Spinach and Sweet Potato Mash-up

Like many of my “recipes,” this dish happened totally on accident. In fact, it was a potentially dangerous cooking accident that will give you some candid insight into my true “skill” in the kitchen.

By looking at my food photos (or if you’re lucky enough, tasting one of my meals) you may come to the conclusion that I’m at least a somewhat skilled chef. And I guess that’s true, since like, I can make pancakes and cookies and French toast pretty well. But the real truth is that even though I can make it look effortless by presenting you with a pretty picture of the end product, I’m actually sort of a Kitchen Klutz.

Sure most of my meals taste great, but that doesn’t mean I don’t encounter a few mishaps here an there before ending up with the final product. In the instance of this dish, I left a sweet potato baking in the oven for about 20 minutes too long. This resulted in some of the skin starting to ooze and stick to the pan and an extra, extra mushy potato.

The sad part is that I had actually set the microwave timer. But when it went off I was preoccupied with something else (probably Instagram) and I thought, “I usually undercook sweet potatoes, so I’ll just give it another 5-10 minutes to make sure it cooks all the way through.”

Well, it’s my own fault for not setting a new timer because 5-10 minutes came and went (time flies when you’re instagramming photos of your food!) and 20 minutes later I was hit by that sudden “oh crap I left something in the oven for longer than I should have” feeling. (Yeah, you know exactly what I’m talking about.)

But the good news is that most of the time, (except for a few REALLY un-fixable mistakes) most kitchen mishaps turn out to be a blessing in disguise. Like in this case, I was forced to mash up my most mushy sweet potato and what I ended up with was this sweet and savory rice dish that, if I’m being honest, I wouldn’t mind eating for dinner every night if I had to.

This dish unintentionally ended up being a perfect balance between sweet and salty and I’m glad that I also decided to add spinach at the last minute, making it even more colorful and adding just enough texture to balance out all of the potato and rice mushiness.

A few recipe notes before you get started. Above is a (Intagram) photo of the original version of this dish, which I made on the fly as and on-the-go meal. You’ll notice that the “official photos” included red kidney beans in the dish, while the original version pictures what the recipe below calls for, which is chick peas. I recommend using chick peas (they just worked better with the flavors), however, feel free to experiment with whatever type of beans you like!

Spinach and Sweet Potato Mash-up

Ingredients (for 1 serving):

1/2 extra soft baked sweet potato, mashed

1/2 cup brown rice, cooked and spiced with turmeric and cumin

1/4 red onion, diced

2 T olive oil

1/2 cup chick peas

1/2 cup tomato, chopped into chunks

1/2 cup baby spinach leaves

Optional: dash of cinnamon and feta cheese for topping


1. In a medium-sized pan, heat olive oil and onion over medium heat until fragrant.

2. Add the rice then toss in the chick peas.

3. Add the mashed sweet potato and stir until everything is well mixed.

4. Add the spinach and tomato and continue to heat over low-medium heat until the leaves are slightly wilted.

5. Optional: sprinkle with a dash of cinnamon and top with feta cheese to serve

*Multiplying ingredients to create additional servings will not effect the end product