Tag Archives: sweet potatoes

Holy Taters ‘n Beans, Batman!

In my pantry today:

  • 1 26.5 oz can black beans
  • 3 sm sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 small yellow onion
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 small sweet pepper, diced
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chile de arbol powder
  • 1/2 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • dash asafoetida
  • dash water

Holy Taters 'n Beans, Batman!As it turns out, I am making a crock pot meal today… but not one which utilizes the free haunch-meat of rodents (April Fools!). A big spicy pot of something meatless was on the menu — in fact, I don’t see any meat happening in the very near future. Not until the image of the half-squirrel LouLou once did bring inside stops suddenly also being in a delicious sauce. Cut your onions, pepper and sweet potatoes. Put onion and pepper into the olive oil already heated to H on the slow cooker scale. Add turmeric and let simmer for a few minutes, then add the beans and remainder of the seasonings. Rinse out the can with a little water and mix it in along with your sweet potatoes. Cover and cook until sweet potatoes are tender… this can be arranged whether you’d like it set before you leave the house bright and early, or whether you want it a little quicker. Either way you’ll get at least 4 spoons for dinner.

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White Chocolate Macadamia Sweet Potato Bread

In my pantry today:

  • 1.25 c smashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 c whole wheat flour
  • 1 stick butter, softened
  • 3/4 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c ground flax
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 c canned sweet potato liquid
  • 2 tsp orange extract
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon 
  • 1/3 c chopped, roasted macadamia nuts
  • 1/4 c white chocolate morsels

wcmnspb2Making this batter in a food processor was an easy delight. Creaming butter and sugar then all that subsequent mixing can be a pain on the wrist. Instead, choose to cut up butter in pieces and put it in the food processor with sugar. Cream with mechanical vigor. Add in wet ingredients one at a time, pulsing everything into continuity with each. When all the wet ingredients are well mixed, add in the dry ingredients in parts with pulsing between each. Add little bits of can “juice” when things look too dry. Once it looks pan-ready, throw in half of your morsels and pulse. Pour into greased/dusted loaf pan and thump on the counter until settling happens. Sprinkle on macadamia nuts and remainder of morsels then tap lightly into batter with a gentle spatula. Bake in a preheated 350° oven for approximately 1 hour. Using whole wheat flour, adding ground flax and being less heavy-handed than instinct would dictate on the nuts… well, that makes this a (slightly) less guilty dessert for breakfast item to go with coffee and out the door. Or in bed with said coffee. Whatever. 5 spoons!

Pan-a Stew-a: A Remedy for all Ills or Difficulties

In my pantry today:

  • 1 10 oz can chicken breast, drained
  • 1 14 oz can butter beans, drained
  • 1 L sweet potato, diced
  • 1 c kale, minced
  • 4-8 baby carrots, or whatever’s left in fridge
  • 1-2 c Basmati rice, cooked and cold
  • 1/2 L sweet yellow onion, sliced thin
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 14 oz cans chicken broth
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tbsp butter
  • 1/2 tsp coriander
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1/3 tsp cumin
  • 1/3 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Parmesan cheese to top

panstewThis will be a cold February night’s remedy for all ills and difficulties; it will be, as well, a panacea of flavors. Get those large onion and small garlic minces into butter and olive oil heating to the M side of ML. After about ten toe-tapping minutes, add sweet potatoes, turmeric and 1 can of broth. Stir to coat. Another 5 minutes in, fond the last dregs of a still-viable bag of baby carrots and add them to the pan as well. Cover and boil over MH until potatoes begin to show signs of tenderness towards your fork. Add kale, chicken, rest of seasonings and rest of broth. continue cooking on L, covered until dinnertime. Five minutes before said time, increase the pan to M, add rice and slap the cover back on. As pan reaches the zenith of M turn it back off. Let sit for 2-5m then serve topped with Parmesan. 100 reasons for 5 spoons tonight!

Roasted Roots (ft. Cauliflower)

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 3 medium red potatoes
  • carrots
  • cauliflower
  • onions
  • garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 /2 tsp turmeric
  • 3/4 tsp sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp asafoetida

It’s cold and I felt like neither going to a grocery store nor like overcomplicating the already brisk atmosphere. What was already in the kitchen that I could toss in the oven? This one’s almost in no need of directions — just cut everything up, toss it with olive oil then with the blend of above seasonings (adjust anything to taste, of course). Roast in a 350 oven° for 40m (or so). 4 spoons!

Palak Sweet Potatoes (or, “Literally Playing an Angle”)

In my pantry today:

  • 2 c cooked white beans
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 15 oz can Princella® Cut Sweet Potatoes
  • 1 c spinach (frozen from fresh)
  • 3 c unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 tsp kala jeera
  • 1 tbsp ginger-garlic paste
  • 3 tsp hot curry powder
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 1/2 tsp hot red chili powder
  • 1 tsp Greek seasoning

I have learned how to even more enormously enjoy Indian cooking over the last year or so, and now more often than not will choose rice as my default starch, not pasta. This knowledge does cause a gasp for me, but then I shake my head and continue eating whatever delicious food sits before me atop a pilaf.

This being said, I am untrained in most ways that might let me slide off the Cracker Train a stop or two before Racism City. Please keep in mind that I am fully aware of what a White American I am as you continue forth through my bastardization of a beautiful culture. And start your mustard seeds and onion warming in a cold pot to M.

After a minute or so of crackle-popping, mix the spinach and kala jeera in and once the spinach begins to wilt transfer the entire mess to the food processor with 1/2 c vegetable broth. Open the can of sweet potatoes and rinse them well (they’ll be sweet enough without any extra syrup) before tossing them, too, into the cut-em-up machine. Pulse until you’ve got a chunky paste then transfer back to the pot.

Over ML heat, add half the remainder of your seasonings and liquids. Stir. Add your cooked, drained beans, stir, then add in the remainder of the flavors. Let the sauce simmer on L for at least one hour (mine simmered on L for 5 hours before it was time to be ingested). When I asked my girlfriend how many spoons she’d give this, her answer was “4… maybe even 5.” I shook my head and staunchly thought, “3. The flavors were like a Showbiz Pizza ball-pen of shapes.

And then there was the follow up discussion about maybe letting people know that when I cook, it is by shapes. I figured that this blog had enough angles to it already (Food Stamps! Incurable Brain Disease! Lost 100 lbs! Sunday, Sunday, Sunday!) that throwing in the synaesthesia was a moot point. Synaesthesia… hold up, I’ll copy + paste from Wikipedia:

Recently, difficulties have been recognized in finding an adequate definition of synesthesia…

Crap, well. Here’s the meat of it for me: In terms of cooking, I generally go by the shape of things. I fancy each dish as a Kandinsky (also said to have had the -aesthesia) and the pieces and parts of it have to interact in perfect composition. Dr. Cytowic’s book “The Man Who Tasted Shapes” is an excellent study on this phenomenon, which I delight in as most synaesthetes present with the numbers and letters as colors thing.

Cytowic describes his chance encounter during a dinner party on February 10, 1980 with MW, the “Man Who Tasted Shapes.” Cytowic describes how his host reported that “There aren’t enough points on the chicken!”

Don’t feel bad if this makes absolutely no sense to you. I find that it does not to many people, whereas it it my only frame of reference. Has your sky always been blue? Mine has always been puce. Figuratively, I mean. I certainly suppose this is an important element to my cooking that isn’t well-publicized… but you can’t show that weird mole on your ass to every stranger, y’know? I’d rather be out and proud about my weight and discovering all the positive effects of food on health — there ain’t no food pyramid for spikes and circles and squares (“Oh, my!”).

Of course, I could make one… Hmm…

Leftover Soup: Springtime Edition

In my pantry today:

Whatever you didn’t eat off the hen the other day needs to go, bones ‘n all, into a large stock pot with enough water to barely cover and 1 tbsp salt. Bring to a boil on MH then reduce heat to ML and let cook all day… then you’ve got two main options: let it cool and pick out all the bones, or at the end of the night put it into the fridge because you’ve got no time to pick the carcass clean and also make sure the dishes are out of the sink but oh god first you’ve got to unload the dishwasher and its late so maybe tomorrow.  I chose the latter.

So today I warmed the pot a little, strained out the broth (set aside) and picked the carcass clean. Put picked meat (I had about 1c) with the previously-vegetarian lentil dish; bring 2-2.5 c of the broth (you should have about 4c left to freeze) to a boil on MH and, once rolling, turn heat to L and add the solids. Serve over room-temperature rice; since it’s fully cooked, don’t mix it in prior to serving or risk a bowl of swollen snooge — the broth will heat it. 5 spoons! I am just about drained of my own (spoons, that is), and this was a great way to make a delicious chilly weather meal that’s full of nutrients (phyto- and otherwise) and the Don’tYouWasteMe fridge gang. The only way this could’ve ended up more Smack Yo Mama good is with the addition of cayenne or hot red chili powder.

Start with Color! (or “I Shall Name Thee Kalentils von Sweeten Tater”)

In my pantry today:

  • 1 c dried lentils
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 leaves of kale, pulled from stem
  • 1 tbsp vegetable ghee
  • 2 c vegetable broth
  • 1/4 c half and half
  • 1 tsp kala jeera
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric
  • 1.5 tsp coriander
  • 1/8 tsp cinammon
  • 1.5 tbsp garlic paste
  • 1 tsp asafoetida
  • 2 c cooked Basmati rice

This will be a beautiful bright green and orange dish as you begin cooking; heat will of course wilt the beauty of nature… but rest assured that you will still be putting many valuable phytonutrients into your body! Start with vegetable ghee in a cold pan heating to M. Carelessly of aesthetic, cube-chop onion and sauté. Rip kale leaves from stem and toss them with the onion. Add seasonings, coat everything and when kale begins to wilt, upturn the entire pan into the food processor with 1/4 c broth and puree for 5-6m. Add it back to the pan with sweet potato pieces, lentils (soaked for an hour, so now 2c worth) and 1.75 c vegetable broth. Bring to simmer on MH then reduce heat to ML, cover and let cook for 30-45 minutes (or until sweet potatoes are at a consistency you like — I go for as tender as is possible without losing shape). When close to serving, stir in the cream; serve over Basmati rice. This dish was 4 spoons of culinary delight, and the leftovers, being so rich and chunky with lentils, are slated to base an excellent soup. Because, by The Hammer of Thor, I want to and will make soup again before November.