Goat Cheese, Sage, and Italian Sausage Stuffed Sweet Potato
"I knew you were trouble when you walked in..." Oh Tay-Tay, how did you know this stuffed sweet potato might be the death of me?! Probably because we're best friends in real life, online in my head. I am constantly asking myself WWTSD, (what would Taylor Swift do) and she would most certainly tell me that this genius concoction I happened to come up with was trouble with a capital T. And when I say trouble, I mean only that you'll want to eat this all day, every day for the rest of your life for all meals and snacks, and perhaps even blend it up in your fancy Vitamix and drink it as a shake.
My new obsession is stuffed sweet potatoes though, for real. The amount of real live hands-on work required of them is so little, and the results are AMAZEBALLS. Besides the whole having to wait an hour until your potato is baked thing, really this is the easiest thing in the world to do. And even that can be remedied via a microwaved spud if you're really in a time pinch. Though the microwaved version doesn't give you that beautiful crispy skin with the carmelized deliciousness oozing out all over the place, they'll do for those of you who just have to have your food RIGHT MEOW. (by the way, Tay loves cats if you didn't know) I love these meals almost as much as she loves cats. So much so, that I'm contemplating compiling a quick, free e-book with a few of my favorite stuffed sweet potato recipes...I mean, only if you guys would be interested. (who am I kidding, you guys are interested, right??)
Those of you hard-core paleo policers will already be grumbling to yourself in your head about how this is not a paleo recipe. You're thinking, "HELLO, goat cheese is cheese is NOT paleo. Who does she think she is?!" Well, I'll tell you. I'm the creator of this blog and guess what it's called Paleo-ISH! For those of you who are maybe just starting to get interested in pursuing a paleo lifestyle, and might be confused about me using goat cheese, I'll touch on this to explain. For many people, cow's milk dairy is highly gut irritating. Even minimal consumption for many people can result in GI distress, hives, rashes, skin irritation, and a whole host of other really fun side effects. The effects of even just a little dairy can last weeks or months in terms of how we process out that dairy in the body. A.K.A. No fun at all! On the other hand, there are people like me, who can tolerate small amounts of grass-fed or raw dairy without having much irritation. People like me, and even some people who don't tolerate cow dairy well, can also do well with consuming small amounts of goat cheese in moderation with significantly less to no side effects. My suggestion to you if you're not sure what camp you fall in would be to do a Whole30 or similar elimination plan, and reintroduce those foods back into your diet slowly to test your reactions. I did this program by Cassy Joy over at Fed and Fit (she is seriously the best!), and learned a lot about my diet and what foods really don't sit well with me.
Moving forward, just as an FYI, any recipe that I post that uses goat cheese or another form of cheese will not be strict paleo, and actually falls more under the camp of "primal"--a diet similar to paleo that will incorporate the occasional use of high quality cheeses/dairy (among some other slight variations). But as always, if you really can't tolerate dairy, you can always make this meal sans cheese, and it will still rock your world!
One quick note about this recipe, like I mentioned before, you can always microwave your spud if you're in a time pinch AND you can leave off the coconut oil and salt coating if you really want to, although I really feel like it adds that extra something, and helps the skin peel off much easier!
Let me know how this one turns out friends! What are some variations of stuffed sweet potatoes that you'd like to see in a FREE E-BOOK?! Comment and I'll see what I can come up with!
4 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp coconut oil (and slightly more for coating sweet potatoes)
sea salt (for potato baking)
1 lb ground italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 medium white onion, diced
1/2 heaping cup mushrooms, sliced
1 heaping tsp fresh chopped rosemary
2 heaping tsp fresh chopped sage (and more for garnish)
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
4 oz container of goat cheese crumbles
Optional: grass-fed butter or ghee for potato
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Scrub potatoes and pat dry. Prick each potato with a form 3-4 times, then coat with a layer of coconut oil.
- Place potatoes on a foil lined baking sheet and sprinkle with sea salt.
- Bake in oven for 45 minutes to an hour, or until you reach the desired softness.
- Turn off oven and leave potatoes in the oven to cool for 5-10 minutes while the oven cools.
- While potatoes are cooking, prep meat filling.
- Heat 2 tbsps coconut oil in medium pan over medium heat. Once heated throw in onions, mushrooms and garlic into pan to saute until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes).
- Add in italian sausage and mix well. Cook until lightly browned, then add in rosemary, sage, salt, and pepper mixing well.
- Continue cooking until sausage is slightly crispy and remove from heat.
- Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and pull skin back to expose potato flesh. Mash potato lightly with fork and add optional butter or ghee if desired.
- Spoon italian sausage mixture evenly amongst 4 potatoes. Top with desired amount of goat cheese and chopped fresh sage for garnish if desired.