The Wasteroo

When I was a kid, I watched Sesame Street obsessively. I learned so much about the essentials of life from its episodes. Like how to count from 1 to 10 in Spanish (in fact, that’s still all the Spanish I know). Now that I’m an adult, I see that their cute cartoons with catchy theme songs were really teaching life lessons (Captain Vegetable, anyone?).

Such as how to not be a wasteroo.

(If you haven’t seen this Sesame Street clip, I urge you to watch it. Not only will you never be a wasteroo again, where else will you see cartoon water droplets singing in perfect harmony against the twangs of a jaunty banjo?)

Unfortunately, I still didn’t get the message when I was shopping for ingredients for these stuffed sweet potatoes. This occasion was one where not writing down the amounts of ingredients came back to bite me in the behind. That’s how I ended up with 30 oz. of ricotta cheese (an ingredient I rarely use) in a recipe that calls for only 1/2 cup of the stuff.

Just call me Jessie, WR (wasteroo).

However! I can use this mistake to stretch my culinary repertoire. I have a stash of ricotta recipe ideas with which I will boldly experiment for YOU, dear reader. Stay tuned to see the disastrous results. Until then,

Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta

  Prep Time: 25 minutes

  Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

  Keywords: bake appetizer side vegetarian sweet potatoes

Ingredients (6 servings)

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes (2 to 2.5 lbs)
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots or 1 small onion, chopped
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 tsp ground or fresh ginger (if using fresh, mince)
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage or thyme (if using dried, decrease to 1 tbsp)


Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Prepare potatoes one of two ways: (1) pierce potatoes with a fork several times, or (2) cut in half. Place on foil-lines baking sheet. Bake until soft when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour.

Remove and let cool 20 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in small skillet and add shallots/onion. Cook until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Set aside.

When potatoes are cool enough to handle, cut in half (if not done previously). Use a spoon or melon baller to scoop out the flesh, leaving 1/4 inch around the skin edges for stability.

Put potato scoopings into a food processor or blender and process until smooth, about 20 seconds. Add salt, pepper, ricotta, ginger, and brown sugar, and puree until smooth.

With a spoon, stir in Parmesan cheese, sage/thyme, and cooked shallots/onion. Spoon into potato shells.

Set oven temperature to 350 degrees F. If desired, sprinkle each potato half with a little Parmesan cheese and sage/thyme. Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.

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  1. Hi Jessie. Seseme street was the only show I watched a little one. I still get nostalgic each time I hear the theme song or see a picture of big bird. I have made the same ingredient mishap oh so many times. But it is always better to have too much than not enough. Thank you for sharing!

  2. Oh wow, this looks just amazing!
    I didn’t know there was a Captain Vegetable on Sesame Street now. That is just adorable!! It helps balance out Cookie Monster. 😉

  3. I try very hard not to be a WASTEROO!! And I think you got lucky because ricotta is one of those ingredients that pretty much goes well with anything, don’t you think?! I love the stuff.
    And, this recipe sounds flipping amazing!

  4. Sesame Street is fantabulous. I tried showing a little bit to my little students in Korea and some of them loved it but a few found it disturbing :-O

    Sweet potatoes are also fantabulous! I’ve never tried stuffing them with anything but that may have to change. Your recipe looks great!

    1. Oh gosh, now I want to know what your students found disturbing. I can definitely see how characters like Big Bird and Mr. Snuffleupagus are strange to see for the first time! 😛

  5. Pingback: Jessie, NW

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