Snow, skiing, sledding- winter is here! And it feels so comforting. I am not usually ready for the cold but after spending last year in California and having what felt like a year of summer, I am ready for a change of seasons. big sweaters, puffy jackets, warm drinks and cooked meals. I am a bit of a homebody and I love settling in my house in the evenings with my family playing board games, dancing, cooking and snuggling on the couch.
Winter is also the time for warming food. While I love smoothies and raw salads, come winter I crave soups, stews and hot meals. Eating with the seasons is important for good health and this meal is perfect for a winter evening.
This dinner can be ready in about 30 minutes, give or take.
And it’s nutritious! Sweet potato skins are full of fiber, potassium, and high levels of beta carotene and vitamins C and E, giving it superfood status. If you have been peeling the skins off your sweet potatoes all these years, it’s time to leave that step out. Just make sure to give them a good scrub!
Surprised to see bacon on the ingredient list? We all love bacon, even vegetarians. I mean, let’s be honest. The only thing that might be better than bacon is chocolate. Not all bacon is created equal so choose bacon from pasture raised pig rather than one fed a diet corn and soy. ( We meat eaters have a responsibility to eat animals that are raised well and by farmers who practice responsible farming.) Bacon has a lot of fat but 50% of that fat is monounsaturated and in in the form of oleic acid, which is what makes Olive Oil so healthy. And about 40% is saturated fat, which we now know is not what causes heart disease. We eat bacon in my house, in moderation. I would much rather see my kids eat a couple slices of bacon in the morning that will keep them full and satiated than a bowl of processed cereal with added sugar that won’t fill them up or nourish them. Organic, pasture raised bacon is a good source of protein and like most us of, my kids LOVE it!
And it goes so well with potato skins. I have been thinking about making a healthier skin for a long while. Filled with spinach, sweet potato shavings, bacon and onion, it kinda like a “party in your mouth”, a phrase my little girl used to say.
- 2 small - medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean
- 2 slices organic bacon, chopped
- 1 tbsp organic butter/ghee
- 1/4 red onion, diced (about 1/2 cup diced onion)
- 2 cups organic spinach, chopped (about 3 oz)
- 1/2 cup chicken broth, or water
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- Garnish with green onions and cheddar cheese
- Add a poached egg
Heat oven to 425. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Cut the sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and using a spoon, scrape out the center sweet potato flesh so you have a nice cavity to fill. Set sweet potato shavings aside in a small bowl.
Place the 4 sweet potato halves on a lined baking sheet. Brush the top and bottom with butter. Bake for about 20 minutes, until soft and slightly browned.
Meanwhile, in a small pan cook bacon for about 8 minutes until browned. Remove from pan and place on plate with a paper towel to soak up the grease.
In a medium saucepan, add the rest of the melted butter and saute onions over medium heat for 5 minutes, until soft. Add sweet potato shavings, salt and nutmeg. Stir. Saute for 3-4 minutes. Add spinach and chicken broth and cook for 2-3 minutes, until spinach has wilted and broth has evaporated, stirring several times. Add bacon and mix together.
Scoop about 1/4 cup of the spinach mixture onto each sweet potato.
Optional: Sprinkle each with a little cheddar cheese and green onion and bake for another 2 minutes, until cheese has melted.