Ben & Roxy’s Loaded Sweet Potato Wedges
Ben Pook & Roxy Pope
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 45 mins
1.2kg sweet potatoes
salt and pepper
2 red onions
3 garlic cloves
1 ripe mango
1 red pepper
a handful of fresh coriander, plus extra for topping
2 x 400g tins of black beans
1 tbsp Cajun seasoning
Vegan Queso (if not vegan, use sour cream):
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
180ml unsweetened plant-based milk
1 red chilli
Veg Portions / Serving: 4
One Pot Vegan by Roxy Pope and Ben Pook of SO VEGAN is published by Michael Joseph. Photography: Dan Jones
A celebration of the humble sweet potato. Here we roast them as wedges, as well as blend them to create our very own homemade queso. Delish.
Preheat the oven to 200°C fan/220°C/gas 7. Put the cashews into a bowl, cover with hot water from the kettle, and set to one side to soak.
Dice 200g of the sweet potatoes into 1cm pieces and place in the corner of a large roasting tray. Slice the remaining sweet potatoes into wedges, then place at the other end of the tray. Season the wedges with ½ teaspoon of salt and a large pinch of pepper, drizzle over 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil, and toss to combine. Slice 1 red onion in half, skin on, and add it to the tray along with the garlic cloves (skins on). Roast for 20 minutes.
For the salsa, cut the mango in half around the stone, score the halves in a criss-cross pattern and scoop out the flesh. Dice the red pepper, discarding the core and the seeds. Peel and dice the remaining red onion and roughly chop the coriander leaves, discarding the stalks.
Add everything to a mixing bowl along with the juice from half the lime, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Mix everything together.
Take the tray out of the oven and remove the onion, garlic cloves and diced sweet potato. Move the sweet potato wedges around the tray, then return the tray to the oven for 10 minutes.
Drain and rinse the black beans. Add them to the tray along with the Cajun seasoning and gently give everything a mix. Roast for 10–15 minutes, or until the sweet potato is lightly charred.
To make the queso, drain the cashews and transfer them to a high-powered blender or food processor, along with the diced sweet potato, roasted red onion and garlic (skins removed from both), nutritional yeast, juice from the remaining lime half, milk, half the red chilli (seeds removed), and large pinches of salt and pepper. Blend until smooth.
Remove the wedges from the oven and scatter over the salsa and half the queso. Thinly slice the remaining chilli and roughly chop the rest of the coriander leaves. Cut the avocado in half, scoop out and slice the flesh, then add it to the wedges, along with the sliced chilli and coriander leaves. Serve alongside the remaining queso. Epic.
Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.
Kids in the kitchen
Chop the veg for the kids, then let them arrange them on baking trays and mix everything together. Prepare the salsa ingredients and let them mix it all together (if the mango is ripe enough, they should be able to scoop the flesh out with a spoon once you’ve criss-crossed it). Have them rinse the black beans in a sieve or colander. Let them make the queso (if doing) by carefully dropping ingredients in and pushing the buttons on the food processor. Let them help you plate everything up, adding their own creativity to how it can be served!
While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.
Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.