A weeknight-friendly trick for fluffy sweet potatoes in under 10 minutes

I'm welcome Ready. Set cookbook!, a column where we share recipes from the cookbook we treasure and turn to again and again on the busiest of weeknights. These highly desirable recipes will help you get dinner on the table in less than an hour.

It's rare for me to find a recipe that gives me a fresh way to cook a common ingredient and even rarer that reveals an easy way to get dinner on the table. Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes in Anita Lowe's Cookbook Solo It miraculously does both and has become a Saturday night staple in my house.

This is a wonderful vegetarian recipe. The dish takes the classic idea of ​​a stuffed potato and turns it into a sweet and savory dish by using sweet potato as its base and then piling it high with rich mushrooms and earthy kale. All three ingredients have strong flavors, but somehow, they all work harmoniously, balancing each other out—with a hint of Parmesan salt helping to tie it all together.

And the best part is that the recipe can be made in just 30 minutes. Here's the trick: Sweet potatoes are microwaved for 8 to 10 minutes.. It's less than an hour or so to cook them until soft enough to scoop and fluff.

Just Recipes / Mark Behm

One's recipes are perfect for my family of three.

Solo It's based on the idea of ​​cooking for just one person, but that doesn't make it any less useful for large family dinners. In fact, it's ideal for families like mine that have an odd number of people—two parents and a child. If I multiply the ingredients by three, I can make enough for everyone without wasting any money.

Remember that it takes more time to microwave three potatoes than one. My general rule of thumb for multiplying this recipe is to add five more minutes to the microwave for each additional potato., then squeeze them with an oven mitt (they're hot!) to see if they're soft or need a few more minutes. For more than three potatoes, you may have to cook them in batches to fit them all.

Anita Lowe's recipe for Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Kale, Mushrooms and Parmesan


  • 1 yam or yam
  • 3 tablespoons fresh ricotta or mascarpone cheese
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 4 to 5 cremini mushrooms (or any fresh mushroom will do), sliced ​​fairly thick (about 1/3 inch)
  • Handful of washed cabbage (any kind – you can use salad greens that are pre-washed to save time)
  • 1/2 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • A pinch of fresh thyme leaves (if using dry, substitute half the quantity – a small pinch)

Just Recipes / Mark Behm

1. Prick the sweet potato all around with a fork, then place on a plate and microwave on high until a knife easily pierces the thickest part, about 8 to 10 minutes. Preheat your toaster or regular oven to 350°F.

Just Recipes / Mark Behm

2. Cut the sweet potato in half, then scoop out most of the insides into a bowl and mash with ricotta or mascarpone, and a healthy grating of Parmesan (about a tablespoon). Season with salt and pepper to taste. This potato mixture does not need to be completely smooth. Stuff it back into the potato skins, then drizzle with a little olive oil and bake, until lightly browned on top, about 15 minutes.

Simple tip!

Sometimes instead of adding a dollop of ricotta or mascarpone — I'll admit, it makes the dish decadent — I sometimes leave it out because I rarely have it in my fridge.

Instead, I mix in some butter and extra Parmesan. This allows me to skip the baking step and add toppings right away if I need to, and cuts my total cooking time to less than 15 minutes. It's probably not as special as the original, but it's still absolutely delicious.

Just Recipes / Mark Behm

3. Meanwhile, prepare the mushrooms and kale. Heat a skillet over high, then add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushroom slices in a single layer and cook for a minute until they begin to brown. Then add the kale, garlic, and salt and pepper and stir until wilted and lightly browned. Add the thyme, then stir once more.

When the sweet potatoes are ready, add the mushroom kale mixture on top. Finish with more grated Parmesan and eat.

From “Solo: A Modern Cookbook for the Party of One” by Anita Lowe. Copyright © 2018 by Anita Lowe. Excerpted with permission from Alfred A. Knopf, a division of Penguin Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this extract may be reproduced or republished without the written permission of the publisher.

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