Healthy Protein-Packed Loaded Sweet Potatoes

I haven’t posted any health or nutrition-related content in a while, but all of that’s about to change. You may know that I recently got back from a two-month trek across South America, so I’ve primarily been blogging about my travel experiences. If you love reading about my adventures, don’t worry — there are still plenty more South America posts to come (I still need to write about Chile, Argentina and Brazil), but I’m going to resume posting my usual health-related content too. Which brings me to this absolutely *bomb* sweet potato recipe.

Ever since returning from South America, I’ve been trying a new healthy eating technique that I haven’t really delved into before: tracking my macros. I will write more extensively about the theory behind macro-tracking in a later post, but here’s the long and short of it. Instead of eliminating certain foods (for me, usually carbs…) you choose a certain ratio of macronutrients (carbohydrates, proteins and fats) and you can eat whatever you please as long as it fits within that ratio. Hence the internet term for this kind of thing: IIFYM (“if it fits your macros”). And yes, I’ve gone back on my pledge not to use MFP anymore.

I should explain that I have become completely addicted to fitness-related YouTube channels. The female weight lifting community on YouTube is ALL about IIFYM (my girl Whitney Simmons educated me, and I totally recommend her channel).

Anyway, my goal right now is to build muscle and burn fat, and therefore, my current macro goals are 40% carbs, 35% protein and 25% fat. Within that framework, anything goes…however, I’m really sticking to whole foods-based carbs like sweet potatoes, fruit and beans, rather than breads. But if for some reason I’m craving a sandwich (or an Oreo), it’s totally game as long as it fits within my macronutrient ratio.

So far, I’ve been loving this method! I track my macros on weekdays but I allow myself to just relax and eat intuitively on weekends. Overall, it’s been a very freeing way of eating that lets me eat lots of healthy foods in moderation.

And thus, these beautiful sweet potato creations were born. They are so, so good — mildly sweet, SUPER hearty (you will probably be full after eating just one of these) and extremely healthy. I’ll include the calorie/macro breakdown at the end of this post. If you decide to whip these up, let me know in the comments what you thought of them!

Healthy Protein-Packed Loaded Sweet Potatoes
(Serves 6)

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 large chicken breasts
  • 6 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • 2 14.5-oz cans black beans
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1-2 jalapeños (depending on your spiciness threshold), finely chopped
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 cup onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  • Preheat your oven to 430 degrees F, and place the sweet potatoes inside. Bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour.
  • While sweet potatoes are baking, warm a large sauté pan to high-medium heat and spray with zero-calorie cooking spray. Add onion, and sauté until it begins to sweat, about 3-4 minutes. Add in garlic and sauté an additional 1-2 minutes.
  • Add black beans, maple syrup, apple cider vinegar, mustard seeds, chili powder, tomato, jalapeño, and salt and pepper to the sauté pan. Bring to a simmer and then reduce to low-medium heat. Simmer for 12-14 minutes, then cover and set aside.
  • Add the chicken breasts to a deep sauté pan or pot, then cover with water. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat, boiling for a total of 15 minutes or until chicken is cooked through. Remove from the water, set aside to cool slightly, and then shred with a fork. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
  • When the sweet potatoes are done, slice them down the middle and stuff with about 1 cup of shredded chicken. Add 1/2 cup of black beans over top, and serve.

This recipe is super healthy. The maple syrup does lend a bit of sugar content, but at about 1/10 cup per serving, it’s really not much. They’re low-fat and PACKED with protein too. If you’re looking for a bit of extra fat content, just mash some ghee (clarified, grass-fed butter) into the potatoes.

Calories per person: 434
Carbohydrates: 68 g
Protein: 37 g
Fat: 5 g

Hope you enjoy!

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