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This healthy baked sweet potato with Moroccan lentils is a nutritionally-balanced one dish vegan meal that’s also drop-dead delicious.

Healthy baked sweet potato with Moroccan lentils

Meet our friend Gena. Some of you may remember her writing a post on A Couple Cooks a few years ago called 5 Tips for Balanced Eating. It started like this: “My name is Gena. I’m a food blogger, a vegan cookbook author, a nutritionist, and an RD-to-be. I’m also recovering from thirteen years of on-again, off-again anorexia and orthorexia.” Powerful words. In the years since then, Gena Hamshaw has become a dear friend. She’s the face behind the food blog The Full Helping, and author of three vegan cookbooks. Today we’re sharing a delicious recipe from her latest book, Power Plates: this healthy baked sweet potato with Moroccan lentils.

Related: Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes | Best Gluten Free Dinner Recipes

On disordered eating & healing

Gena works as a nutrition counselor and is completing her master of science degree in nutrition and education. I admire so many things about Gena: her ability to excel in so many things, her generous spirit, and her grit to persevere through professional and personal trials. (And of course her fabulous healthy baked sweet potato recipe!) But one of the things I admire most: her fearlessness and vulnerability to speak out about important topics to help others heal. Gena’s courage to talk about issues with food in a gentle and constructive way has touched the lives of thousands of people across the world. In the post she wrote for our site, she went to to say:

“Usually I say that I’m ‘recovered,’ not recovering. In a lot of ways, this is true: I’ve been weight-restored and physically healthy for many years now. I no longer engage in disordered eating patterns, I don’t have “fear foods,” and I don’t use restriction or dietary manipulation as a means of trying to exert control over my life. I love food—it’s probably my greatest passion—and I love to eat. 

But I couldn’t help but think that the word “recovered” may be a little too neat and tidy to describe the before-and-after of eating disorders. In a lot of ways, we’re always recovering from the struggle—even if recovery takes us to places where we feel more freedom and pleasure and peace than ever before. Part of embracing the ongoing journey of recovery, I think, is understanding that balance doesn’t just happen—it demands effort and consciousness, at least for some of us.”

When Gena and I met, I was struggling with my own issues of viewing food in a healthy way and understanding balance. Many times in the evenings I’d find myself raiding the pantry for anything made of sugar, stuffing myself and then falling into a cycle of guilt and shame. In Gena I found a champion of the cause of balanced eating: eating where food is both a source of pleasure and a source of nourishment, indulging when it feels right, and eating until you’re satisfied but not beyond the point of comfort.

Related: 15 Best Lentil Recipes | How to Cook Lentils

Power Plates | Gena Hamshaw | Healthy baked sweet potato with Moroccan lentils

About the book: Power Plates

What a pleasure it is today to share a recipe from Gena’s new cookbook, Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals! The concept of this book is unlike any other we’ve seen: every recipe is nutritionally balanced to make a complete meal in one dish. That means each meal has the key macronutrients of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins, so, you don’t need to worry about cooking up any side dishes or snacks. These recipes are complete meals altogether. This speaks right to Alex and my sweet spot of pretty simple cooking, since most nights it’s all we can do to make one main dish recipe.

Healthy baked sweet potato with Moroccan lentils

Making this healthy baked sweet potato recipe

The specific one-dish balanced meal we chose to taste? This healthy baked sweet potato recipe with Moroccan lentils! And my, is this vegan lentil recipe exceptional! The sweet potatoes are baked until moist and tender. Then they’re layered with lentils that are mixed with Moroccan flavors: cumin seeds, cinnamon paprika and harissa, and veggies. To top it all off: a creamy lemon tahini sauce brings it all together. The vibrant sweet potatoes against the savory spiced lentils are the perfect match: drop-dead delicious! Alex and I loved this new take on one of our favorite vegetables.

Another lovely thing about this cookbook is that it was photographed by our dear friend, Ashley McLaughlin. We couldn’t be happier to get our hands on the fantastic work of two of our very favorite people. Congratulations, Gena, on an incredible book: we know it will be dog-eared for years to come!

Want more on lentils?

Order the book

Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals by Gena Hamshaw

This healthy baked sweet potato recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, plant based, dairy free, naturally sweet, and sugar free.

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Moroccan Sweet Potatoes | A Couple Cooks via Power Plates

Healthy Baked Sweet Potato with Moroccan Lentils


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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x

Description

This healthy baked sweet potato with Moroccan lentils is a nutritionally-balanced one dish vegan meal that’s also drop-dead delicious.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 cup dried brown or pardina lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 15-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste, or 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups firmly packed baby spinach
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • ½ cup Lemon Tahini Sauce, to serve
  • Fresh cilantro, to serve

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 450°F.
  2. Cook the sweet potatoes: Go to Quick Baked Sweet Potato or Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the lentils according to the package instructions. Drain well.
  4. Dice the onion. Mince the garlic
  5. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the cumin seeds and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the seeds start to pop. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender and translucent. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook, stirring frequently, for 1 to 2 minutes, until the garlic is fragrant. Decrease the heat to low and stir in the lentils, ginger, cinnamon, paprika, harissa, and salt, then stir in the spinach. Cook, stirring frequently, until the spinach has wilted, adding water by the 1⁄4 cup if needed to prevent sticking (about 1 to 2 minutes). Stir in the pomegranate molasses, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
  6. Make the Lemon Tahini Sauce.
  7. Use a fork to coarsely mash the flesh of the sweet potatoes, still in the skin. Place two halves on each serving plate and top them with a generous scoop of the lentils. Serve right away, with a drizzle of the tahini sauce and torn cilantro leaves.

Notes

Reprinted with permission from Power Plates, copyright © 2018 by Gena Hamshaw. Published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Moroccan

Looking for vegan recipes? 

Are you looking for vegan dinner recipes? Outside of this healthy baked sweet potato recipe, here are a few of our favorite simple dinner vegan recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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21 Comments

  1. Marie says:

    Fabulous! This is the 2nd recipe I made on your site. I am very impressed. 2 winners. Unique but not too different (my daughter & husbsnd gave it thumbs up). I did bake yams for 90 min whole. I think it brings out the sweetness of them more. Otherwise, I followed it exactly. I am not a vegetarian but this is starting to convince me that eating healthier is not that hard. Thank you!






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed! Thanks for making :)

  2. aricka says:

    We just ate these for dinner. I’m trying to get more legumes into our diet. My husband wasn’t quite sure at first, but he said the flavor grew on him (not a SAD flavor combination, for sure). By the end of dinner he had cleaned his entire plate! Love the lemon-tahini sauce. it really adds a kick that’s kind of addicting. I’m thinking frozen banana ice cream with lemon sauce incorporated…somehow?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Haha! Sound glad you enjoyed :)

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