There is nothing I love more than a new year. Clean starts are the best. Hopes, dreams, expectations.. ANYTHING seems possible.
Aaannndd then, it’s January 14th. I have gone to sleep with my makeup on twice this week, started over the P90x3 workout series twice, and have made daily trips to Starbucks since January 3rd. 2016, the year of “self-care and homemade coffee”.. well, it isn’t off to a great start.
Or is it a matter of perspective..
If you look at the situation a different way, I have washed and cared for my skin 12/14 nights, exercised 11/14 days, and Starbucks.. well, I’m dropping that resolution?. Baby-steps.
This month I’m transforming traditionally “unhealthy recipes” and make them into a better version of themselves (you know… resolutions, but for food).
I totally get why people want to eat healthier in January. December is all food.. All. The. Time. And even with the best of intentions, indulgence happens. It isn’t necessarily a resolution thing, eating crummy takes a toll. You feel yucky, and who’s got time for that!
Healthy eating has to be a lifestyle. Something that you do because it gives you energy and makes you feel good. Instead of making giant declarations like.. “I’m going to completely cut out processed foods,” try making small changes to your daily diet. Focus on what you DO eat, instead of on what you DON’T (perspective).
A great way to start is to replace something you would normally have with something healthy. For example. Instead of driving through and grabbing a breakfast sandwich in the morning, make a green monster smoothie, swap out the full-fat milk in your daily latte for almond, instead of ordering pizza because you worked all week and are beat, spend a little time on Sunday prepping healthy make-ahead meals to be eaten throughout the week. The list could go on and on, but you get it. Baby steps.
These Twice Baked Mexican Sweet Potatoes fit into this scenario perfectly.. instead of heading out for burritos and margaritas, make these?
This recipe is gluten and dairy free. It’s filled to the brim with black beans, seasoned chicken, and spicy pico. Top these babies with endless amounts of yummy stuff (avocado, melty cheese, sour cream, chunky salsa) and you’ve got a healthy whole food dinner that comes together in a way that won’t disappoint. Oh yeah.. they can be prepped and assembled WAAAAYYYYY in advance.
Time Saving Tips and Tricks:
Prep: To prep for this recipe, make the meat filling ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator until you are ready to bake the potatoes. It will keep for 2-4 days.
Make Ahead: This is my favorite option. Follow the recipe exactly, but don’t bake the potatoes a second time. When you are ready to serve, pop them in the oven at 35o until warm, and chop a few optional toppings while you wait. Dinner done.
Freezer: These potatoes do very well as freezer food. Follow recipe exactly, but don’t bake the potatoes a second time. Wrap potatoes in clear wrap and place on a baking tray. Freeze for 2-4 hours, or until potatoes are frozen through. Remove from baking tray and store in an airtight Ziplock bag. To serve, place frozen potatoes in a 350 degree oven until warm and golden, about 40 minutes. Enjoy.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 tsp. olive oil
- 1 lbs. ground chicken (organic recommended)
- 1½ cups pico di gallo
- ½ cup corn, frozen
- 1 15 oz can black beans
- 1 TBS taco seasoning
- 2 avocados, diced
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- sour cream (optional)
- shredded cheese (optional)
- extra salsa (optional
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Rinse sweet potatoes and place on a foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until potatoes are fork tender. Rotate potatoes after 30 minutes to ensure even cooking. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 5-10 minutes.
- To a skillet over medium heat, add olive oil and ground chicken. Cook until chicken is no longer pink, about 8-10 mins. Stir frequently. Drain juices/fat. Return skillet to stove and add beans, corn, and taco seasoning. Cook until corn is no longer frozen. Add pico. Stir to combine. Set aside.
- Using a large spoon, carefully scoop out the center of each sweet potato (leaving about ¼ inch around the edges) and place in a large mixing bowl. Add the meat mixture. Stir to combine. Scoop filling back into the potato skins. Sprinkle with shredded cheese (optional) and pop back into the oven to reheat. Serve topped with cilantro, avocado, and other desired toppings.
- I like to make my own taco seasoning so I can control the quantity of salt and the quality of ingredients. Get the recipe HERE.
- My family prefers the taste of ground chicken breast, but if you are looking to something a little closer to traditional beef you can use ground chicken thigh. You could also swap out the chicken entirely for ground beef, just make sure to drain well.
- Making your own pico is fabulous. However, in the interest of saving time I usually purchase mine from my local grocery store. Just make sure that you recognize all the ingredients and nothing funky is included.
- If you are looking for more make ahead meals check out Simply Sissom on Pinterest. If you like what you see, follow! New pins from my favorite bloggers and sites from around the web are added daily.
- One of the easiest ways to make a small change towards a healthy lifestyle is to be intentional about breakfast. Download my FREE ebook for great Grab N’ Go Breakfast ideas!
- If you are interested in learning more about meal prepping, follow Simply Sissom on Instagram for #mealprepmonday. Each week I spend 90 minutes prepping for healthy meals that my family will enjoy through the week. Get lots of tips, tricks, and recipes that can’t be found here on the blog! Here’s a peek at last week’s 90 minute prep session.
Other Posts You Might Like:
FREE: GRAB N" GO BREAKFAST EBOOK
10 Make-Ahead,Whole Food Breakfast Recipes to help mornings go a little smoother and maybe even get you a little bit of extra sleep!