Tag Archives: sweet potatoes

two notes-to-self

A couple things I’ve made, and made changes to, that I’ve enjoyed recently:

1.  Molly O’Neill’s Roasted Carrot and Red Lentil soup, via The Wednesday Chef.  I followed the recipe almost exactly the first time- doubled the paprika and introduced a little immersion blender action- and loved every bite.   A month or so later found myself with a small butternut squash, a lonely sweet potato, and some straggler carrots at the bottom of my crisper, but craving a creamy, bulky soup.  The combo of the three orange veggies worked just as well as the all-carrot version, immersion blender and all.  But as I sat down with the first bowl, and I felt it was missing… something.  A couple teaspoons of lemon juice stirred in at the end fixed it, and really brightened things up.

2.  Oatmeal Applesauce Muffins at Joy The Baker.  She used blueberries; I used a large peeled-and-chopped Honeycrisp and tripled the cinnamon.  Very welcome at the office on a chilly day. Healthy-ish too!

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Fall, Vegetables, Winter

Sweet potato and parsnip latkes

While there’s still some Hanukkah left, I figured I’d post my favorite twist on a traditional favorite.

But even though Hanukkah only lasts 8 days and nights doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy these throughout the rest of the winter.  They’re a quick and easy way to use up the last few stragglers at the bottom of your veggie bin. And mix it up- or add a regular white potato or two to make them stretch if needed.

If you’re not sure about parsnips, give them a try in a combo dish like this, or as mashed (sweet) potatoes with parsnips. They’re sort of carrot-y, with a herbier, grassier flavor.  And, call me crazy, but I think I even detect a hint of coconut in there.  Maybe that’s why I think they balance so nicely with sweet potatoes and yams.

Sweet potato and parsnip latkes
Adapted loosely from Food Network

2 medium-large sweet potatoes
2 medium parsnips
1 small scallion
2 eggs
1/2 c. flour
1/2 t. thyme
dash of cayenne (optional)
salt and pepper
4 T. vegetable oil

Peel the sweet potatoes and parsnips, and then grate.  Thinly slice the scallion and mix into grate vegetables.  Beat the eggs in a separate dish, and then toss into vegetables; add flour and seasoning and mix to combine.

Heat vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed skillet over medium high. Once oil is hot, reduce heat to medium.  Drop large spoonfuls into the hot oil and press to flatten; cook on each side for about 3 minutes until golden brown.  Let rest on paper towels, and keep in a warm oven while frying the rest in batches.

And, of course, serve warm with sour cream and/or applesauce. Mazeltov!

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Filed under 30 min. or less, Fall, Side dishes, Vegetables, Winter

red lentil and sweet potato curried soup

I love sweet potatoes, particularly because they’re delicious, healthy, and versatile. sweet? spicy? Creamily mashed as a comfort food or cut into fries as the perfect end-of-the-week burger accoutrement. It all works for this orange tuber.

But I’ve been wary of curry and sweet potatoes. I’ve seen offerings at restaurants, read recipes in magazines and online, and not once have thought the combination sounded appealing…. until this week. Monday night at 8:30pm, I decided to suddenly forge into the unknown of using a Thanksgiving staple in an Indian-inspired dish- and I’m so glad I did!

This recipe has, in my humble opinion, the right amount of kick. I’m not a hot-for-the-sake-of-hot person, but I love the complexity of Indian spices. The equal parts curry powder and ginger, plus a kick of cayenne and cardamom on the side, make this a perfect mid-day meal for me. The soft textures and warmth of the soup are relaxing, while the flavor reflects the sunniness of spring.

Did I mention how quick this is?! I had the idea to make this soup at 8:30, and by 9:30 – one measly hour later – had my kitchen cleaned up and the soup cooling, covered on the stovetop. That easy!

Red Lentil and Sweet Potato Curried Soup
Inspired by The Daily Green

2 medium or 1 large sweet potato, skin on and cut into 1″ pieces
2 cups red lentils
2 cups veggie or chicken stock
1/2 onion, sliced or chopped
3 cloves garlic, diced or minced
1 T. high quality curry powder
1 T. grated or minced ginger
1 t. coriander
1 t. cumin
1/2 to 1 t. cayenne (optional)
ground black pepper, sea salt or kosher salt (to taste)
3 ribs of celery, chopped
1/2 c. green peas, fresh or frozen
unsweetened shredded coconut, dried or toasted (optional)

Wash and pick over the lentils. Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add the lentils, and simmer for 10 minutes.

While waiting, sautee onions in oil on medium-high until translucent. Add garlic and spices and sautee for 5 minutes, stirring often. Add the celery and peas and sautee for 2-3 minutes and remove from heat.

Once the lentils have been boiling for 10 minutes, drain most of the boiling liquid. Pour in the 2 cups of stock plus 2 cups of water. Add the sweet potato; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes to soften potatoes. Stir in the sauteed veggies and spices and simmer for 15 to 30 minutes, depending on the texture you desire. Longer = softer. (I personally prefer to only simmer until the potatoes are fork-ready, as I like the crispness of celery and don’t like the potatoes mushy).

Remove from heat, cover, and allow to cool at room temperature for a few hours or overnight. Garnish with coconut (optional). If this is too spicy for you or you like a creamier texture, plain yogurt is a great stir-in.

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Filed under Clean Eating, Main dishes, Soups, Vegetables, Vegetarian

Sweet potatoes with pecan “crust”

Holy goodness. These are amazing. Even N, who is a self-professed yam loather, really liked these.  He requested I make them again with double the topping…. :)

*Note: these can also be made clean by using Sucanat instead of the dark brown sugar in the potatoes. I didn’t try subbing out the sugar in the topping, but I’ve also reduced the amount of butter and sugar in the topping, or omitted both and just sprinkled chopped pecans and a bit of cinnamon on top.

Sweet Potatoes with Pecans
Inspired by an Epicurious recipe

2-3 large yams, peeled and cut up
4 T. unsalted butter
1 egg
1/3 c. dark brown sugar
2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. each ginger, nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, and cayenne
Pinch of sea salt

Topping:
4 T. unsalted butter
1/3 c. dark brown sugar
1/2 c. chopped pecans (I also mixed in 1 T. ground pecans as I had some in cupboard)
1 t. cinnamon

Boil sweet potatoes until fork-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain; mix with 4 T. butter in an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the rest of the casserole ingredients; mix well, and spread in 8×8 greased dish. Bake at 400 for 20-25 minutes until bubbly on the edges. Meanwhile, mix together the topping.

Topping:
Mix butter, cinnamon and sugar together with a fork, and then add in chopped pecans. Drop by spoonfulls on top of hot sweet potatoes; spread across the top as the butter and sugar melt from the heat of the potatoes. Bake the dish for an additional 10-15 minutes at 400, until the top is browned.

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Filed under Fall, Side dishes, Vegetables