Temperatures and leaves are dropping, pumpkins and goblins are slowly making their appearance on porch steps, and soups begin to replace salads on lunch tables – and sweet potatoes demand a place of prominence in my kitchen.
Not that sweet potatoes aren’t one of my favorite foods year-round that had replaced white potatoes years ago. Come October 1, something shifts.
How Sweet Potato became a staple in my diet.
My husband – who has a profound 6th sense and has literally saved lives because he learned to listen to his intuition years ago – woke one morning early in our marriage to explain that we needed to drastically reduce our white potato consumption because he’d had a ‘sense’ that if we didn’t, I could get breast cancer.
Of course, we researched the relationship between ‘white foods’ and breast cancer – to find many correlations. But like with many ‘health’ tips – several schools of thought exist so there is no definitive proof. [Please – no need to convince me of the value of white potatoes – not the point of this post. :)]
Already being a pescatarian and ‘high fiber’ conscious eater, I’d replaced white bread, pasta, and rice with whole grain versions — so this white potato substituting was not a stretch for me. I figured eliminating white potatoes wouldn’t be too tough, especially if I could replace them with sweet potatoes.
Sweet potato salad and scalloped sweet potatoes have graced our holiday tables often since then – and long before it was trendy – not to mention my husband’s DELICIOUS Sweet Potato Pie.
I often eat baked sweet potatoes like one might eat a banana. After baking, I refrigerate them to be grabbed as a snack – simply peel and eat. Yum!
But a few years ago, I offered a Sweet Potato Shindig class that forced me to jot down the basics of my various sweet potato dishes. So, after the interest in my Too Many Apples post a few months back, I thought I’d share some of my Sweet Potato Shindig Recipes.
Nutrition notes: Vitamin A
Low Glycemic Index
Before you explore the recipe ideas below, you might want to test your knowledge of the difference between Sweet Potato and Yam. Here in the U.S., they are often used interchangeably but they are actually very different foods.
And as you consider some of my recipes, please share your own in the comments below.
Sweet Potato Shindig Recipes
Chowder: onion, celery, butter, flour; add milk/cream, then corn, sweet potatoes. Simmer until potatoes are soft. Season as desired.
Potato Salad. Boil or bake sweet potatoes until cooked but not mushy. Cut into chunks. Gently stir into already mixed ingredients you might use in any potato salad. My favorites: diced boiled eggs, green onions, and celery with mayonnaise, mustard, paprika, salt, and white pepper.
Skillet. Chop potatoes. Add to heated oil covering the bottom of a frying/saute pan. Flip and jostle in oil to coat evenly. Spread thin, add a few tablespoons of water. Cover to steam for a few minutes. Remove lid and add various vegetables: broccoli, peppers of all colors, onions, celery, asparagus, baby spinach, artichoke hearts. Flip and jostle to ensure potatoes are not burning but still form a crisp layer at the bottom. Cover again to let steam a bit more. (I prefer al dente so I remove quickly to avoid vegetables getting mushy.)
Add protein: black beans, shrimp, ground breakfast sausage, already scrambled eggs – or serve with poached or fried eggs.
Choose seasoning: Taco, Italian, Curry, simple salt and pepper,
Nachos. Make sweet potato chips by frying thinly sliced sweet potato rounds (slice from the small end) in a small amount of oil. Add salt, nutmeg. Serve with black beans, grated cheese, sour cream, diced green onions, salsa, and a bit of taco seasoning.
Toast. In broiler or toaster oven (some do use an actual drop toaster but I’ve never trusted this process), toast long thick slices (slice lengthwise) of sweet potatoes. Top with any variety of the following: sliced guacamole, smoked salmon, scrambled eggs with green onions, canned salmon with relish and mayonnaise, hummus.
French fries. Cut sweet potatoes into shoestrings. Roll in olive oil, sprinkle with seasonings to taste: salt, garlic salt, turmeric, ginger, cinnamon. Bake in oven or pan fry. No need to deep fry.
Stacks. Toss thinly sliced potato rounds with melted butter Parmesan cheese, garlic powder, thyme, salt, and pepper until coated evenly. Stack into greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 for about an hour. Remove from oven. Let sit for about 5 minutes. Garnish with Parmesan cheese, thyme, or rosemary.
Potstickers. Mix mashed sweet potato with brown sugar and a bit of nutmeg. Wrap in potsticker wrappers. Pan fry.
Twice-baked. Bake the sweet potato. Once cooked, dish out the middle, leaving enough of the potato on the skin to form a nice bowl. Mash the filling with sour cream, cheese, and seasoning.
Twice-baked with Egg. Bake the sweet potato. Once cooked, dish out the middle, leaving enough of the potato on the skin to form a nice bowl. Drop an egg in – sprinkle with seasoning, and bake until egg has reached desired firmness. Serve with grated cheese.
Pie. Boil whole potatoes with skin. Peel. For every 4 potatoes, add about 3/4 cup milk or cream, 1/2 cup butter, about 1 cup maple syrup (or brown sugar), 2 eggs, a teaspoon of vanilla flavoring. Beat until smooth. Pour into pie crust of choice — or no pie crust at all. Bake at 400 until knife comes out clean.
Final note: For extra nutrition and added flavor, add mashed sweet potato to oatmeal, yogurt, cottage cheese, tacos, guacamole, quesadillas, french toast mix.