Anytime Easy Healthy Sweet Potato Recipes: Three Ideas

It’s no secret that Sweet Potatoes offer a variety of nutrients such as Vitamin A, and a great deal of fiber.Click here for best cooking directions.

Eating Whole Food Plant Based, it’s important to find a variety of exciting ways to prepare foods such a sweet potatoes. I’ve put them with black beans in veggie burgers, on pizza along with bits of beets. Delicious. I’ve eaten them the old fashion way, baked with some cinnamon on them.

I was ready for some new ideas for easy preparation and twists in the taste.

Right now Sweet Potatoes are the Sweethearts of the supermarket, with places such as my own local Aldi selling bags of  fresh sweet potatoes for 99 cents a bag no better time to indulge.  Trader Joes, Whole Foods and many other grocery store chains are selling more varieties of frozen and fresh sweet potato products, everything from frozen puffs,  sweet potato fries, multi colored cubes, soups, sweet potato noodles both thin and windy and wide and flat, spaghetti sauces, easy to microwave, fresh, organic and canned of course. Even more reason to experiment.

So I purchased one bag of fresh cubed sweet potatoes from Trader Joes to see what I could do with it.

As a child I taught myself to cook through 4-H and a simple Better Homes and Gardens Children’s Cookbook. That cookbook included a recipe for orange juice marinated sweet potatoes that included brown sugar and it was syrupy and overly sweet. So I decided to give it a healthy make over.

I had a bottle of organic 100% pure carrot-orange juice I wanted to use. I had plenty of cinnamon on hand as well as organic ginger, light agave nectar, turmeric and so on to play with. Cranked out three ideas and I am more than pleased with the outcome.

 

Step One: Using a large skillet or wok, place the full contents of the Trader Joes Fresh Sweet Potato Cubes in the skillet or wok.  Add two cups carrot orange juice, cinnamon and ginger to taste, and if desired 2 TBL light agave nectar. Stirring frequently over medium heat, let the liquid reduce to a sauce and the cubes partially cook.

Sweet Potato cubed first step

 

Step Two: Line a shallow baking dish with parchment paper or allow the smallest amount of fat based product such as Miyoko’s Kitchen Vegan Butter to grease the dish (you should never do this on a regular basis. It’s not healthy for your arteries). Pour the cubes and reduced sauce in the dish.

 

Step Three:  If desired sprinkle cinnamon on the top. Bake in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 25 minutes. Potatoes should be cooked thoroughly without being overly mushy. Each cube should keep it’s shape but be cooked through.

Idea One: A Lovely Side Dish

Sweet Potato served as side

 

Idea Two: Add New Dimension And Increase Nutrition to Chili. Sweet And Savory Chili. 

Low Sodium Tomato Juice base,  dried black beans cooked per directions on bag, garlic powder, crushed red pepper, low sodium chili powder, turmeric, half a bottle of 100% pure organic carrot orange juice.

sweet potato servied in chili

 

Idea Three: Pureed w/ a half cup of carrot orange juice,  a cup of non sweetened high protein nut milk, turmeric and garnish.

sweet potato served pureed with protein milk

 

Sweet is more sweet with the drama of some spice

The Changing Role Of Food In My Life

 

veggie meal burgers grilled
Mushroom-Carrot-Garbanzo Bean Burgers.

Food is a strong player in any person’s ensemble of tools to survive. Think of what you need to keep you on the stage of life and make your list of the roles food and other parts of your life play.  What are the needs they serve? Have you assigned the right life tools to the correct needs?

Think of it as a Playbill. You are the director so you can change all the “Players” whenever you like.

For me if there were to be a cartoon made of the transition in my life that food has gone through, it would be these two make-believe story lines:

1) One day my brain’s stage manager took to the mike, off in the wings, and made an announcement for my whole mind and body to hear:

“Due to reassignment, “Food” will not be playing the role of “Great Comforter”. Tonight the role of “Great Comforter” will be played by “Music”.”

2) Then a few days later he took to the mike again and let it be known:

“Tonight the roles of “Medication” and “Nutrition” will be played by “Food”, And the role of “Family Heritage” will not be played by “Food” It will instead be played by “Family Photos”.

Food has always earned its high level of respect in how it fits into our lives.  As I’ve indicated, for me food can wear many hats, some of them appropriate and some of them, well let’s just say there are better players for some of the roles.

I can’t think of a time when something meaningful happened where there was no food.  I remember that food was always central part of things.  My grandmothers and mom prided themselves on providing only the best for family gatherings. It was an important role they played and they knew it. It was part of the love.

Besides the obvious meanings of the holidays and special days and events, it’s funny how we equate food with them.  For my growing up family this is what the days meant in terms of food:

January 1st: ribs and sauerkraut

Easter: grandma’s Lemon Pie

Sundays at the other grandmother’s farm: fried chicken, roast beef, ham, green beans, dinner rolls, pineapple and marshmallow salad, muffins, mashed potatoes, noodles, cake and pie.

Forth of July: Waffles, candy apples,  breaded tenderloin

Friday nights Pizza and French fried pickles

Thanksgiving: Turkey, Capon, dressing, potatoes, scalped potatoes, pecan pie, cherry pie

Christmas: Same as Thanksgiving plus a ton of candy, summer sausage and cheese and crackers

Birthdays: A feast of whatever the person wanted.

Food was there as part of heart to heart talks. A bowl of ice cream was there whenever there was a reason to be sad or it was a bad day.

We had lots of body and brain activities including riding bikes, homework, friends to run around and play with outside. We did lots of camping trips,  took dance lessons, piano lessons, swim team, volleyball, and for a few years we played in the school band. I was in 4-H and in a girls club. Our lives were full ones, we didn’t just sit around and eat.  Yet food is what brought us together every day at the dinner table and when something significant happened, good or bad.

I took off for other parts of the country while in my 20’s. And food was always a reminder of home. Food was more than to feed me when I was hungry, it was a thread that kept fresh in my mind what I grew up with and with whom. It’s no different for many others  Just like when I was a child and I’d be offered a bowl of ice cream when sad, food had played my comforter way too often.  Those attachments are strong ones and the idea of no longer having them in my life seemed like parts of my life dying.

Just like people finding the right line of work, different parts of my life make more sense to fill a specific need I have.  There is a difference between being hungry and having anxiety.  I no longer  handle them the same way. Food resolves hunger and if smart about what food I eat,  it can treat my health problems. Food does not resolve anxiety. Meditation, good communication and a plan of action are my tools now for anxiety. No need to hand me a Hershey bar. No thanks.

Hunger And Anxiety…

…And never the twain shall meet.

So with less inflammation, and finding more clarity in my life, I am grateful that I finally broke the cycle of misusing food and starving my body of nutrients.  My rediscovering music and writing for anxiety has been just what I’ve needed.

The role of the character in this story who finally figured this out at age 55 is  being played by….”Me”.