Good toppings for roasted sweet potatoes
September 17, 2021 8:53 PM   Subscribe

Looking for suggestions on vegetable-heavy toppings that can be made in advance and would be good on roasted sweet potatoes.

If left to my own devices I will just eat nothing but bread and cereal for lunch while working from home, so in the interest of trying to eat more healthy and get more vegetables in my diet, I've started roasting sweet potatoes and eating half of one at lunch.
I'm looking for ideas for good cooked veggies that I can make in advance, will last a few days in the fridge, and will reheat well. Bonus if it involves frozen vegetables. For example, I thought I might try thawing some frozen spinach, squeezing it dry, and sautéing it with onions and garlic, and throwing in some lemon juice and feta. Not sure how that will taste with sweet potato, but I guess I'll find out.
Ideas with protein are good too! Spiced fried canned chickpeas? Something with chopped hardboiled eggs?
I can't stand peppers (bell or hot), and have a hard time with spicy foods, though I'd like to slowly change that. Any ideas are welcome! Thanks!
posted by skycrashesdown to Food & Drink (23 answers total) 41 users marked this as a favorite
Sautéed greens are great (I don’t care for frozen but they’d work). Will also suggest Greek yogurt (like sour cream here but healthier) + minced chives or dill. If you have access to a Trader Joe’s they have an amazing green goddess seasoning that I’ve been putting on everything, and it proved to be super tasty mixed in with the yogurt as a topping for a baked sweet potato.
posted by lovableiago at 9:32 PM on September 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

There's a local(ish) place that does sustainable and vegetarian food that had a bowl (a grain bowl I guess they're called now?) that was brown rice, black beans, salsa, sweet potatoes, plantains, and BBQ sauce. I could eat that every week.
posted by fiercekitten at 9:35 PM on September 17, 2021 [6 favorites]

For your plan with frozen spinach, there's no point in thawing. Just throw the frozen spinach in your pan when the oil is hot enough to sauté. I do it all the time.
posted by ShooBoo at 9:48 PM on September 17, 2021

Cauliflower’s easy to roast, lasts a while in the fridge, and it has a relatively neutral flavour. Slice it up or break it into florets, then roast with oil at 400-425F, turning+checking it every ~7 min. It works with nearly any seasoning, I often use a Mexican-ish taco spice mix and then finish with lemon juice. I think that would go fairly well with sweet potato.

Cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts can all be roasted the same way.
posted by ripley_ at 11:17 PM on September 17, 2021 [1 favorite]

Sautéed sausage, onions, and finely-chopped kale! Frozen mixed vegetables (any combination of carrots, peas, green beans, succotash, corn, spinach, you name it) sautéed with a bit of curry powder and salt! Sautéed smashed chickpeas with garlic (use dehydrated powder if you don’t have time), cumin, coriander, too with a drizzle of tahini and lemon (garnish with some cucumber dice or slices for crunch)! Hot potato with cold black-bean mango avocado red onion chopped tomato lime juice cilantro salsa!
posted by rrrrrrrrrt at 11:47 PM on September 17, 2021 [2 favorites]

I really like this recipe for braised coconut spinach and chickpeas with lemon, the recipe suggests serving it with roast sweet potato and I can confirm it is a good combo.
posted by Lluvia at 12:28 AM on September 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

Frozen green beans are pretty good just zapped but they are great when you slow cook them so they break down a bit. You can mix them with some sautéed onions and mushrooms and maybe a little cream and nutmeg or not as your preference and with sweet potato that’s Thanksgiving on a plate right there. Slow cooked green beans are also delicious with some tomatoes, I think, you could absolutely use nice quality canned tomatoes for this.

Frozen corn is a great way to add texture and sweetness to something like cooked greens or too-soft broccoli, I think. Try mixing a little frozen corn into basically anything with a bitter component and see how it balances it out. If you can get the tiny sweet kernels you don’t need to cook them and can just thaw them under tepid running water and drain. Mix with a cold chopped salad of radishes, chard, avocado and a lime dressing for a great combination of textures and flavors with your sweet potato base.

Black beans and sweet potatoes with cumin and chili is a truly delicious vegetarian base for all kinds of Mexican or Texmex dishes. I do love peppers so I always roast them alongside my potato chunks but you could just do red onion alone, or with other things you think sound nice. You can do an awesome tomatillo sauce by roasting them plus a couple poblanos, onion, and garlic, then adding a bunch of cilantro and blending it up with some olive oil, seasoned to taste with cumin, salt, and maybe a little sugar or honey. You can add some stock and simmer it for a while for a more mellow and rich flavor, or use it as-is for a super punchy and bright sauce. That sauce plus the black bean, sweet potato, and other roasted veg mixture, sometimes plus a little crema and corn tortillas is a knock out vegetarian taco night.
posted by Mizu at 1:33 AM on September 18, 2021

My cousin used to make her baby a sweet potato cut down the middle and filled with garlic hummus as a daily meal. She also recommends drizzling tahini on top (sperately). I totally stole the idea. I used to pair mine cottage cheese or ricotta. I think you can stuff a sweet potato with most things, if that’s what you’re looking for. Chili is good. Oh, I just remembered this delicious dish that a resistant I used to work at made. It was a fried sweet potato (a chef I knew would bake mine instead of frying it though) topped with Chimichurri and a fried egg. I believe that was it, and it was spectacular. Pan fried tofu, or chicken in any kind of sauce. I’d be willing to bet that the Chinese scallion ginger sauce would also be great on a sweet potato. Really sky’s the limit here. Also, pro tip, got a bar of orange infused dark chocolate. Split a sweet potato in half and save half for dessert, stuffing it with the chocolate and then mash it up in its jacket. Really good somewhat healthy dessert!
posted by Champagne Supernova at 2:51 AM on September 18, 2021 [3 favorites]

I would go with something that was crispy with a contrasting flavor: regular or candied walnuts, fried garlic chips, fried sage, a blend of a variety of chopped chili peppers and cilantro lime or another kind of fresh (not cooked) salsa would be good.
posted by A Terrible Llama at 3:22 AM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Black beans heated up with some BBQ sauce are shockingly good on baked sweet potatoes (thanks 90's era Vegetarian Times magazine!). You could add some frozen spinach or other greens into the beans and I'm sure that would be great too. Super quick & easy.
posted by snaw at 3:41 AM on September 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

Black beans sauteed with red onions, adobo seasoning, garlic and onion powder, cumin, and as much chili powder as you like.

Top it with Greek yogurt, but first mix the yogurt with a little olive oil, lime juice, and salt. You can keep this separate till you’re ready to eat.

I like a little avocado on top but that doesn’t last all week in the fridge.
posted by jameaterblues at 4:31 AM on September 18, 2021

Chana masala, or any variety of curry.
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:22 AM on September 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

Caramelized sliced onions, starting with a bigger quantity of raw onions than you think you need. They shrink and if you have leftovers, they're great so many ways.

Dressing on a meat or cheese sandwich.

Mixed into sour cream or yogurt: vegie or chip dip.

Filling in an omelet.

Pasta topping, maybe with the addition of a dissolve anchovy or two, a little olive oil and some pepper flakes, too.
posted by tmdonahue at 6:00 AM on September 18, 2021

Nothing the suggestion of black beans! You can drain one 15 oz can of black beans and add the juice of a lime, some adobo seasoning or sazon, a little chopped cilantro and chopped green onion. Top with some quick pickles red onion strips. Pepper jack or quest fresco on top not a bad idea either.
posted by little mouth at 6:07 AM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

I really like chili on top of baked sweet potatoes (and it also freezes well so you can make a big batch). I would also try sauteeing an onion, a bit of tomato paste, and soyrizo and throwing it on top. Add a dollop of yogurt or sour cream to either one if you do dairy or dairy alternatives.
posted by A Blue Moon at 6:24 AM on September 18, 2021

Roasted kale and chickpeas, with dried cranberries and feta.
posted by rebekah at 7:05 AM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Toasted pepitas or walnuts are my favorite to top whatever other stuffings I'm using.
posted by latkes at 8:44 AM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Pureed peas. Throw some frozen peas into salted boiling water, they will be done in a couple of minutes. Drain and perhaps add some butter, and puree them, easily done with a Stick blender. Or smash with a fork, for more chuncky result.

Press down with spoon into the sweetpotato to make a shallow dent, heap with pea puree and enjoy spectacular colour before digging in.
I make this often, also works great as a side dish with meat.
posted by 15L06 at 11:04 AM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

scrambled eggs (i like to put in some cumin and shredded cheese), 1/2 roasted sweet potato (i use a spiralizer and they cook in 11 minutes), 1/2 avocado and then either kimchi or sauerkraut.

i'll make scrambled eggs and sweet potatoes once or twice a week and make a bunch for lunch leftovers of the above.
posted by noloveforned at 1:17 PM on September 18, 2021

Fried onions and green peppers together with feta and sour cream is delightful.

What a delicious question!
posted by past unusual at 2:29 PM on September 18, 2021

Leek + sweet potato is an excellent combination, which I know because the leeks often end up getting into my sweet potatoes on my usual steak dinner plate. So I'd definitely try leeks, either creamed or braised, maybe with some bacon or pancetta if you want protein.

For the same reason, I know brussels sprouts are also good with sweet potatoes. Whole or even halved or quartered ones might be awkward, but maybe sliced or shredded, like you would for this sautee? Heck, I would totally just put that sautee on top of a sweet potato
posted by rhiannonstone at 3:55 PM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Chili (Vegetarian if you like) is really good on baked (microwaved) sweet or white potatoes.
Indian meals in a pouch are usually beans and a vegetable, fast, easy & tasty. Chili is basically a beef, tomato & bean curry, anyway.
Salsa and/or Guacamole and/or sour cream.
Arugula and a little salad dressing.
I love sweet potatoes, they're great in a wrap with rice, beans of any sort including refried, salsa and anything else on hand, like spinach, scrambled eggs, avocado, peppers, cheese, artichokes, arugula/lettuce, onions, shredded carrot, cucumber, and if you like, add some jalapenos or kimchi.
posted by theora55 at 6:17 PM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

This isn't a vegetable, but I've made this recipe - Sweet Potatoes with Tahini Butter - and the tahini butter was really delicous. I bet it would be great over any vegetable (included heated frozen veggies), and/or roasted chickpeas.

For the roasted chickpeas, I drain canned chickpeas and blot them dry with a towel, then toss with olive oil and salt and roast in the oven at 425 F or so for 20-30 mins. They are great without any spices, but cumin, paprika, or smoked paprika are all great. I would add the spices closer to the end to avoid burning them.

Black beans and sweet potatoes is a good combination too - I've simmered black beans in jarred salsa verde and served it over a sweet potato, with cheese melted on top.
posted by loop at 7:51 PM on September 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

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