Monday, January 27, 2014

Sweet Potatoes

Question of the day...


While both yams and sweet potatoes are flowering plants (angiosperms), they are not related. A sweet potato is not a type of yam and a yam is not a type of sweet potato. Yams are native to Africa and Asia, and thus over 90% of yam crops are grown in Africa. They are closely related to lilies. There are many different varieties of yams which range drastically in size. They are also usually starchier and drier than sweet potatoes.

On the other hand, sweet potatoes belong to the morning glory family. These potatoes can range not only in size, but in skin color and flesh color. Varieties of sweet potatoes are grown in the United States.

Sweet potatoes are a fiber-rich root vegetable. There are over 6,000 varieties of sweet potatoes internationally. So think 'out of the box' besides the sugary marshmallow  dishes that appear at the Thanksgiving table and consider these easy side recipes.    
Honey Cinnamon Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Almonds
Cook's notes: Recipe adapted from Tyler Florence 
serves 4
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch cubes
  • 2 TB. honey
  • 2 TB. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp, each salt and pepper
  • 1 cup roasted almonds
  • Preheat oven to 375
  • In a large bowl add olive oil, honey, cinnamon, salt, pepper and whisk to blend well
  • Add in cubed sweet potatoes and stir to coat 
  • On a foil lined sheet lightly spray PAM and arrange potatoes in a single layer 
  • Roast for 35 minutes or until tender-stir halfway through cooking 
  • Last 15 minutes of cooking time add in whole roasted almonds 
Roasted Root Vegetables
Cook's notes: This is a versatile healthy side dish.  You can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. Some include parsnips, beets. asparagus, Brussels sprouts and celery root. Remember if not using fresh spices the dried spice amount is HALF the amount of the fresh.
Mix the oil, vinegar and spices first before chopping vegetables for flavors to blend and the rosemary to soften.   
Since some vegetables take longer to cook such as squash, potatoes and carrots they will need a head start in the roasting time.
Consider lining a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper as an alternative to foil.  
Recipe adapted from  and serves 6-8
  • 1 small butter squash, cubed
  • 2 red peppers, seeded and diced 
  • 1 sweet potato peeled and cubed
  • 2 potatoes Yukon gold, red or fingerlings
  • 2 large carrots cut diagonally
  • 1 small red onion quartered into pieces
  • 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 TB. chopped fresh   thyme
  • 2 TB. fresh rosemary 
  • 3 TB. olive oil
  • 2 TB. balsamic vinegar 
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper
  • Preheat oven to 400
  • In a large bowl mix the oil, vinegar, spices, salt and pepper
  • Coat the chopped vegetables with the oil mixture and set aside the vegetables that will roast faster
  • Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and spray lightly with Pam 
  • Spread vegetables on baking sheet with garlic and onions, roast for 25 minutes-stirring once
  • Add in rest of vegetables and cook 20 minutes longer or until tender. Be sure to stir once or twice during the last part of the roasting time to prevent sticking   

The World According to Bella
How to Survive the Polar Vortex

I left this poster up on screen  to remind Mr. C and Mrs. S  that I needed some attention.  When I got up it was -23 and I am stuck inside with not much to do but nap, eat and nap. I keep checking thermometer and it's not moving much. Even though 
Mrs. S showed me the news article Beat the Cold  with Indoor Dog Activities  I got bored really fast with all her ideas.
Like how many times do you think I can do the Stairway Dash before my legs begin to hurt ?
Hide and Seek was fine but we ended  going through all  the rest of my doggie bones and there's nothing left I want to go seek.
Under, Over and Through was just plain dumb. Mr. C was trying to teach me certain tricks like perfecting my handstand walking on 2 feet, crawling under the coffee table without getting stuck and roll over and pretend I am dead. All I want to do is  roll over put my legs up in the air and wait for someone to give me a belly rub.  
The article promised these active games would engage me physically and mentally to tire me out and that being inside is every bit as fun as being outside. All I can say is don't believe everything you read!

Love, Bella (writing from the center of the polar vortex.)

1 comment:

  1. You are going to find this hard to believe, I'm sure. But I ate "real" sweet potatoes, vs those from the can and topped w/ marshmallows, for the first time within the past year. I love them drizzled with olive oil, seasoned and baked.

    Thanks for the new recipes, too. They look like good ones.