Sometimes my only ask of a recipe is that it tastes good, looks good, and makes me feel good. That can feel like a steep ask, especially in this age of "quick and easy cooking." But then I put together a recipe like this one and I'm reminded how often those things sort themselves out when you have an honest pantry to pull from.
For me, an honest pantry contains ingredients that I actually want to cook and eat. It doesn't have items that I'm told I should have or the ones that I want to have but never actually use. So this baked sweet potato recipe includes almost all the things in my honest pantry — down to the sweet potato itself.
I look at this sweet potato dish and I actually begin to feel good. A split-second of introspection, and the answer becomes obvious — it's all the color. This is vibrance, potato-fied. From the saturated orange of the potato flesh to the ruby arils of pomegranate, just looking at the colors of this dish makes it enticing. I'm checking "looks good" off the list.
And what foods tend to be the most brightly colored? The food that are unequivocally good for you. Sweet potatoes, rainbow chard, pomegranate — their colors are signifiers of their health benefits. "Makes me feel good?" Check, check.
On to taste. This part is easy. Here we have a baked sweet potato, which thanks to the process of roasting and the very nature of the tuber itself, is starting off deliciously sweet. While it's still warm, I split it in half, sprinkle over some salt, and mix in coconut oil. Meanwhile, rainbow chard is wilting in a swirl of garlic and lemon juice; be generous when you stuff it inside the potato. For the finale, I crush a few toasted coconut chips and scatter them on top and add a tumble of pomegranate.
I'm telling you. Crossing "tastes good" off the list was never the problem.
Coconut & Rainbow Chard Baked Potato
Serves 1 (but easily scaled up as needed)
1 sweet potato, baked
1 tablespoon coconut oil
Salt to taste
1 clove of garlic, sliced
2 cups rainbow chard, very thinly sliced
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Toasted coconut chips
While warm, but cool enough to handle, cut the potato lengthwise and gently pull open. Using a fork, fluff the inside of the potato. Add half the coconut oil and season with salt and continue to fluff until the coconut oil is melted and thoroughly combined.
In a skillet, heat remaining coconut oil over medium heat. Add the sliced garlic and cook about 30 seconds. Add the chard and lemon juice; cook and stir until the greens begin to soften. Add a splash of water, cover the skillet, and turn off the heat. Let stand about 1 minute.
Stuff the chard into the potato. Sprinkle over the coconut chips and pomegranate. Serve immediately.
Note: If your sweet potato is cold out of the fridge, wrap it in a paper towel and reheat in the microwave in 30-second intervals until just warm.
(Image credits: Kelli Foster)