Stuffed sweet potato with baby kale and chickpeas. Photo: Marisa Westbrook

These simple spiced chickpea stuffed sweet potatoes are a healthy, warming recipe for chilly evenings. The sweetness of the potato is balanced nicely with a hefty dose of spices, red onion and garlic.

With rainy evenings these past few weeks in the Bay, we’ve all been looking for simple dinners to keep us warm. Using simple pantry ingredients — chickpeas, coconut milk and spices — and some staple winter veggies, like sweet potatoes, onion, garlic and greens, the meal comes together easily.

These baked sweet potatoes are upgraded with a stuffing mixture of spiced chickpeas with coconut milk and baby kale. It’s filling and hearty — packed with nutrients. The mixture isn’t spicy on its own, so if you are looking for heat, sprinkle some red pepper flakes into the spice mixture. With cilantro and lemon juice sprinkled over the top, there is just enough zest to freshen it up.

Enjoy this simple recipe on a chilly night to come. For more seasonal meal ideas and grocery shopping inspiration, check out Uproot Kitchen’s monthly seasonal produce lists.

Stuffed sweet potato with baby kale and chickpeas. Photo: Marisa Westbrook

Spiced Chickpea Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

Note: If you are using large sweet potatoes, reduce the recipe to 2 sweet potatoes and the baking time will be an 1 hour or more. Cut them in half before topping with the chickpea mixture. Baby kale can be substituted with other fresh greens. Heartier greens, such as kale, collards, or swiss chard will require a few more minutes of cooking to soften. This recipe requires 20 minutes of preparation time and takes about 1 hour to cook.

Serves 4

4 small- to medium-sized sweet potatoes 2 tablespoons oil of your choice 1 small red onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin 1/2 teaspoon chili powder 1/4 teaspoon ground turmeric 1/4 teaspoon salt 1 (15.5-oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed 1 cup low-fat coconut milk 4 packed cups baby kale Fresh chopped cilantro, for serving Lemon wedges, for serving

Preheat the oven to 375ºF.

Using a fork, poke a few holes in the sweet potatoes and place them directly on the oven rack in the center of the oven. Place a sheet pan or foil on the rack below the potatoes to catch any drippings. Bake until the potatoes are tender, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

About 15 minutes before the sweet potatoes are done, warm the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is hot, add the red onion and sauté until starting to turn translucent, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the garlic, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, turmeric and salt. Sauté until fragrant, about 2 minutes.

Sautéed chickpeas with baby kale. Photo: Marisa Westbrook

Add the chickpeas and coconut milk, stir well, and continue to cook until the mixture has warmed through. Stir in the baby kale and remove from the heat.

Slice the sweet potatoes lengthwise and push the ends towards each other to open up the potato. Use a fork to mash some of the sweet potato down to create a hollow center. Stuff the potatoes with the chickpea and kale mixture. Serve immediately, garnished with the cilantro and lemon wedges.

Baked sweet potatoes. Photo: Marisa Westbrook

Marisa Westbrook is a public health professional, recipe developer and food photographer. Visit her website, Uproot Kitchen, for simple and healthy recipes made with whole ingredients, kitchen DIY ideas and urban gardening posts. Connect with her on InstagramFacebook and Twitter.

Marisa Westbrook is a public health professional, recipe developer and food photographer. Visit her website, Uproot Kitchen, for simple and healthy recipes made with...