Tag Archives: sweet potato

Slow Cooker Baked Sweet Potatoes

I always feel a little sad around this time of year. The day has come to toss the half-empty bottles of champagne and leftover snack foods from the fridge. Starting today, I will wear my yoga pants for yoga practice, and not for waistline-expanding feasts of plenty. The time for holiday gluttony has passed.

Luckily, my friend the sweet potato is here to console me.

These winter root vegetables are my go-to comfort food in January, since they’re easy to prepare and figure friendly. Plus, if you’re really desperate for that festive feeling, you can unwrap the foil-covered sweet potato like a present.

If you pair a baked sweet potato with high-protein toppings and a side salad, it’s a complete weeknight meal. Usually when I serve baked sweet potatoes as a dinner entree to my family, I let each person choose his own toppings to really personalize the meal. I set out several possible toppings buffet-style on the counter, and everyone can go to town. This is a strategy is a great way to clean out the fridge if your condiment stash is out of control, too!

Slow Cooker Baked Sweet Potatoes (serves 4)
4 medium sweet potatoes, try to get them all around the same size

Scrub each potato under running water and then pat dry. Wrap each potato in aluminum foil. Place in the slow cooker and cook on low for 4-6 hours, until potatoes are completely tender. Check the doneness of the potatoes by sticking one with a skewer: if it slides through the whole potato with ease, the potato is done baking! Unwrap the hot potato and cut open before topping with the goodies of your choice.

Suggested Toppings for Sweet Potatoes

  • Baked Beans
  • Steamed chopped greens
  • Salsa
  • Barbecue Sauce
  • Sour Cream or Plain Greek Yogurt
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Cottage Cheese
  • Applesauce
  • Cranberry Sauce
  • Cinnamon
  • Ginger
  • Chili
  • Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
  • Black Pepper
  • Sriracha
  • Cilantro
  • Vanilla Yogurt
  • Pumpkin Pie Spice

What are your favorite sweet potato toppings? Let us know in the comments!

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Persimmon Sweet Potato Soup

Count persimmons as one of those foods I wasted too much of my life not eating. Truth be told I don’t think I even knew what a persimmon was until last year. I have a lot of time to make up for. I’ve noticed we mostly get the fuyu variety, although other kinds sometimes pop up.

We like to eat persimmons in both the firm stage and the OMG-soft-touches-only stage. The former is great for snacking and the latter works perfectly as a jam stand-in. Of course, as is my trend, I can’t simply eat a food without experimenting, and after a little bit of Googling I hit upon the idea of persimmon soup.

persimmon soup

Persimmons are rather small, so I didn’t want to base the entire soup on them. Sweet potatoes are a natural match, and really help with adding bulk to the soup. With some spices and a mirepoix, the soup’s flavor is rather similar to butternut squash soup. Maybe that’s why I like it so much. The persimmon season is short, so try this recipe out while you still can!

If your fuyu persimmons aren’t in the squishy stage, you can pop them in the freezer overnight and thaw them in the fridge. The insides will scoop out easily with a spoon or melon baller. Haiyacha persimmons will need to ripen on the counter, but you can speed up the process by putting them in a paper bag with an apple or banana.

Persimmon Sweet Potato Soup
serves 4-6

1 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
2/3 cup diced carrots
2/3 cup diced celery
2/3 cup diced onion
1 large sweet potato, diced
6 persimmons
5 cups vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon turmeric
1 1/4 teaspoons ground ginger
Salt and pepper
Almond slivers (optional)

In a large stockpot, heat oil over medium. Once the oil is shimmery, add the carrots, celery, and onions, and cook until vegetables are soft onions are translucent.
Cut persimmons in half from the bottom and scoop out pulp, removing any hard bits. (The flesh should be dark orange and jammy, with a few dark flecks from sugar caramelization.)
Add sweet potato and persimmon to pot and cook 5 more minutes. Pour in stock and stir in turmeric and ginger. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer. Cover and let cook for at least 30 minutes, until sweet potatoes are completely soft.
Working in batches, puree soup in a blender (or use a stick blender), then return to pot. Taste soup and season with salt and pepper to your liking. If your soup is too thick, add additional stock or water to thin it out. Cook for an additional 15 minutes.
Serve with almond slivers on top, if desired, and bread for dipping.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

Since living in Texas, I’ve been attempting to try as many Southern foods as possible. Some we loved, like the Popcorn Okra or the Corn Saute with Fried Okra, and some just didn’t work (like the creamed collards experiment). Sweet potato biscuits have been on my radar for a while, and these turned out to be one of those Southern foods we couldn’t get enough of.

Sweet Potato Biscuits

These were light and fluffy, a bit sweet, and had a ton of flavor. I was worried that they would be greasy (I fully admit that I am a shortening n00b and haven’t entirely figured out its properties yet), but these weren’t at all. They were quick to make and the dough is super easy to roll out. It’s also a great way to use leftover sweet potatoes (though if they’re mashed and you’ve added sugar, I’d decrease the amount of sugar in the biscuit recipe accordingly).

Mine didn’t puff up much after baking, and the final biscuit was about 3/4″ thick. Despite the fact that the recipe instructs to roll the dough out to 1/2″ thick, I think I might go a bit thicker next time.

From All Recipes

Ingredients:

  • 1 c. flour
  • 3 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. white sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 Tbsp. shortening
  • 3/4 c. mashed sweet potatoes (To bake sweet potatoes quickly, put them in a casserole dish with a bit of water, cover with saran wrap, and microwave for 12-15 minutes, depending on how large the potatoes are.)
  • 1/4 c. milk

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Stir together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.
  • Cut in the shortening until pieces of shortening are pea-sized or smaller.
  • Mix in the sweet potatoes and enough of the milk (I needed the full 1/4 c.) to make a soft dough.
  • Turn the dough out onto a floured surface, and roll or pat out to 1/2″ thickness (see note above).
  • Cut into circles using a biscuit cutter or a drinking glass.
  • Place biscuits 1 inch apart onto a greased baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes in the preheated oven, or until golden brown.

Local Box Meal Plan: Feb. 22-26

This week, we’re getting sweet potatoes; broccoli from Farm Patch; yellow onion and swiss chard or spinach from Naegelin; Meyer lemons from G&S Groves; salad pack with dill, cilantro, and mixed radishes from My Father’s Farm; crimini mushrooms from Kitchen Pride; and spring onions from Acadian.

So I’m making:

  • Broccoli and mushroom casserole with onion (without a cream of whatever soup! Blech!) with sweet potato biscuits (recipe to come in the Greenling box)
  • Gouda and spinach-stuffed pork chops (recipe to come in the Greenling box)
  • Lemon and chili fresh pasta (we ended up getting oranges, not lemons last time, so I’m anxious to try this)
  • Green salad with cilantro, radish and green onions

Sweet Potato-Carrot Soup

I hate this weather. It’s been dreary, gray and cold for a few weeks now and I’m not a happy camper. Luckily, we got some bright and hearty veggies in our Greenling box last week, so I took the opportunity to make a stick-to-your-ribs, warm-your-bones soup.

IMG_1971_edit

Soups are insanely easy to make, and if you use stocks, don’t take forever either. Saute your aromatics, deglaze the pot, then add your main ingredients and enough stock (or water, if you’re in a bind) and simmer until the main ingredients have cooked through. It’s a pretty standard formula that can be adapted to whatever you have on hand.

Sweet potatoes and carrots are already pretty sweet themselves, so I decided to saute the onions almost to the point of caramelization to add another underlying layer of sweetness. I also like adding ginger to my veggie-based soups. The soup is hot already, but the ginger gives the soup another degree of warmth.

I also added a dollop of plain yogurt for some creaminess. Though you could add cream to make it extra rich, I just like to puree it beyond belief and stir in a bit of yogurt. An immersion blender aerates the soup a bit, so you get that same richness of the cream without the fat. You could also use a food processor or blender to puree the soup, but I’ve found them to be so fickle with hot liquids (take it from me — soup on the wall? Not fun to clean.).

Ingredients:

  • 1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1″ fresh ginger root, grated
  • 4 c. vegetable stock
  • 2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks
  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2″ chunks

Directions:

  • Saute the onion in the olive oil over medium-high heat until the onions are just starting to caramelize. You don’t need a deep brown here; just a bit of color is fine.
  • Add the ginger and saute for another minute.
  • Deglaze the pot with a bit of the vegetable stock, then pour the rest of the stock into the pot and bring it to a boil.
  • Once the stock is boiling, add the sweet potatoes and carrots and reduce the heat to a simmer.
  • Simmer the soup until the sweet potatoes and carrots are tender (about 15 minutes), then remove from the heat and puree.

Local Box Meal Plan: Feb. 1-5

This week, we’re getting broccoli, swiss chard, and red spring onion from Acadian Family Farm; grapefruit from G&S Groves; radish and beets from My Father’s Farm; sweet potatoes from Naegelin; carrots from Martinez Farm; cilantro and arugula.

So I’m making:

For the Super Bowl:

Sides:

  • Swiss chard with bacon
  • Arugula salad with chilled beets and goat cheese (one of my favorite combos!)

Maple-Roasted Vegetables

I tweeted a picture of these a few nights ago, and I couldn’t wait to share the recipe with you all because it was so good! I had some sweet potatoes that I hadn’t yet used from a Local Box a few weeks ago, and we got some beautiful purple turnips in our box last week, so I thought this would be a perfect way to use both.

These veggies are sweet, with a hint of spicy from the coriander. The peppery notes of the turnips are much more muted.

When roasting vegetables, it’s important to limit the use of oil in order to prevent the veggies from getting soggy, rather than caramelizing. A hot oven and baking sheet will also help!

Adapted from The New York Times

Ingredients:

  • 2 lb. vegetables, peeled and chopped into 1/2″ chunks
  • 3 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp. maple syrup
  • 1/4 tsp. coriander
  • Heavy pinch of salt and few grinds of pepper

Directions:

  • Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. When you turn the oven on, put a baking sheet in there as well. I’ve found that roasting on a hot baking sheet also helps to ensure the crisp factor.
  • Combine the olive oil, maple syrup, coriander, salt and pepper in a small bowl and set aside.
  • When the oven and pan are ready, toss the vegetables in the maple syrup mixture and spread out on the hot pan. Make sure that every piece is touching the bottom of the pan.
  • Bake for ~40 minutes, or until the veggies are caramelized and fork-tender. If the veggies haven’t caramelized adequately, turn on the broiler for a few minutes.