If you're tired of the same old boring salad, then this week's post will definitely peak your interest. These salad stuffed purple sweet potatoes are not only the prettiest potatoes you've ever seen, they're delicious and super nutritious! This week I'm also talking about why you should ignore all that "sugar B.S." you've heard about potatoes!
Plus... I've created a simple vegan yogurt dressing that's creamy, tangy and the perfect compliment. One of my favorite things about this meal is that the oven does most of the work. All you have to do is put together the salad and get ready to dig in!
The Truth About Potatoes
I'd like to switch gears just for a minute and bring a little nutrition science to the table.
I think one of the more tragic of all nutrition myths is that potatoes are unhealthy. If I had a dime for each time I've heard someone say "I don't eat potatoes because they have too much sugar", I'd be loaded!
I want to shout this from the rooftops...
Insulin resistance, persistently elevated glucose levels and ultimately type 2 diabetes does not result from eating whole foods, plant-based sources of carbohydrates (in this case a potato)!
The underlying problem occurs when we disrupt the bodies ability to use insulin at the cellular level. That can happen when we accumulate too much fat in our liver and in muscle tissue.
How does this happen? It's SAD actually (Standard American Diet). The SAD is heavy in calories and fat from processed and animal based foods (think cheeseburgers, steaks, chicken nuggets, bacon, pizza, deli meats, soda etc.) Simply put, this causes inflammation and stress to the cells which ultimately leads to impaired insulin signals. Elevated blood sugar is the end result.
Once you correct this process with a lower fat, whole foods, plant-based diet this dysfunction can be reversed. Unfortunately, the potato (and other starchy fruits and veggies) are just innocent bystanders.
Potatoes when baked or roasted in their whole state with the skin (I'm not talking about mashed potatoes full of butter or french fries here folks) contain fiber, valuable vitamins and minerals and can absolutely fit into most healthy eating plans. The fiber from the potato can help regulate blood sugar spikes and when eaten together with other whole plant-based foods can actually be protective against diabetes. Now, if you already have diabetes and are struggling with keeping your blood sugar in check, you should work with a qualified health care professional, such as a registered dietitian or certified diabetes educator, to see how starchy fruits and vegetables like potatoes can fit into your meal plan. Click here for more info on plant-based diets and diabetes.
Shall we move on? OK!
What's In The Salad
I tossed a simple mixed green salad with some chopped radicchio which balances out the sweeter flavor of the potato really nicely (and because I really love to photograph purple food). Then I added in some chickpeas and sunflower seeds for protein, and a few dried cranberries for that sour punch.
About This Creamy Vegan Yogurt Dressing
I knew I wanted a creamy dressing for this dish, to sort of replicate my love of the potato and sour cream combo. I love making homemade dressings because they're not only healthier then store bought, but they're just so easy to whip up. Homemade dressings seem to add another dimension of freshness and flavor that I just love!
To create a creamy base without using dairy, I use a plain plant-based yogurt.
To add tang, I use fresh lime juice.
Garlic powder and red onions bring in richness and a ton of flavor of course.
For an added boost of herby, lemony goodness, I use chopped fresh parsley.
A Note About Purple Sweet Potatoes
Purple sweet potatoes are mildly sweet with a moist, creamy texture. Interestingly, sweet potatoes including purple sweet potatoes, contain less natural sugars then white potatoes making them an even better choice for healthy diets.
That vibrant purple color is all natural and comes from a potent immunity boosting, cardio protective antioxidant called anthocyanin. The antioxidant content of purple potatoes remains higher than elderberries, even after cooking!
So what are you waiting for? Crank up the oven and dig in to these delicious salad stuffed purple sweet potatoes!!
Creamy Vegan Yogurt Dressing
- 5 oz plain plant-based yogurt I used Oatly brand oat milk yogurt.
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- fresh juice from ½ lime
- ¼ finely chopped red onion
- 1 handful chopped fresh parsley
- 1 teaspoon agave syrup
- Combine all ingredients in a small jar or bowl and shake or whisk to combine.
- Store any leftover dressing in refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Salad Stuffed Sweet Potatoes
- 2-3 cups mixed green lettuce
- 4 purple sweet poatoes
- ½ cup chickpeas
- 1 tablespoon sunflower seeds
- dried cranberries optional
- 3 tablespoon vegan yogurt dressing see recipe above
- Preheat oven to 425 F.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Pierce the potatoes with a fork or knife in a few spots.
- Add potatoes to baking sheet and bake until tender about 45 min- 1hour depending on size.
- While potatoes are cooking assemble the dressing (see above) and salad.
- Once the potatoes are done cooking, allow to cool for about 5 min.
- Slice open the potato and stuff with salad.
- Season with additional salt, pepper or dressing as desired.