I am not good at planning my lunches ahead of time, but there is one ingredient I always make sure to have on hand for those days when I just don't feel like putting a lot of effort into my midday meal (and can't justify getting takeout for lunch for the billionth time): sweet potatoes.
They last forever, they're super-nutritious, they keep you full, and they're easy to make. Best of all, they pair well with toppings ranging from savory to sweet, so if you want more than a basic baked sweet potato for lunch, you can just rifle through your fridge and throw something on.
My favorite way to make a sweet potato is to wash and dry it, poke it with a few holes, wrap it in foil and bake at 350 degrees F for an hour to an hour and a half, until it's tender and easily pierced with a fork.
You can also microwave a sweet potato. Just wash and dry it, pierce the skin five to six times with a fork, put it on a microwave-safe plate, and microwave it for five to eight minutes until tender (if you don't have an automatically rotating microwave, make sure you rotate the potato halfway through its cook time).
You can also make oven fries: Cut your sweet potato into wedges, toss them with olive oil and salt, and roast at 400 or so degrees F for about 25 minutes, flipping your wedges halfway through the cook time. They'll be just a little crispy and browned on the edges and really tender and fluffy in the middle.
OK, so now that we have the basics down, here are a few ways to jazz up your sweet potato meal:
The possibilities are basically endless, and it's a great way to up your daily veggie intake. So the next time you're at the store, trying to rack your brains for some new lunch ideas, grab a couple of sweet potatoes. The absence of your afternoon hanger attack alone will make it clear you've made the right choice.
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