Sunday, February 28, 2010

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes

As a young girl, my favorite show was Mary Poppins. This was back before the days of Cable TV, or VHS tapes, or DVD players. I waited, rather impatiently, for Ms. Poppins to grace my TV screen.
God help anyone who would disturb me during my Mary Poppins time. After all, I had to concentrate. How in the world did she fly with an umbrella? Why were her cheeks so rosy? How was it that she could snap her fingers and the room would clean itself? All I knew was that I wanted to be her.
I wanted to be Mary Poppins so bad that I made up the Mary Poppins game and encouraged (maybe even forced) my friends to play along. The game was a simple concept really. I was Mary Poppins, naturally, and my friend and her brother were Jane and Michael Banks. (Yes, we're still friends to this day.) I would dress as Mary Poppins and ascend the stairwell with my umbrella. Jane and Michael would stand at the bottom of the stairs and sing to me. Once their song was finished, I would hold onto my umbrella and fly down the stairs. NOTE: My Mother hated this game. My friends didn't like the game, but went ahead with it anyway. I loved this game! I should be embarrassed to admit I did any of this, but I'm not. And, I'm still a sucker for Mary Poppins.

Right now you are asking yourself: What does Mary Poppins have to do with twice-baked sweet potatoes? One word:


I was trying to think of how to describe them, and this is the only word I could come up with. If you like sweet potatoes, then you really have to try these!

Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes
Serves 4
About 210-250 calories per serving
2 medium sweet potatoes
1 -2 teaspoon olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced (I used 2 or 3 garlic cloves)
1 bag baby spinach (about 9 ounces ) (I used half a bunch of chopped kale)
2 scallions, thinly sliced
2 slices turkey bacon (feel free to use regular old bacon here)
4 ounces low-fat cream cheese
1/4 cup low-fat buttermilk
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350F. Scrub sweet potatoes, prick with fork or knife, season with a little oil, salt and pepper, wrap in foil and bake for about an hour or until tender.
Meanwhile, in a deep saute pan, heat the olive oil and cook the onion for 2-3 minutes until soft. Add the garlic and cook for one more minute. Add the entire bag of spinach (or some chopped kale) and scallions, cover and cook 3 to 4 minutes until the spinach has wilted.
In another pan, cook the turkey bacon until crisp and transfer to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. When cooled, chop the bacon into small pieces and reserve.
When the sweet potatoes are tender and through baking, let cool 5 minutes, then slice in half and scoop out inside of potato into a bowl. Add cream cheese, buttermilk, salt, pepper and vegetable mixture. Stir until desired consistency.
Coat your baking pan with a little oil. Place sweet potato shells onto baking pan and fill with mixture. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Bake for 15 - 20 minutes or until the top is golden brown . Top with bits of turkey bacon and serve.

Notes: I adapted this recipe from the cookbook Cook Yourself Thin. These were hailed as healthy potato skins, but the skins never really got quite crispy enough to qualify as a potato skin. They were, however, absolutely lip smacking and delicious served over a bed of garlicky kale. I enjoyed them just about as much as you could enjoy anything. I served these twice-baked sweet potatoes as a meal themselves, but you could easily use them for a side dish.



  1. Loved your Mary Poppins story! I'm going to have to buy some sweet potatoes and whip this up soon! I'll be singing while I bake!

  2. Okay, so this is so my type of recipe I'm actually drooling. These are going on the menu very soon! (I loved Mary Poppins when I was young as well)!

  3. Okay, the thing about Mary Poppins cracks me up, however you still might want to go give your friends an extra hug for being good sports :)

    I love sweet potato. Love. However, as creative as I have gotten is a pat a butter, salt and pepper, or mashed. NEVER thought to stuff them...brilliant!!!

  4. My daughters are obsessed with Mary Poppins. It began when we took my oldest to see the musical downtown at State Theatre. After that she couldn't get enough. We have the soundtrack and have memorized every song. We own the movie and they watch it at least twice a week. I even had to sew a Mary Poppins costume for Halloween last year. My daughter has a parrot head black umbrella JUST like Mary Poppins. Last week all through Ash Wednesday services, my 2 year kept yelling out, "EX-PE-ALI-DO-CIOUS, Mommy!" Seriously, It's an obsession. When we go to Disney in May, we are having breakfast with Mary Poppins. They got to choose one character meal and that's who they deliberation. They can't wait!

    Okay, now that we've established our Poppins connection, these twice baked potatoes look awesome and I love how they're lightened up. Great recipe!

  5. Love the story Kim! I feel like I have much more insight into your personality now...or at least into your inner child.

    These sweet potatoes look amazing! I need to make them's been too long since my last SP fix.

  6. Now Your head will probably explode with what I'm going to tell you.....I've never seen Mary Poppins when I was a kid *GASP* I know....I was living under a rocky in Brazil.LOL This twice baked sweet potato looks Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! :-D

  7. I can sing every song on the Disney Mary Poppins DVD. Yes, I can! Just a spoonful of sugar... love her and Julie Andrews. Sweet story, Kim. I just bought sweet potatoes. Love them, and I can tell that this is really delicious!

  8. My husband and I love twice baked potatoes. The first time we tried them was at this restaurant that we love. Your recipe sounds delicious. Definitely saving it!

  9. Oh yes! I am totally loving these! Must make them soon.. :)

  10. I've got to try twice baked sweet potatoes, I never thought of it!

    I love the Mary Poppins story. Did you ever get hurt. I imagine that you made your mom quite nervous!

  11. Ahhhh!! Must . Make. Very. Soon! These look and sound fabulous! Sweet Potatoes are one of my most very favorite foods- I can't wait. Nice work Kim! Drool.

  12. They look delicious. You are too cute! Did you know how to spell Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious or did you have to look it up? ;-)

  13. I am a huge fan of making twice-baked potatoes, but have actually never tried making a twice-baked sweet potato! I do have a recipe I've been holding onto for awhile--it's a pineapple/brown sugar twice-baked sweet potato--but I would love to try your savory version too!!

  14. Great Mary P. story. Yes, I remeber the days of old Mary :-) Love those sweet potatoes too.

  15. These look wonderful. For all the cooking I do, I've never done double stuffed sweet potatoes. I'll have to give these a try. They look great.

  16. Love the story! I bet these were that good!

  17. lol, AWESOME! my daughter now loves this show too, which is great bonding for us! these sweet potatoes look amazing!

  18. I love sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes seem to have a lot more moisture in them than the white ones. Maybe if you used a lot more salt you would get them more crispy. Either way, they look yummy.
    *kisses* HH

  19. What a delight ful recipe and i love twice baked everything and if its this interesting potatoes then fantastic.......
    And im a biggie Mary Poppin fan too...little b got me the Dvd and i simply love watching it again and agian...
    Love her music ,dance and song and yeah.........

  20. Yes, super - in all ways. I was a WIZARD OF OZ kid - it came on TV once a year. I memorized it, made all the kids in the neighborhood play it (I assigned parts) and was astounded when they got the songs or dialogue wrong. I must have been a bossy theatre director even then. I wish I could give all the kids in my neighborhood your potatoes. They'd definitely like that!

  21. I am just on the floor laughing over the Mary Poppins game and how you ruled the roost.

    Check out this video, you'll enjoy:

  22. those look awesome!! I LOVE sweet potatoes, so I think I'll have to give these a try. Found you through Lara's blog - and I'm glad I did!

    I too have nut allergies, and have found such freedom in what I can eat when I cook it myself.


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