Every now and then a deliciously satisfying 5-2 fast day recipe idea comes along that actually makes me forget that I am fasting. This is one of them. In my books baked stuffed potatoes have always been well and truly synonymous with stick to your ribs comfort food. Think roasted carbohydrates loaded with butter, finished with a dollop of sour cream for good measure. Sinful and delicious. Most definitely not a meal I’d usually even consider putting anywhere near my fast day plate. Or is it?
Remember those old nuggety words of wisdom “Where’s there’s a will, there’s always a way?” Imagine that you swap out regular white potato for high in beta carotene and vitamin A sweet potato, and replace all the high calorie dairy loadings with a heavily spiced lamb. Here’s what happens. You’re able to enjoy a gorgeous, enormously satisfying twice baked sweet potato bursting with flavour for just a fraction of the original calorie count.
I know these loaded sweet potatoes are going to make a regular appearance on my fast day plate as we move into the cooler months. It’s one of those meals that can be prepared in advance and will feed the whole family; the lucky non fasters do not have to stop at just one. Of course the leftovers, if there are any, are delicious next day – cold or warmed through.
For good measure I like to source my lamb mince directly from my butcher, it tends to be leaner and contains less fat than the pre packaged offerings available at the supermarket. A final word of warning, the filling can be quite spicy, so if you’re not a spice lover, do adjust the heat accordingly.
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes Loaded With Spiced Lamb
Serves 4 (358 calories per serve)
1 teaspoon olive oil (40 calories)
4 medium (600g) whole sweet potatoes, unpeeled (516 calories)
1 medium brown onion, finely diced (46 calories)
2 garlic cloves, crushed (8 calories)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (8 calories)
1 teaspoon ground coriander (6 calories)
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon (6 calories)
½ teaspoon chilli powder (3 calories)
500 g lean lamb mince (720 calories)
2 vine ripened tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced (70 calories)
1/2 cup fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely sliced (8 calories)
sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper
freshly squeezed lemon juice, to serve (5 calories)
PREHEAT oven to 180 C. Thoroughly wash and dry sweet potatoes, then place on a baking paper lined oven tray and bake for 45-55 mins, until tender.
WHILE the sweet potatoes are roasting, heat a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add minced lamb in a thin layer. Brown evenly, using the back of a wooden spoon to break up any lumps as you stir.
ONCE lamb mince is golden brown, stir through cumin, coriander, cinnamon and chilli. Continue cooking for another minute or so until fragrant. Transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and set aside.
ADD olive oil to the pan, then add onion, garlic and a good pinch of sea salt. Sauté for 5 minutes or so until onion is soft and transparent. Remove from heat and add to the lamb mixture. Season generously with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. Set aside.
WHEN sweet potatoes are cooked through, remove them from the oven and allow to stand until they are cool enough to handle. Take a long slice from the top of each potato, then use a teaspoon to scoop out the flesh from each skin, being careful to not pierce the sides.
ROUGLY mash the sweet potato flesh with a fork. When cool stir through the lamb mixture along with diced tomatoes and parsley. Season mixture with sea salt and pepper.
RETURN the scooped out sweet potato shells to your paper lined roasting tray. Generously fill with the lamb and sweet potato stuffing mixture.
BAKE in a preheated 180C oven for 15-20 minutes until golden and heated through. Serve with a generous drizzle of freshly squeezed lemon.