“As I came home through the woods with my string of fish, trailing my pole, it being now quite dark, I caught a glimpse of a woodchuck stealing across my path, and felt a strange thrill of savage delight, and was strongly tempted to seize and devour him raw; not that I was hungry then, except for that wildness which he represented.”
My brother recently texted me with the above quote from ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau. We both laughed at this quote… something about the idea of Henry David Thoreau briefly contemplating devouring a woodchuck just makes me laugh. I totally understand that I-gotta-eat-everything-and-anything-right-now feeling that happens on your drive home from work. Although, I haven’t ever truly thought about eating a woodchuck (nor have I ever come across one ‘stealing across my path’).
This isn’t a woodchuck recipe as admittedly I have very few of those sorts. This is the type of recipe that would be super satisfying for both woodchuck-eating and non-woodchuck-eating types. Sweet potatoes get baked, hollowed out, jazzed up, and then dressed with broccoli and cheese. It’s easy to make and super quick to reheat.
We made this a few weeks ago in leu of a bacon-cheese version that is among our family favorites. These were a hit – a huge broccoli, cheese, and sweet potato hit. Oh yum.
4-5 Large Sweet Potatoes
1 (15oz) can white beans, drained and rinsed
1/3C warm water (up to 2/3 may be needed)
1/2C sharp cheddar cheese (+ more for topping)
3/4tsp chili powder
1 bunch broccoli
4 cloves garlic, minced
1T olive oil
1 large pinch of red pepper flakes
Preheat oven to 450.
Scrub potatoes and poke them with a fork. Bake at 450 for 45 minutes of until tender.
While potatoes are cooking, cut broccoli into small florets.
Heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add garlic, red pepper flakes, and broccoli to pan. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, until tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove potatoes from oven. Allow to cool slightly. Scoop out the center of each potato, leaving about 1/4″ of potato inside to help it hold together.
In a food processor, combine sweet potato that was removed from the inside, beans, water, cheddar cheese, salt, and chili powder. Process until combined. I liked my mixture to be smooth, but you could certainly leave it a bit chunky if you want. You may need to add additional water to thin mixture, but you want to keep it pretty solid as it will be used to re-stuff the potatoes.
To each potato, add the potato-bean mixture. Top with broccoli. Sprinkle with a bit of cheese.
Return potatoes to oven until cheese is melted, about 5-7 minutes.