Big Comfy Sweet Potato

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Comfort food is different for all of us. For some, it’s a big bowl of macaroni and cheese, for others, it’s ice cream and chocolate sauce. Me? Sweet potatoes. For real. There is something so soothing and grounding about digging into one fresh out of the oven, loading it up with ghee, salt and cracked black pepper. It’s a simple dinner that saw me through my student years when I was living on a budget, held my hand when I dropped everything and moved across the world to Copenhagen, and continues to show me the love even now. Sweet potatoes are kind of like that favourite, threadbare white t-shirt, or the song I could listen to a thousand times without ever getting sick of it. Total comfort.

Well, this time I dressed up that white t-shirt with a cornucopia of yumminess: black beans, avocado, sprouts and my Red Blanket Sauce that will knock your woolen socks off. It’s the Big Comfy Sweet Potato and it’s simple, delicious and I reckon just the kind of thing that will make you feel pretty comfy too.

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The toppings for the Big Comfy Sweet Potato are up to you. I was digging the cilantro, sprouts and green onion, but you could put all manner of delights into this one, depending on the season and what is available to you. Cherry tomatoes would be great, freshly shucked corn, bell peppers too. These are the perfect clean-out-the-fridge kind of dinner, because as long as you got your sweet potato, you have a blank canvas that will only get better with a little help from some other veggies buddies.    

But if you really don’t have anything else on hand, the Red Blanket Sauce is killer. Just a plain sweet potato swaddled in this stuff is a proper meal. Super creamy and rich, and delicious draped across so many things – rice, lentils, roast veg – you name it. I tried to do a riff off of mole sauce, but I can’t claim to know anything about authentic Mexican cooking, so I’m going to avoid the comparison. What I do know, is that it tastes like a thousand layers of spice, herbs, sweet, savoury, tangy, bold, and chocolate-y without being chocolate-y…know what I mean? Guh. I want more.

Comfy Digestion with the Sweetest of Potatoes
Many people think that sweet potatoes are just regular potatoes that are orange, but they are in fact a completely different vegetable.
Compared to regular potatoes, sweet potatoes have oodles more vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), vitamin C and even more fiber. This means that sweet potatoes are excellent for your digestion. Sweet potatoes are composed mainly of starch, which is very easy to break down and is soothing for the stomach and intestines too. This makes them an ideal healing choice for those suffering from the pain and inflammation associated with stomach ulcers and irritable bowel syndrome. The roughage of sweet potatoes even prevents constipation. Comfy stuff!

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Speaking of easy and delicious, if any of you are still in the mood for a simple cleanse, check out my article in the February issue Oprah magazine! I wrote a 4-day detox plan with tasty recipes that are all really easy to make using basic ingredients . If January has passed you by without a little clean-up, now is your chance. The program is also available online, here. I hope you enjoy!

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129 comments

  1. Mandy D

    I am soo looking forward to making this Sarah!

    Your blog is so inspirational!

    I’ve been reading your blog tonight for the past hour and can’t wait to see more.

    Mandy Dugas from MandysHealthyLife.com

  2. Amanda

    This is so versatile and delicious! We’ve had them a few times lately because the work really well for a family – dress it up for Mum and Dad or leave it plainer for the kids. I included a picture of ours in a recent ‘Day in the Life of a Plant Powered family’ post but my photo of it doesn’t look as good as yours :-) Thanks for sharing Sarah.

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  9. Hj

    Hello Sarah! I made this comfy sweet potato tonight and it was an absolute stunner! I just chanced the sauce a bit, as I didn’t have any tomatoes but I blended carrot, garlic, avocado and beetroot instead, with a generous amount of smoked paprika powder, which was finger-licking good. Thank you so much for the great food ideas you provide through your blog – I always get so inspired when I visit!

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  14. Hannah

    THIS SAUCE IS ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBILY AMAZING!
    I’ve just tried it and ,well, I am still totally …. stunned! I love the rich taste.
    Roasted Almond Butter fits well here..just sayin’ :)

  15. Karissa @ Vegan À La Mode

    These look amazing! I am so happy I discovered your blog! Since going vegan a year ago, I’ve really been getting into eating healthier and more of a “whole foods” plant based diet and your blog provides so much inspiration! I am a sweet potato addict so I think I will make these soon :)

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  18. Mary P

    That sauce is AMAZING! I have made it twice now and LOVE it. I also adore the pumpkin seed sauce you posted for your Abundance Bowl. Both recipes are already staples in my kitchen. Thank you so much for always providing such healthy, wholesome, and beautiful recipes that not only appeal to all our senses but also nourish our (and our families) bodies. And, while I’m at it, I thought your post-birthday post where you admitted to failing at a recipe was one of the most honest, vulnerable things you could have done. Bravo. And, thank you again, from a long-time fan.

  19. catherine

    Hi SB! Just wanted to say thank you for your blog, which I have been meaning to comment on for a few months. I adore your inspired ideas, incredible knowledge of and careful attention to nutrition and health, gorgeous photos and great sense of humor! Thanks to you I am now making my own beans from scratch (never going back), and worshipping the sweet potato, which I had forgotten for about four years. I live in Los Angeles, and just found out that it’s “National Sweet Potato Month” in the US, so I’ve been duly celebrating. :) cheers from a big fan.

  20. Christina Ebbers

    Hi Sarah. I’ve been sifting through your archives trying to find some more information about cooking oils. :) I’ve read all about ghee and I’m totally on board for trying it. I know you mentioned coconut oil as another good option, but I’m curious about coconut oil’s smoke point and how high of temps you can use with it. From what I’ve found I think it has a relatively low smoke point, especially compared to ghee. Some recipes call for a significant amount of oil (like for example I’m looking at one that calls for 1/4 cup of vegetable oil) and while I’m certainly not afraid of fat, I worry that that would be a big hunk of ghee, possibly overdoing it. Are they any other cooking oils you recommend that would be suitable for fairly high temp cooking? Or am I being overly cautious about using that much ghee?

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  22. Katia Jade

    My fiancé and I just finished the cleanse! We both feel great, and are now slowly adding back some other foods, but trying to keep our level of added sugar/bread/rice/pasta/cheese sauce lower. We never tried anything like the delicious, four-day menu and feel wonderful. Thanks so much!

  23. Kathryn

    This is the first recipe I have tried from your blog, which I have recently discovered and LOVE to read (yes, I read recipes for fun. Sometimes for hours…). It turned out JUST as delicious as it sounded! I CANNOT get over the sauce! Probably going to have it on everything I eat from now on ;). Thank you, thank you for a lovely blog devoted to whole, delicious food.

  24. Jennifer

    Love this! Have made it twice so far…once using this sauce and once using the ginger pumpkin seed sauce from the Abundance Bowl recipe. I love having those sauces on hand to use all week for dipping, salads etc. Please post more yummy sauces. My kids love the stuffed sweet potatoes as well and I put out all the toppings so everyone could put in what they wanted so it felt like an old school taco night. So good!!!

  25. Dori

    This sauce is DELICIOUS!!! I made it last weekend and we loved it! Very yummy to dip blue corn chips into also. I will absolutely make it again. Thank you!

  26. Erin

    This is just the type of recipe I was searching for while on the hunt for dinner ideas this afternoon! Sweet potatoes are in the oven; red blanket sauce is made; toppings are prepped. I also decided to pair this with some Mexican cheezy (nooch, cashews, cumin, lemon juice, chili flakes, garlic powder) kale chips for some crunch. Can’t wait for supper :) Thanks for a yet again wonderful recipe, Sarah!

  27. sue smith

    This sweet potato with the red blanket sauce sounds great. I have a cross country plane trip this coming weekend. Great food for the airplane.

    Thanks for your blog. I found you when Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine was cancelled. I loved your 2012 and 2013 cleanses. They changed my eating habits and I eat so much healthier now.

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  29. Sarah

    So delicious! Made this tonight. Yum. Plus my husband, who loves mole, was loving the sauce! “It’s a keeper”, he said. That’s a very good sign. I am always happy when my plated meal looks as good as the photos! Thank you.

  30. Sarah

    I was roasting sweet potatoes tonight so I whipped up this beautiful sauce to drizzle over top….AMAZING! It has the same warming effect as your gorgeous hot chocolate recipe. Thanks again for a hearty, healthy, inspiring recipe! xoxo

  31. Nisha

    Hi Sarah! Tonight we had guests and enjoyed this recipe with the sauce and guacamole and sauteed onion-garlic-cilantro kidney beans. What a nourishing hearty delight! The sauce has such a deep flavour! Thank you for your clever recipes! Dessert was your raw brownies which also turned out marvelous :) I appreciate your cooking style! Keep up the superb work!
    Hugs, N

  32. Jennifer

    Hello,
    Amazing and adorable name :)
    Have you tried freezing the sauce? I’m going to make it this weekend, and will- I’ll let you know the results!
    ~ Jennifer

  33. Julia

    I just made the red blanket sauce and it´s sooo delicious! i ate it with normal potatoes and some avocado, celery stalks and kale and i guess it really goes with anything… i love the combination of sweet and hearty so this is perfect for my taste!
    Also i have to add that you, Sarah, have become kind of my personal food guru as every recipe you come up with seems to turn out brilliant and also often eye-opening in so many ways! I want to thank you for sharing your recipes and thoughts, it definitely brings a whole bunch more joy to my life!

  34. Louise

    I really think the only thing to be said to you Sarah is: you are THE shit. I’m so inspired by you and your amazingness! Can’t wait to try this goodness when the weather cools down here (in Australia). xx

  35. McKenna

    Thank you, Sarah B.!!! The Red Blanket sauce is incredible – so so so good and versatile. I made it for sweet potatoes last night (topped with your suggested avo, cilantro, green onions & black beans) and used it on quinoa patties and steamed broccoli for lunch today! My husband loves the Red Blanket Sauce – it reminds him of mexican mole sauce. I’m thinking it would be great on butternut squash and black bean tacos! A healthy, vegan way to give him his mexican food fix :) thanks again Sarah!

  36. Michelle @LALLnutrition

    Mmmm….I love sweet potatoes too and have been having them every chance I can get. This winter has been especially cold here in Toronto so sweet potatoes give that grounding, sweet element to make it all better! Loving the pics, as usual! Congrats on the detox plan too, you’re a regular with Oprah, eh? I will have to pick up a copy :)

    Lots of love
    ~Michelle xoxo

  37. Sadie

    Hi!
    Oh goodness, baked potatoes are to die for! I love plant-based comfort foods. I need to add this recipe to my to do list. Perfect meal for a quick dinner, since it is so simple to prepare. Goat’s cheese is the perfect optional topping. My boyfriend will eat literally anything with goat’s cheese as a listed ingredient. If you are ever in TO, I recommend stopping by at a comfort food vegan restaurant called the Hogtown Vegan. I feel almost guilty every time we go eat there, but then I remember it’s meat-free. One wouldn’t believe!
    I love the recipe for the Red Blanket Sauce. I imagine it goes well with anything. I am a huge fan of spicy foods. I might make two batches and eat it with a spoon:)

    By the way, congratulations on the Oprah magazine feature. Yet another success. You are an inspiration!

  38. Bike Pretty

    Made the sweet potatoes and the Red Blanket sauce last night.
    My potatoes were quite large and took about an hour to get soft all the way through. During that time, the skin caramelized a bit and became super yummy.

    Made a few substitutions in the Red Blanket sauce: roasted canned tomatoes, coconut manna instead of dates, peanut butter instead of tahini, ditched cocoa instead of raw, and canned chipotle pepper instead of dried.

    It came out very dark (like a Brown Blanket?) and tasted like a super yummy mole. The flavors definitely melded after an hour.

  39. Josiane Dalcourt

    Wonderful! i LOVE it! and this red blanket sauce is FABULOUS!!!! the sweet potato with the avocado and black beans = perfect combo! Thank you again and again dear Sarah! my life is more beautiful and for sure more tasteful since i’ve discovered your blog! you are a genious!
    josiane :)

  40. Austen

    Thank you so much for this! Made this just for myself as my non-vegetarian hubby had already eaten, he wanted to ‘try’ a bit and ended up eating half of my dinner! Very, very tasty.

  41. Teresa

    Fabulous! It was our confort sunday food and a great way to put some “non-veggie-friends” re-thinking their ideias. Great recipie!

  42. Amanda Raphael

    I was diagnosed with a stomach ulcer a few days ago following weeks of gastric “issues” so I was thrilled to learn that sweet potatoes are good for digestion – and this recipe looks really wonderful so I’ll definitely be trying it… Thank you for your beautiful recipes and photos, seriously just looking at them has kept me going over the last few weeks that my relationship with food has been sorely tested!

  43. Fancyschmancy

    I made this tonight, and it was really really great! And the taste was quite close to an authentic mole I once made, but much quicker and less of a fuss. You have an incredibly creative mind Sarah.

  44. Priscilla B

    CONGRATS on the Oprah spread. You’re helping so, so, so many people lead healthier and fuller lives!

    And a huge time THANK YOU for constantly sharing ways we can eat better in such tasty and decadent ways. You have taught me the true value of the food our earth naturally gives to us. What a huge blessing!

    Priscilla B

  45. camilla

    Hi Sarah,
    I love your recipe ‘s and photographs.
    I am about to begin a writing blog myself and would love to hear from you on who your host is, I really like your set up – tak

  46. Aliya

    This was amazing. I didn’t have (or could find) chipotle, so I used a little more cayenne and added hot peppers to the end, an topped it off with herbed goat cheese. Had never tried black beans before, new favourite. I used tahini for the sauce and it came out really well – it has a flavour palette I hadn’t tried before. I would never think to put cacao powder in a savoury dish, but there it is.

    The best part is that it’s an easy, messy eat and that looks good on the plate. Definitely making this again.

  47. Ingrid

    Hi!
    Inspired by you and this post I made sweet potato this weekend! And to go with it tzatziki, some salsa, cheese, cole slaw ++ so delicious!
    I love you blog and your recipes!
    Also, I think it is great with some everyday-simple-recipes – like the one not too long ago.

    Love, Ingrid :)

  48. Annie

    Any suggestions for a substitute for the dates in the sauce? Would maple syrup work, or would that make the sauce too thin? Thanks!

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  51. Saskia

    The way you describe this dish makes me wanna try it this very day – and I will! That sauce absolutely does it for me. I love your blog.

  52. Romy

    I made this for dinner and it’s was so awesome. My filling was with avocado, corn, cucumber, cherry tomatoes halved, cilantro, salt, lemon and grapeseed oil. Loved the sauce, I just added a bit more cacao and oregano. I hope to meet you one day. Any chance you’ll teach a lesson in the states?

    • Sarah Britton

      Hi Romy! So happy to hear you enjoyed it! No plans to teach classes yet as I am a very new mama and just focusing on the little babe for the moment. I always post upcoming classes on my events page and Facebook so keep an eye out there!
      Hope to see you in class one day :)

  53. Kathleen

    Went to the farmer’s market in Hollywood and go all of the ingredients for the Big Comfy Sweet Potato. I thought wow, my sweet potato is really big! Got home only for my b-friend to tell me it was a yam. Will this work with a yam?

  54. Suzi

    We just had these during the big game, hubby and I. All I can say is – the sauce is the bomb! We were licking the spoon and bowl and I’m not kidding. We decided this sauce would be killer on Chillaquilies too, or with any egg dish. That and a million other things, so I’ll just keep a jar in the fridge. The potato, black beans, avocado mix was fun, colorful, and very tasty. Thanks for this recipe! It’s a keeper for sure.

  55. Amy

    Black beans and sweet potatoes are such a great combo – made a black bean & kidney chili with sweet potatoes and jalapenos and tomato in the slow cooker – soooo good with avocado, cheese and sprouts on top.

    I want to try that blanket sauce but will have to wait to get a couple of ingredients from the market. But I think this is going to be dinner tonight as I am in need of comfort food (just came down with a cold) and have a huge bag of organic sweets and a couple of avocados as well (yay Costco!). Will just have to make a modified version of the sauce ;)

    Thanks lovely

  56. Kathleen Harris

    Remember the movie ‘Chocolat’ with Juliette Binoche? Her character shows up one day in small French village and proceeds to shake up the townsfolk with her passion for life in the form of handmade chocolates infused with love. She has a knack for guessing which chocolates will be people’s favorites, and is right every time. She intuitively knows what people want/need, particularly when they themselves do not and in time, her passion and joie de vivre loosens the rigid morality that has held the village in its grips for hundreds of years.

    I watched this movie the other night and found myself thinking ‘this would be so lovely in real life, the idea that there’s someone out there that doesn’t know you personally, but cares enough about you to deliver unexpected goodness into your life.’

    And then, needle scratch: there is that person in real life, and her name is Sarah B. She’s out there, whirling around her kitchen half a world away in a haze of magic, whipping up delight after impeccable delight, and she’s doing it for you! For your neighbour! For your friend, for your enemy, for your lover, for your children. For everyone.

    Here’s to you, Sarah B. and all the beautiful ways you are enhancing people’s lives, one delicious forkful at a time. These sweet potatoes were just what I wanted, and I didn’t even know it. But you did, didn’t you?

    • Sarah Britton

      Kathleen! I am speechless, and honestly, a little teary reading your comment. Wow. You have no idea how touched I am by your words, thank you. Hearing your feedback really motivates me to keep ‘whirling around my kitchen’ and creating recipes for you and everyone else! haha! Life is amazing, isn’t it? Sharing our gifts is the best thing we can do. Bless you <3

  57. Lane | Green Spirit Adventures

    Oh my, this looks sooo good! I love sweet potatoes too – my favorite comfort food. :) I think I could eat them every day and never get tired of them, and this recipe sounds absolutely perfect. (And the photos are, as always, totally gorgeous!) I’m dying to try that sauce now!

  58. Elenore Bendel Zahn

    My gooddness Sarah – you are amazing, love! (…and your photography is just inccroyable:)

    I still laugh when I think about the amounts of this dish (and hem sauce) I ate when we were over.. hrm.. Breastfeeding fuel for sure;)

    I love you. I miss you (and the boys!)

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  60. Lauren

    Made this tonight to take to a friend’s place for dinner. We all loved it! It was really easy to make and I love that I could eat as much as I wanted knowing it was all good for me :) The name is very fitting – it was comforting and satisfying. My grocery store only had a 28 oz can of organic whole tomatoes so I just used the whole can. The sauce was runnier than in the photo but still delicious, although maybe the flavor was a bit diluted. Sarah I just want to say thank you so much for your blog and I really don’t know what I would be eating without it! I can’t wait to buy your book when it comes out. I was about to download it when you posted that it would come out in print instead. So many of your recipes have become staples for me and I tell everyone I know about your website. Thank you :)

  61. Ketmala Phoumalavong

    Look at this gorgeous photography!!! Sarah, you sure know how to “dress-up”, or should I say “GLAM” a simple sweet potato! Your red blanket sauce sounds like a winner too. My kids, especially my son, love sweet potatoes, so I’ll have to make these soon. Thank you!
    Congratulations on your detox article features on Oprah Magazine, I actually picked it up this morning.

  62. Niki O'Neil

    This is exactly what I’ve been craving for about the past two weeks – I think you’re a mind reader haha! I’ve been desperate to make stuffed sweet potatoes but just havent got around to it yet; your beautiful photos are definitely my inspiration to give it a go now :) – Niki x

  63. Maria

    This was SO delicious! We made the sauce with roasted roots, green beans and beluga lentils. My husband, who’s a great fan of mexican, just loved it! Very much comfort food and just what we needed on such a grey day. Thank you!

  64. Beth

    Just delegated this to my boyfriend to cook for dinner. Housemates cooking steak and no complaints from him, winner! Now silly amounts of full. Thanks Sarah x

  65. The Vegan Cookie Fairy

    Sweet potatoes are a comfort food for me, too. Sometimes the only thing I need is a baked sweet potato topped with baked beans. It melts away all my problems. You make me want to rush out into the rain to the supermarket and get the necessary ingredients for this recipe! Gorgeous food, and gorgeous photos! xoxo

  66. Rebecca

    Sweet potatoes with black beans & fixings are my comfort food too! I’m going to have to try your Red Blanket Sauce though–it sounds like you take comfort to a whole new level :)

  67. Emma

    Gorgeous Sarah! “Red Blanket Sauce” is such an apt name too- It looks sure to cozy up any dish you slather it on. Congrats on the Oprah feature too- that’s amazing!

  68. Julie

    Again a recipe to add to my list of recipes I need to make, thank you!
    The detox looks great too, the only problem is that I’m still breastfeeding so I guess it’s not a great idea to detox at the moment. What are your thoughts on detoxing while breastfeeding?

  69. Roz

    gahhhh I just made this and it is phenomenal! and so easy! and phenomenal! I. just. phew, so good. Thank you thank you thank you for this latest flurry of easy and delicious meals. More more more of these simple delights please! They are wonderful. Seeing your regular meals is the best. Thank you!

  70. Sophie

    Oh my word, these look so good! And the red blanket sauce? Genius! I definitely going to buy some sweet potatoes on my next grocery trip!
    xoxo
    Sophie

  71. Julia

    As everyone always says, this looks delicious.

    However–in the sauce, what size can of whole tomatoes? 14 or 28oz?

  72. Maria

    Thanks for the great recipe! You always post recipes with interesting ingredient combinations. I do have a question on the Red Blanket Sauce. What is a knob of coconut oil or ghee? I’m not familiar with the term knob . Thanks for your help!

  73. Heather @ The Soulful Spoon

    Sarah, your blog is my new favorite retreat! I’m such a believer in raw plant-based eating. What a joy your blog has been for me. I’ve literally read every recipe you’ve made, and this is one of my favorites. You are truly a beautiful spirit. May God bless you for what you’re doing and making food beautiful again! Sweet potatoes are such an indulgent food I enjoy too, and they are a girl on a budget’s best friend:)
    Be Blessed,

    Heather

  74. April

    This looks so yummy, Sarah! I swear I was just thinking, what can I do to jazz up those sweet potatoes for dinner on Sunday… done!

  75. Insun

    This looks delicious Sarah! reminding me of roasted sweet potatoes that I used to have in cold winter back in Korea. My mum used to wrap them around with news papers and cook in the oven, which steams inside but still has beautiful roasted flavour outside. I cannot wait to try this recipe myself :)

  76. Maria

    Ohh YUM I can’t wait to try this recipe, I adore sweet potatoes! I have a sensitivity to the Vitamin A in them which makes my hands and skin complexion turn yellow/orange but I can’t imagine having to stop eating them! A life without sweet potatoes is a sad life indeed…

  77. Katie

    I adore sweet potatoes… Can’t wait to try with your red blanket sauce! Sometimes I microwave a sweet potato for a quick lunch when I can’t wait for roasting.

  78. Emmaline

    I’m making this tonight for dinner! The sauce looks so.good. I too find sweet potatoes comforting and full of warm taste fuzzies. Thank you for the last minute inspiration for a nourishing Friday dinner after what has been a crazy week!

  79. Elaine Brisebois

    Sarah, we both share a love for the same comfort food! A simple sweet potato with a small pat of organic butter and a sprinkle of sea salt is my go-to when I’m in need of some comfort food. I especially love the avocado + sweet potato combo. Your recipe looks delicious as per usual, and I’m really intrigued by that red blanket sauce. I will have to give this one a try for sure!

  80. Genevieve Y

    So excited to make the red blanket sauce! Baked sweet potatoes are one of my favourite easy meals: so easy, delicious, and, as you noted, comforting. Perfect for the winter cold mm mmm!

  81. Tessa

    Hello! Looks amazing! I was wondering whether you could substitute regular cocoa for the cacao – I can’t find cacao ANYWHERE in my small town, and online delivery is too expensive, but cocoa I can get. Thanks!

  82. Helene

    Waiting to try your sauce, i share with you mine that i just eat for dinner , harissa, garlic, parsley, paprika, salt , olive oil, delicious, on sweet potato, eggplant, quinoa….thanks for the ispiration ! And mazal tov for your baby !

  83. Charlotte Rolt

    Couldn’t agree more! I just sent my husband out to buy sweet potato so that I could have it for dinner with my chilli con carne rather than rice. They are just so delicious! I’ll definitely have to try this recipe out, looks delightful!

  84. Medha

    Such a healthy and comfy meal! I love sweet potatoes but your blanket sauce made them “killer sweet potatoes” ! Gorgeous pictures as always – love your feature in Oprah Magazine – Congratulations!

  85. Therese

    Love sweet potatoes and the red blanket sauce looks amazing. I can’t wait to try this. You are such an inspiration.
    I have been looking for a detox that wasn’t just juices. I am going to do this too.
    I have been reading your blog for a few years and have been inspired by many of the recipes. I finally am commenting. Thanks.

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