Today one of my friends asked me which season is my favorite for cooking and eating. I immediately answered Fall. From the time that I started writing Halloween poems in second grade to my senior year of high school when I related my college essay to my love of Autumn, I’ve always had a deep appreciation of the last several months of the year. This past Fall while I was studying abroad in London, I attempted to incorporate more autumnal flavors and produce into my cooking. This included apples, squash, cinnamon, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. One of the quickest and easiest dinners that I made was a simple stuffed sweet potato. Like most of the things I cooked abroad, this dish was a great vessel for throwing together whatever protein and vegetables I had on hand.
Craving this dish in the middle of the week, I made a trip to the store to buy just one sweet potato. As I do not have an oven here at the hotel in Miami, I did the desperate and microwaved my sweet potato instead. It was extremely simple to just prick it with a fork and then pop it in the microwave, but I do admit that you can never quite get the same soft effect as with baking. I’m still not quite sure how long I microwaved it for (somewhere between 4-8 minutes) since I had to just constantly an eye on my potato in order to check how tender it was. While my potato was cooking I sautéed a large handful of kale with the leftover chicken tortilla soup I made the other day. Since the chicken had soaked up a lot of the liquid, I used the small amount of remaining liquid to steam the kale, while the chicken, corn, and beans added some more substance to my potato filling.
When the potato was done I cut it open, sprinkled in some cheddar cheese (a really good aged cheddar we got in Edinburgh), and topped it off with the kale-chicken mixture and a small spoonful of hot salsa. The chewiness of the kale combined with the sweet, soft potato and sharp cheddar made such a satisfying and healthy dinner fit for any season of the year.