Friday, January 9, 2015
Hardly the electrifying entrance to my 2015 blogging that I had planned, especially given my recent television-worthy recipes and enormous backlog of incredible dishes I have in store for you. Not to mention everyone is thinking about diet and weight, just like every other January—and I’ve got a few pieces in the works on that topic, too, since that’s my area of expertise.
But the flu got the better of me, alas, and I’ve been out of commission since the first of the year. I’m getting back into the swing slowly, and today’s short piece is perfect for my energy level and your schedule (since I’ll bet you’ve been inundated since returning to work after the holidays).
So let’s all start out nice and easy, shall we? A couple of instructions, a few photos, and before you know it you’re enjoying scrumptious roasted sweet potatoes, fabulous on their own and featured in many delectable things I’ll be writing about very soon.
Roasted Sweet Potatoes
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. While the oven is warming, wash and cut the tubers into whatever size makes you happy. Leave the skin on, for goodness’ sake! Adds fiber and texture and reduces food waste.
2. Scatter the potatoes onto a baking sheet and drizzle with a teaspoon or two of extra virgin olive oil. Season with sea salt and pepper; freshly ground black is great, or white pepper is nice for a change. Mix with your fingers to ensure even coating.
3. Roast until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife, about 15-20 minutes (depending on size), tossing half-way through; some will have gorgeous brown color, caramelized goodness.
Sure, the holidays are over, but sweet potatoes can be enjoyed throughout the colder months in oh-so-many ways. Lucky for me, I can even buy lovely local varieties from my winter farmers market right through April. And, as with most veggies, roasting at high temperatures brings out the best flavor. (Cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are the exemplars, and asparagus is darn good, too.)
A sweet potato has about 175 calories and 6 grams of fiber, and it’s one of the best sources of beta-carotene out there, which is the plant form of vitamin A so important for vision. It also provides a whole bunch of other good stuff like vitamin C and many of the B vitamins in addition to minerals like manganese and copper. A root vegetable, Ipomoea batatas are higher in calories and starch than many other veggies so they’re not on my everyday menu like leafy greens and crucifers, say. Yet they can certainly be enjoyed as part of a healthy, energy-balanced diet. This recipe couldn’t be simpler, and they’re wonderful out of the oven as is: I challenge you to stop popping them into your mouth directly off the baking sheet.
And now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve really got to get back to bed.