Apricot Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

It was a hot day and I knew, I was going to be in the kitchen for several  hours, preparing for the Sabbath.  It meant making fish, chicken, side dishes and salads.  Dessert was going to be cold or from the freezer.  I did not plan on baking.  I got around using the oven except for one item.  Cholent is made in a crock pot.  The chicken was cooked on the barbecue.  Most foods were made in the microwave or did not cooking.  I did pull out the frying pan and a sauce pan for short periods of time.  The bottom line was that I did not heat up the kitchen very much.

I was stymied with what to do with a sweet potato.  Of course, the beauty of the sweet potato, is you can bake it, put on a pat of butter and enjoy it. Simple and delicious is the way to go.  Of course, it can be candied but I find, it is usually sweet enough by itself.  I do love mashed sweet potato and started off on that path.

It was over 90 degrees in the sun and my kitchen didn’t feel much cooler and I didn’t want to use my oven.  I microwaved the sweet potatoes whole, for 8 minutes.  I would have baked them after I finished shaping them but again, it was not worth using the oven so I fried them in a smidge of margarine.   What is a smidge?  Just a little bit…..

Apricot Stuffed Sweet Potatoes

4 sweet potatoes

1 pat or margarine

1 tablespoon honey

8 dried apricots

1 tablespoon olive oil

____

Microwave whole sweet potatoes for about 8 minutes until completely cooked.  Since each microwave is different, the timing may be different.  Stick a fork in the potato at about 5 minutes and see how it is.  I would check it every minute, after that, until the fork goes in easily.

Peel the sweet potatoes and mash them with the margarine and honey. Mash well.

Make a two-inch ball out of some of the sweet potato and while you are rolling it, push a dried apricot inside.  Place in a frying pan with hot olive oil.  Do the same with the remaining sweet potato.  Brown lightly on each side.  If you are not dealing with hot weather, I suggest baking this in the oven.

Serve plain or with a little maple syrup.  I was thinking of adding chopped scallions and I will try that, next time, I make these.

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The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet potato, commonly referred to as a yam in the United States (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sweet Potato Balls-Better Than Meat

If I had a photo of these with spaghetti and sauce or without the sauce, you would have thought they were meat.  They don’t taste like meat although, they do look like meatballs.  They don’t taste like sweet potatoes either.  They have a tinge of sweetness from the potatoes but I don’t think that you would guess what they were made of.  I imagine the nuts are what dilutes the sweet potato taste.  Blending all the ingredients leaves a little heat but mostly just deliciousness.


Ingredients:

2 large sweet potatoes or yams, cubed
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup GF oats
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon cardamom
1 teaspoon smoked red paprika
1 teaspoon minced onion
1/2 cup toasted pecan pieces

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees .
Place sweet potato cubes in medium-large bowl and cover with the water.
Microwave for 12 minutes.  If you have a powerful microwave, cut the time a minute or two.  Start checking for doneness at 8 minutes.

While the sweet potatoes are cooking, combine the remaining  ingredients together.
Combine the sweet potatoes, nuts, spices and oats and put into food processor.  Run until well blended.
Remove the mixture and shape into balls.

Bake in 400 degree F. oven for 20 minutes.

 

This is linked to Mop it up Mondays

Tomato Vegetable Casserole

This is my disappearing recipe.  I copied it, into the blog and was about to alter the recipe to what I had actually done but decided to get my photos first.  I still am not sure why but I could not find them.  I went through pages of photos and still no photos for this recipe.  I finally gave up and saved this as a draft and promptly forgot about it.

Today, when I was about to blog another recipe, I found the draft and decided to take another look.  Lo and behold, the photos jumped out at me, almost immediately.  Have you had days like this?

Tomato Vegetable Casserole     Recipe courtesy Giada De Laurentiis  (adapted)     6 servings

Ingredients
1 medium potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 medium yam, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small red onion, thinly sliced into rings
1 large zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick pieces
Salt and pepper
1 large ripe tomatoes, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch thick slices
1/4 cup grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons taco chip crumbs
Directions
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
Toss the potato, yam, bell pepper, carrots, and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until coated. Spread vegetables evenly over the bottom of the pan.
Arrange the onion slices evenly over the vegetable mixture. Arrange the zucchini over the onion. Drizzle with 1  tablespoons of oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomato slices over the zucchini.
Stir the Parmesan and  crumbs in a small bowl to blend. Sprinkle the Parmesan bread crumbs over the vegetables in the baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of olive oil.
Bake uncovered until the vegetables are tender, and the topping is golden brown, about 40 minutes. 

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Sweet Potato & Turkey Combo


I still have a lot of food, left over from Passover and we are attempting to eat it before, it is no longer safe to do so.  It makes for an interesting dinner, a little bit of this and a lot of that.  When we eat leftovers, I usually make something new, to give new meaning to the meal.  Leftovers may be delicious but they are still reheated food.

With a few slices of corned beef, mashed potatoes and zucchini, I made a combo dish of Sweet Potatoes and Turkey with Shallots and Onions.  I should have added some sliced apple or maybe cranberries.  It needed a little sweetness and I prefer to go the natural way, so a fruit hopefully will fill the recipe need.

I haven’t been using my cast iron pans, recently which is a big mistake.  They cook evenly and can go from stove to oven.  Their only drawback is that the larger ones are heavy.

Sweet Potato & Turkey Combo
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup cooked turkey chunks
  • 1 medium sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1/2 cup organic low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  •  ground black pepper, to taste

                                                                                                                                                            DIRECTIONS

In a large cast iron pan or a skillet, add one tablespoon of olive oil. Cook onions and shallots until translucent.  Remove from pan.


Microwave the sweet potato for 4 minutes or whatever your microwave needs to bake the potato.  Of course, you can do this in the oven.  
In the skillet cook the chunks to lightly brown. Add to onion mixture.

Add the sweet potato,  vegetable broth, thyme, black pepper,  sage to onion mixture and return to pan.  Cook for a few minutes until heated.

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Tons of Chicken Soup

Each year, when Passover arrives, I pull out my two biggest pots and make chicken soup, lots and lots of chicken soup.  I don’t use a recipe.  Rather, I look around and grab almost every vegetable in site.  I did that, this year, and once again, we had superb soup.  It always amazes me, how the same soup tastes better on Passover than the rest of the year.


I end up freezing containers of soup except for the soup, we use, in the immediate following two days.  I take these containers out of the freezer, as I need them and I always add fresh vegetable to the ready-made soup.  That gives the soup a wallop of flavor.  
Usually, I use nothing but fresh vegetables and chicken.  I experimented with each batch, this year and one of those I made a little bit Thai.  I added some soy sauce and cut up ginger and it took on a subtle flavor.  No rice on Passover, for us, so I made Pesach noodles out of egg, potato starch and water and we had mock noodles in our soup.

As you can see, I made this soup, plain, no vegetables, no chicken but yes kneidlach.


Chicken Soup with lots of Vegetables

I am going to give you the ingredients for only one pot.

Ingredients

  • 1 chicken for each pot (In this case, I bought packages of bottoms and used from 4-6 in each huge pot.
  • water 3/4 up the pots
  • 3 stalks celery, cut into chunks
  • 2 onions, cut into quarters (I used large onions)
  • 1 sweet potato, cut into chunks
  • 1 turnip, cut into chunks
  • 3 parsnips, each cut into 3 pieces
  • 5 carrots, cut into 3 pieces, each
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 turnips, cut into chunks

Directions

Place chicken in a large pot and cover with water.  Heat water and then lower to a simmer.  Cook 2 hours.

Put all the vegetables in the pot except the parsley.  Cook  for another 40 minutes, again simmering.

Add parsley and seasonings and cook for another 30 minutes.

Remove vegetables from pot.  If you want to serve with vegetables, put in new ones and cook until they are done, about 20  minutes.  Cut them into smaller pieces than the chunks.  You can chop them or make them slightly bigger.

Remove the chicken and break into small pieces and return to soup.

Put into bowls and enjoy this.
This is linked to Sunday Night-Soup Night

Slightly Crunchy Sweet Potatoes

I know I have praised the plain white potato but have I given accolades to the sweet potato.  It is just as good as any vegetable, if not better.  I have made dishes with butternut squash and sweet potatoes & carrots and sweet potatoes & savory sweet potatoes and risotto with sweet potatoes.  Sweet potatoes are another veggie that you can mix and match with.

Instead of making sweet potatoes with a crunchy topping, I included the topping in the mashed sweet potatoes so every bite afforded one the opportunity to crunch a little.  I do love creamy sweet potatoes but in actuality, these are better.

Slightly Crunchy Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients:

4 medium sweet potatoes

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/4 cup brown sugar

3 tablespoons Rice Dream

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

1/4 cup chopped pecans, roughly chopped

If you want to add some melted butter or margarine, it will only add to it.  I am cutting back on fats when I think they are not necessary.

Method:

Peel sweet potatoes and cube into one inch pieces.

Boil potatoes until tender, easy to mash.

Add all other ingredients and mash these together until smooth.

It was delicious.

Sweet Potatoes and Dried Pears – Side

This turned out to be an incredible experiment.  It was one of my last-minute deals when I had to use up some produce, pronto.  I had a few sweet potatoes and no immediate plans for them.  We had come to the point that they were talking to me.

SP (sweet potato):  Why did you buy us?

Me: To eat, of course.

SP: So, why are we sitting in the corner of the hydrator with celery, of all things.  Don’t you know, we generally are not friends with celery unless you are making a savory salad and then their crunch makes them endearing.

Me:  Hmmmm, savory salad sounds good but I was thinking hot, a nice hot dish and sweet, not savory.

SP:  That is fine with us.  Just do it.  If you leave us any longer, we are going to get ugly and then you might throw us in the garbage.

Me:  Garbage?  Of course not.  You are the diamonds of the hydrator.  No garbage for you.

SP: Then, it is time to warm us up.  Do you have any idea how cold it is, in here?

Me; Refrigerators are supposed to be cold.

SP:  Then you live in one.  We want out. We want a nice warm oven or stove burner to live in or on.

Me:  I have had enough of your complaining.  You are off to become part of a dish with yummy honey and you had better like it.

SPs:  Cheering.

I knew, I wanted something really easy to do with these “fresh” sweet potatoes.  I did my thing and opened up the cabinet and saw honey and there was my recipe.  I also had taken out some dried apricots and pears, a short while before, so I removed the dried pears.  Here, you try it.

Sweet Potatoes and Dried Pears

Ingredients

2 – 3 medium large sweet potatoes, cut into slices about 1/2 inch thick

6 dried pear slices

1 tablespoon

2 tablespoons honey

Method

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a casserole with about 1/2 inch water, layer sweet potatoes and dried pears.

Drizzle honey over them.  I did it by layer.

Bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and mix so that the top layer is now in the water.

Bake for another 10 – 20 minutes until sweet potatoes are cooked through but not falling apart.

The dried pear goes beautifully with the sweet potatoes but my guess is that almost any dried fruit or fresh fruit would also be delicious.

This is linked to Everyday Mom’s Meals      Savory Sundays    Cast Party Wednesday     Pennywise Platter

Have Leftovers – Make Soup

The softer, orange-fleshed variety of sweet po...

I had my meal plan in place, for tonight, until I looked into the refrigerator to find quite a few vegetables and fruit which would survive for a short time, if I didn’t use them, very soon.  The sweet potatoes, in particular were ready to get up and walk away.  Usually, I keep four sweet potatoes, in the house, and have plans for them.  This morning, there were six potatoes and I had no idea what to do with them.

I also found lots of leftovers sharing space with the sweet potatoes.  I decided quickly, leftovers would become the fare for, this evening and I would make a soup to go with the meal.

Emptying the refrigerator –  4 sweet potatoes, 1 apple,  container with some apple sauce, leftover vegetable soup.  Can you picture and taste my soup?

Apple Cinnamon-Sweet Potato Soup  (made in a crockpot)

4 medium sweet potatoes

1 cups water

2 cups vegetable broth

1 cup applesauce

1 apple, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon black pepper or to taste

Procedure

Put liquids in slow cooker.  Add sweet potatoes and applesauce.  Cover and cook on low for three hours.

Add apple, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg plus black pepper.  Cook on high for another hour.

Using an immersion blender, blend until the consistency you want.  Mine was smooth and creamy.

If I had cranberry pecan goat cheese, I would have crumbled it on top of the soup.

This soup had a distinct apple flavor to it and it was delicious.

Green Goddess Restaurant, New Orleans. Sweet p...
This is not my photo.

Savory Sweet Potato Salad

I love turning wonderful sweet potatoes into a savory dish and this salad manages to do just that.  Like any potato salad, this is a salad that can fill you up, if you eat enough of it.  OK, I sat down and made a meal of it.  For me, that means a small bowl.

Savory Sweet Potato Salad

2 large sweet potatoes 
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
4 teaspoons rice vinegar (I use seasoned)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 cup olive oil
4 scallions, thinly sliced

Method:

Peel sweet potatoes.  Cut into about one quarter inch cubes.

Microwave in water for 8 – 10 minutes or until fork tender.

While potatoes cook, whisk together mustard, vinegar, and salt in a large bowl, then add oil in a slow stream, whisking until emulsified.

Add hot potatoes to dressing and gently toss to combine well. Cool salad to room temperature, about 15 minutes. Add scallions and salt to taste and gently toss.

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Twice Baked Creamy Sweet Potatoes

Bake With Bizzy

Sometimes, I go forwards with meal planning and other times, I go backwards.  This week, my weekly planning is down the drain.  I have not had time to even look and see what I had planned to make.  I do know there is a corn dish with goat cheese, I want badly to have and maybe, I can make it tomorrow.  In the morning, I made a zucchini dish and then I blankly looked at it and thought, it needs something with it.  The problem with a meatless meal….which is the main food.  In the end, I remembered, I had 5 sweet potatoes that had better be used and used soon.

The result was this interesting dish from allrecipes.com.  As soon as I read the ingredients, I was racing to the kitchen to take out the sweet potatoes, cream cheese and brown sugar.  I have never made a sweet potato dish with cream cheese but could imagine it, especially with the brown sugar.

A few years ago, I discovered savory sweet potatoes.  I am from that generation that made mashed sweet potatoes with a marshmallow topping.  I loved it then but now, it appears to be much too sweet and gooey.  I hopped over to the savory side with a salad and my sweet potato dishes changed.  The mild sweetness of the potato plays well against savory flavors.

Now, I have “normalized” and eat sweet potatoes both ways and I like them either sweet or savory.  Give me a sweet potato any day.

Twice Baked Creamy Sweet Potatoes

Ingredients

2 sweet potatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened (whipped)

1/3 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/3 cup chopped walnuts

I left out the walnuts because I had a quick bread, in the oven baking with nuts.  I didn’t want another nutty dish.

Directions

1.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F .

2.

Rub sweet potato skins with  oil. Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour, or until soft. (Now, I admit, I took shortcuts.  I microwaved the potatoes which meant they were softer than if baked.  I also microwaved them for the second baking.  Time was short.)

3.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine cream cheese, brown sugar, vanilla, salt and pepper.

4.

Cut potatoes in half and scoop flesh into the bowl with the other ingredients.  Spoon mixture into potato skins.

5.

Bake for 5 minutes, or until heated through.

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