Interesting dishes with sweet potato

Sweet potato, is a member of the family Convolvulaceae. It is only distantly related to the potato. In some places the leaves of the sweet potato are also utilised in cooking. Note that you can not do this with "normal" potatoes as the leaves contain oxalic acid which is not good for you.

There are many reasons that you might want to use sweet potato in your cooking as opposed to a normal potato. Sweet potato is a lower GI food than normal potato. This may seem counter intuitive as they taste sweeter than normal potato. What this means is that the energy stored in the Sweet potato is released more slowly by the body than the energy in a normal potato. Eating sweet potato can add much need fibre into your diet it also adds good complex carbohydrates, beta carotene, vitamin A and vitamin B6. All in all great reasons to include this interesting vegetable.

Here are some recipes which contain sweet potato that you might like to make. I have added healthy tips to make the recipes lower in fat.

Potato salad:

Peel and Steam the potatoes until quite soft and allow to cool to room temp. Season with salt and pepper then add sour creme and finely diced onion to taste. Top with grilled chicken or pieces of bacon.

Healthier: Use Greek yogurt or low fat plain yogurt, grill chicken without skin or discard skin after it is cooked. Only use herbs, pepper and salt to prepare the chicken before it is grilled.

Root veg mash:

peel and steam normal potato, swede (turnip), Pumpkin and sweet potato. When tender season with salt and pepper adding a know of butter and some milk, then mash. Serve with a meal as the carbohydrate portion.

healthier: use low fat/skinny mil and omit the butter

Fish cakes:

Peel, cut and steam sweet potato. When cooked allow steam to dissipate and then mash. Add finely diced onion, bread crumbs, drained tuna, Fresh corn cut off the cob and finely chopped dill. ( you can also add grated cheese, normal potatoes, pumpkin, swede). Make into patties and then refrigerate until cool. When cook, break an egg into a bowl and beat. Dip the cake into egg and then cover with bread crumbs. Shallow fry in oil. Serve with a wedge of lemon.

Healthier: Bake the patties instead of frying,

Baked vegetable and cous cous

Peel and cut up vegetables for baking. You can include: sweet potato, pumpkin, onions ( Small red ones are best), Place all veges in a bowl, then add seasoning ( salt, pepper, herb mix) add some olive oil and swirl the veges around in it. Bake until veges are tender. Then allow to cool to room temperature. Whilst cooling prepare the cous cous according to instructions. I always add some stock to the water for the cous cous because it makes it more tasty. When all is prepared add the veges to the cous cous and mix. Season to taste With lemon juice and olive oil.

healthier: Use olive oil spray to bake veges. Omit olive oil in the dressing.

Sweet potato soup

Peel and cut sweet potato into cubes. Peel and cut up carrots and normal potato. Fry a diced onion, then add the other vegetable, continue to saute for a few minutes. Add milk to cover and a stock to taste. Simmer until the vegetables are falling apart. Blend until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm with crusty bread and a dolop of sour creme.

healthier: use lowfat or skinny milk or water with a stock cube instead of milk.

Sweet potato wedges

Wash sweet potato thoroughly and then cut into wedge shapes. Place in a bowl add olive oil and swirl then cook in oven until tender. Serve with sweet chilli sauce and sour creme.

Healthier: Spray with olive oil

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