It never fails that the weather suddenly and unexpectedly turns cold as soon as I finally commit to stowing away all of my boots and sweaters. It’s been cool and drizzly here in Dallas for the past couple of days. In fact, over the past 2 weeks we’ve had just a handful of sunny days (a tease), but mostly it’s just been cloudy, raining and cooler (I really can’t complain though, because “cool” here is still warmer than most other places).
The good thing about this little cold front is that I get to revisit some of my favorite cold-weather dishes that will soon be pushed to the side in favor of lighter, warm-weather dishes.
Yesterday, while I was sitting with a nice, hot cup of herbal tea I began to think of what I could make for dinner. The first thing that came to mind–the first thing that always comes to my mind–was sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes are one of my all-time favorite foods. They can be roasted, steamed, or boiled and made spicy, sweet or salty, but no matter how they are prepared they are always mouthwateringly good.
Not only are they tasty, they are good for you, too, which makes for a winning combination in my book. Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of manganese, potassium, fiber, copper, and Vitamins A, C, B5, B6, and B3. If I haven’t yet convinced you of the super-powers that sweet potatoes possess, you should also know that they are used throughout Africa, India and the Caribbean to ensure that school age children receive large amounts of their daily Vitamin A. In fact, just one cup of cooked sweet potato provides 438% of the recommended daily amount of Vitamin A. And because they are available in most countries year-round, they are considered a wonderful and popular source of the antioxidant beta-carotene. Source
Among the many ways to cook sweet potatoes, my favorite (and possibly the easiest) is baked with oil, salt and seasoning. You can cut them into chunks or into thin strips to make fries.
- 2-3 pounds sweet potatoes
- 2 Tbs. olive oil (you could also use coconut oil or grapeseed oil)
- ½ tsp. salt
- depending on your preference, choose one of the following to season:
- either ½ tsp. paprika and a dash of cayenne pepper
- or 1 tsp. cinnamon mixed with ⅛ tsp. stevia
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Wash sweet potatoes and cut into long, thin wedges.
- Place the sweet potatoes in a bowl and coat thoroughly with oil and seasoning.
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the sweet potatoes in a single layer on the parchment. It’s best if the sweet potatoes don’t touch so they are evenly cooked.
- Bake for 30 minutes or until they reach desired crispness.
Last night I chose to make a version from Kimberly Snyder’s book, The Beauty Detox Solution, which includes coconut oil, curry and turmeric…SO good! This is a dish that I make at least a couple of times a week, either as a filling lunch or a side dish for my dinner. If you bake them just long enough, the chunks of sweet potato caramelize and get crispy on the outside, but keep soft on the inside. Absolute heaven.