Baked Sweet Potatoes with Smoky Beluga Lentils [vegan] [gluten free]

This baked sweet potatoes with smoky beluga lentils recipe makes a hearty and easy dinner or lunch that will please meat-eaters and non-meat-eaters alike.

Vegan and gluten-free, this dish is low in fat and bursting with fibre and plant-based protein.

How to make these baked sweet potatoes

To remove any dirt or soil, you first need to wash and scrub the sweet potatoes. Place them on a baking tray and pierce them all over with a fork. Simply drizzle some olive on top and cook for 40-50mins until soft. The cooking time will depend on the size of the sweet potatoes. If you are in a rush, you can also microwave the sweet potatoes. You still need to pierce the skin but once in the microwave, it should only take 5 minutes for the sweet potatoes to be ready. The flesh should be fork tender, if not carry on microwaving the sweet potato 30 seconds at a time.

While microwaving works really well, I prefer to bake these sweet potatoes in the oven while I prepare the rest of the ingredients.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, the beluga lentils are cooked in a tomato base with smoked paprika, pepper and spinach.

Once the sweet potatoes are baked, cut them lengthwise down the centre. Spread the sides slightly and load them up with lentil mix.

I like to serve these baked sweet potatoes with smoky beluga lentils with plenty of chopped fresh coriander and a dollop of dairy-free cream or yoghurt.

If you love these baked sweet potatoes, you should also try …

For a different twist on this perennial comfort food classic, my sweet and soft baked sweet potatoes with a topping of mild and juicy spinach chana masala is a truly tasty alternative. So so good and straightforward, it can also be enjoyed by the whole family or between friends.

Beluga lentils are small black lentils that grow in North America. When cooked they retain their texture and are ideal for hearty dishes. High in antioxidants, dietary fibre and folates, beluga lentils are a great source of low-fat plant-based protein.

In the Autumn I like to pair them with squash or pumpkin, like in this roasted winter squash with creamy lentils recipe that makes another comforting vegan meal.

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