Kale and White Bean Stuffed Sweet Potato

Dinner is one of my favorite times of the day, an uninterrupted hour of catching up with my parents and younger sister in the midst of each of our action-packed days. Life can get crazy, and it becomes difficult to spend time each day with those who really matter. Dinner is a time for our family to talk about our days and make plans for the weekend over a hot, nutritious meal. I love helping my mom prepare healthy courses for the family which set aside dinner as a time not only for cleansing our minds but also bodies. Piping hot sweet potatoes stuffed with crunchy kale and flavorful white beans are one of my favorite dinners to make…and eat!

The original recipe for this post came from thekitchn.com but I adapted it for faster prep time. To begin, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add one can of cooked and drained white beans and let them sit for five minutes. Don’t forget to stir! White beans are classified as a “slow-digesting carbohydrate,” meaning the high fiber content these beans possess allow them to break down slowly in your body, keeping you fuller for longer. Even better, white beans produce alpha-amylase inhibitors which fight against the storage of energy as body fat. IMG_4155

Next you’ll need about 6 cups of kale cut into pieces about the size of salad lettuce. Add the kale to the saucepan on top of the beans and cover the pan. Let the mixture sit for about five minutes and stir occasionally. Kale adds an extra kick of nutrients to this dish: this super food is known for its cancer-preventing powers that result from a high content of vitamin C and antioxidant beta-carotene. A lesser known benefit of kale is that it is filled with easily-absorbed calcium which strengthens bones and wards off diseases like osteoporosis. Eat up!IMG_4156

Add in about a tablespoon of lemon juice and salt and pepper if desired. By now the beans should be warm and kale soft.

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During the kale and bean preparation, I usually go ahead and microwave four small sweet potatoes (one for each person). Make sure to poke holes in the potato with a fork prior to microwaving for approximately 7-10 minutes. Sweet potatoes are the perfect base for this meal. These orange veggies are high in potassium which lowers blood pressure, cholesterol and fat free, and boost immunities with a large dose of vitamin C. Slice the sweet potatoes the long way and stuff with the kale and bean mixture. Serve with grilled chicken, steak, quinoa, or anything else that sounds tasty. Enjoy!!!

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Ingredients:

Serves 4

4 sweet potatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups (or 1 can) cooked and drained white beans
6 cups kale cut into smaller pieces
Juice of 1/4 lemon
Salt and pepper

Directions:

In a large saucepan with a cover, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add cooked and drained white beans and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the kale on top of the beans, cover the pan, and cook for about 5 minutes (the kale should be soft). Stir in the lemon juice and add salt and pepper if desired.

While the kale and beans are cooking, poke holes with a fork in four sweet potatoes and microwave for 7-10 minutes. When both elements are ready, slice each sweet potato lengthwise and pull open, stuffing the beans and greens into the center. Happy eating!

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