This recipe has been a treasure for a long time now. In fact, I must have thought it was so good, I unknowingly created two different “loaded sweet potato” versions of it a few months apart. This mash-up (no pun intended) is the best of both! Crunchy toasted cashews, sweet onions, broccoli, and melt-in-your-mouth twice baked sweet potato. It’s everything you ever wanted in a dinner! Throw a little quinoa or steamed veggies on the side and it’s a party! Did I mention they reheat well, too?
I scream, you scream…
In other news, this week is a very special one for me…my birthday week! Which, actually, if we’re being honest, isn’t particularly different than any other week. Although my friends have been surprising me with dinners/lunches to my favorite restaurants, so that has been wonderful. Anyone who knows me at all knows that my love language is “quality time,” so those types of gifts mean more to me than anything you could buy at the store.
This statement could be matched, though, by the extra special custom made gift given to me/Sharing Every Bite. I’ll be posting a picture of this kick-ass present on my actual birthday (Thursday the 5th) on Instagram.
As for my actual birth-day, I’ll be volunteering like usual and then scurrying all over town for any of the gluten-free and vegan birthday freebies….there’s bound to be at least one. I’ll be sure to post a little update on which local and national companies “make the cut.” Then, we’re bringing the party to my favorite country bar, Moonshine for some two-stepping and (for me, sober) shenanigans. Dancing is enough of a thrill, no alcohol required. 😉
I spy with my little eye
Earlier this week, I decided to treat myself to a little early B-day present: Canon Speedlite 430EX ll. Which if you aren’t familiar with spiffy camera equipment, is a fancy pants external flash for even more photography adventures. Now, I am no longer limited to the daylight hours. AWOOOOO! (My wolf cry, in case you were wondering. lol) My photographer-in-crime, Matt has been persuading me to do some light painting/stars/constellation photography for what seems like ages now (note: it’s been about 3 weeks, so “ages”) and I can FINALLY go out and get those shots. Now, I’ll just need to save my pennies and dimes, or sell my liver on the black market so I can get this lens. It costs just about as much as my life, so it may be a while. Buuuuut…. it is my birthday this week, ya know. (Hint, hint. lol)
Among all this photography, blogging, food-making, and birthday festivities, I’m now in my second week of my second personal assistant job. So to say my schedule is all over the place and then turned upside down….well, that’s pretty accurate. Still, I see great things on the horizon with both the PA jobs, the professional relationships being built, and the next steps at Coplex. Which, if you haven’t heard of these guys, you MUST do so now. But anyway, as I’ve said before, these opportunities have been nothing less than the biggest of blessings, and it puts a huge smile on my face every day to think of the phenomenal things God has in store.
And now for the loaded sweet potato recipe you’ve been waiting for!
*Note: this ingredients list is for ONE loaded sweet potato. Please double as many times as needed to make a bigger batch for later meals. I made 5 sweet potatoes today and followed these same instructions.
Twice Baked Loaded Sweet Potato
- 1 lg. sweet potato (at least 5 inches long)
- 1/2 c. broccoli
- 1/2 medium red onion (minced)
- 1 small handful of spinach
- 1-2 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1/4 c. cashews
- 1-2 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 tsp. cumin
- 1/4 tsp. regular paprika
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 425°F.
- Prepare sweet potatoes by scrubbing well with soap and water.
- Let dry before brushing with olive oil and sprinkling with salt. Cut a slit (long ways) in the center of the sweet potato and bake for 50-60 minutes on a lightly greased cooking sheet.
- While the sweet potato is in the oven, prepare broccoli by cutting into small pieces, minced red onion, cut spinach into ribbons, and mince your garlic.
- Sauté these ingredients on the stove at medium-high heat with 1/2-1 Tbs. olive oil for 5-10 minutes. I like to sautee the onions and garlic first to really bring out those flavors, and then add broccoli and cover for the majority of the time. I add spinach at the last minute just long enough for it to wilt. Set these ingredients aside in a separate bowl.
- When the sweet potato is finished, set aside on another plate to cool.
- With a small amount of olive oil, coat the cashews and toast in the oven for 3-5 minutes on the same cooking sheet. Take extra care not to burn.
- When the sweet potato has cooled, take a spoon and carefully scoop out the insides. Make sure to leave enough that the skin stays intact. (You’ll be filling it again.)
- Mix the filling ingredients and sweet potato together and scoop back into the potato.
- Bake for another 10 minutes at 425°F and top with cashews before serving.
I hope you thoroughly enjoy these delectable sweet potatoes. Take care not to burn the first batch of cashews like I did, and you can’t go wrong!