6 Oct 2014

THE GLOW BOWL: baked sweet potato with pesto pasta, tomatoes + pumpkin seeds

I called this The Glow Bowl because all the ingredients are superb for your skin so it's gonna make you glow from the inside out (sweet potatoes, greens, pumpkin seeds, and whole grain pasta - click the foods for their skin benefits!) But that awesome aspect aside, this recipe is so damn DELICIOUS I don't even care about the nutrition it gives me. I was shovelling this in my mouth in between gasps of pleasure and exclamations such as: "I CANNOT BELIEVE HOW YUMMY YOU ARE!" Seriously, I must have looked 100% nuts, but again, I don't care. This meal tasted perfect and that's all my mind - and mouth - could focus on while I devoured it. I have a little story to tell you now.

I am the worst cook ever.

Up until about two weeks ago, I didn't know how to bake a sweet potato. Not the right way, I mean. Sure, I steamed them. Sure, I would cut them up and throw 'em in the oven until they were edible. Sure, I thought they were okay. But I wasn't enlightened yet. I had no idea you could bake a sweet potato whole and end up with a creamy, steaming, bright orange inside under the skin and you didn't need to use any oil. I have no idea how I have been alive for 21 years and a foodie for several of those without knowing this paramountly important information. It's a mystery on the same level as stone henge. Then everything changed. A couple of weeks ago Jack and I went to have dinner at his parents house while his grandma was visiting. She is one amazing lady who isn't afraid to speak her mind and teach you a thing or two. Let's just say she's been around the block of life. She is a camp cook so she's used to making huge amounts of food for hungry men, and making delicious food at that. She also knows how to make the best veggie burger on Earth, FYI. She has been to a few vegan restaurants with me and Jack and absolutely LOVED the food every time. She is more than respectable of our choice to live vegan. So when we went over for dinner, she had already prepared a special meal for us: rice, salad and baked sweet potatoes. She had the sweet potatoes wrapped up in tinfoil so they stayed warm. When we sat down and I opened mine up, I couldn't believe it. The whole sweet potato was soft and creamy, I could tear it open with a butter knife! Most of you are probably sitting here thinking "Duh, whole baked sweet potatoes are the bomb - how could she not have KNOWN!?" *shrug* I have no good answer but what I DO know is that I wanted to eat all three sweet potatoes she had baked (oh wait, I did), and I definitely stole most of Jack's. I asked her for the recipe, thinking it must be some complicated process only the best chefs understand. She said: "I just throw 'em in the oven at 450 until they're soft. No oil or anything." JAW DROP. Okay I could go on and on about how amazed I was and how joyous the rest of my baked sweet potato-filled life will be, but you get the gist. Baking a sweet potato whole in the oven has rocked my world, and I am forever grateful to Shirley for showing me the beta carotene light.

THE GLOW BOWL: baked sweet potato with pesto pasta, tomatoes + pumpkin seeds

The main stuff:
1 large sweet potato
8 ounces uncooked whole grain pasta
2-4 heirloom tomatoes
2 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

Kale pesto:
1 cup lacinato kale leaves
2 tablespoons basil leaves
1 tablespoon oregano leaves
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tablespoon miso
1-2 tablespoons lemon pepper infused coconut oil (see note)
Sea salt (optional)
1/4 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1/2 avocado
Water, as needed

To make the main stuff: preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Wash, scrub and dry the sweet potato, then poke holes in it with a fork. Set it on a baking sheet lined with tin foil and bake for 30 minutes, flip it over and bake for another 30 or so (although if your sweet potato is smaller you might just need the first 30 minutes). UPDATE: this actually works just fine if you have the oven at 350, and you don't HAVE to poke holes in the sweet potato or have it on tinfoil. Press it with a fork and make sure it's soft all the way through. Wrap in tinfoil and set aside. Cook the pasta according to directions on package. Slice the tomatoes. 

To make the kale pesto: put everything in your food processor and pulse/process until it begins to get the consistency of pesto. If it's too crumbly, add more water or oil as needed. Adjust according to taste. Coat the pasta in the pesto, then serve with the sweet potato and tomatoes, sprinkling with pepper and pumpkin seeds. Voila! 

Note: you don't HAVE to use that special coconut oil but it literally has magical properties so I recommend you get a jar of it. Otherwise you can just use normal coconut oil and add some lemon juice and black pepper to the pesto. I won't judge. 

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Anonymous said...

To bake a potato, you can just wrap it in tinfoil and stick it in the oven lol. You don't have to flip it or use a cookie sheet. To get the hot potato out of the oven, use tongs or an oven mitt. Easy peasy :)

The Yogi Vegetarian said...

Yep, baked sweet potatoes are delish; I recommend putting hazelnut butter on them!That kale pesto looks superb; I'm always looking for new ways to eat kale as I hate it cooked but like it raw. Thanks for that :)

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar said...

Mmm loving this big bowl of deliciousness! So yummy!

Michaell said...

Love the Kale pesto! Also, the name is pretty amazing, you are totally right! All that beta carotene will certainly cause a glow :)

jenlikesramen said...

Em - first of all you are an inspiration and I love your point of view and your blog!! I have a few tips for baking sweet potatoes, a) you really don't need to roast the potatoes at 450, i usually do them at 350 and it doesn't seem to take any longer. and b) i would skip the tin foil as well. i don't even use a cookies sheet or anything, i just put them straight into the oven, don't even pre-heat it. c) my fave way to eat them, smashed with a fork in the skin, topped with cinnamon and turmeric, sometimes with coconut oil too if i need a dose of fat. again much love for you and your blog <3

Linda at Veganosity said...

Hi Emily! I love the name of this dish! I am a sweet potato lover, they truly are the best! I wash mine, poke a few holes in the potato with a fork, wrap it in aluminum foil, and bake for an hour and 15 minutes at 375°. It will come out a little caramelized and perfect. Bake them on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet to save your oven from any spillage. For some reason the foil never holds in the juices. Go figure? Anyway, this dish is inspiring and has all of my favorite things. Thank you!

Steve Lassoff said...

This sounds wonderful! I am sharing this on pinterest.

screwdestiny said...

Yup, baked sweet potatoes are the best. They serve them every day in the all-vegan dining hall at my university, so on school days I usually eat at least one a day.

Unknown said...

I just made this for dinner and it is awesome! I have been vegetarian/vegan for over two years and I tend to fall into a root after a while. I think ur blog has just save me from one. I feel like buying a bunch of bananas and sweet potatoes in my next visit to the farmers market!

Natural Fertility Clinic said...

These will make me never want to eat out if I wanted to get me some baked sweet potato. These look wonderful.

Unknown said...

French fries have long had a bad reputation. It was a tasty and delicious indeed fit to eat while relaxing. However, if you consume too much, it's not a good thing. Here are 3 reasons why you should not eat fries.

Saturated Fat

Who can resist a hot dish of resep perkedel kentang french fries are served with mayonnaise or ketchup? But you know, in foods that are "good" that there are many bad fats or saturated fats. Indeed, anyway, not all types of fat is bad. There are also several types of fats that are good for health.

But the type of saturated fat, fat in these foods, the main originator of cancer, diabetes, and heart, which is directly linked to clogged arteries. When you consume these fats, they make platelets in your blood stream.

This makes platelets sticky bit later form clumps that are connected resep dimsum to the walls of the arteries that supply vital areas of your body with oxygen and nutrients. This small clumps make a wall plaque that will eventually lead to heart attack or stroke.

Unlike the good fats, such as vegetable oils (including olive oil and sunflower), which actually has a protective effect on health.
The damage done by saturated fats can be found in margarine, vegetable oils and partially hydrogenated everything.

Saturated fats have also been shown to increase levels of bad cholesterol or low density lipoprotein. These fats also can resep sop buah stay in the body longer and improves blood circulation triglyceride lowering good cholesterol or high-density lipoprotein

Bad Carbohydrates

Starch in potatoes is composed of simple carbohydrates. Most fries made of white darikentang proved much easier to convert in the body in the form gula.Ketika your body needs carbohydrates in quick time, this sugar forced "absorb" in order to be used as energy.

Otherwise, the sugar will be stored as cara membuat bubur ayam fat. Unless you consume before or after strenuous exercise, the sugar may be directly decomposed. But if you consume them in large quantities without great activity, will quickly convert carbohydrates into sugar high and causes increased insulin production in the body. If the supply insulan continue to soar, insulin resistance is also growing and the body of a higher risk of heart disease and diabetes.

Trans fat

Trans fats are fats derived from vegetable oils pemanasam. Just like saturated fat, trans fatty acids on the fries are also cara membuat klepon at high risk of causing heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.

Trans fats act as carcinogens in the body. The fries were memilikitingkat high acrylamide, also claimed to be cancer-causing substances. Although there has been no conclusive results regarding the relationship between the children who frequently consumed French fries and cancer, but health experts recommend that they avoid these foods.

Given that, every year of cancer in children continues to rise in the age of 3-5 years.