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Friday
Feb242017

Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Smoky Veggie Sausage, Chard, and Apples 

This hearty all-in-one meal tops a succulent baked sweet potato with chard leaves, onions, and vegetarian apple-sage sausage from Field Roast. It's high in flavor, protein, and other nutrients (see details at the bottom of this post). The main version has relatively little fiber, perfect for those migrating to a plant-based diet or for vegetarians or vegans who need to be on a low-fiber diet. See the notes for how to easily make this higher in fiber.  Either way, it's a satisfying meal for omnivores.

Active time: 25 minutes. Total time: 30 minutes. Serves 2. Vegan.

Cost: $4.72 a serving using mostly organic ingredients

1/4 teaspoons olive oil or canola oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper or smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 sweet cooking apple, such as a Gala or Fuji, peeled, cored, and chopped
2 Field Roast smoked apple-sage sausage links (184 grams), wrappers removed and cut into 1/2-inch rounds
12 ounces Swiss chard (340 grams or about one bunch), stems removed and leaves chopped
1 medium sweet potato (1 pound or 454 grams)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-low heat. Add chopped onions and cook for about 3 minutes until softened. Stir in chipotle powder and salt, then add sausage rounds. Cook for about 3 minutes until slightly browned, then add chopped apple. Cook for another three minutes until onion is very soft.
  2. Top sausage mixture with chopped chard leaves and cover. Turn heat down to simmer and cook until chard is tender, about 10 minutes.
  3. Poke sweet potato with a fork all over to make holes so steam can escape.  Microwave on high for about 8 minutes, turning half-way through, until you can easily poke a fork through to the center.
  4. To serve, cut cooked sweet potatoes in half and mash gently with a fork. Top with chard and veggie sausage mixture. Do not eat sweet-potato peels if you are on a low-fiber diet.

Recipe notes

  • Is this really a low-fiber meal? Definitions vary, but this recipe includes only food listed by the Mayo Clinic for a low-fiber diet: well-cooked vegetables and fruit without skins or seeds, with no beans or whole-grain products.  I would usually make it with a cup of cooked chickpeas instead of veggie sausage, include the chard stems, and not peel the apple. One serving would then have 19 grams of fiber instead of 13 according to my nutritional software. On the other hand, the average American eats just 16 grams of fiber in a whole day! The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine recommends aiming for 40 grams a day.
  • For a low-fiber diet, save chard stems and apple peels to boil for broth. Strain before serving.
  • For normal high-fiber diet, chop chard stems and cook with onion. Core but do not peel apple. Eat the sweet-potato peel if you want.
  • For a lighter meal, use just one sausage. The cost per serving becomes $4.10, protein 20 grams, and fiber 12 grams.
  • For even better flavor, wrap sweet potato in foil and bake for about an hour somewhere between 350° and 400° F, preferably while also baking something else to make the best use of the energy. You can bake the sweet potatoes up to five days ahead. Before serving, rewarm the whole sweet potato in the microwave or the scooped-out flesh in a skillet.
  • Field Roast smoked apple-sage sausages are made from vital wheat gluten, apples, Yukon Gold potatoes, and natural flavors. Vital wheat gluten is often called "the meat of the wheat." That's because it has over 5 times more protein and only 6% of the fiber as whole wheat flour, when compared by weight.

Nutrition for one serving (1/2 recipe)

Note: my nutritional software doesn't allow me to show chard with or without the central stem. It always assumes you will not use the "woody stems." My guess is that not using the stems is like not using three or so celery ribs, which contain about two grams of fiber.

Calories: 469

Protein 33 grams (65% daily value), total fat 11 grams (17%), cholesterol 0 grams, total carbohydrates 69 grams (23%), dietary fiber 13 grams (53%)

Calcium 191 mg (19%), iron 6 mg (31%), potassium 1553 (44%), zinc 1 mg (8%), Vitamin C 82 mg (137%), Vitamin A 6252 IU (125%), Vitamin B6 0.7 mg (35%), Thiamin B1 0.2 (16%), Riboflavin B2 0.3 (18%), Folacin 35 mcg (9%)

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