Ingredient of the Week XXXVIII: White Sweet Potato

Ingredient of the Week XXXVIII: White Sweet Potato

White Sweet Potatoes are in season!  They are milder in flavor than the orange version otherwise known as Yams, yet the skins are more like a regular white potato.. Regardless of the color there are so many things to do with the sweet potato. Due to the natural sweetness of this potato, added sweetener is really unnecessary. We tend to over due with marshmallows, brown sugar and butter. Those calories add up quickly so you may consider saving those calories for something else within the meal.

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Check out Sweet Potatoes here.  The garlic and sour cream really cut the sweetness.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAStuffing the skins can be a meal in itself.  The traditional skin has bacon and cheese. Try crispy center cut bacon and reduced fat cheese to cut back on saturated fat and calories. Make an Italian version with part skim ricotta cheese, minced garlic and chopped spinach, then top with marinara sauce. Enjoy a breakfast casserole skin with white sweet potato cubes, diced red bell pepper, turkey sausage (or maple sausage by Morning Star), eggs/whites plus shredded parmesan cheese on top. One of my favorites is a fajita vegetable skin with sliced bell peppers, onions and zucchini (add shrimp or steak for some protein).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe options are really endless. What’s in your skin?

Baking potatoes at 400 degrees takes about 30-40 minutes, pending the thickness of the potato. I bake 4 or 6 at a time knowing they will be prepared numerous ways, offering some variety throughout the week. Rubbing the skin with olive and seasonings makes for a flavorful skin. The skin is a great source of fiber and is actually a tasty treat!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI enjoy slicing the cooked potato, then pan sautéing in olive oil and seasonings. This is a quick way to drum up a potato side dish since the potato is already cooked. The potato only needs to be heated and browned on both sides so the cook time is fast! Top the round with light sour cream, chives and minced bells. Personally, I like them a little crispy!

Roasting potatoes is a way to make french fries without all the grease. A lot of foods are typically fried in vegetable oil, which is a partially hydrogenated oil otherwise known as trans fat. Avoid trans fats all together if you can as it raises your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and lowers your HDL (“good”) cholesterol.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERASimply cut the potato into strips (with or without skin), drizzle with olive oil and seasonings (minced garlic, onion, smoked paprika, sea salt and pepper for this recipe) and roast on 450 degrees. Toss occasionally. Roast until browned. Broil to crisp them up at the end.

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Potato hash is so easy. (It’s super good with butternut squash too!)

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Simply cube the raw potato (with or without the skin). Drizzle with olive oil and seasonings then sauté stovetop on high heat until browned all sides.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAGrill, bake, roast or sauté vegetables then add them to soups and stews or into (breakfast) casseroles. They add incredible layers of flavor! In this case, I had left over grilled zucchini, so I made a vegetable bean soup.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn a large pot add olive oil, onions and carrots. Sprinkle with seasonings. Love me some Dulcet spices as they are 100% all natural and gluten free!

20141106_153002Saute’ on medium high heat then add the garlic, toss and cook another 5 minutes. Add mushrooms, jalapeño pepper and stock then reduce to medium heat. Stir and bring to a boil. Add remaining ingredients: grilled zucchini cut into chunks, fresh chopped kale from my garden (smiles) and the cubed white sweet potato, butternut squash and black beans. Bring to a boil and serve!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERARoasting is a way to get everyone eating their vegetables for the sugar releases from the vegetables and caramelizes, forming a sticky sweet taste. If I had other fresh vegetables on hand such as brussel sprouts, assorted bell peppers, green beans, more carrots and onions I would have included them with these potatoes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThis version includes mushroom and sage infused olive oil, rosemary and a lemon dill blend of spices plus chopped garden fresh scallions from the local farmer’s market.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAPlace on 425 degrees for about 30 minutes and done! Brown them further on broil if desired. On a side note, a little rosemary goes a long way. It adds depth of flavor any dish.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATHIS recipe rocks and you’ll love it for the holidays. A savory pie that is GF (gluten free), can be prepared vegetarian and even vegan style cuisines. Thinly slice the potato using a sharp knife or a mandolin. Microwave the sliced potatoes for about 4 minutes. Wipe a pie plate with olive oil and place the potatoes as shown here forming a crust.

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Top with crumbled, crispy center cut bacon or Morning Star bacon (or omit the bacon completely).

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERANext add diced bell peppers in red, yellow and orange plus red onion (or leeks).  Add minced jalapeño peppers or hot pepper of choice.

Most of us love our cheese so try to use a reduced fat or part skim option like swiss or provolone. Harder cheeses are a healthier choice such as parmesan, romano or even feta. I “cheated” today and used cheddar peppadew realizing “everything in moderation” with the intention of only eating one slice in a meal and not the entire pie!

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn a mixing bowl add 8 eggs and 1/2 cup of water or whatever egg combination is desired. Egg whites, egg beaters or egg substitute will all do the job. Try adding skim milk, almond milk or even Kefir in place of water. Pour the egg mixture over top and bake on 325 degrees for about 45 minutes.

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I must admit, a lil shredded asiago cheese was added on top for picture purposes ha! Allow to cool slightly then serve. It’s great cold too.  Imagine the possibilities…how about including asparagus? Broccoli or spinach, mushrooms, shallots and swiss?!

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Happy Holiday season! Use your creativity in the kitchen, eat in proper portions and enjoy the taste of “good food that makes you feel good”, otherwise known as comfort foods gone healthy style without sacrificing flavor.

And remember the latkes for Hanukkah! The white sweet potato works just as well as the yam.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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