Favorite Recipe Friday: Sweet Potato Skins

Sweet Potato Skins

It’s Cinco de Mayo so a Mexican inspired recipe is in order!

I love Mexican food so any opportunity I have to infuse authentic flavors into my recipes, I do.  And while sweet potato skins are not what you think of as typical Mexican food, they are a (very nutritious) blank slate, perfect for delivering Mexican-esque toppings directly to your taste buds.

I love the idea of sweet potato skins because they add a smidge of sweetness which is well balanced by savory fillings.  They are crispy on the outer edge yet creamy on the inside.  Top them with the velvety avocado crema, crisp green onion and cilantro and talk about a fiesta en su boca!!  Here’s the recipe:

Baked Sweet Potato Skins (Serves 6)

For sweet potatoes:

6 small sweet potatoes (about 2 ¼ pounds)

4 teaspoons olive oil

¼ teaspoon cumin

¼ teaspoon smoked paprika

Dash of cayenne

¼ teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 cup refried black beans

½ ounce cotija cheese, crumbled

2 scallions, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Lime wedges, for serving

For sauce:

¼ cup low-fat Greek yogurt (I like Fage 2%)

2 ounces avocado

1/8 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1 clove garlic, peeled

5 sprigs of cilantro leaves (about 15 leaves)

Juice from 1/2 lime


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Place whole sweet potatoes on a sheet pan covered in foil or parchment, poke each a few times with a fork.  Bake on center rack until fork tender, 40-45 minutes.  Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, combine olive oil, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne in a small bowl.

In a small blender or food processor, combine all sauce ingredients plus 4-5 tablespoons of water.  If necessary, add more water to thin. Set aside.

Switch oven to broil. Cut sweet potatoes in half and carefully scoop out flesh. Make sure to leave about ¼-inch of flesh around the edges.* Place potatoes, skin side up back on the sheet pan, brush with olive oil/spice mixture, a pinch salt and pepper, and broil for 3-4 minutes. Remove skins from oven, turn over and fill with black beans and cheese then return to oven to broil 2 minutes more.

Top with each skin with scallions, cilantro and 1 teaspoon of sauce.

*Scooped sweet potato can be stored in an airtight container for 2-3 days. I like to mix it with just a smidge of butter, low-fat milk, salt and pepper and serve it alongside chicken breast.

Per 2 skins: Calories: 190  Protein: 6 g Carbohydrate: 25 g  Fiber: 6 g   Sugar: 6 g  Total Fat: 8 g  Saturated Fat: 1.5 g  Cholesterol: 7 mg  Sodium: 310 mg

Serving suggestion: Serve alone as an appetizer, alongside grilled chicken, fish or steak or as a light meal with a side salad.

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