Meal Prep Madness: The Sweet Potato

Sweet Potato Image.jpg

Need more veggies in your life?

We thought so. (No shame — We could use more too.)

Planning for lunch can be such a task in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. We love the ease of grabbing a salad or a Fresh & Fast meal in our cafe… but, what about flexing your cooking muscles? (Or trying to grow your cooking muscles… All skill levels are welcome here.)

Let us introduce you to: THE SWEET POTATO

When you hear sweet potato, you may automatically think of the classic Thanksgiving side dish drowning in brown sugar and butter. That’s a thing, but it isn’t quite what we’re suggesting for lunch (…unless you want that. Then who are we to hold you back?). Sweet potatoes are so versatile, and with the right seasoning, prep, and pairing with other ingredients, you can fulfill any lunchtime craving while also upping your veggie intake. What kind of dishes are we talking about?

We love to make Sweet Potato Taco Bowls… Curried Sweet Potato Bowls… Cajun Sweet Potato Bowls… You get the idea! The list goes on and on. Whatever sweet potato path you take, we’re confident you’ll love what you create. Let’s go over the basics:

You’ll want at least 1 lb of sweet potatoes — so you can potentially have it for more than one day (meal prepping will save you time and money)! You’ll clean the sweet potatoes, peel them, and then cut them into 1”-2” cubes. You’ll throw them in a bowl and do a quick coating of olive oil (or whatever oil you prefer).

Now is the part where you decide what you’re going for…

Taco? Add:
1.5 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion Powder
Sprinkle of salt + pepper

Curry? Add:
1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Sprinkle of salt + pepper

Cajun? Add:
1.5 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon cayenne
Sprinkle of salt + pepper

Once you add your respective spices, you’ll stir the sweet potatoes to coat them. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper. Toss your spiced sweet potatoes onto the baking sheet and then place them in the oven for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, you’ll want to flip your sweet potatoes over and put them back in for another 10 minutes or until tender.

When we’re talking about lunch bowls: Be creative! We love to pair our spiced sweet potatoes with a number of fresh ingredients. Here are some of our favorites:

For our Taco Bowls, we pair with:
Cherry tomatoes
Fresh cilantro
Baby spinach
Chopped red onion
Canned corn (drained)
Black beans (drained and rinsed)
Fresh Salsa

For our Curry Bowls, we love:
Cooked quinoa
Steamed broccoli
Fresh basil
Soft boiled egg

And for our Cajun Bowls:
Chopped bell peppers (red, orange, yellow.. any color really. The more peppers the better!)
Grilled Chicken
Baby Spinach
Cooked brown rice
Your favorite hot sauce

Aren’t crazy about a particular pairing suggestion? Omit it! These tasty (and veggie packed!) bowls are your creation. If something else sounds better, go for it, but let us in on what worked for you!

tastesKate Metcalfe