Thursday, January 8, 2015

Loaded Sweet Potatoes, Two ways!

I am on a sweet potato kick. I do not apologize for this behavior, but seeing as I have eaten them exclusively for the last three meals and two other days this week I thought I should share it with you. You know, for transparency. Or in case I turn orange. Seriously, that happened to my cousin once. She ate so many carrots that she literally turned orange.

I will keep you posted about the Oompa Loompa angle.

Oompa, Loompa, Doopa dee do.
I've got some delicious ideas for you.

Oh God, it has started...

I threw six sweet potatoes, washed and stabbed mercilessly with a fork, into a covered Dutch oven and baked them for about an hour and a half (until they were soft) on 350. I like to bake them in a covered dish rather than in foil because it feels wasteful. They steam, so they are a little softer, but it also makes the skins nice and soft and since I eat the skins too it works for me. Long story short, you need to bake the sweet potatoes. You could even *shudder* microwave them if that is what floats your boat.

From there you can always go classic - topping them with cinnamon sugar and butter. Since I have been trying to cut back on the refined sugars and dairy I dreamt up a different way of turning them into a breakfast sensation. Maple bacon sweet potatoes.

Yes. It is every bit as amazing as it sounds. No I didn't take a picture. I'm sorry. Not only did I not have my wits about me this morning (no coffee), I ate it too quickly.

I fried bacon, crumbled it and loaded my potato with about two strips worth and then tossed a couple walnuts and a drizzle of real maple syrup (Okay, yes, it is still sugar but a half tablespoon makes all the difference in taste to me. I'm trying to cut back, but balance is everything people!) and a dash of cinnamon. OMG. I'm not even hungry yet but I am still drooling.

Even better? You can make these ahead and heat and eat quickly on a busy morning. It is a great way to cut out gluten and dairy, and you could even use Agave or honey if you wanted less sugar. The complex carbohydrates and protein from the bacon and walnuts really go a long way towards feeling satisfied until my lunch break at one. For once it is 11:30 and I am not scavenging the office for popcorn or snacks; ready to eat my own arm...

And you know what is on my lunch break at one? Another sweet potato. Yes. A loaded sweet potato with black beans and kale. Yes, it is more delicious than it sounds. I admit, I was skeptical. I admit, I was wrong to doubt. I will let Kara Lydon give you the recipe from her blog - where I found it. Don't let the vegan title scare you off. You won't even miss the meat. I promise! I made this bowl of yum last night (sans the dressing) and let me just say: it was heaven. I've never had black beans or steamed kale before, but I am quickly becoming quite passionate about the combo. It was the killer combination: tasted great, nutritious, and quick!

The only change I made was sautéing the kale without garlic and added 1/4tsp dried minced garlic right before I added the water. I had no fresh garlic on hand, and I can't say as though the substitution lacked flavor.

Here's to the noble sweet potato, and hopefully a better year for growing them than last year!

Otherwise I'm actually going to have to buy them by the 20lb bag to keep up with my habit. Not cool yo. Not cool at all.

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