This southwest stuffed sweet potato proves that eating vegan can be affordable, filling, and tasty!
Boil dried chickpeas in a pot of water for 5 minutes, then remove from heat and cover. Let chickpeas sit for an hour. Drain the water, rinse, and add them back to the pot with 2 litres of water and boil for 2 hours until tender. You can do this a day in advance of making the southwest stuffed sweet potato to save time.
This is optional, but you can roll the cooked chickpeas between paper towel with your hands to remove the outer skins. I didn't and it gets so mushy and cooked down that it doesn't totally matter.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wash your sweet potatoes and poke them around the surface with a fork. Cover each sweet potato with 1/2 a teaspoon of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt and ground black pepper using your hands. Bake on tin foil for approximately 60 minutes or until cooked through. You could also do these in the microwave for 5 to 7 minutes, but make sure you don't put in the tinfoil.
Add cooked chickpeas to the pan. Mash with a potato masher (or a fork) to rough them up a bit. Stir frequently and cook for 4 to 5 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for another 4 minutes. Add another tablespoon of oil (or magic vegan bacon grease) as the mixture starts to look dry. Once chickpea mixture is cooked and browned up, remove from the heat, cover with a lid, and set aside while you prepare the kale and guacamole.
Cut avocado in half and remove the pit. Scoop the flesh of both halves into a bowl and add the juice from the other 1/2 lime. Add sea salt and ground black pepper to taste. Mash with a fork until well combined.
When the sweet potatoes are done baking, remove them from the oven on the tin foil and cut each potato in half.
For each serving, scoop some smokey chickpea mash onto the plate. Place a half sweet potato on top, skin side down. With a fork, lightly mash and fluff up the inside of the sweet potato. Add kale, guacamole, and diced tomato on top. Serve immediately.
If you can't get the magic vegan bacon bits or magic vegan bacon grease, use another brand of simulated bacon bits as most are vegan. A few drops of liquid smoke works as well.
My only nemesis... dried chickpeas! They take forever to cook. Feel free to use canned ones if you can get them. I usually use Eden Organics brand which is preserved with sea salt and seaweed in a BPA-free lined can.