Monday, October 31, 2005

I Yam What I Eat

Like many other people, I go through food cravings. But fortunately, these cravings have gotten more and more healthy of late.

Steamed kale? Oh yeah. Broccoli? Mmm-hmmm.

Sweet potatoes? Now you're talkin'...

Having added to my big bag of sweet potatoes from the farmers' market just recently, I decided it was time to start cooking with them.

First, I tried the sweet potato fries recommended by one of the older ladies at the market: julienned sweet potatoes tossed with olive oil, cinnamon, and paprika, and roasted until tender. Perfection!

Then last week I had a craving for a sweet potato stir-fry, with steamed sweet potatoes and broccoli, shredded cabbage, thinly sliced garlic, and the remains of my favorite potsticker sauce... tossed over whole wheat spaghetti with a sprinkling of crumbled nori on top. I cannot begin to tell you how amazingly delicious this turned out to be... other than to say I intend to make it again this week (replacing the cabbage with bok choy).

On Sunday, I tested a recipe from Vegetarian Times for a sweet potato and artichoke gratin (with a layer of pureed navy beans and vegetable stock) topped with crushed walnuts: another fine combination, especially when served with steamed kale.

And this evening I opted to put aside recipes and just throw something together: an Indian-spiced vegetable stew with potato, sweet potato, carrot, peas, brown basmati rice, and kale. Topped with a dollop of yogurt, a bowl of this kept me warm and happy all evening.

I love how versatile this vegetable is, and how flavorful it becomes under a variety of spices. And even though I was scared off it as a child by one too many marshmallow-topped yams at Thanksgiving (ugh!), I love it now.

But if I start turning orange, just feed me kale.

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