Super flavorful vegetarian stuffed sweet potato recipe. Tangy salsa verde sauteed kale and tofu loaded into a sweet potato and topped with avocado and sour cream. A quick and healthy vegetarian weeknight meal the whole family will love!
I am on a mission this year to truly show you how easy healthy eating can be! On. A. Mission.
I hear it all the time from client, “I don't have time to cook, I don't know what to make, I am overwhelmed by dietary dogmas and eating decisions!”
I get it.
It can feel daunting and overwhelming, but the truth is you CAN have a healthy dinner on the table in no time flat. You can lean into simple wholesome food, that isn't complicated or confusing, and (most importantly) that tastes delicious!
Yes, it will require some thought and preparation, but the payoff is HUGE!!
Today, I am sharing one of my go-to quick and easy healthy meals. Vegetarian stuffed sweet potato. This recipe is full of healthy kale, and protein-rich tofu, a ton of flavor from spices and tangy salsa verde! Loaded with antioxidants and the perfect balance of macronutrients; healthy complex carbohydrates, protein (16g/serving), and healthy fat.
INGREDIENTS YOU NEED TO MAKE VEGETARIAN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES:
- Sweet potatoes – Use any variety you like, purple sweet potatoes, yams, all will work equally well.
- Extra-firm tofu – The various distinctions of tofu; silken, soft, firm, or extra firm, make a huge difference in various recipes. Extra-firm tofu will hold its shape in this recipe and have a toothsome texture.
- Kale – I prefer Lacinato kale in this recipe but honestly any kind will work. Actually, any green at all will work – feel free to sub spinach, collard greens, or swiss chard.
- Onion, garlic – If you are low-fodmap you can absolutely use just a bit of scallion instead
- Salsa verde – You can make your own, Gimme Some Oven has a great recipe for salsa verde. I use a jar, store-bought, Trader Joe's Salsa Verde.
- Spices: cumin, garlic powder, and smoked paprika
- Toppings (all optional): avocado, sour cream, lime, extra salsa verde
TOOLS YOU'LL NEED FOR THIS RECIPE:
Let's get cooking!
HOW TO MAKE VEGETARIAN STUFFED SWEET POTATOES:
- Begin by cooking sweet potatoes – you can roast in the oven, my preferred method, or if you are in a time crunch the microwave works quite well. I've also been loving sweet potatoes in the air fryer, the skin gets nice and crispy!
- Make your filling – I do this while the sweet potatoes are in the oven, always maximize your time in the kitchen! This filling is a quick saute of healthy veggies, vegetarian protein (tofu) and lots of spice.
- Stuff – Split your sweet potato in half, mash the potato a bit with a fork and then load in the filling.
- Top! – I am here for the toppings! All the toppings. Sour cream? YES. Avocado? Have you met me? More salsa verde? Bring on the sauces. Lime juice? It makes everything better!
- Vegan – remove the sour cream topping
- Paleo – remove the tofu, add ground turkey. Remove the sour cream.
- Whole30 – Use a Whole30 approved salsa verde, or make your own. Remove the tofu. Remove the sour cream.
- Gluten-free – make the recipe as is!
- Low Fodmap – Eliminate onion and garlic, use 1/4 cup sliced green scallion instead. Use this recipe for low-fodmap salsa verde.
NUTRITION NERD CORNER:
Let's take a quick minute to break down one of the ingredients in this recipe. Tofu. Is it good for you?
Tofu, also called bean curd, is made by boiling down soy milk to separate the curds. The curds are then pressed into a block, voila, tofu!
WHAT'S THE DEAL WITH SOY?
Soy gets a bad rap these days and I think it deserves a little more attention and consideration.
Soy protein and isoflavones (phytoestrogens) have been touted for their potential role in improving risk factors for cardiovascular disease. Soy is also an excellent vegetarian source of protein, but the benefits of soy do not come without criticism.
- By 2012 over 94% of soy grown in the United States was Genetically Modified. This means that not all soy is created equal. First and foremost when you are buying soy products you must buy organic to ensure it is not Genetically Modified (source)
- Over 2000 soy research papers are published each year, but there is a great divide between research done on isolated soy supplements (isoflavone research) and soy foods. You cannot assume that research on the effects of soy foods can be generalized to isoflavone supplements. In other words, when soy is studied as a traditional food (i.e. tempeh, miso, tofu) some beneficial/protective effects have been found, including reduced risk of breast cancer (study). However, there is very little data to support the use of isolated soy phytochemicals (study).
- All of this to say that not all soy is created equal and soy is a highly debated topic. I am personally in favor of using some fermented soybean products (like tempeh) as fermented soy contains secondary metabolites that may have additional beneficial physiological effects beyond soy itself.
- The dose matters! Serving size of tofu is 1/4 of a block, this is actually quite a bit. If you are using fake soy meat, and drinking soy milk, and having tofu daily…well then yes, you are probably consuming too much soy and it may not be supportive. A little bit of soy, like organic tofu, is an excellent way to get in the benefits of a plant-based protein without overdoing it.
- If you are sensitive to soy then don't eat it 🙂
MORE STUFFED SWEET POTATO IDEAS AND VARIATIONS:
You can add just about anything to a sweet potato and make it a quick and easy meal. Here are some ideas:
- Southwestern Stuffed Sweet Potato – beans, kale, and zucchini make this a hearty and delicious lunch or dinner
- Sloppy Joe Stuffed Sweet Potato – one of my all-time favorite ways to stuff a sweet potato. You can follow my easy healthy sloppy joe recipe or my smoky sloppy joe recipe.
- Any combination of beans and grain works quite well! Like this Mediterranean farro salad or tabouli salad
HOW TO MEAL PREP STUFFED SWEET POTATOES:
This is a great recipe for meal prep! Here are some ways to make this recipe meal prep friendly
- Bake the sweet potatoes in advance. Make extra! Perfect for quick meals or snacks all week long. Side note: have you tried breakfast sweet potato? OMG, drizzle almond butter, sliced banana, top with hemp seeds and a drizzle of honey – heaven!
- Make the filling and store separately from the sweet potato. I store the kale and tofu saute in a large glass-lock container (I am making a real effort to eliminate plastic Tupperware from my kitchen) and scoop out when I'm ready.
- Prep your toppings, i.e. slice a lime and have avocado/ greek yogurt or sour cream at the ready, but save those toppings for when you are ready to eat!
- Warm, top, eat! – when you are ready to eat simply warm your sweet potato and filling, top with all of the deliciousness and dig in!
I hope you love this vegetarian stuffed sweet potato recipe! If you make it be sure to tag me, @abrapappa on Instagram so I can see your masterpiece!
Vegetarian Stuffed Sweet Potato with Kale and Tofu
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 tbsp avocado oil or olive oil
- 1 medium onion sliced
- 1 large zucchini diced into 1" pieces
- 5 cloves garlic sliced
- 1 lb extra firm tofu
- 1 large bunch lacinato kale
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 cup salsa verde
- 1 tbsp fresh lime juice juice from 1/2 lime
- sour cream
- salsa verde
- fresh cilantro
- fresh lime juice
- This recipe makes 4 serving, one serving equals 1/2 sweet potato with filling. Nutritional information does not include toppings.
- Preheat oven to 425°
- Prepare sweet potatoes by rinsing well and then pat dry. Using a fork poke holes all around the sweet potato. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle generously with coarse salt. Roast in oven for 35-45 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from oven and set aside.
- In the meantime prepare filling. In a large skillet over medium heat saute onion and garlic in avocado oil until translucent, 4 minutes.
- Add zucchini, cubed tofu, and dried spices. Cook for an additional 4 minutes, stirring gently to not break up the tofu. Add salsa verde and chopped kale, cover for 3-4 minutes. Cook until kale has just wilted, add lime juice, stir well and set aside.
- Assemble: Slice sweet potatoes in half horizontally and gently mash the flesh making room for your filling. Arrange sweet potatoes on a platter and fill each half generously with the tofu - kale filling. Top with sliced avocado, a dollop of sour cream, extra salsa verde, fresh cilantro, and additional lime.
- You can roast the sweet potato ahead of time and just warm when you are ready to eat.
- You can also cook the sweet potatoes in the microwave, but I far prefer the texture of a sweet potato roasted in the oven and think it is worth the extra time.
- You will have extra kale/tofu mixture, you can either make more sweet potatoes and stretch the filling or load on extra to each serving (my preference).
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