vegetarian lunch

Nine - Ingredient Yummy Stuffed Sweet Potato: A Vegetarian Prep-Ahead Meal

Stuffed mediterranean sweet potato.JPG

Hi there! So, last week was a busy one! Lot’s of projects due and presentations and program wrap-ups and then we went to Scottsdale for one of my best friend’s wedding. I’m so glad that I did my meal planning the weekend before because there certainly wasn’t lots of brain space left to figure out dinner. One thing to note about my meal planning - there is nothing cookie cutter or perfect about them. I have a general plan that I could follow, but most weeks I actually go off course. This week my stuffed sweet potato was on the menu but I had actually planned to use slightly different ingredients. Then, when Monday came around, I had leftovers from dinner with friends the night before and, with that, a new idea. That is how this recipe came about that I’m sharing with you all today. It’s so SIMPLE!!! And it’s super tasty. It uses ingredients that, years ago, I would not have normally put together. However, after our trip to Israel this year I have become a little more adventurous with food and flavor combos.

This dish is a vegetarian option. However, it’s still packed with great stuff like complex carbs, vitamin A, iron, magnesium, some healthy fats and protein. I talk to so many people who think you have to eat meat to get your protein. Newsflash, you don’t! There are lots' of ways to get protein without eating meat. You may have to eat a little bit more of those foods because plant protein is not as easily absorbed in the body as animal protein, but, it can be done! For example, the 1/2 cup of chickpeas here provides about 7 grams of protein. then there are a couple of grams in the dressing and a gram or two in the potato. So, here is the recipe for my Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potato.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

NINE-INGREDIENT YUMMY STUFFED SWEET POTATO

Serves 1

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 medium sweet potato

  • 1/2 cup of Prepared Slaw (see recipe below)

  • 1/2 cup canned chickpeas, rinsed and drained

  • 2 tbsp hummus

  • 1 tbsp water

  • 1 tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice

SLAW INGREDIENTS (from Ina Garten):

  • One 10 oz. package of cabbage slaw

  • 2 tbsp fresh chopped dill

  • 1/4 cup white wine vinegar

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F.

  2. Poke holes in the sweet potato with a knife or tongs of a fork and place on a baking sheet. I usually use a fork and poke the holes in a line down the center (longways) of the potato, where I will end up slicing it once cooked.

  3. In a large bowl mix together the slaw, fresh dill and white wine vinegar. Cover and let sit, allowing all of the flavors to meld together. This can be done a day in advance. And for any of you who read my previous posts, this is from Ina Garten’s DELICIOUS salmon taco recipe.

  4. When the oven is preheated, place the sweet potato in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes to an hour, until when you poke the potato with a fork, the tongs come out easily and clean.

  5. You can either allow the potatoes to cool at this point and then wrap in foil and store in the refrigerator, or go ahead and prep them to eat.

  6. To continue prepping, whisk together the hummus, water and lemon juice in a small bowl.

  7. Open the potato so that there is room to pile the toppings on top.

  8. Add about half of the humus dressing followed by about a 1/2 cup of the slaw followed by the chickpeas followed by drizzles of the remaining hummus dressing. Serve and enjoy!

  9. If serving this later in the week, I prep my potato the night before or morning of, opening it and adding the slaw and chickpeas. I package the hummus dressing separately. At the office, I heat up the potato and then add the dressing once heated through. Easy peazy!

NUTRITION NOTES:

Sweet potato: vitamin A

Chickpeas: protein, folate, B vitamins, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese

Hummus: protein, healthy fats…

Slaw: fiber

Mediterranean Lunch Wrap

On a mission to keep lunches fueling and interesting yet easy, I started to brainstorm ideas for something I don't have many recipes for - wraps.  Always a fan of veggies, I loaded this week's wraps full of a variety of veggies, included some source of protein and added additional components to give it lots of flavor and keep it from being dry.

This wrap is loaded with so much goodness you should definitely give it a try.  The combination of carrots, and chickpeas, cucumber and lettuce give it that satisfying crunch that is then balanced by the smooth roasted red peppers and creamy hummus.  And that crumbled feta is the perfect salty counterpart to the sweet roasted red peppers and drizzles of balsamic vinaigrette.  

Fun fact - studies have found that the human brain's reward system is more stimulated when there are more senses being stimulated in a food.  Looking at sweets - it's why we tend to go for the more decadent desserts like the salted caramel toffee nut crunch ice cream..... with the hot and cold,  smooth and crunchy, sweet and salty - there is so much going on here! (To learn more about this you can check out the book Mindless Eating by Brian Wansink.  I find it extremely interesting!)    To me, this wrap does all of those things, but in a meal that fuels the body, the workday, and your workouts.

I hope this gives you a new fueling recipe to add to your collection or, as always, I hope that it at least inspires you to make some version of your own.

Happy Fueling!

Taylor

 

MEDITERRANEAN LUNCH WRAP

INGREDIENTS:

Mediterranean Lunch Wrap Prep.JPG
  • 1 whole wheat wrap (The warp pictured here is the Multi Grain with Flax variety from FlatOut)

  • 1/4 cup plain hummus (I used the Original Whole Foods variety. It's my fave!)

  • 1/4 cup shredded carrots

  • 1/4 cup quartered cherry tomatoes

  • 1/4 cup sliced & quartered cucumbers

  • 1/4 cup chopped roasted red peppers

  • 1/2 - 1 cup spinach & romaine mix

  • 1/4 cup canned chickpeas (rinsed and drained)

  • 1 - 1/2 tbs. crumbled feta

  • 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar or balsamic vinaigrette

  • OPTIONAL: ~2 oz. of your choice (1 - 2 chopped hardboiled eggs / 2 oz. chopped, shredded, or rotisserie chicken / cooked lean ground beef or lean ground chicken breast, or tofu)

Mediterranean Lunch Wrap 2.JPG



DIRECTIONS:

  1. Lay parchment paper out on a flat surface like your kitchen counter (need enough paper so that you can wrap your sandwich wrap in it).

  2. Lay wrap out flat onto parchment paper.

  3. Spread hummus evenly across middle area of wrap.

  4. Top wrap with the carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, spinach, and chickpeas - centering ingredients in the center of wrap.

  5. Top with crumbled feta cheese.

  6. Drizzle with balsamic.

  7. Roll up your wrap, cut in half and enjoy!

  8. To keep it from being super messy, or when I'm preparing this and then packing it for lunch that day, I wrap it in parchment paper to keep all the ingredients from spilling out before I get to eat it. I'm thinking a tutorial on how to wrap these wraps is soon to follow.... Enjoy!

NUTRITION NOTES:

Along with complex carbohydrate (mostly from the wrap & chickpeas), protein (from your protein of choice, chickpeas & whole-wheat wrap), and little fat (from your hummus & feta), this wrap provides you with some....

Roasted Red Peppers: vitamin C, fiber, vitamin A

Spinach:  vitamin C, folate, iron, calcium

Carrots:  vitamin A, fiber

Chickpeas (and hummus):  fiber, protein, iron, folate, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese

Cucumber: fluid and fiber

Feta:  protein, calcium, phosphorus