Sweet Potato


It has been chilly here in the deep south for the last few days.  Highs only in the 60s and lows in the 40s.  Now that may not seem chilly to many of you up north where the temps are LOTS lower but to those of us in the south it is soup and gumbo weather. So last night I made gumbo and today I made a Whole30 Sweet Potato Soup.  And then the temps went up the mid 70s and it wasn’t soup weather any more.

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Sweet potatoes mixed with cinnamon and ginger then simmered in water and coconut milk .  Thick, filling, tasty.  Tasted like sweet potato casserole at Christmas.  Without the marshmallows and nuts.  Although, I could have garnished it with chopped pecans. Over the top for soup?  I don’t think so. { I was searching for the  recipe  on the Whole30 blog and  ran into a curried sweet potato soup where curry powder was added while the soup was simmering.  What a GREAT idea!}

Anyway.  The recipe is from The Whole30:  The 30 day guide to TOTAL HEALTH and FOOD FREEDOM  {page 300} my book for March’s Cookbook Countdown.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown 15 hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Still cooking from the Low-Cholesterol Cookbook from the American Heart Association. And still finding good recipes that are healthy and tasty.

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Sweet potatoes are probably one of my fave veggies.  I count them as a veggie and a potato so I am covered both ways.  AND, the plus of sweet potatoes, they can also be dessert.  This dish could have gone either way.

If I had mashed them and put a little whipped cream on them…

But I didn’t.  I used them as a side one night.  They were very good.  Soft. Creamy. Sweet.

The thing about sweet potatoes is that they have to ‘ripen’.  If you eat them right after picking they are not very good.  If you let them sit for about a month they get sweeter. These have been sitting for about two months so they were very sweet. The 2 Tbl of brown sugar just enhanced the sweetness without making them too sweet.
 


    1 lb sweet potatoes peeled and sliced crosswise into 1/4 inch slices
    1/2 cup fat free 1/2 and 1/2
    2 Tbl light brown sugar
    1 tsp orange zest
    1/2 tsp cinnamon {I used a little more}
    1/4 tsp nutmeg
    1 tbl light tub margarine

400 degree oven.  { I was baking chicken and biscuits at the same time so I upped the oven to 425}

Peal and slice the potatoes into 1/4 inch circles.  Layer them in an oven safe dish in even layers.

Mix the 1/2 and 1/2 {I subbed in milk and cream}, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest.  Pour this over the layered sweet potatoes and dot with margarine {Not my fave….and I hesitate to say this is healthier than butter.}   Bake for 35 – 40 minutes.  Stir them about 1/2 way into the baking time.

The recipe is from Low-Fat, Low-Cholesterol Cooking – page 259.

I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown 13 hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

Curry, any kind of curry, is comfort food to me.  And even though it is 87 degrees out today {UGH!} this was just too good to pass up.

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I did make a couple of changes to the recipe:

  • The recipe calls for Spanish Pardina lentils, I only had brown {YUCK!} in the pantry.   I will use yellow next time.
  • I used two heaping teaspoons of Curry powder rather than the 1 teaspoon Keller called for.  I LIKE the flavor strong!
  • I made mine more of a stew and only used 4 cups chicken stock rather than 8.

You can find the recipe on page 121 of ad hoc at home, but I also found it HERE.

Of course, because I was making this soup/stew I also had to make the curry powder itself.  A foodie friend sent me a jar of curry powder and then sent me the recipe, which I subsequently lost. I never knew where it the recipe came from until…..

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…I found it again – in ad hoc. {page 336}  I was so happy. Now I have a jar in the pantry ready to use.  There are 20 different spices in this mix,

  • allspice, anise, bay leaf, brown mustard seeds, cardamom, cinnamon stick, cloves, coriander, cumin, fennel seed, fenugreek seed, nutmeg, mace, black peppercorns, ginger, star anise, yellow mustard seeds, turmeric, paprika, flaky sea salt. {The only thing I didn’t have in the pantry was mace but since it is very similar to nutmeg in flavor, only stronger, I subbed in 1/2 nutmeg and 1/2 ground allspice.}

some whole some already ground,  and worth all the trouble to make it.  It is much more fragrant and tastier than what you can buy and the recipe makes about 1 cup of powder.

Okay,that ‘s the last recipe from ad hoc at home.  This has been fun this month cooking with Thomas Keller.  Next month I will be gone mostly so I’ll be back in June with……?

“I’m linking this post with Cookbook Countdown hosted by Kitchen Flavours and Emily’s Cooking (Makan2).

This week’s theme:   It’s in the Bag: Cooking in Parchment from Kayte.  Evidently Donna doesn’t cook a lot of food in bags at least not in the books I have.  But I did find a couple of ideas on The Splendid Table that looked really good.  Like this one.

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Spiced Chicken

And it was incredibly easy.  Just place some shredded sweet potato on a piece of parchment (making sure it is big enough to fold over all of the food involved) and then on top of that you place a chicken breast.  I didn’t want a big piece of chicken so I cut some strips instead of using a whole breast.  Then you simply sprinkle with a little za’atar, which I was lucky enough to have some in the spice drawer from another recipe.  It’s really not a spice everyone would have in their pantry.  Drizzle the chicken etc with some olive oil and wrap the parchment around it all forming a small bag.  Bake the package for 12 – 15 minutes at 400°F.  Donna suggests serving it with some yogurt and mint leaves.

Okay.  This was good.  Not great, but good.  I only used 1/2 of a large sweet potato.  I should have used the whole potato.  The za’atar is a Middle Eastern mix  of sumac, thyme, whole sesame seeds and salt.  I really liked the flavor it added to the chicken.

The only thing I didn’t like about the dish was all the chicken ‘juice’ and oil that accumulated at the bottom of the package.  I think I will use less olive oil next time, too.

All that being said I will definitely fix this again.  It was tasty.

See more Parchment cooking over at Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

Have you visited Wednesdays with Donna Hay lately?  If you haven’t let me tell you – the group has changed.  No longer are we picking a weekly recipe.  We are picking weekly themes.  This week – Baby, It’s Cold Outside  – Kayte’s idea.

When it finally gets cold outside we tend to gravitate toward stews, soups, and gumbos to fill us up and keep us warm.  This week we had all three.  One of them was Donna Hay’s  sweet potato soup.

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Sweet potato combined with ginger, coconut, cumin seeds, and lemon grass.  What a wonderful combination of flavors.  Although the lemon grass didn’t seem to add much to the mix.  Donna’s recipe said to boil the sweet potatoes but I chose to roast them instead.  Lots more sweetness and depth of flavor.  I liked the inclusion of the cumin seeds .  I didn’t like the inclusion of the coriander leaves so I left them out and garnished with some extra cumin seeds instead.  The recipe is in Donna’s the new cook page 68

Warm and filling.  Definitely a repeat as winter continues and the days get colder.

What do the others make when it’s cold outside?  Click on over to Wednesdays with Donna Hay and see.

Last night when I baked pork chops I needed a different side. I had forgotten that the next week, this week, the Krieger theme for I Heart Cooking Clubs was SIDES. Lucky me when I just happened to pick this dish from Ellie’s The Food You Crave

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These are super simple to make and done in about 40 – 60 minutes. (Depending on how thick you cut the ‘fries’.)

Peel and slice some medium sized sweet potatoes into ‘fries’, about 2 pounds or so. Toss with 2 Tbl EVOO, 2 Tbl honey, 1 tsp lemon juice and 1/2 tsp of salt. Make sure you mix the slices well with the ingredients. Bake at 400 for about 30 – 40 minutes. {Ellie says 350 for 60 minutes but I had mine in with the Pork Chops.}. The potatoes should be tender when they are done. Season with the salt to taste.

Check with the other ‘Clubbers” to see what Ellie Side they chose this week.

There simple is not simpler way to fix a sweet potato. And with just three ingredients it is almost too easy!

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All you have to do is peel, slice, brush them with sesame oil and sprinkle with sea salt. Then bake your sweet potatoes for a quick side or treat anytime. Just thinking about them makes me hungry for them.

Did the others like them as well. Check and see at Wednesdays with Donna Hay.

And if you want to join us the recipes and schedule are listed on the website. Cook, blog, comment, and join in the fun.

It’s that time again! Time to share some new dishes from a blogger I have been reading for a while but haven’t had a chance to cook from. Why now? Because it is is reveal time for the

    Secret Recipe Club!

And this month I knew it was going to be fun because I had CHELSY over at MANGIA!! ITALIAN FOOD!!! But – FORTUNATELY – healthy Italian! Which was perfect considering I am trying to eat healthier these days. I was a little worried at first because so many of the blogs have great food but lots of ingredients I am not eating these days – sugar, beef, cheese, pasta – so finding lots of good, healthy recipes on Chelsy’s blog was a definite plus for me.

Let me tell you about Chelsy: Personal Trainer, gluten free recipe developer, foodie, Italian.
One statement caught me eye when she was listing facts about herself

    “I will choose grocery shopping over mall shopping any day!”

‘Nuff said!!

I started through her awesome recipes and finally had to quit Pinning. I though Pinterest might kick me off for putting TOO many pictures/recipes up in one day. And then, of course I had to go through and find just a few and then narrow that down to my usual three. NOT. AN. EASY. JOB! But then, with all the great bloggers in the SRC, it never is!

Here is what I ended up with:

Healthy Snacking –

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with Granola. And granola with a twist – made with QUINOA! I have only recently discovered quinoa so whenever I find a new recipe I HAVE to try it.
Granola with sliced almonds, coconut, maple syrup, cinnamon. All the good things. You can find her recipe for QUINOA GRANOLA on her blog. The only change I made in her recipe was to use dried cranberries instead of the goji berries she had listed. Only because I couldn’t find any.

Healthy Supper

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    Bada-Bing! Shrimp and Sauce

What a great name!! It is more than just shrimp in tomato sauce. It’s BADA-BING! And it WAS!

    1/4 lb. fresh shrimp, peeled and deveined
    Dressing:
    1/4 c. white wine vinegar
    3 TBS. water
    1 0.7 oz packet Italian Salad Dressing Mix
    1/4 c. olive oil
    1/4 c. water
    Sauce:
    1 med.- lrg. yellow onion, chopped and diced
    10 cloves of garlic, diced
    1/4 c. fresh basil leaves, chopped
    Palmful of Italian Seasoning
    Palmful of Oregano, dried
    3 8 oz. cans of No Salt Added Tomato Sauce (Like to add my own salt)
    1 14.5 oz. can of No Salt Added dice tomatoes
    1/4 c. Sweet white wine
    black pepper
    salt

Place the shrimp in a small bowl.
Prepare the dressing: put 1/4 c. white wine vinegar and 3 TBS. water into a salad shaker. Add dressing packet and shake the bottle until mixed. Add 1/4 c. olive oil and 1/4 c. water to the bottle and shake vigorously.
Pour the dressing over the shrimp and let marinate while preparing the sauce.
For the sauce.
Chop the onion, garlic, and basil.
Heat a large saucepan with olive oil over low-medium heat. Add onions and garlic and stir continuously with a spatula until lightly browned. Add the shrimp to the saucepan and cook until they are slightly pink.
Remove the shrimp from the saucepan after 3-4 minutes and place in a clean bowl. Add tomato sauces, diced tomatoes, spices, basil, and wine to the saucepan. Let the sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes.
Remove the saucepan from the heat and add the shrimp.
To serve, garnish with freshly shaved Parmesan.
I served mine over high fiber pasta. It would be amazing with some garlic linguini.

Healthy (Kinda Sorta) Side –

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I think Sweet Potatoes are my favorite veggie. You can fry them, sautee them, bake them, roast them. They are sweet. AND they are so good for you. Chelsy’s are roasted after mixing them with curry, vanilla, shallots, and browned butter (This is the kinda sorta part). They were sweet and full of flavor. I did add a little extra curry powder to mine because I really like the flavor. And the vanilla adds just a hint of sweet. I could eat these every day!!

I enjoyed my visit with Chelsy. I have been reading her blog for a while now and cooking some of her food but I have never blogged them. And probably never told her how much I enjoy my visits. So there you are, Chelsy.

Check with the other members of Secret Recipe Club below and see what they found to cook this month.

Last week we said good-bye to Diana Henry who we had been cooking and baking with since October.

This week we say Bonjour to Jacques Pépin. We will be cooking with him through the end of September. This year Msr. Pépin will be 80 years young and celebrating more than 60 years of cooking wonderful dishes. It seemed only logical to celebrate with him for the nest six months. (His birthday is in December!)

This week we could cook or bake any dish of his we wanted to say “Hello”. I chose something simple.

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Skillet Sweet Potatoes

    1 large long sweet potato (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
    1 tablespoon unsalted butter
    1 tablespoon canola oil
    1/2 cup water
    1/4 teaspoon salt

Arrange the sweet potato slices in a single layer in one very large or two slightly smaller nonstick skillets. Add the butter, oil, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, cover, and boil gently over high heat for about 5 minutes. Most of the water will have evaporated and the potatoes will be soft. Continue to cook, uncovered, over medium heat, turning, until the slices are nicely browned on both sides, about 2 additional minutes per side. Serve.

These are similar to how my mother-in-law used to make them. She called them smothered and used LOTS more butter. As you can see these only use a small amount but they caramelized nicely. Good and sweet alone, they were even BETTER sprinkled with a Stevia/Cinnamon blend.

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One Pépin recipe down. At least 12 more to go – depending on the Mystery Box, The Pot Luck, Extra weeks in the month……

Click on over to this weeks IHCC for the rest of the recipes to welcome Jacques to I Heart Cooking Clubs.

If he recipe has the word CURRY in it you can bet I am going to make it. The word just conjures up far away places and exotic flavors. Kayte’s pick for this weeks Wednesdays with Donna Hay did just that. I opned up new food fast to read the recipe and found I had already made it for IHCC last December and it wasn’t one of my fave dishes.

But I decided to make it again with a couple of tweaks!

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While Donna says to simply halve the chicken thighs I cut them into smaller pieces. I also cut the sweet potato into smaller bites. I made only 1/2 the recipe but kept the Red Curry Paste at 3 Tbl. MUCH better. And then I added a touch of salt which brought out the flavors more. I thickened the broth some and served it with some browned rice. Also much better. But…. there is still something lacking to my taste buds. I want to like this but it just isn’t there for some reason.

Did the other Ladies of WWDH like Kayte’s pick? Check out their posts by hopping over to the WWDH Website where we all leave our links.

The recipe is on page 67 of Donna’s new food fast.

And anytime you want to join us for some really good food just leave a comment for one of us or on the website. We would love to have you.

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