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Turn one nutrient-rich sweet potato into two courses: dinner and dessert

You don’t have to choose sides with Sweet Potato Two Ways. You can have dessert and dinner.

Associated Press

You don’t have to choose sides with Sweet Potato Two Ways. You can have dessert and dinner.

The kitchen is my happy place, which is a good thing, because I spend a lot of time in it. It seems I'm always either developing recipes or cooking them for a camera. And then there's the not-so-small matter of cooking for my husband and four daughters every day. Truly, I love it.

But today I'm sharing with you what I make when I'm alone. When I'm by myself, I like something easy to make and comforting, without being junky. I turn to one of my favorite ingredients, one that falls lower on my husband's list: sweet potatoes.

Sweet potatoes are full of vitamins, especially A and C, and minerals. They have filling fiber and even a couple of grams of protein per medium 95-calorie spud. Before you panic about all the sugars, relax a little, because that full potato has about 7 grams of sugar. And, I'm going to make a dinner and a dessert out of it.

Here's the plan, which involves little actual cooking: Poke a few holes into a sweet potato and bake it until tender. Once it's cooked, slice it in half, cut a slit down the center of each half and top with just the tiniest bit of coconut oil or butter. (You can skip this part if you are watching fat intake, but even a smidge of coconut oil adds a ton of flavor.)

Sprinkle one side with cinnamon and top with fresh fruit and chopped nuts or seeds. Add a drizzle of maple syrup if you are feeling fancy. Sprinkle the other side with a little spice, like chipotle powder, cumin and hot paprika. Then top with drained canned beans, lentils, chopped leftover chicken or shrimp and something crunchy like pepitas or cashews. Place the two halves on the same plate and there you have a two-course meal.


1 medium orange sweet potato

1 teaspoon coconut oil, divided


¼ teaspoon curry powder

¼ teaspoon paprika

3 tablespoons cooked black beans, rinsed and drained

1 tablespoon chopped cashews

1 tablespoon chopped cilantro

Pinch of kosher salt

½ cup baby spinach or other greens

Juice of ¼ lime


teaspoon ground cinnamon

¼ medium banana, sliced

1 tablespoon sliced almonds

1 teaspoon maple syrup

Pinch kosher salt

Juice of ¼ lime

Prick the potato skin three or four times with a fork and bake until tender, about 50 minutes at 350 degrees. (Or microwave until tender, about 8 minutes, turning over halfway through cooking.) Slice the sweet potato in half lengthwise and cut a slit in each half. Divide the coconut oil between the two potatoes and allow to melt into the flesh.

For the savory potato: Sprinkle it with curry and paprika and top with beans, cashews, cilantro and salt. Place on top of the spinach and squeeze lime juice over everything.

For the dessert potato: Sprinkle it with cinnamon and top with banana slices, almonds, maple syrup, salt and lime juice. Optional: If the oven is still hot, place the dessert potato in it for 5 minutes, just to caramelize the bananas a little. Place next to the savory potato and enjoy your two-course meal.

Makes 1 serving.

Nutrition information per serving (savory option): 305 calories (88 calories from fat), 10g fat (3g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 567mg sodium, 52g carbohydrates, 19g fiber, 11g sugar, 12g protein.

Nutrition information per serving (sweet option): 183 calories (28 calories from fat), 3g fat (0g saturated, 0g trans fats), 0mg cholesterol, 282mg sodium, 37g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 15g sugar, 4g protein.

Turn one nutrient-rich sweet potato into two courses: dinner and dessert 06/08/17 [Last modified: Thursday, June 8, 2017 10:35am]
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