I made this for my gorgeous partner Matt before he went off to do an overnight swimming race (3x 30 minutes of swimming from 8.00PM until 6.00AM the next day! Where does he get the motivation?!). This is a lovely, filling, satisfying dinner with lots of calming complex carbohydrates, filling and sustaining fibre and lots of protein.
The sweet potato is decadent and creamy and the curried chickpeas have the kick of ginger, cayenne and turmeric and a small kiss of cardamom. Hummus is a given as it goes well with anything, and once you mix in the tangy, crunchy mixed leaves, you’ve got an all round winner.
Also, it’s really simple: bung the sweet potato into the oven for 45 minutes, saute the chickpeas in the spices and then throw them onto your plate along with the salad and hummus and boom. Demolish.
Does anyone else get “food happies”? After particular food, I literally feel euphoric! I know I am hyper sensitive, but I’m pretty sure others get it too. Not from overstuffing yourself, but from the food you’re eating. Sweet potatoes and chickpeas give me the food happies without fail. That’s why you’ll see a lot of sweet potato recipes on here, heh.
Sweet potatoes are my crowning glory. They are a calming complex carbohydrate full of folate and B6, which will help to ground you and bring back some balance. Eating foods high in B6 will help reduce your depressive symptoms, irritability and low mood.
It has a high level of beta-carotene; diets low in beta-carotene have been linked with chronic fatigue and depression. Rich in iron, sweet potato will prevent that exhausted, weak, achy feeling that comes with low iron levels in the blood.
When I was suffering, I extensively researched natural antidepressants, which ranged from essential oils, herbs, minerals and various foods to cold showers, coffee and planking! I remember reading something about eating hummus over taking prozac and almost fell off of my chair. Hummus = happiness?!! Those annoying vegans that you invite to the BBQ who overload the table with hummus are onto something. I mean, I know eating hummus won’t cure your depression alone, but the reason why you should incorporate more chickpeas into your diet is because they provide you with a large amount of Tryptophan, which is a precursor to serotonin, our natural happy chemical.
Can you see where I’m going with this? This is a happy meal. Tryptophan, beta carotene, complex carbohydrates, a good balance of vitamins and minerals = food happies.
Get this lovely plate of orange, yellow and green sunshine down you and give yourself an inner hug.
- 1 medium sweet potato
- 1/2 can of chickpeas, drained (around 90g of cooked chickpeas)
- Mixed leaf salad (red & green lettuce, rocket and spinach is my go-to, but you could also just use spinach)
- 1 dollop of hummus
- 1 tsp ghee (if you don#t have ghee, use coconut or olive oil)
- Small knob of ginger, grated
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1 pinch of black pepper
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/5 tsp cayenne powder
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp garam masala
- 1 cardamom pod, bruised (take out the pod when you have finished cooking the chickpeas).
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Score the sweet potato and bung it in the oven for 45 minutes – 1 hour (you should be able to put a toothpick all the way through without hitting hard potato).
- Whilst the sweet potato is cooking, mix the spices for the chickpeas. In a small bowl, mix together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, salt, pepper, cayenne, turmeric, grated ginger, paprika, cumin, garam masala and cardamom pod.
- Pour the oil + spices mix into a small pan with the chickpeas and cook until the chickpeas has soaked up the spice mixture (around 10 minutes).
- Take out the sweet potato and cut in half. Mush it up slightly with a fork.
- Place the mixed greens over the sweet potato and the curried chickpeas over the mixed greens. Finish it off with salt, pepper, a dollop of hummus and some coriander, if you wish.