Monday, August 16, 2010

Sweet Potato Love

Growing up, sweet potatoes were a vegetable that merely made an obligatory appearance in my house at Thanksgiving. I was probably unaware for the first 13 years of my life that they could be consumed without marshmallows, and outside of a casserole dish. I was a sheltered child.

Today, however, these golden taters make a regular appearance at our dinner table. We bake them into "fries," add them to burritos, and base entire stew recipes on their flavor (you just wait until stew season arrives, my friends. I know you'll be counting the days down on your calendars).

I should note that amongst many lists, sweet potatoes are considered a "superfood"--one of those awesome foods with high nutrient content that boasts lots of health benefits. No, I'm not getting paid by the "superfood" people to tout their list as the panacea to a healthy life. But I do love incorporating as many of these little nutrient powerhouses into our weekly menu as I can.

What's your favorite superfood? (I think mine might actually be blueberries. or walnuts...toasted of course).

Tonight's dinner recipe is a tasty little sweet potato number that incorporates one of my true loves: natural peanut butter. I could eat that stuff straight from the jar. Wait, I do. And the kids at work think I'm very strange for it.

A few things to take note of:
  • The recipe calls for the sweet potato pockets to bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes. We baked ours for the full 20 minutes, and they had still browned very little--just at the edges and on the bottom. You may want to let yours bake longer to get a browner top. Or, consider upping the temperature to 400 degrees (I think we're going to try that next time).
  • You MUST make the peanut sauce. It's not optional. Because I said so.
  • These are best when eaten the same day.
Sweet Potato Pockets with Peanut Sauce

Sweet Potato Pockets
  • 2 small to medium sized sweet potatoes
  • 1 small red onion, diced
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 TBSP minced, fresh cilantro (or, you can add up to 1/4 cup)
  • 1 TBSP lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (or to taste)
  • ground pepper to taste
  • 3 -4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 8 - 10 egg roll wrappers
Peanut Sauce:
  • 2/3 cup all-natural peanut butter (we use Smucker's chunky)
  • 2 TBSP soy sauce
  • 2-3 TBSP lime juice
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2/3 cup water

1) Peel and dice the sweet potato. Place in a medium -sized pot, cover with water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat, cover, and cook until sweet potato can easily be pierced with a fork. Drain sweet potatoes and place them in a large bowl. Mash sweet potatoes with a fork or potato masher.

2) OPTIONAL: If you like onion, and don't mind it raw, you can skip this step. However, if you're a wimp like myself and can't handle it raw, you can saute the diced onion in a little olive oil for 2-3 minutes at this point.

3) Add onion, black beans, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, cumin, and garlic to the sweet potatoes. Mix well.

4) Now it's time to stuff your pockets! Lay an egg-roll wrapper on a dry surface and place approximately 1/3 cup of the sweet potato mixture in the middle.
5) Fold over 2 opposite sides of the pocket. Dip your fingers in the bowl of water, and gently moisten the edges of the wrapper. This will serve as the "glue" when you do the final folds on the pocket.

6) After you've moistened the edges of the wrapper, neatly fold over the other two sides of the pocket and seal.
8) Place the pockets on a greased cookie sheet, seam side down. Coat the tops of the pockets with cooking spray.

9) Bake at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown all over. (Again, ours didn't really get crispy tonight, the way I would have liked. You may want to experiment with baking them longer or trying the temperature at 400 degrees).

10) To make the peanut sauce: Place all peanut sauce ingredients in a food processor. Pulse until smooth and well-blended.

11) Dip your sweet potato pockets in peanut sauce and love the food you're eating.

1 comment:

  1. This sounds delicious! I LOVE peanut sauce!!!

    Glad you had a good time here! ;)