One Potato, Sweet Potato

A Mediterranean-style baked potato

So I have a confession to make; I have a food crush! I mean I have fallen in love with foods before, but this time it’s different. I get butterflies in my stomach when I see its beautiful sun-kissed color, and fall in love with it all over again every time I eat it. I’m sure you have already figured out what it is by the picture above. I, Mira Shah, have a crush on the sweet potato!!!

Recently, I have seen the sweet potato as the “cover girl” on many health food magazines, referred to as a superfood on cooking shows, and as the french fries next to my veggie burger at restaurants. A superfood is a nutrient-rich food which is beneficial for one’s health and well-being. The sweet potato is rich in Vitamins A and C, iron, potassium and much more. Compared to a regular, white potato, the sweet potato has less carbs and overall calories! What I love most about it is its versatility. It can be used as a savory or sweet side dish, filling for a pie, or you can let it shine on its own as the main dish. You can whip, mash, cut, roast, bake, steam, fry or prep them anyway your heart desires.

As I was searching for yummy recipes using sweet potatoes, I came across this one:

I was immediately inspired to recreate it, but with my own twist☺ Here is what I came up with:

Mediterranean-Style Baked Sweet Potato

For the potato:

  • 4 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 1 15 oz can of chickpeas (rinsed, drained and dried)
  • cumin, paprika, cayenne, cinnamon, oregano, salt, black pepper
  • olive oil

For the garlic-yogurt sauce:

  • 3 spoons hummus (I used the classic Sabra brand)
  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • juice of 1/2 of lemon
  • 1/2 tspn dried dill
  • salt and black pepper
  • water to thin out sauce to a consistency you like

For the garnish:

  • 2 plum tomatoes chopped
  • handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • salt and black pepper
  • squeeze of lemon juice
You can also use fresh dill instead of dried dill, but you will need to add more to get the flavor.

Preparation of the Garlic-yogurt sauce:

Combine all the ingredients for the sauce and set aside so all the flavors can merry. You might need to adjust how much yogurt and water you add depending on how thick/thin you want your sauce.

Preparation of the Garnish:

Mix all the ingredients for the tomato-parsley garnish and set aside. Make sure to season with salt and black pepper.

Preparation of the sweet potato and chick peas:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking dish with foil. Start by washing and scrubbing the sweet potatoes in water. Then cut them in half and poke holes with a fork throughout the flesh. Drizzle the flesh side with olive oil and season with salt and black pepper (remember to season with each step!). Place the sweet potatoes face down on the baking sheet.

After the chickpeas have been roasted in the oven for about 30 mins. They become crunchy and smokey flavored! I made extra to eat on their own like nuts☺

Take the prepared chickpeas, toss with all the spices, olive oil and scatter them on the other side of the baking dish depending on how big the dish is.

Place the baking dish in the oven for about 25–30 minutes until the sweet potatoes are fork tender and the chickpeas become crunchy.

Right before they went into the oven to bake. Make sure you place the sweet potatoes face down!

After the chickpeas and potatoes are done baking, it’s now time for the assembly! Take 2 halves of a sweet potato and slightly mash the flesh inside the skin with a fork so you can top them with all the goodness. Then drizzle the garlic-yogurt sauce on the potato, top with roasted chickpeas, tomato-parsley garnish, and a little more of the garlic-yogurt sauce. Serve with a lemon wedge☺

You can eat the skin if you want, but I just scooped the flesh out with each bite. As I took my first bite, my mouth was immediately hit with the tanginess from the garlic-yogurt sauce, the smokiness from chickpeas, the zestiness from the lemon, the freshness from the parsley, the herbaciousness from the dill, and of course the sweetness from the sweet potato. So go ahead and VEG OUT…I promise you will have a food crush too;)

VOILA! Dinner is served☺
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