Juicy baked lentil stuffed sweet potatoes are filled with kale and smoky chipotle-spiced lentils. Top them with some cashew sour cream, scallions and hot sauce, then devour!
You know how lots of people say they tend to have less of an appetite when it’s hot outside? Well, I’m not one of them. In fact, if anything, I tend to get hungrier during the summer months. I know, so weird, right? During the winter I have days where I could care less about food, but when it’s hot out, those are the days when by dinner time I’m ready to eat my laptop. I’m no expert, but I feel like it has to do with energy expenditure. I’m more energetic when there’s lots of sunlight, so perhaps I need more fuel?
Whatever the case may be, I suppose I feel the need to justify these big old lentil stuffed sweet potatoes, which might be a bit hearty for some folks tastes in June. I’ve no idea, but if there’s one thing I think we can all agree on, it’s that summer is a time for less work. Less work in the kitchen, less work on the laptop, a little more slacking and laying around, right? I try anyway.
Hot days in the summer are especially big slacker days in my world, so I made this one lazy afternoon when I probably should have been writing a patent application. It was toasty outside, I was having one of those distracted kind of days, and come mid-afternoon my fierce summer appetite was already kicking in, so I decided to switch things up and have some some kitchen time. Easy kitchen time. This recipe takes a while, but it’s very hands-off. Throw lentils into a pot, throw sweet potatoes in the oven. Total slacker food. Nothing to complicated to think about, but the result was no less delicious. By the time dinner rolled around it was already made and ready to go, so I got to slack even more.
Whip up a couple of these lentil stuffed sweet potatoes this afternoon, then kick back and enjoy them this evening.
Chipotle Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
For the Chipotle Lentil Filling
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 cup dried brown lentils
- 3/4 to 1 1/2 cups water
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 chipotle chili pepper, from a can, packaged in adobo sauce, finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp. adobo sauce, from the can containing the chipotle, to taste
- 1 tsp. ground cumin
- 1 tsp. maple syrup
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1/2 large or 1 small bunch kale, stemmed and torn into bite-sized pieces (optional)
For the Cashew Sour Cream
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked in water 4-8 hours and drained
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup water
- salt to taste
- 2 scallions chopped
- hot sauce
Preheat oven to 400°. Scrub sweet potatoes and puncture a few times with a sharp knife. Place directly on oven rack and bake until easily pierced with a knife, 40 to 60 minutes.
While sweet potatoes bake, prepare the filling. Coat the bottom of a medium saucepan with oil and place over medium heat. Add onion and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and sauté 1 minute more, until very fragrant. Add broth and lentils. Raise heat and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer, uncovered, until lentils are almost fully cooked, but just a bit firm and most of the broth has evaporated, about 30-35 minutes. You can add a bit of water during cooking if too much of the liquid evaporates.
Once lentils are cooked, add 3/4 cup water, tomato paste, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cumin, maple syrup, and kale, if using. Stir to incorporate and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, until lentils are fully cooked, sauce is thick, and kale is tender, about 10 minutes more. Add up to 1/2 cup of water during simmering if the sauce becomes too thick.
Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper to taste. Feel free to adjust the seasonings to your liking by adding a bit more cumin, maple syrup or adobo sauce.
Make the Cashew Sour Cream
While potatoes bake and lentils simmer, place cashews, 1/4 cup water, lemon juice and salt into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Thin with additional water as needed, then season with salt to taste.
Slice sweet potatoes open and stuff with lentil mixture. Drizzle with cashew sour cream, sprinkle with scallions and drizzle with hot sauce. Serve.