Moroccan Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Dressing

Moroccan Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Dressing | A Couple Cooks via Power Plates

Moroccan Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Dressing | A Couple Cooks via Power Plates

Power Plates | Gena Hamshaw

I’d like to introduce you to 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. At the same time, she works as a nutrition counselor and is completing her master of science degree in nutrition and education. (Talk about rockstar!) 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. 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.

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 I’ve seen and I’m very excited about the concept! Every recipe contains the key macronutrients of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and proteins, which together make for a complete meal in one dish. 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. Gena’s book makes sure that each recipe is nutritionally balanced on its own.

Of course we would pick a recipe with sweet potatoes…and these Moroccan sweet potatoes are exceptional! The sweet potatoes are topped with lentils mixed with cumin seeds, harissa, and veggies, then smothered in 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! This recipe is similar in style to things that Alex and I make on the regular, and we 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.

PS Exciting news: Gena and I will be co-hosting a cooking demo event in late February in NYC to share Power Plates and Pretty Simple Cooking with you! Stay tuned for more.

Order the book! > Power Plates: 100 Nutritionally Balanced, One-Dish Vegan Meals by Gena Hamshaw

Looking for vegan recipes? 

Are you looking for vegan dinner recipes? Here are a few of our favorite simple dinner vegan recipes:

This recipe is…

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

Moroccan Sweet Potatoes | A Couple Cooks via Power Plates

Moroccan Sweet Potatoes

1 Star (1 votes, average: 5.00 out of 1)

  • Author: a Couple Cooks
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 4


Looking for vegan recipes? These Moroccan sweet potatoes from Power Plates are a nutritionally-balanced one dish vegan meal that’s also drop-dead delicious.


For the sweet potatoes

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 cup (200 g) dried brown or pardina lentils, rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small white or yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 2 tomatoes, chopped, or 1 (14.5-oz, or 411-g) can diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated or minced fresh ginger, or 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon harissa paste, or 1 teaspoon ground chili powder
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 cups (120 g) firmly packed baby spinach
  • Water, as needed
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • 1⁄2 cup (125 ml) Everyday Lemon Tahini Dressing (see recipe below)
  • Optional: Chopped fresh parsley, chopped fresh cilantro, snipped fresh chives or chopped scallions

For the Everyday Lemon Tahini Dressing

  • 1⁄4 cup (60 ml) warm water, plus more if desired
  • 1⁄4 cup (60 g) tahini (or more, see note)
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
  • 1⁄8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C) and line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the sweet potatoes on the lined baking sheet and prick each several times with a fork. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, until fork-tender.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the lentils according to the package instructions. Drain well.
  3. 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 (60 ml) if needed to prevent sticking. Stir in the pomegranate molasses. Taste and adjust seasonings if desired.
  4. Make the Everyday Lemon Tahini Dressing: Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk until evenly blended. If the dressing is thicker than you’d like, whisk in water by the tablespoonful to achieve the desired consistency. **Note: We had to add several more dollops of tahini to get the sauce to come together, as our tahini was fairly loose. The exact quantities will depend on the brand of tahini. Makes 2/3 to 3/4 cup; store in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the dressing will keep for 1 week.
  5. Cut each sweet potato in half and use a fork to coarsely mash the flesh, 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 dressing and the optional fresh herbs.


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

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About the Authors

Sonja Overhiser

Cookbook Author and writer

Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.

Alex Overhiser

Cookbook Author and photographer

Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.


  • Reply
    January 22, 2018 at 2:13 pm

    What a lovely, generous post, Sonja. It means so much to know that my reflections on my own process with food spoke to you at a moment when you were making peace with food in your own way. These issues are so much easier to face with each other’s love and support.

    And speaking of support, thank you for a beautiful review of Power Plates! I’m thrilled that you like the recipes and that this one in particular called out to you :-) Of course you made it look pretty and simple and delicious!!!


    • Reply
      January 28, 2018 at 11:50 pm

      I couldn’t agree more about love and support in the journey; you’re such a beacon of light for so many! We’re so happy to have Power Plates as part of our cookbook collection, and we couldn’t pass up Moroccan OR sweet potatoes :) Love you, friend! xxoo

  • Reply
    January 22, 2018 at 2:56 pm

    this is such an inspiring post. i have been struggling with eating disorders for so long but this gives me some hope that there is a life after this. one day, i’ll be able to eat like this without thinking about it. thanks to you and gena for sharing.

    • Reply
      January 28, 2018 at 11:48 pm

      Thank you for sharing about your journey! Gena’s work is so important and has given hope to me and many others. The post I referenced that she wrote about balanced eating has some very helpful guidance — let me know if you check that out too. Sending big love to you today.

  • Reply
    January 23, 2018 at 12:57 am

    Yum! Sounds delicious!

  • Reply
    January 26, 2018 at 2:36 am

    The recipe sounds delicious but one question… What are pomegranate molasses??

    • Reply
      January 28, 2018 at 11:36 pm

      It’s reduced pomegranate juice; you can buy it online or you may find it in an international aisle. We omitted it and the recipe was incredible without!

  • Reply
    Village Bakery
    January 28, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    Thanks for sharing this recipe – especially for the dressing. Can’t wait to give it a try!

    • Reply
      January 28, 2018 at 11:34 pm

      You’re so welcome! Hope you enjoy it.

  • Reply
    February 14, 2018 at 11:25 pm

    I just made the Moroccan Sweet Potato with Tahini dressing and it was delicious. Thanks💕

    • Reply
      March 14, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      Thank you for letting us know! Gena is such a fantastic recipe developer!

  • Reply
    February 19, 2018 at 5:39 pm

    had missed this recipe until now, love sweet potatoes and this one is really different than the sweet potatoes I’ve made (usually just a substitute for russet potatoes, whole or scalloped), love all of the other stuff like lentils and tahini, a meal unto itself, thank you!

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