I just want to say thank you (!) to everyone who wished me well yesterday in my comments section. It meant so much to me, and it amazes me how supportive and helpful this community can be. I am so happy to be a part of it!
So, on a completely different note, lets talk about vegetables today…..
A couple of weeks ago I shared some of my favorite (and simple) ways to eat kale. I thought I’d continue with the vegetable love today and move on to a new vegetable… sweet potatoes!
I love sweet potatoes (almost as much as I love kale… which is saying a lot). They are so versatile and can take on either savory or sweet flavors very easily. They are delicious baked, roasted, and even microwaved when you’re short on time (or too impatient to wait for the oven to preheat). Plus, not only are they delicious, but they are also packed full of vitamins and minerals and are so good for you too (here is some more info if you’re interested)!
Just like my favorite ways to enjoy kale, my favorite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes are also very quick and easy… I don’t have tons of time to devote to cooking these days, so I am all about being quick and efficient in the kitchen. Plus, since my kitchen is the size of a shoebox, has bad lighting and has limited counter space, it’s not exactly my ideal place to be….
One day I will have a big kitchen with natural light and counter space and will have ample amounts of time to devote to my cooking love (a girl can dream….), but until then, I’ll just stick to easy (and delicious!) meal preparation.
Some of my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Wash sweet potato and cut into cubes
- Put cubes into bag and add a little olive oil (or cooking spray) as well as any seasonings you’d like…. I am a fan of spicy seasonings like old bay, red pepper flakes or chili powder or a more sweet combo like cinnamon
- Place sweet potato in one even layer on greased baking sheet
- Bake for 40-60 minutes, flipping halfway through
These are good as a side to a meal or are also excellent salad toppers.
2. “Loaded” sweet potatoes
I also love using sweet potatoes as a base for delicious toppings. I find that really any combination of ingredients can work well as a sweet potato topper. Some of my favorites include:
- sweet potato + black beans + BBQ sauce + sautéed spinach + sautéed mushrooms
- sweet potato + black beans + salsa + plain greek yogurt (as sour cream replacement) + avocado
- sweet potato + white beans + spinach + zucchini + mushrooms + peppers + balsamic reduction (heat balsamic vinegar in a saucepan until it gets thick and sweet and delicious)
- Sweet potato + baked beans (originally from Caitlin…. this is such a good combo, try it!)
Really any combo of a protein (beans are my personal favorite, if you can’t tell), veggie(s) and condiment could work for this…. It’s such a fun, delicious and fast meal! I usually will just:
- Wash and pierce potato with a fork
- Microwave for 5-6 minutes
- While potato heats, saute and prep my “toppers”
- Cut potato open and top with ingredients
You could also bake the sweet potato vs. microwaving as well.
3. Sweet potato rounds
(who has a delicious recipe for these with a Coconut-Peanut Sauce!)
I don’t really know what to call these but there are one of my favorite ways to enjoy sweet potatoes. I used to make these all the time in college, and they are a great vehicle for a ton of ketchup and/or BBQ sauce consumption. The best way I have found to do this is with a George Foreman grill, but you can also improvise with a saute pan or do this in the oven.
- Preheat George Foreman grill and spray with some non-stick cooking spray
- Cut sweet potato in rounds (about 1/4 inch thick)
- Place rounds on greased George Foreman and grill for about 10-15 minutes (or until grill marks form and potatoes are cooked through), flipping once
- Preheat and grease skillet
- Cut sweet potato into rounds
- Microwave rounds in microwave for 2-3 minutes (until they get a little soft)… this speeds up the process a bit
- Place on skillet and brown each side (about 2-3 minutes each side)
These taste amazing dipped in ketchup or BBQ sauce, and I find they are a quick fix to a crispy “fry-esque” craving (they definitely don’t taste like french fries…. I am referring more to their crispy fry-like texture and ability to hold ketchup…. I don’t want to false advertise). Kailey over at Snackface has a good oven-method of making these as well….
Again, as you can see, my favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes are pretty simple. I am all about quick meals that don’t take too much time to prepare. It’s always possible to squeeze more veggies in your life, I swear!
If you would like some more ideas (and complete meal ideas), check out some of these recipes….
Anne’s Sweet Potato & Black Bean Vegetable Enchiladas…. these are SO GOOD. I made them about a month or so ago and am still thinking about them…. I need to make them again.
Mama Pea’s Spicy African Peanut Stew… another delicious recipe using sweet potatoes that I highly recommend (so simple but so good!)
Sweet Potato and Red Pepper Pasta… I have this bookmarked, it sounds delicious!
and as always… Food Gawker can always give you an endless supply of ideas as well.
What are your favorite ways to eat sweet potatoes?
Any fun recipes to share? Feel free to link!