Sweet potatoes are for sure one of my favorite root vegetables. Whenever I make them, I always think to myself "why don't I make them more often?". They are truly rock star tubers since they are versatile, vibrant in color, and pack a serious nutritional punch. Sweet potatoes are bursting to the brim with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and loads of fiber, giving you benefits for immune function, eye health, and digestion in one compact package! Here are my top 5 ways to enjoy this orange spud!
My good friend Jeanette prepared a version of these sweet potato nachos on the Rachael Ray show, you can see her recipe here. Since I am a bonafide sucker for sweet potatoes, I made them the base and layered the "chips" with black bean mango salsa, jalapeño, jack cheese, and avocado. These fork and knife nachos are sure to please your most healthy and hungry crowd.
Sweet Potato Nachos
- 3-pounds sweet potatoes, scrubbed and cut into 1/4-inch slices, using a mandolin or a knife
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
- 1/2 teaspoon chili power
- Salt and pepper, to taste
black bean mango salsa
- 1 cup black beans, cooked (if you use canned beans, opt for BPA-free/salt-free and rinse)
- 1 medium sized mango, peeled and chopped
- 1 jalapeño, ribs and seeds removed, minced
- 1 small red onion, chopped
- 1/4 cup cilantro leaves, roughly chopped
- Juice and zest of 2 limes
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 cup shredded jack cheese (vegans sub in nut cheese or omit)
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, chopped
- 1 large watermelon radish, or 4 red radishes, thinly sliced and quartered
- Cilantro leaves
- Sliced jalapeño
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt or sour cream (optional)
- Lime wedges
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Line two sheet trays with parchment paper. In a large bowl, whisk together the chili powder, salt and pepper, and two tablespoons of olive oil. Coat the sweet potatoes with the spiced oil and evenly spread the potatoes out on the sheet trays. Make sure they don’t overlap. Bake for 15 minutes, flip, and bake for another 10 minutes until brown and crispy around the edges. Remove from the oven.
- While the potatoes bake, make the salsa. In a bowl, combine the beans, mango, jalapeño, red onion, cilantro, lime zest and juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Taste and adjust lime or salt, if needed.
- Preheat broiler. Combine all the sweet potatoes onto one sheet try. Top the sweet potato chips with cheese. Place under the broiler until cheese has melted, about 2 minutes. Scatter the "chips" with salsa, avocado, radish, cilantro, dollops of greek yogurt or sour cream, and lime wedges. Serve immediately.
Admittedly, waffles are not something in my typical breakfast repertoire. I much prefer something low maintenance that I can make the night before or throw together thoughtlessly in the am. But, for those weekend mornings that you do want to take those extra steps to treat yourself or your guests to something more elaborate, then these cornmeal amaranth sweet potato waffles will certainly do the trick. You can also double up the recipe, freeze the cooked waffles, and toast in your toaster to get your waffle fix on a weekday morning.
Sweet Potato Cornmeal Waffles
makes 4 large waffles
- 1 small sweet potato, peeled, chopped, boiled, and mashed. (You want 3/4 cup mashed)
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 cup organic whole milk or nut milk of your choice
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil
- 1/4 cup maple syrup + additional for drizzling
- 1 cup amaranth flour
- 1/2 cup organic cornmeal
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- Plain or coconut yogurt and walnuts for garnish.
- Heat waffle iron.
- In large bowl, whisk together the sweet potatoes, egg yolks, milk, coconut oil, and maple syrup.
- In a separate bowl, whisk together the amaranth flour, cornmeal, salt, baking powder, and spices.
- Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the batter is smooth.
- Using a hand mixer or a whisk, beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Fold the egg whites into the batter.
- Using a ladle, pour about 3 oz of batter onto the waffle iron and cook 5-6 minutes, or until crispy.
- Top with yogurt, cinnamon, walnuts, and maple syrup.
Both butternut squash and sweet potatoes contain beta-carotene, a carotenoid responsible for the orange-hued flesh. Beta-carotene converts to Vitamin A in the body, which helps fend off damaging free radicals. Beta-carotene also promotes healthy glowing skin and eye health. Adequate levels of beta carotene have also been shown to lower the risk of cardiovascular disease. Enjoy the bounty of fall with these nourishing seasonal vegetables.
Gingery Butternut Squash and Sweet Potato Soup
recipe adapted from the New York Times
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
- 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 pound butternut squash, peeled, and diced
- 1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled, and diced
- 6 cups water or vegetable stock
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- In a large dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the ginger and sauté another minute. Add the turmeric, cumin, and a pinch of black pepper and stir together until spices are fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Add the squash and sweet potatoes and mix well with the aromatics. Add water or stock and bring to a simmer. Season with salt to taste, lower the heat, cover, and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until the squash and potatoes are very tender.
- Working in batches, transfer the soup to a blender and carefully puree. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender. Return the soup to the pot, heat through, taste and adjust the seasonings, if needed. Top with hemp seeds, vegan pesto (recipe below), yogurt, or microgreens and enjoy.
kale and pea shoot pesto
makes 1 1/2 cups
- 2 cups kale leaves, washed and chopped
- 1/2 cup pea shoots
- 1/2 cup toasted sunflower seeds
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- Zest and juice of 1 small lemon
- 1/4 - 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- Salt and Pepper to taste
In a food processor, pulse together the kale, pea shoots, sunflower seeds, cumin, lemon zest and juice, salt, and pepper. While the motor is running, slowly drizzle in the oil. Start with 1/4 cup and add more if desired. More olive oil will make it more smooth, less will make it chunky. Taste and adjust seasonings. Store in an air tight container for up to a week.
cinnamon cumin sweet potato fries with curry mustard dip
Serves 4-6 as a side dish
- 3 pounds sweet potatoes, cut into wedges
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
- 1/2 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper to taste
¼ cup parsley, chopped
Curry Mustard Dip
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1/2 cup plain greek-style yogurt
- ¼ teaspoon curry powder
- Pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the potato wedges with coconut oil, cinnamon, cumin, paprika, salt and pepper.
- Spread the potatoes wedges out in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined sheet tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes, turning potatoes half way through cooking.
- While the potatoes cook, whisk together the yogurt, curry powder, salt, and mustard.
- Once potatoes are cooked, sprinkle with chopped parsley, an additional pinch of salt, if needed, and serve with curry mustard dip.
The sweet potatoes flexibility is highlighted in this dish, serving as an edible bowl for spicy and flavorful beans. These stuffed spuds could be a great dish at a causal dinner party with a few options of fillings and garnishes to suit your guests various taste preferences. Whole roasted sweet potatoes are also a great item to have on hand and can serve as a blank canvas, since they are amendable to a multitude of toppings and fillers - especially useful on those "clean out the fridge" kind of days.
- 3 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 yellow onion, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 teaspoons cumin
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups cooked pinto beans (if canned, rinsed)
- Sea salt
- Lime crema
- Fresh lime juice
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Pierce each potato a few times with a fork. Place on a parchment paper-lined sheet pan, and roast for 60-75 minutes or until you can easily pierce the skin with a knife and the inside is soft. Allow to cool slightly before slicing and stuffing.
- While the potatoes cook, warm the coconut oil in a medium sized sauté pan or dutch oven. Add the onions and garlic and cook until soften, about 10 minutes.
- Stir in spices and tomato paste and toast for 30 seconds. Add the bell pepper and cook for an additional 3 minutes. Once softened, stir in the beans, add a pinch of salt, and allow the flavors to meld together for 10 minutes.
- Slice each potato down the center, almost through to the bottom. Open to reveal the orange flesh. Spoon in the beans and top with selected garnishes.
- 1/2 cup greek yogurt
- Juice of 1 lime
Whisk together lime juice and yogurt. Add water, a tsp at a time to thin, if desired.