Sweet Potato Love on Meatless Monday

Oct 2014

I tend to think of sweet potatoes as a fall vegetable, but my southern friend is fond of eating them all year round. After a little 411 on the Sweet Potato, I thinking I might follow her lead.

411 sweet potato history nutrition

Aside from the fact they are highly nutritious, they are also fairly mild tasting which means they can be used in both sweet and savory dishes. I’ve eaten delicious curries in India, sweet potatoes in sushi, Mexican stews featuring the tasty carb and of course plenty of sweet potato pie around the holidays. Here’s the 411 and a little sweet potato love on Meatless Monday.

411 sweet potato

  • Spanish explorers discovered two of the world’s most important foods in the New World: corn and the sweet potato.
  • It was cultivated (not grown wild) by pre-Incan races for thousands of years.
  • In the North, new plants are obtained by cuttings, as outside of the tropics, sweet potatoes do not produce seed.
  • Traveling back to Spain, it then made it’s way to Italy and around Europe. It now can be found in the Asiatic lands, Japan and southern Russia as well as the warmer tropical Pacific. This is a well travelled spud!
  • Sweet Potatoes are high in vitamin B6, and a great source of vitamin C, Vitamin D and iron.
  • We know the darker the vegetable the better, here, the rich orange color indicates beta carotene and other cartenoids which strengthen eyesight and immunity.
  • When mixed with lime juice, the pigment can be used (and is used in Latin America) as a permanent natural red dye.
  • Although sweet in flavor, the natural sugars are slow to release helping to insure a regular source of energy without blood sugar spikes.
  • They are extremely hard workers, producing more food per acre than any other cultivated plant.
  • Members of the Morning Glory botanical family, the starchy roots grow into the tubers we know as sweet potatoes.
  • They are incredibly versatile and can be roasted, grilled, steamed, baked, spread and pureed. Try adding them 3/4 baked and peeled to you favorite sale recipe-a winner!

411 on sweet potato

Sweet Potato Galettes (from Ottolenghi)
This recipe is incredible versatile and when using puff pastry, quite a breeze to make. The first time was a bit tricky, as I am not that familiar with puff pastry, but after one try, I wouldn’t hesitate to make it again as an appetizer for a dinner party or main course with salad for the family.
Ingredients (makes 4):
  • 3 sweet potatoes, try to get them uniform so the coins will all be the same size.
  • 9 oz. puff pastry
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 6 1/2 T. sour cream
  • 3 1/2 T. goat cheese
  • 2 T. pumpkin seeds
  • 1 medium hot chile (i used 3 slices of jalapeño finely chopped)
  • 1 T. olive oil
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 2 T. chopped parsley
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Defrost the puff pastry according to directions (usually overnight). Preheat oven to 400F and bake the sweet potatoes in their skins for approx. 35 minutes. You want them getting soft, but not cooked through. Once cooled, peel and cut into 1/8″ rounds.

While sweet potatoes cook, roll out the puff pastry on a floured work surface to 1/16″, and cut into 4 equal rectangles. Line a cookie sheet (you’ll need two) with parchment and place the pastry well spaced on parchment. Prick with a fork and leave to rest in fridge for at least 1/2 hour.

Remove the pastry from fridge and brush all with beaten egg. Spread a thin layer of sour cream on the dough, leaving a 1/4″ border all around the edges. Arrange the potato coins in rows, slightly overlapping, keeping the border free. Mix the goat cheese with chopped chile and sprinkle on top. Add pumpkin seeds as well. Salt and pepper. Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the pastry is cooked through. Check the bottom, as it should be brown (and goes from brown to black very quickly).

While galettes are cooking, mix together olive oil, parsley, garlic and sprinkle of salt. Brush on top of galattes as soon as they come out of the oven. May be eaten warm or served at room temperature.

411 sweet potato love meatless monday

 Will sweet potatoes find their way into your diet, or are they there already? I’d love to hear how you like to eat them.