Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Pesto

Prep Time 15 min Inactive Time 50 min Cook Time 50 min

Ingredients

2 large white sweet potatoes, scrubbed (about 2 pounds)

Extra virgin olive oil

Salt and pepper

2 large cloves garlic, divided

1 teaspoon dried chives or parsley

2-ounces basil leaves, stems removed

2 cups baby spinach

1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds

1/2 pound ground beef

1/2 cup shredded mozzarella or white cheddar

    Directions

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice sweet potatoes in half lengthwise and place on rimmed baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake the potatoes for 40 minutes, or until easily pierced with a fork and soft enough to mash.
    2. While potatoes are baking, make the pesto. In a food processor, combine the basil and spinach until finely chopped. Add in the pumpkin seeds, 1 garlic clove, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Combine until finely chopped. Very slowly drizzle in 1/4 cup olive oil while the machine is running until the pesto is fairly smooth and emulsified.
    3. Carefully transfer the flesh of the potatoes to a cutting board, leaving the skin intact. Reserve half the mashed potatoes for another use. Mash the remaining half well and season with 1 clove grated garlic, dried chives or parsley, generous pinch salt and pepper. 
    4. Spoon the seasoned mashed potatoes back into their skins and smooth with the back of a spoon.
    5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook the ground beef, breaking up with a wooden spoon until finely ground over medium-high heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir in 1/4 cup pesto. Spoon the ground beef evenly onto the sweet potatoes.
    6. Sprinkle with shredded cheese (omit for Whole 30 and AIP) and return to oven to bake for 8 to 10 more minutes until cheese is melted and/or skin is slightly crispy.
    7. Serve stuffed potatoes warm drizzled with remaining pesto.

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    Recipe Notes

    For AIP, omit pepper, pumpkin seeds and cheese. 

    For Whole30, omit cheese.

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