sweet potatoes

Sweet Potato "fries"

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I know that for many people, including my family, Hanukkah is a fried-food-fest. That once-a-year indulgence we look forward to with glee. Whether it's the fried latkes, the doughnuts, the chicken -- whatever -- it's the fried part that counts for us. That crunch! That crust! That crisp!

Oy.

So, sure, let's enjoy that first round of classic holiday favorites.

But Hanukkah is an 8-day holiday! So -- how about what I like to call "sort-of-fried" for the remaining days (and anytime after).

Mock fried.

That is, food cooked at high heat that gets crispy, liked fried food, but without the calories, the mess, the fuss and the smell. 

I realize it is NOT THE SAME AS FRIED FOOD.

I get it.

But it is still really tasty, and with the proper crispiness.

Like these sweet potato "fries."

Try these the next time you want something resembles fried without the frying.

Sweet Potato Fries

  • 3 pounds sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • 1/8 teaspoon Aleppo pepper or to taste (or use cayenne pepper)

Preheat the oven to 425F degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into julienne strips about 1/4-inch wide. Place the strips in a single layer on a cookie sheet. Pour the olive oil over the strips and toss to coat them all. Sprinkle the sea salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and pepper on top. Bake, tossing once or twice, for about 15 minutes, or until the strips are browned and crispy.

Makes 4-6 servings.

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple

It seems to me that vegetables are more well-loved these days. Or at least less hated.

I'm not sure why that is, but I haven't seen many food articles lately about trying to get your family to "eat that broccoli" or "try some of those string beans."

I once posted that giving a vegetable dish a cute name such as X-Ray Vision Carrots may inspire kids and other nay-sayers to try vegetables. But I also think that, as a whole, we are making vegetable dishes more interesting nowadays and that's why people are more likely to eat them.

I mean -- Roasted Green Beans with Aleppo Pepper tastes better than plain old steamed string beans. Broccoli with Lemony Bread Crumbs is much more delicious than boiled broccoli. 

And so, those vegetable side dishes become big winners. It just takes a bit more effort.

Like this sweet potato dish (which you can also make with winter squash). The pineapple chunks are a nice, tangy balance for the sweet potato. Orange peel and fresh ginger give the dish a refreshing zip. I sometimes sprinkle in a pinch or two of cayenne pepper, but it isn't essential.

This dish is perfect with roasted chicken or turkey.

 

Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Pineapple

  • 2 medium-large sweet potatoes
  • 1/4 fresh pineapple
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh orange peel
  • 1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • salt to taste

 

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Peel the potatoes and cut the flesh into bite sized chunks. Place the chunks on the parchment. Cut the soft flesh of the pineapple quarter into bite size chunks. Place on the baking sheet. In a small saucepan, combine the coconut oil, maple syrup, orange peel, ginger and nutmeg, stir and cook over medium heat just briefly enough to melt the coconut oil. Pour the mixture over the potatoes and pineapple and toss to coat all the pieces. Salt to taste. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender, tossing the pieces once or twice.

Makes 4-6 servings

Roasted Sweet Potato Hanukkah Coins

When Hanukkah comes most of us are cooking latkes or doughnuts, the holiday’s most typical goodies.

When we were kids, we also ate chocolate Hanukkah gelt, those awful tasting coin candies that are so cheap it makes you wonder whether there is actually any chocolate in them. NOTE  TO ALL: the kids still love those coins but for more discriminating palates, several companies are selling “gourmet gelt" — the real deal, premium chocolate coins.

I decided to take the coin idea in a different culinary direction this year.

On Hanukkah I will also serve sweet potato coins. Roasted, crispy, seasoned sweet potato circles.

Hanukkah gelt of a different sort.

This is one of the easiest recipes you will ever find. For Hanukkah for sure, but any time you need an easy side dish.
 

Roasted Sweet Potato Hanukkah Coins

  • 2 long, narrow sweet potatoes
  • olive oil
  • sea salt
  • ground cinnamon
  • Aleppo pepper or cayenne pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into thin slices. Place the slices (not overlapping) of a parchment lined cookie sheet. Brush them on both sides with a thin film of olive oil. Sprinkle lightly with sea salt, cinnamon and Aleppo pepper. Roast for 10 minutes. Turn the coins over. Roast for another 6-10 minutes or until crispy. 

Makes 4 servings

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Sweet Potatoes with Orange and Allspice

Last week I posted a recipe for sweet potatoes with date honey. But I realize that date honey is not one of those stock items most people have in their pantry. I have a couple of jars of it because I use it for all sorts of recipes, but for those who don’t, and don’t want to buy any, here’s an alternative sweet potato dish that’s easy and make-ahead, also not overly sweet. Nice side dish for Thanksgiving or as part of a vegetarian meal.

Sweet Potatoes with Orange and Allspice

  • 4 large sweet potatoes
  • 3 tablespoons coconut oil, Earth Balance Buttery Spread or butter
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons grated fresh orange peel
  • 3-4 tablespoons dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice (or substitute cinnamon or ground cloves)
  • 1/2 cup orange juice (approximately)
  • Salt, to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the potatoes, prick the skin with the tines of a fork and roast them for 50-60 minutes or until tender. When the potatoes are cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a bowl. Add the Earth Balance (or other), orange peel, sugar and allspice. Mix thoroughly to blend ingredients. Add some of the orange juice, using as much of it as necessary to mix the ingredients to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt. Place in a casserole dish to reheat. Can be made completely ahead.

For marshmallow topping: reheat the casserole until completely heated through, cover with marshmallows and reheat for a few minutes to brown the top.

Makes 8 servings

Three Ingredient Sweet Potato Casserole

Need a last minute Thanksgiving or Thanksgivvukah dish? Try this sweet potato recipe. It has three ingredients (plus salt if you wish). Its other virtue is that it is barely sweetened, because I think sweet potatoes are so naturally sugary they don’t need much more. 
 You can make this ahead and reheat it. Even put marshmallows on top (a few minutes before serving, and after the casserole is already hot). 
 I use Sarabeth’s Orange-Apricot Marmalade. But you can use either plain orange marmalade or apricot jam (or mix the two). 

 Three Ingredient Sweet Potato Casserole 

 4 medium sweet potatoes 
 3 tablespoons orange-apricot marmalade 
 2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread, margarine or butter 
 salt to taste 

 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the sweet potatoes, prick them with the tip of a sharp knife and roast them for about one hour or until tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a bowl (discard the skin or eat separately). Add the marmalade and Earth Balance and mash until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Makes 4-6 servings 

Need a last minute Thanksgiving or Thanksgivvukah dish? Try this sweet potato recipe. It has three ingredients (plus salt if you wish). Its other virtue is that it is barely sweetened, because I think sweet potatoes are so naturally sugary they don’t need much more.

You can make this ahead and reheat it. Even put marshmallows on top (a few minutes before serving, and after the casserole is already hot).

I use Sarabeth’s Orange-Apricot Marmalade. But you can use either plain orange marmalade or apricot jam (or mix the two).

Three Ingredient Sweet Potato Casserole

4 medium sweet potatoes

3 tablespoons orange-apricot marmalade

2 tablespoons Earth Balance Buttery Spread, margarine or butter

salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the sweet potatoes, prick them with the tip of a sharp knife and roast them for about one hour or until tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh into a bowl (discard the skin or eat separately). Add the marmalade and Earth Balance and mash until smooth. Season to taste with salt. Makes 4-6 servings 

Sweet Potatoes with Roasted Apples and Honey

Admit it. You love this right? Sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows.  Say it. Confess.   Even if the so-called sophisticates say it’s declasse to love this. (The same people who say they don’t eat franks-in-blankets either.)  It’s okay to like this. The marshmallow part I mean. And the franks-in-blankets too (is there really anyone who doesn’t love those?)  It’s the underneath stuff that should be the tasty part anyway.   Here’s my newest version of sweet potato casserole: Because the potatoes are sweet enough in my opinion, I don’t add gobs of brown sugar. I use just a little honey. I also shake in some cinnamon (you could use allspice, nutmeg, ground ginger, vanilla) because it warms the flavor and gives it a hint of sweetness too.  This year I mixed in mashed, roasted apples and apple cider instead of the usual orange juice. This casserole seems more autumn-like, softer-tasting with the roasted apples and cider.  It’s easy to make too. Mine’s already done for tomorrow. Bake the casserole to reheat. Put the marshmallows on about 5-6 minutes before you serve, to brown and melt them.  And btw, you don’t have to use the marshmallows. For a plain dish, just reheat the mashed sweet potatoes as is.  I’m just sayin’  Happy Thanksgiving.   ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH APPLES AND HONEY      4 large sweet potatoes  2  apples, peeled, cored and quartered  2 tablespoons butter, coconut oil or margarine  2 tablespoons honey  1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon  1/4-1/3 cup apple cider   salt to taste  marshmallows, optional     Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast the sweet potatoes for 25 minutes. Place the apple pieces in a baking pan, place in the oven and roast for another 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and apples are tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop the sweet potato flesh into a bowl. Mash the apple and add to the sweet potatoes. Add the butter, honey and cinnamon. Mash and mix thoroughly to blend ingredients. Add some of the apple cider, using enough to mix the ingredients to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt. Place in a casserole dish to reheat. Can be made completely ahead. For marshmallow topping: reheat the casserole until completely heated through, cover with marshmallows and reheat for a few minutes to brown the top. Makes 8 servings

Admit it. You love this right? Sweet potato casserole topped with marshmallows.

Say it. Confess. 

Even if the so-called sophisticates say it’s declasse to love this. (The same people who say they don’t eat franks-in-blankets either.)

It’s okay to like this. The marshmallow part I mean. And the franks-in-blankets too (is there really anyone who doesn’t love those?)

It’s the underneath stuff that should be the tasty part anyway. 

Here’s my newest version of sweet potato casserole: Because the potatoes are sweet enough in my opinion, I don’t add gobs of brown sugar. I use just a little honey. I also shake in some cinnamon (you could use allspice, nutmeg, ground ginger, vanilla) because it warms the flavor and gives it a hint of sweetness too.

This year I mixed in mashed, roasted apples and apple cider instead of the usual orange juice. This casserole seems more autumn-like, softer-tasting with the roasted apples and cider.

It’s easy to make too. Mine’s already done for tomorrow. Bake the casserole to reheat. Put the marshmallows on about 5-6 minutes before you serve, to brown and melt them.

And btw, you don’t have to use the marshmallows. For a plain dish, just reheat the mashed sweet potatoes as is.

I’m just sayin’

Happy Thanksgiving.

ROASTED SWEET POTATOES WITH APPLES AND HONEY

 

4 large sweet potatoes

2  apples, peeled, cored and quartered

2 tablespoons butter, coconut oil or margarine

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4-1/3 cup apple cider 

salt to taste

marshmallows, optional

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast the sweet potatoes for 25 minutes. Place the apple pieces in a baking pan, place in the oven and roast for another 25-30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes and apples are tender. When cool enough to handle, scoop the sweet potato flesh into a bowl. Mash the apple and add to the sweet potatoes. Add the butter, honey and cinnamon. Mash and mix thoroughly to blend ingredients. Add some of the apple cider, using enough to mix the ingredients to the desired consistency. Season to taste with salt. Place in a casserole dish to reheat. Can be made completely ahead. For marshmallow topping: reheat the casserole until completely heated through, cover with marshmallows and reheat for a few minutes to brown the top. Makes 8 servings

Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil and Maple

Healthy and delicious all in one dish?   Some say it can’t be done.  But I have found out differently over the years.  Take sweet potatoes and coconut oil. They’re both “good for you” according to most recent findings. Put them together and what have you got? More than bibbedy bobbedy boo, that’s for sure.  Like this recipe I tried yesterday. These sweet potatoes are lightly sweet — I added just one tablespoon of maple syrup — they don’t need more really. I remember my Mom made candied sweets using an entire stick of butter and about a half box of brown sugar for a large can, including liquid, of cut up sweet potatoes. Yes, it was dee-lish. But also loaded with fat and calories. So if you are looking for a recipe that’s lighter, healthier and with lower fat and calories, try this one.  It’s pretty too, don’t you think?   Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil and Maple   2 tablespoons coconut oil  1 tablespoon maple syrup  3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into julienne  2 scallions, chopped  1 large clove garlic, chopped  1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or parsley or use thyme leaves  sea salt  Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the coconut oil and maple syrup together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for about one minute or until the coconut oil liquefies. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the scallions, garlic and herb on top. Pour the coconut oil-maple mixture over the vegetables and toss the ingredients to coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 22-24 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and lightly crispy. Makes 4-6 servings

Healthy and delicious all in one dish? 

Some say it can’t be done.

But I have found out differently over the years.

Take sweet potatoes and coconut oil. They’re both “good for you” according to most recent findings. Put them together and what have you got? More than bibbedy bobbedy boo, that’s for sure.

Like this recipe I tried yesterday. These sweet potatoes are lightly sweet — I added just one tablespoon of maple syrup — they don’t need more really. I remember my Mom made candied sweets using an entire stick of butter and about a half box of brown sugar for a large can, including liquid, of cut up sweet potatoes. Yes, it was dee-lish. But also loaded with fat and calories. So if you are looking for a recipe that’s lighter, healthier and with lower fat and calories, try this one.

It’s pretty too, don’t you think?

Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil and Maple

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into julienne

2 scallions, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or parsley or use thyme leaves

sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the coconut oil and maple syrup together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for about one minute or until the coconut oil liquefies. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the scallions, garlic and herb on top. Pour the coconut oil-maple mixture over the vegetables and toss the ingredients to coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 22-24 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and lightly crispy. Makes 4-6 servings

Healthy and delicious all in one dish?  
 Some say it can’t be done. 
 But I have found out differently over the years. 
 Take sweet potatoes and coconut oil. They’re both “good for you” according to most recent findings. Put them together and what have you got? More than bibbedy bobbedy boo, that’s for sure. 
 Like this recipe I tried yesterday. These sweet potatoes are lightly sweet — I added just one tablespoon of maple syrup — they don’t need more really. I remember my Mom made candied sweets using an entire stick of butter and about a half box of brown sugar for a large can, including liquid, of cut up sweet potatoes. Yes, it was dee-lish. But also loaded with fat and calories. So if you are looking for a recipe that’s lighter, healthier and with lower fat and calories, try this one. 
 It’s pretty too, don’t you think? 
 Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil and Maple 
 2 tablespoons coconut oil 
 1 tablespoon maple syrup 
 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into julienne 
 2 scallions, chopped 
 1 large clove garlic, chopped 
 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or parsley or use thyme leaves 
 sea salt 
 Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the coconut oil and maple syrup together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for about one minute or until the coconut oil liquefies. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the scallions, garlic and herb on top. Pour the coconut oil-maple mixture over the vegetables and toss the ingredients to coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 22-24 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and lightly crispy. Makes 4-6 servings

Healthy and delicious all in one dish? 

Some say it can’t be done.

But I have found out differently over the years.

Take sweet potatoes and coconut oil. They’re both “good for you” according to most recent findings. Put them together and what have you got? More than bibbedy bobbedy boo, that’s for sure.

Like this recipe I tried yesterday. These sweet potatoes are lightly sweet — I added just one tablespoon of maple syrup — they don’t need more really. I remember my Mom made candied sweets using an entire stick of butter and about a half box of brown sugar for a large can, including liquid, of cut up sweet potatoes. Yes, it was dee-lish. But also loaded with fat and calories. So if you are looking for a recipe that’s lighter, healthier and with lower fat and calories, try this one.

It’s pretty too, don’t you think?

Sweet Potatoes with Coconut Oil and Maple

2 tablespoons coconut oil

1 tablespoon maple syrup

3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into julienne

2 scallions, chopped

1 large clove garlic, chopped

1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary or parsley or use thyme leaves

sea salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat the coconut oil and maple syrup together in a small saucepan over medium-low heat for about one minute or until the coconut oil liquefies. Place the sweet potatoes on a baking sheet. Sprinkle the scallions, garlic and herb on top. Pour the coconut oil-maple mixture over the vegetables and toss the ingredients to coat the vegetables. Sprinkle with sea salt. Roast for 22-24 minutes or until the potatoes are tender and lightly crispy. Makes 4-6 servings

Easy Sweet Potatoes

I have to congratulate myself.

For two reasons.

First. because my husband came home from a meeting with a client recently (the client is in a health-related industry) with some great news (I am using quotation marks even though I can’t remember the exact words, but they’re close enough):

"Wow, I just read a newsletter at (so-and-so’s) office and it listed all the best, healthiest foods to eat and guess what? We eat all those things!"

No kidding.

I never told Ed we were cutting down on beef, that I was serving smaller portions, that we were going to eat more fish, chicken and turkey. That I would make sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes. That I would serve more leafy greens and whole grains, dried apricots, avocados and bananas. And whatever else was on the list.

I just did it.

And he is such a good soul he just went along, never realizing. Of course, this was all very gradual. But somehow he had the idea that our diets were not particularly healthy.

Of course we go off now and then. And make pigs of ourselves. And eat things like franks-in-blankets and chocolate covered raisins and taco chips and sugar-coated jelly half moons.

Not usually though.

But he sometimes mentioned to me that we should should start eating in a healthier way, to which I always said “we actually do.” But you know how people are. People always assume what they have always assumed unless something comes along and changes their minds.

Like that newsletter I mentioned.

So my second reason for congratulating myself is that I still haven’t said “I told you so.”

Here is one of the healthy recipes for sweet potatoes. I always buy organic dark orange “yams” (which are really sweet potatoes). 

Easy Sweets

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 teaspoons butter or margarine

1/4 cup orange or pineapple juice

cinnamon

salt to taste

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a sharp knife and place them in the oven. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until tender. Cut the potatoes and scoop the flesh into a bowl (you can eat the skins separately). Add the butter and mash the potatoes until fairly smooth. Pour in the juice, sprinkle lightly with cinnamon and salt to taste. Mix thoroughly and serve. Makes 2 servings

Sweet Potato Latkes

My life is holiday-ing by. Wasn’t it just Hallowe’en? And Thanksgiving is already gone. Here it is only a day after and in addition to thinking about turkey leftovers I’m thinking about latkes because Hanukkah is next week, starting at sundown December 1st. Before you know it it will be next summer and I’ll be making lemonade for the fourth of July.

Foodwise, leftover Thanksgiving and Hanukkah actually go very well. Turkey sandwiches with old fashioned potato latkes is something special. Turkey and sweet potato latkes may be even better.

If you’ve got a couple of sweet potatoes left here’s an easy latke recipe (a riff on the recipe in my book, Hip Kosher) you can make to accompany your turkey leftovers and you can also make these next week for Hanukkah:

Sweet Potato Latkes

2 medium sweet potatoes

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 large eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon baking powder

vegetable oil for frying

Shred the sweet potatoes in a food processor. Place the potatoes in a strainer and press down to extract as much liquid as possible (or squeeze the shreds in a kitchen towel). Put the shreds in a bowl. Add the flour and toss the ingredients. Add the eggs, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg and baking powder. Heat about 1/8-inch vegetable oil in a large sautepan. Scoop enough of the sweet potato mixture to form a pancake about 3-inches in diameter and 1/4-inch thick. Fry the latkes for about 2-3 minutes per side or until the pancakes are crispy and golden brown. Drain on paper towels. Makes 4 servings