Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sweet Potatoes

In the never-ended quest to attempt to eat better, I'm trying to introduce sweet potatoes into my diet. Now, I'm not a very picky eater. The list of things I do not like is relatively short:
  1. Black olives
  2. Clams*

* For the record, I've only had canned clam chowder and I hate the "clammy" taste, but for all I know clams are very good, I'm just not eating them prepared in a yummy way. So someone make me some yummy clams and convince me otherwise.

The list of crazy foods I have tried is much longer ... off the top of my head:
  1. Pigs blood (I had a Filipino roommate in college and tried this at a birthday party hosted by her mom)
  2. Fried alligator (this past weekend)
  3. Bison burger
  4. Pheasant
  5. Venison
  6. Frog legs
  7. Octopus
And I would willingly eat that all again, except for the pigs blood. (Sorry, R.)

Anyway, that's not the point of this post. The point is that my husband is a pickier eater than I am. (Really the only person I have met in my life that is less picky than me is my oldest brother.) So, if I'm going to introduce sweet potatoes into our diet, and have it stick, it has to taste good. So I've taken to the internets (and friends) to find yummy ways to prepare sweet potatoes.

Sweet Potato Quesedillas
My vegetarian friend would bring this to pot-luck 4th of July parties and holy crap were they yummy. She says the recipe comes from the Student's Vegetarian Cookbook.

1 medium sweet potato, shredded
1 can black beans, drained
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons cumin (you can do less. I think the original recipe called for 1. I just like more.)
Salt & pepper to taste
Monterey or cheese of your choice
Whole wheat or other tortilla of your choice

Saute the onions in oil for 4 to 5 minutes or until transparent. Add the shredded sweet potato and cook for another three to four minutes. Add the garlic and cumin and stir for a minute. Add the black beans and stir for a few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat. 

Veggie Friend Also Recommends: Another thing I do with sweet potatoes is slice them into (roughly) 1/4 to 1/2 inch slices, lay them on a baking sheet (no oil or spray) and cook them at 375 for about 15 minutes or until they're soft. I then eat them as is or dip them in peanut sauce (a recipe for another day) or some other dip I have around. You can also mix this up by coating the potatoes in a little oil, lime juice, chili powder, and salt before roasting them. Delicious.

@ashemischief suggested this, which is very similar to how I like to cook asparagus: I like to chop them & roast them with a mix of other potatoes in olive oil, parsley, salt & pepper. Also the Outback way is delish.

Well, I've never been to Outback, however, Google holds all the answers:

Outback's Sweet Potato Recipe

1 large sweet potato
2 tablespoons shortening
2 tablespoons kosher salt
3 tablespoons softened butter
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Rub outside of potato with shortening and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake the potatoes at 350F for 45 to 60 minutes (until soft). Split the potato.Whip together butter and honey and put inside. Sprinkle with cinnamon and serve.

In other news, you can also turn carrots into "bacon." But I'm from the Midwest. That fact that "everything tastes better deep fried" is not news to me. 


  1. My favorite is sweet potato mash. I boil the sweet potatoes, then mash them like i would regular mashed potatoes. Instead of going the savory route, though, i add vanilla extract, heavy cream, butter and brown sugar. I serve them hot as a side dish or put them in the freezer, then reblend them when they are slightly frozen for a dessert.

  2. I love the mashed sweets above too--they're so good! I typically don't do the brown sugar and I run them through the food processor after baking and peeling.

    My staple side-dish sweet potatoes are a couple of potatoes cut into cubes, a sweet onion or yellow onion cut in pieces about the same size, drizzle in a baking dish with olive oil and dose liberally with garlic pepper. I think 350 for an hour will do it.