Nourishing Winter Meal

As I sat on a cold bus this afternoon, listening to the pounding rain, I needed hope that my day would end on a positive note. The rain and the cold made this difficult for a while, but as my thoughts turned, as they often do on my bus ride home, to what I would make for dinner….my brain finally landed on the evening game-changer: sweet potato.

There is something about sweet potatoes that nourish my soul. Like a sailor feels relief when he gets a jolt of Vitamin C from a fine piece of citrus, eating sweet potatoes makes my body feel good, my heart feel full, and my mouth very very happy. Is it the Vitamin A? Or is it that I love any food which is a excellent vehicle for honey and mustard? Jury’s out.

In any case, the smile that spread to my face once I realized that I was going to eat sweet potato for dinner tonight, which has lasted through my travels home to the preparation and enjoyment of my dinner, and well beyond is proof that sometimes your body needs what it needs, and that food can nourish us both physically and mentally.

Winter Warmer: Sweet Potato + Lentils for one
This recipe is easy and quick. I combined sweet potatoes with little beluga lentils to provide a nourishing winter dish..I'd imagine white beans would be quite good in this recipe as well. Serve over rice or with bread to add a little more heft. A fried egg on top would be amazing as well...
  • 1 sweet potato, chopped into 1 inch chunks
  • ½ cup cooked beluga lentils*
  • 3-4 stalks kale or collard greens
  • 1 teaspoon vinegar (apple cider or red wine)
  • Olive oil, salt, red pepper flakes, and fennel seeds
  1. Heat a skillet over medium high heat and add 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Add a few pinches of red pepper flakes and fennel seeds.
  2. When the red pepper flakes start to sizzle, add the sweet potato and ¼ teaspoon of salt. Stir to combine.
  3. Saute the sweet potato, stirring occasionally. Add water if they get too hot or are starting to burn. Taste frequently.
  4. when the sweet potatoes are softened, add the beluga lentils, another ¼ teaspoon of salt, and stir. You're just warming up the lentils and integrating everything together.
  5. Add the kale stalks, and stir together.
  6. Once the kale has wilted, but is still vibrant green, taste and add any more salt if needed, and remove from the heat.
  7. Add 1 teaspoon of vinegar (apple cider or red wine vinegar), and stir to combine. Enjoy!

*To cook beluga lentils: rinse 1/3 cup of dried beluga lentils. Add 1 cup of water and heat up over high heat. Once boiling, reduce to medium heat to maintain the boil. Lentils are done when they begin to soften – you can add more water during the cooking process if needed. Pro tip – you can cook the lentils while the sweet potatoes are cooking!!


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