
1 to 2 ounces of feta cheese – diced
6 twists of black pepper from a pepper mill
A pinch of salt

 

Directions:

-Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
-Slice sweet potatoes evenly in half length wise. Coat them with a little olive oil and place face down on a parchment lined baking sheet.
-Roast sweet potatoes for 30 to 40 minutes until the sweet potatoes are tender and soft.
-I used pre-cooked quinoa that I had on hand. If you are making the quinoa, prepare ½ cup of dry quinoa as per the package instructions. I usually cook quinoa in vegetable broth or add a ½ a bouillon cube for extra flavor.
-While the sweet potatoes are roasting, add olive oil to a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add garlic and half the spinach and cook until wilted and then add the rest of the spinach to the pan and cook until it’s wilted – about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.
-Stir cooked quinoa, pecans, cranberries, black pepper and salt into spinach mixture.
-Gently toss feta into quinoa spinach mixture.
-When sweet potatoes are ready, remove from the oven and let cool slightly. Test for doneness – they should be soft and indent slightly when squeezed. If they are not done, put them back into the oven for an extra 5 or 10 minutes.
-Let the sweet potatoes cool slightly so they are easy to handle. With a small spoon, gently press down on the center of the sweet potatoes to create a small indentation that is the length of the sweet potato.
-Spoon quinoa and spinach mixture evenly over sweet potatoes and serve.

Notes:

-I cut the sweet potatoes in half and then roasted them – instead of roasting them whole.  I find it much easier to tell when the sweet potatoes are done this way.
-Place the sweet potatoes face side down while they cook.
-Try to slice the sweet potatoes evenly in half – so that they cook at the same rate.
-Sweet potatoes vary on how long they take to roast depending on their size. So start checking the sweet potatoes for doneness around 30 minutes.  They should be soft and cooked all the way through.  If they still feel firm, cook for another 5 or 10 minutes.
-I make a big batch of quinoa each week and keep it in the fridge to add to stir fries or salads.  I used it in this recipe.  By having pre-cooked quinoa on hand it makes this recipe even simpler to make.

Thank you, Green Valley Kitchen, for this week’s recipe!

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