Posts tagged #sweet potato

Cook Once, Eat Twice! Sweet Potato

Fast, healthy meals are like math. Base (grain or starch) + vegetables + protein + seasonings = a balanced, tasty meal. Even the FDA’s My Plate is a piechart! And despite my dark mathematical past, I’ve got this formula down pat. Because preparedness is ananswer to the problem of staying healthy throughout a hectic week, consider cooking once and eating twice your solution. Get it?! Hehe

Before we dive into the recipes, let’s get down to sweet potato basics. While searching through the pile of potatoes, look for ones with minimal spots, gashes, etc. In addition, select ones that are around the same size. This makes baking easier since they will all have the same cook-time. And if you have the choice…

Buy ‘em organic! Sweet spuds are on the Dirty Dozen list as a highly chemical-sprayed food. If you need further convincing to shell out the extra 60 cents, check out this girl’s science project video. This is also important because you should…

Eat the skin! There is a ton of nutrition loaded in the skin along with fiber that keeps you full. It also prevents blood sugar spikes by slowing down the entrance of glucose into your bloodstream. Eating the whole food in place of just part is a best practice in general. Think rice; brown is better because it’s the whole grain, and white is the grain stripped of it’s germ- aka nutritional rip off!

Cleaning & baking basics:

-Preheat your oven to 375 degrees
-Scrub well and dig out any dodgy spots with the end of a peeler or knife. I usually slice the tips off too.
-Give them some deep pokes with a fork
-Place in a baking dish, on a cookie sheet, or straight up on the oven racks. I personally place them on the racks and slide a piece of foil on the rack below to catch any droppings.
-Bake for 45 min then check them by sticking with a fork. Depending on size and your preference of consistency,  take out or leave in for 15 min intervals, checking as-needed.

So how can you eat thee? Let me count the ways..

1.) My all time fave… the stuffed sweet pot! Load ‘em up with veggies and vary flavor profiles for endless possibilities. From left to right: colorful cabbage, carrots, and  kale with garlic, ginger and bragg liquid aminos (GF soy sauce alternative), spicy black beans, broccoli, & feta, and spinach, mushroom, and onion! Get creative!

2.) Sliced and sautéed 2 ways: the left picture is a sweet version that was browned in a little REAL butter, drizzled with honey, and sprinkled with cinnamon. The other an easy home-fry alternative to your breakfast plate!

3.)  Keep it naked as a compliment to a lighter meal or true on-the-go style by eating the whole potato as is! Wrap it up and throw it in your bag for a satisfying snack any time!

4.) Chopped up and added to greens! On the right it’s a warm dish with kale, and on the left it’s added to a hearty salad! Sweet potatoes add color which means added nutrients. Strive for as many colors as possible to get a wide spectrum of nutrition at every meal!

If you follow me on social media, you well know by now that sweet potatoes are a mainstay in my diet. Even though they are on their way out seasonally, we did just have a frost here in NYC so I’m hoping they’re still relative… at least for a little longer. I encourage you to bake a few and see how you can use them throughout the week when you’re short on time and in need of a healthy meal!

Enjoy!

Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under cook once eat twice, dinner, lunch.

Sweet Potato Coconut Macaroons

To paint the picture of my childhood, I was raised in a home where my parents sold Nature’s Sunshine supplements out of our living room. Bookshelves of herb bottles are what you’d see if you walked through our door. So naturally, junk food was not usually present and we ate pretty clean. My Mom now tells me stories about how she would slip a vegetable ingredient into almost every recipe she used. A few revealed included zucchini in our pancakes, turnips in the muffins,  and any pureed veggies in pasta sauce- you know how kids hate the chunks. Because, (reluctant to adolescent wishes) I am becoming my mother more and more every day, this recipe that sneaks a veggie into your dessert is kind of like my rite of passage.

Sweet Potato Coconut Macaroons

Ingredients:
4 egg whites
1 1/2 teaspoon agave
1 teaspoon stevia powder
2-3 dashes pumpkin pie spice (optional)
1 cup sweet potato mash
1 (8-ounce) package unsweetened shredded coconut
Dash salt
5 ounces (or 3 bars) dark chocolate

Directions:
Bake sweet potatoes at 400°F for 1 hour or until very tender. Let cool and reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Once cooled, remove skin and puree potatoes and transfer to a large bowl.

In a food processor or with a hand mixer, whip egg whites and salt until they become white and begin to stiffen. Add stevia and agave slowly. Then add your sweet potato puree and mix until combined. Transfer mixture to large bowl and gently fold in 90% of the coconut shreds. Place the remaining coconut shreds on a plate. Use a little scoop or tablespoon to scoop out balls of the mixture and then roll them in coconut.

Place the macaroons on a parchment lined baking sheet or whatever baking dish you have! They do not tend to stick to the pan. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes. The outside should have some golden brown toastiness but the insides should still be moist. Allow to completely cool.

Place your favorite chocolate in a small saucepan and create a double boiler by placing it in a larger pot filled half-way with water. Put the burner on medium heat and allow the chocolate to melt. Then dip your macaroons into the chocolate and place on parchment paper to set. You can even get creative and do a chocolate drizzle on top!

Enjoy

Posted on March 12, 2015 and filed under dessert, easy.