How is another summer already coming to a close? I’m back in Montana, where I go at the end of every August, and this year I convinced my dad to join me. His birthday fell the day after the eclipse, and while we didn’t see a total eclipse this far north, it was still a grand birthday treat. We floated down the middle fork of the Flathead River with a large group, hung out on camping chairs and sleeping pads on a wide, rocky stretch of remote beach along the river, and watched as the sun’s light dimmed, and the moon’s shadow made the sun look like Pacman, and the air cooled with the dark, hazy light. We ate lunch along the banks, and then clambered back into our rafts to continue floating. We were tired from the heat of the day, but rallied for a brief evening hike in the high subalpine landscape I love so much. It was a long, beautiful day.
I always feel a scramble in these last weeks to pack it all in: a cold plunge in a river, as many meals outside as we can manage, a few more nights camping, and a few more days gloriously offline. Simple meals are my jam this time of year. Simple, with a twist. I’ve been itching to make twice-baked sweet potatoes while camping. It’s the perfect meal in this transitional season, where the nights tend to cool, and cozy food starts to sound appealing again. And twice-baked sweet potatoes are a great vehicle for so many delicious things to make a complete meal. Because I am protein-obsessed, I added a generous portion of crispy chickpeas, and spiced it up with a dry harissa spice mix, and cooled it down with some yogurt and fresh herbs.
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chickpeas
I loved the added kick of the harissa dry spice mix here. You could follow any number of flavor profiles and these would still be awesome. Pulses are the perfect way to incorporate some extra protein into this dish to make it a complete and deeply gratifying meal. Learn more about how to incorporate 1/2 cup of pulses into your weekly meals at Half-Cup Habit.
2 medium sweet potatoes
3 tablespoons shredded cheese
2 tablespoons yogurt, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh flat leaf parsley, plus more for serving
2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro, plus more for serving
2 diced scallions, plus more for serving
1.5 teaspoons harissa spice mix, divided
1 12-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed and thoroughly drained
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
Handful of sliced cherry tomatoes, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Prick the sweet potatoes a few times, and bake until cooked through about 45-60 minutes.
When the potatoes have cooled enough to handle, slice in half lengthwise and carefully scoop the inner flesh into a mixing bowl. Combine with the shredded cheese, yogurt, parsley, cilantro, and scallions. Carefully scoop the mixture back into each sweet potato, and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
While the potatoes finish cooking, warm a large skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, chickpeas, 1 teaspoon of the harissa powder, cumin, and sea salt, and cook, stirring, until the chickpeas begin to brown and crisp, about 8-10 minutes. The chickpeas will lose their crispness over time so it’s best to make just before serving.
To serve, remove the sweet potatoes from the oven and allow to cool a few minutes. Top each with the chickpeas, cherry tomatoes, extra fresh herbs, and yogurt. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Enjoy!
This post is sponsored by USA Pulses and Pulse Canada. Pulses are the delicious, protein-packed, sustainable foods known as dry peas, chickpeas, lentils and beans. All thoughts and content are my own. Partnerships like these sustain me as a small business!