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Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet + High Fiber Foods to Eat Today

Fiber is one of the most important nutrients to consume. Learn all about the health benefits of dietary fiber and the difference between soluble and insoluble fiber in today’s post, including a list of delicious foods to include in a high fiber diet!

Fiber is one of the most important nutrients for our diet, but it does not get the attention it deserves. Fiber is certainly less glamorous than other trendy nutrients, as it might evoke images of your grandparents sipping on metamucil. But, the benefits of fiber go so beyond keeping us regular! I’m all in for making fiber the coolest nutrient, and I hope you will be too after reading this post.

What is Dietary Fiber?

Dietary fiber is the indigestible part of plants that we consume when we eat fruits, vegetables, whole grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds. Unlike the macro and micronutrients, our bodies are unable to digest and absorb fiber, so it passes through our digestive system intact.

Soluble vs. Insoluble Fiber

There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. They each have unique health benefits. A high fiber diet should include sources of both types to get maximum benefits.

  • Soluble fiber dissolves in water, so it forms a gel in our digestive tract when we eat it. Because of this, it can bind to cholesterol in our bodies to help lower cholesterol levels. Good sources of soluble fiber include oats, beans, flaxseeds, barley, and apples.
  • Insoluble fiber does not dissolve in water, so it speeds up digestion and increases stool bulk. Good sources of insoluble fiber include nuts, cauliflower, whole wheat products, Brussels sprouts, and raspberries.

Health Benefits of a High Fiber Diet

  • Keeps us regular. Fiber, especially insoluble fiber, speeds up digestion and increases stool bulk. This helps prevent constipation and diarrhea to keep our bowels healthy and regular.
  • Weight management. High fiber foods are very filling, and lower in calories than other foods. Including many high fiber foods in our diets can promote healthy weight management.
  • Lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fiber forms a gel like substance in our bodies, which binds to “bad” LDL cholesterol to rid it from our bodies. Soluble fiber may also help improve other lipid markers (1).
  • Controls blood sugar levels. Fiber, especially soluble fiber, helps slow the absorption of blood sugar when we eat. Studies show that soluble fiber intake can reduce HbA1C, fasting blood glucose, and insulin resistance in people with Type 2 Diabetes (2).
  • Promotes gut health. The good bacteria that live in our guts depend on fermentable dietary products as a source of energy so they can be healthy and grow. Fiber from our diets feeds these good bacteria, so a high fiber diet promotes probiotic health, abundance, and diversity. Healthy gut bacteria also produce short chain fatty acids (SCFAs), which have their own health benefits such as reduced inflammation and reduced risk of chronic disease (3).
  • Reduced risk of chronic disease. High fiber diets are naturally high in plant foods, so they also come with lots of other amazing vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to help prevent chronic disease, such as cardiovascular disease, certain cancers, and Type 2 Diabetes.

Dietary Fiber Recommendations

The dietary fiber recommendations are 25 grams per day for women and 38 grams per day for men. For women and men over 50, these numbers drop to 21 grams and 30 grams, respectively. For reference, one half cup of black beans has about 8 grams of fiber, one cup of shredded wheat contains about 5 grams, and one half cup of raspberries has 4 grams (4). As you can see, you need to eat multiple portions of fiber rich foods (i.e. plant foods) throughout the day to meet the recommendations.

One reason why many Americans are not meeting their daily fiber needs is because the standard American diet is low in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and legumes. There are plenty of fiber supplements out there, but they are devoid of many of the other health benefits that come with plant foods, like vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus, fiber from supplements may not be as filling as fiber from plant foods.

High Fiber Foods to Add to Your Diet

Now, the fun part! This list is by no means exhaustive, but here are some of my favorite high fiber foods to enjoy daily. There are also some yummy recipes to give you inspiration to add more fiber to your diet!

Oatmeal

Contains 4 grams of fiber per 1 cup cooked oats. Try this Cacao Banana Oatmeal or Banana Baked Oatmeal with Peanut Butter and Chocolate Chips for an easy breakfast!

cacao banana oatmeal

Quinoa

Quinoa contains 2.6 grams of fiber per half cup. These Quinoa Enchilada Stuffed Peppers or this Moroccan Quinoa Salad from Choosing Chia would be perfect to add to your dinner menu!

quinoa stuffed peppers

Whole Wheat Pasta

Swap out white pasta for whole wheat, and you’ll get 3.2 grams of fiber per half cup serving! Some of my favorite whole wheat pasta dishes are this Spring Pasta with Lemon, Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Peas, and this Pasta Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Tuna.

high fiber diet pasta salad

Kale

One cup of kale has 2.6 grams of fiber. Even more reason to keep up your kale caesar habit! Check out this dairy free version, this Kale Cobb Salad from Dishing out Health, and this Rose Pasta with Asparagus and Kale from The First Mess to get your kale on!

kale caesar salad

Sweet Potato

One medium sweet potato has almost 4 grams of fiber. Make sure you’re eating the skin, though, as this is where most of the fiber (and other nutrients) lives! These Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes are a favorite of mine, and I’ve been dying to try these Grilled Sweet Potato Wedges by Mad About Food!

mexican stuffed sweet potato high fiber diet

Chickpeas

Chickpeas, or garbanzo beans, are an excellent source of plant based protein and fiber. One half cup contains 8 grams! Fill up on this Chickpea and Roasted Vegetable Salad, Loaded Greek Hummus for a Crowd, or Chickpea and Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potatoes.

chickpea and roasted vegetable salad

Black Beans

Black beans pack 7.5 grams of fiber per one half cup. Try out this delicious mango avocado salsa over my Mushroom Tacos, or this Black Bean Tomato Avocado Salad by Little Spice Jar.

mango avocado black bean salsa

White Beans

Are you guys picking up on a bean trend here? White beans are also a good source of fiber. One half cup will give you 5.7 grams! I love to make this Dreamy Pink Beet and White Bean Dip for dipping, and this Tuscan White Bean and Kale Soup from Kristine’s Kitchen sounds so cozy.

white bean dip

Lentils

I love lentils of all kinds. One half cup has almost 8 grams of fiber. This Coconut Curry Red Lentil Soup is one of my favorites. Also, check out this Lemony Lentil Soup by Gimme Some Oven.

coconut curry red lentil soup

Apples

One medium apple has about 4.5 grams of fiber. I love to put sautéed apples in my morning oatmeal and munch on apple nachos as a healthy snack.

apple nachos

Pears

Pears have even more fiber than apples. One pear has almost 6 grams of fiber! Some of my favorite pear recipes are Hasselback Baked Pears and Ginger Roasted Beets, Sweet Potatoes, and Pears.

hasselback baked pear

Chia Seeds

Last but not least, chia seeds are a really excellent dietary fiber source. One tablespoon has a 4 grams! Try this Blended Chocolate Chia Pudding or this Dreamy Coconut Chia Pudding with Blueberries from The Wooden Skillet.

chocolate chia pudding

High fiber diets are super healthy, because as you can see, they include lots of fruits, veggies, whole grains, legumes, nuts and seeds. If you’re increasing your fiber intake, make sure to also drink plenty of water, because fiber digests better with water. What is your favorite way to get more fiber in your diet?

Let me know if you love this post by leaving a comment below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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high fiber diet pinterest graphic
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Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten Free)

These Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes are a vegetarian dream meal! The sweet potatoes get super creamy and caramelized when roasted, and their flavor pairs beautifully with Mexican spices. Plus, learn some easy ways to increase your vegetable consumption!

Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

These Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes are so fitting for Meatless Monday! As a Registered Dietitian, few things bring me more joy than helping people fill their plates with more vegetables. The USDA recommends we eat at least three cups of vegetables per day, but a majority of Americans (about 90 percent!) do not meet this recommendation.

Good nutrition is a proactive practice for better health outcomes throughout the life cycle. Plant focused diets have been associated with a plethora of health benefits, such as weight control, longevity, and reducing the risk of several chronic diseases. One of my favorite parts of my job is to educate people about this, and get them excited to eat more vegetables!

Benefits of a Plant-Focused Diet

  • Fruits and vegetables are full of powerful vitamins and minerals that we all need, as well as antioxidants for anti-inflammatory effects.
  • Plant foods are naturally low in calories and fat and rich in fiber, so they fill us up without consuming excess energy. This helps greatly with weight control!
  • Dietary patterns that are high in plant foods, like the Mediterranean diet, are associated with lower risk of chronic diseases, including cardiovascular disease, Type 2 diabetes, and certain cancers.
  • Eating mostly plants is better for the environment! Plants use far less resources and produce lower emissions than animals. Take it one step further, and seek out locally grown produce to have the lowest environmental impact.
Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

My favorite veggie burger company feels the same way about good nutrition! They are just as passionate about vegetables as any dietitian I know. They just created an incredible resource, called the Veggie Tracker, to help people adopt good nutrition habits for a lifetime.

The Veggie Tracker provides a platform where you can easily log your daily vegetable intake, with a goal of eating three cups of veggies per day. The website also includes tons of veggie-forward recipes and resources to help make these positive changes stick! When you sign-up, you’ll also receive a free e-book, a seven day meal plan, and have access to a private Facebook group monitored by a nutritionist! Plus, you’ll be eligible for some awesome prizes 🙂

Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Easy Ways to Increase Vegetable Consumption

  • Swap out half your spaghetti for zucchini noodles
  • Add spinach to a fruit smoothie
  • Use vegetables as a base for soups and stews
  • Try using cauliflower rice in stir fries, or use cauliflower pizza crust for pizzas
  • Make a vegetable omelet or frittata
  • Try baking with different vegetables
  • Swap out bread, wraps, or buns for collard greens or lettuce
  • Dip crunchy veggies into a delicious homemade sauce or dip
  • Add vegetables to traditionally meat heavy dishes, like lasagna
  • Make stuffed peppers
  • Or, make these delicious stuffed sweet potatoes!
Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

These stuffed sweet potatoes are a super easy way to turn any veggie skeptic into a veggie lover! The sweet potatoes are roasted to caramelized perfection, then stuffed with a delicious mixture of corn, bell pepper, green onion, and Dr. Praeger’s. These are AMAZING, and one of my absolute favorites! Add some quick guacamole and cilantro, and you have yourself a perfect plant-based meal.

Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Mexican Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Yield: serves 3 1x
  • Category: main dish

Description

These Mexican stuffed sweet potatoes are a vegetarian dream meal!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 3 medium to large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, sliced thin
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 cup corn (about 1 ear)
  • 2 Dr. Praeger’s black bean quinoa burgers
  • 1/2 cup red enchilada sauce
  • 1 large ripe avocado
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
  • Salt

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.
  2. Use a fork to poke several holes in each sweet potato. Roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until fork tender.
  3. While sweet potatoes cook, prepare the veggie burgers according to package instructions.
  4. Heat avocado oil on medium heat in a large skillet. Add bell pepper, green onion, cumin, and chili powder. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-5 minutes. 
  5. Chop cooked veggie burgers into small bite size pieces, and add to the skillet, along with the corn.
  6. Remove from heat, and stir in enchilada sauce.
  7. Prepare the quick guacamole by mashing together avocado, garlic powder, lime juice, cilantro, and salt to taste until smooth.
  8. Slice cooked sweet potatoes in half. Top each half with about 1/3 cup of the filling. Serve with scoop of guacamole and extra cilantro if desired.

Keywords: mexican stuffed sweet potato, vegan, gluten free, plant based

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Thank you Dr. Praeger’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

cauliflower sweet potato salad Featured

Tahini Citrus Cauliflower Sweet Potato Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

Thank you, Unilever and Sir Kensington’s for sponsoring this blog post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

This recipe is full of zingy flavor, contrasting textures and plenty of nutrients. If you are looking for a unique dish to bring to your MDW party, look no further than this tahini citrus cauliflower sweet potato salad! You’ll wow your friends with a creamy yet incredibly simple dressing that coats the vegetables, making them super addicting.

cauliflower sweet potato salad

I have a confession to make – I don’t like potato salad. I know it’s such an American classic, but I’ve never been a fan of this summertime barbecue food. The mushy texture and excess mayonnaise just don’t do it for me!

Something I DO love is sweet potatoes. And cauliflower. And tahini plus anything citrus. Mix them all together, and you have a magical combination. So many of my meals involve these ingredients, so it’s about time that one recipe highlights them all!

cauliflower sweet potato salad

You’ll roast some cauliflower and sweet potatoes with vibrant yellow turmeric. They’re then tossed with parsley, sesame seeds, and dried cherries, which all add such great texture and contrasting flavor. Then, pour the creamiest semi-homemade dressing over everything, featuring NEW Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette! On its own, this vinaigrette is the perfect light and refreshing dressing or marinade, plus it’s made with 100% pure sunflower oil and a touch of ethically sourced, True Source Certified honey. When mixed with tahini and a few simple ingredients, it makes the BEST sauce ever.

cauliflower sweet potato salad

I love all the Sir Kensington’s products I’ve tried, and this vinaigrette is no exception. I love this brand because every ingredient they source is Non-GMO certified. Their products with eggs only use Certified Humane Free-Range eggs, and they have a commitment to better quality ingredients in all the products they make. They’ve brought such a sense of integrity to the world of condiments!

If you too dislike traditional potato salad, I encourage you to try this cauliflower sweet potato salad! I guarantee you won’t be the only one heading back for seconds at the barbecue.

A Few Recipe Notes

  • Chop cauliflower and sweet potatoes into similar sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
  • This recipe can be prepared in advance and served chilled.
  • This salad is also great for meal prep, as it will keep well in the fridge for up to 5 days and tastes great cold!
cauliflower sweet potato salad

If you love this recipe, you may also like

Let me know if you love this recipe by leaving a comment or rating below, and check out Instagram and Pinterest for more healthy lifestyle inspiration.

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Tahini Citrus Cauliflower Sweet Potato Salad (Vegan, Gluten Free)

  • Author: Alex
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 55 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: side dish

Description

This recipe is full of zingy flavor, contrasting textures and plenty of nutrients. If you are looking for a unique dish to bring to your MDW party, look no further than this tahini citrus cauliflower sweet potato salad!


Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, diced
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp pepper
  • ¼ cup tahini
  • ¼ cup Sir Kensington’s Golden Citrus Vinaigrette
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ⅓ cup dried cherries
  • 1 tbsp sesame seeds
  • ½ cup fresh parsley, chopped

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 410 degrees F. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toss sweet potatoes and cauliflower florets in turmeric, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Spread onto baking sheets and roast for 35-40 minutes until fork tender, stirring halfway through.
  3. Prepare dressing while vegetables roast. Whisk together tahini, Sir Kensington’s Vinaigrette, and lemon juice until smooth.
  4. Toss roasted vegetables with dressing and top with golden raisins, sesame seeds and parsley.

Keywords: sweet potato salad, tahini dressing, vegan, gluten free, turmeric, potato salad

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sweet potato salad
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Baked Zucchini, Beet and Sweet Potato Fritters

February is American Heart Month - let’s show your ticker some love! Why is heart health so important? Heart disease is the leading cause of death and disability in the US. When I worked in the hospital, I spent time on multiple units dedicated to patients with heart disease. It really can have devastating effects on your life and your ability to perform daily activities. There is some good news about heart disease, though, in that good lifestyle choices have a huge effect on preventing it! Some of the major risk factors for developing heart disease are smoking, poor diet, sedentary lifestyle and being overweight. Keep loading up your plate with veggies and exercising, and your heart will be in good shape.

As a dietitian, it’s my job to help you navigate the diet portion of the whole lifestyle picture. How can you optimize your diet specifically for heart health? The Standard American Diet (SAD) falls short in heart healthy foods. It is high in saturated fat, processed meats, refined grains, sodium and added sugar. Diets consisting of lots of red meat, butter, margarine, deep fried foods and processed foods can lead to atherosclerosis (plaque buildup) and hypertension. On the other hand, the Mediterranean diet is a really great eating pattern to choose for heart health. This diet includes plenty of fresh produce, fish and seafood, whole grains, legumes and healthy fats coming primarily from olive oil. This eating pattern is naturally high in heart healthy nutrients like potassium and antioxidants, and low in sodium and saturated fat. Consume an abundance of these foods on a regular basis for optimal heart health!

While I don’t think it’s possible that eating a specific food can prevent or cure a disease, there are a few particular foods that are especially important for heart health. Try adding the following foods to your diet more regularly!

  • Salmon or fatty fish: These foods are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Aim for about 8 oz of seafood a week, or consider taking an omega-3 supplement.
  • Oatmeal: Oatmeal is a good source of soluble fiber, which can help decrease the amount of LDL (“bad”) cholesterol absorbed into your bloodstream. Aim for 5-10 grams per day.
  • Beets: Beets are rich in nitrates, which are converted to nitric oxide in your body, which helps lower blood pressure. They are also rich in antioxidants and fiber. I love to keep a few packs of Love Beets in my fridge to quickly throw into salads or grain bowls!
  • Beans: Beans are an amazing source of plant based protein. They also contain resistant starch, a nutrient that is fermented by your gut bacteria and may lower cholesterol, triglycerides and blood pressure. Try replacing meat with half a cup of beans for one meal next week!
  • Olive Oil: This is a staple ingredient of the Mediterranean diet, and is one of my favorite cooking oils. Olive oil is rich in antioxidants, high in monounsaturated healthy fats and low in saturated fat. Choose olive oil when cooking to replace butter, lard or margarine, and drizzle it over salads with vinegar for a simple dressing.

I made these delicious fritters to add to my lunches over the week! I picked up a big package of Love Beets at Costco, and wanted to experiment with using them as an ingredient for a heart healthy recipe. This recipe features lots of good-for-your-heart nutrients, like nitrates, antioxidants, fiber, and healthy fats. I also baked these fritters with olive oil spray, rather than deep frying them to  keep them light and limiting added fat. They’re delicious on their own, or spread with a heart healthy dip like guacamole or hummus!

This recipe made 9 large fritters, but might vary for you based on the size of your veggies.

 Ingredients

  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 2 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed
  • 1 package of Love Beets organic cooked beets
  • 2 large cloves garlic
  • Half of 1 large white onion
  • 1-2 eggs
  • ¼ cup spelt flour (or all purpose)
  • ½ tsp each salt and pepper
  • Olive oil spray

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray with olive oil spray.
  2. Grate the zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, garlic and onion using a grater or food processor with grater attachment. Use a clean tea towel to squeeze out excess liquid with your hands. I grated each vegetable and squeezed out the liquid individually (because the zucchini and beets have more liquid than the others), then combined them in a large bowl.
  3. Scramble 1 egg and add to the bowl of veggies, along with flour, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. If you are unable to form loose patties with your hands and ingredients are not sticking together, add another egg to help bind ingredients.
  4. Form round patties, about 3 inches across, using your hands, squeezing out extra liquid once more in the process. Place each patty on the prepared baking sheet. Give the patties a quick spritz of olive oil spray on top.
  5. Bake for 10-15 minutes until patties begin to brown and crisp up, then flip and bake for another 10 minutes.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature. I served these with a simple avocado mash with lemon juice, salt and garlic powder.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations!

Thank you Love Beets for sponsoring this post! I’m grateful to partner with brands I love to cook with, and all opinions are my own.

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Zucchini Enchiladas with Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

Ben and I took a quick trip to NYC last weekend to visit our family and friends. We went to the Guggenheim and out for dinner and drinks with a group of our NYC people. I love Boston and I know this is where I am meant to be right now, but a piece of me will always belong to New York. The energy there is palpable and unmatched to any city I’ve ever been to. We both have close friends there, and we’ve kind of made a promise to each other to visit when we can so we don’t lose touch with them. Even though we were there for less than 48 hours last weekend, I met up with a good friend of mine for a workout class and coffee date and it was like no time had passed. Those couple of hours we got to spend with each other meant a lot to me, and reiterated the importance of keeping in touch!

Besides friends, another part of NYC I miss is the FOOD. There are an endless number of amazing establishments I would kill to have open in Boston. We didn’t have time to hit up all of my favorites, but I got in plenty of good eats, including Levain cookies. When you’re staying 4 blocks away from the bakery, it’s a sin not to go! After a weekend indulging in cookies and wine, I was craving something light yet filling and super flavorful this week. We both love Mexican food, so I decided to try a lightened up version of enchiladas! These babies are stuffed with some of my favorites (sweet potato, black beans, spinach and red pepper) and wrapped in zucchini! Using zucchini in place of tortillas, the veggie filling and dairy free avocado cream sauce makes these enchiladas quite filling, but not to the point where you want to unbutton your pants and take a nap. There’s a time and a place for those decadent meals, but this recipe is totally what my body was craving!

You can absolutely use tortillas in place of zucchini for this recipe – it will just make fewer total enchiladas because the zucchini ones are smaller than usual. This recipe makes about 20 three-four inch long zucchini enchiladas.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into ½ inch cubes
  • ½ tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 cup diced onion (red or white are both fine)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 3 large handfuls baby spinach
  • 1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 4 large zucchinis
  • 2 cups red enchilada sauce, store bought or homemade. I made my own, adapted from Oh She Glows

Homemade Enchilada Sauce

  • 2 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 tsp corn starch
  • 1 ½ tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup tomato paste
  • 1 ¾ cup low sodium vegetable broth
  • Salt to taste

Avocado Cilantro Cream Sauce

  • 1 ½ avocados
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Handful of cilantro, roughly chopped
  • 1 ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ cup water

Instructions

  1. If making enchilada sauce: Heat oil over medium heat and stir in corn starch until mixture starts to thicken. Add spices, stir to mix and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Stir in tomato paste, vegetable broth and salt. Keep on low heat, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  3. In a medium pot, bring 5 cups of water to a boil. Add diced sweet potatoes, return water to a boil and cook for 5-7 minutes until fork tender, then drain.
  4. Using a Y-shaped vegetable peeler, peel zucchinis into long strips. The first couple strips might be too thin to roll, so you can discard them or use them for another recipe.
  5. For the filling, heat avocado oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Add onion and cook 2-3 minutes until translucent. Add garlic, spices, salt and pepper, cooking another 2 minutes until fragrant. Add bell pepper and cook until soft. Stir in spinach, sweet potatoes and black beans and cook until spinach is wilted. Stir in heaping ½ cup of enchilada sauce, then remove from heat.
  6. Spread ¾ cup enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9”x13” baking dish.
  7. Prepare the enchiladas: take 3 zucchini strips and lay them together on a clean cutting board, so that they overlap with each other and make a rectangle. Place about ¼ cup of the veggie filling and roll up to enclose filling. Place in baking dish, with the seam side down.
  8. Repeat until pan is full – I made 2 rows of enchiladas. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce on top of enchiladas.
  9. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until sauce is a little bubbly.
  10. While enchiladas are baking, prepare the avocado cream sauce: add all ingredients to a food processor or blender (I used a NutriBullet) and blend until creamy. Add water 1 tbsp at a time as needed to help blend.
  11. Remove enchiladas from oven. Top with avocado cream sauce before serving, along with chopped fresh cilantro if desired.

If you guys make this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! 🙂

chickpea avocado stuffed sweet potatoes

Chickpea + Avocado Stuffed Sweet Potatoes (Vegan, Gluten Free)

The holiday season is in full force! Hanukkah began Sunday evening, and Christmas is just a few weeks away. I feel extremely grateful this year to be in Boston, so I don’t have to miss out on spending time with family. Both my parents and Ben’s live in the area, so we’re able to celebrate with everyone.

One thing I’m looking most forward to is helping my mom prepare everything for Christmas Eve and Christmas. I already spent a weekend helping her make homemade raviolis and decorating the house. She also follows a pescatarian diet, and we have a few other vegetarians coming to celebrate, so I wanted to create a quick and delicious meat-free entrée. I think being vegetarian for so many years, I am extra in-tune with dietary restrictions of others. I always appreciate when others go out of their way to make sure there are veggie friendly options for me, so I try to do the same!

These sweet potatoes are a perfectly balanced meal in themselves: they have filling fiber (sweet potatoes) and protein (chickpeas) paired with healthy fat (avocado) and a pile of greens for a little extra nutritious kick. The chickpea avocado filling takes 5 minutes to prepare, and you can prep the sweet potatoes the night before and just reheat. They’re also meat-eating boyfriend approved, so everyone at your table is sure to enjoy these.

Are you guys preparing food for people with dietary restrictions this year? I would love to hear what you are making!

Ingredients:

  • 4 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 ripe avocado
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • A few large handfuls of greens (I used Organicgirl Protein Greens)
  • Red pepper flakes

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Scrub sweet potatoes, then poke a few holes into them with a fork. Roast for about 1 hour until very soft.
  2. In the last 10-15 minutes of sweet potatoes cooking, mash together chickpeas, avocado, lemon juice, cumin, garlic powder, mustard, salt and pepper. Mash some of the chickpeas, but keep some whole.
  3. Let sweet potatoes cool for 10 minutes after roasting. Cut in half lengthwise and mash with a fork to form a small well.
  4. Top each sweet potato half with a handful of greens and a few heaping spoonfuls of chickpea avocado mash. Sprinkle with red pepper flakes for a little heat, if desired. Serve warm.

Recipe makes 8 servings.

If you guys try this recipe, tag @daisybeet on Instagram so I can see your creations! Happy Holidays!