These baked sweet potatoes with spicy chickpeas and green tahini dressing are be ready in 30 minutes – gluten free, vegan, healthy and really satisfying.
Although I am a committed omnivore, I do try to eat a vegan or vegetarian diet throughout the week for lunch. You’d think that as a food blogger working from my kitchen, I would be eating amazing lunches every single day.Well, sometimes I do. Other times, I get so caught up with getting all the shots I can before I lose the light, or editing photos and video, or chasing a deadline, that I eat nothing but toast.
Once I got the hang of ‘baking’ my potatoes in the microwave without burning or undercooking them however, I never looked back. What would normally take up to 40 minutes in an oven, takes less than 10 minutes in a microwave. And if crispy skin is a dealbreaker, you could blast your potatoes in the oven or under the grill (broiler) for a few minutes.
To ‘bake’ potatoes in a microwave, pierce them with a knife tip several times and then rinse them. Wrap in paper towel, place in a microwave-safe plate in a single layer and top with a damp paper towel. Cook for 4 minutes, turn over and cook for another 4 minutes. Depending on the wattage of your microwave and thickness of the potatoes, they will be ready in 8-12 minutes. Sweet potatoes tend to cook a little faster than white potatoes.
I love making baked sweet potatoes in particular – they are so delicious and the base for all kinds of exciting fillings. Making a big batch of the spicy chickpeas is a great way to have something on standby – they are great on top of baked sweet potatoes or served over couscous or rice.
And I am totally addicted to this green tahini dressing. It is so yummy I could eat it off a cracker – and frequently do! Basically a mix of tahini, lemon juice, garlic, oil and herbs, it can be used to liven up a lot of dishes.
It is delicious as a dip too – and if you wanted to make it a bit more substantial you could easily add half an avocado in there. If you want to use it as a dressing you will need to thin it out – rather than add lots more olive oil, I add a bit of water or chickpea brine (aquafaba). You will, in fact, have quite a bit of aquafaba left over with this recipe, make sure to save it and put it to good use by making macarons or vegan chocolate mousse.
Baked sweet potatoes with spicy chickpeas and green tahini dressing
- 4 large sweet potatoes
- For the spicy chickpeas
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp dried chilli flakes
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 1 tbsp sugar leave out if preferred
- 2 x400g | 14oz tins chickpeas drained
- reserve the brine to use in dressing or other recipes
- 1 x 400g | 7oz tin chopped tomatoes
- 200 g | 7oz baby spinach
- 1 tbsp chopped coriander cilantro plus more, to garnish
- Salt and pepper to season
- For the green tahini dressing
- 3 heaping tbsp tahini
- 2 tbsp flat leaf parsley
- 2 tbsp coriander cilantro
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 2 tbsp water or aquafaba, as needed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove
- salt and pepper to season
- Heat the oil in a casserole dish and fry the onions over medium-low heat for five minutes.
- Add the garlic and spices and cook for another minute.
- Stir in the tomatoes, tomato purée, sugar, and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens.
- Add the spinach leaves at the end and mix them in until they wilt.
- Stir in a generous handful of chopped coriander (cilantro). Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Make the green tahini dressing: simply pulse all the ingredients in a blender or mini chopper until you have the desired consistency. Thin your dressing with a little water or reserved aquafaba if needed. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the sweet potatoes: pierce them with a knife tip several times and then rinse them. Wrap in paper towel, place in a microwave-safe plate in a single layer and top with a damp paper towel. Cook for 4 minutes, turn over and cook for another 4 minutes. Depending on the wattage of your microwave and thickness of the potatoes, they will be ready in 8-12 minutes.
- Halve the sweet potatoes and fill with the spicy chickpeas.
- Drizzle a little of the green tahini dressing over them and serve.