Tag: sweet potato

5-Ingredient Slow-Cooker Chicken and Sweet Potatoes

by in 5-Ingredient Recipes, September 14, 2016

For the past decade, I’ve been getting by with a $25 smallish slow cooker that I purchased from the grocery store. Recently I relocated, leaving my kitchen gadgets — including said slow cooker — behind, “forcing” me to buy a new one. Now I am thrilled to be sporting a slow cooker fit with a cook setting that automatically switches to warming mode after the cooking time has elapsed. Game changer. That was $49 well spent.

With fall comes peak sweet potato season. This dish highlights the savory side of this root vegetable, brimming with loads of vitamin A in the form of beta carotene, plus potassium and vitamin C. I opt for orange-fleshed taters because, to me, the presentation of a white sweet potato just doesn’t have the same panache.

I prefer to use chicken thighs with the bone in (skin removed, of course) in slow-cooked dishes because the result is juicy, tender pieces of meat. The natural gelatin from within the bones lends itself to a simplified bone broth — so good you’ll be sipping it from a spoon.

Toss these simple ingredients into the slow cooker and be on your way. Just a few hours later, return to your kitchen filled with a warm, mouthwatering aroma. Read more

Food Fight: French Fries vs. Sweet Potato Fries

by in Food and Nutrition Experts, September 5, 2016

French fries aren’t generally considered health food, but there are many options to consider. Are you baking them, frying them or getting them at the drive-thru? Is it a healthier move to order the sweet spuds when they appear on the menu? Here are the real differences between traditional french fries and those made from sweet potatoes.

French Fries
Potatoes have a bad reputation, but they’re actually filled with good-for-you nutrients, including fiber and potassium. The calorie count is also relatively low, coming in at about 170 calories for a whole potato. Armed with this knowledge, you can easily see how a sliced and roasted spud with a drizzle of olive oil can be a healthy side dish.

If you hit up the freezer section for a bag of fries, every 3-ounce portion (about 12 pieces) contains 120 calories, 5 grams of fat and 300 milligrams of sodium — but who eats only 12? Fast-food fries can get you into even more trouble, with a medium-sized order averaging 400 calories and 17 grams of fat. Sodium levels can range from 300 to more than 1,200 milligrams, depending on how those fries are seasoned. Read more

Smoky Two-Potato Salad

by in Healthy Recipes, June 25, 2016

Old-fashioned potato salad this is not. What it is is cool, creamy and way more colorful than the old standby — and it still goes great alongside burgers, brats and corn on the cob.

And it’s got a kick of spice, which, surprisingly, is exactly what you want in the hot summer. It’s no coincidence that the hot peppers that grow in hot and sunny climates are craved by people who live there. Hot, piquant flavors actually help cool the body and are healthy for lots of reasons:

  • Eating spicy foods helps produce endorphins in the brain; these “good mood” hormones help you feel more relaxed and, well, happy!
  • The heat of peppers is caused by a group of antioxidant phytochemicals — mainly capsaicin, which has powerful inflammation reducers.
  • Capsaicin also seems to help curb appetite and may help you feel fuller sooner.

Canned chipotle peppers are simply jalapeno peppers that have been smoked and stewed in a savory tomato sauce. So both the peppers and the sauce lend deep unami flavor from the cooked tomatoes along with smoke and bold heat. That’s why a recipe like this — which calls for only for 1 tablespoon of chopped chipotle pepper and 2 teaspoons of adobo sauce — can still pack a big flavor punch. (For ideas on what to do with leftover chipotles, see this tip.)

To cool the spicy heat on the tongue, this recipe includes creamy yogurt and nutrient-rich white potatoes and sweet potatoes. Sweet potatoes and spice are an especially addictive combo — and a touch of honey is added to bring out the potatoes’ sweetness so it’s more of a match for the bold chipotle spice.

No, it’s not your grandmother’s potato salad, but it will still have friends coming back for seconds. Read more

5-Ingredient Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Feta

by in Healthy Recipes, March 13, 2016

Sweet potato lovers, you know who you are. Sweet potato fries are your default restaurant side-dish order. And it “wouldn’t be Thanksgiving” without candied sweet potatoes. Behold a new flavor bomb that can be ready in 30 minutes. I love this dish as an entree, where you may want to stir in extra cheese for added protein, or serve a bit of roasted chicken alongside it. It also works double duty as a side dish or appetizer. In the case of the latter, use small sweet potatoes for a cute presentation.

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Kale and Sweet Potato Salad with Honey-Lime Dressing

by in Healthy Recipes, March 5, 2016

When it comes to healthy eating, accessibility is key. Dinner choices are often rooted in convenience, so we need to make the healthy option an easy option. If the thought of putting dinner on the table seems too daunting on my car ride home, you’ll likely find me snagging pad Thai and drunken noodles from my favorite neighborhood Thai joint. Conversely, if I have dinner prepped and ready to go at home, I’m less likely to swing by a drive-thru. As a dietitian, I know that many of my clients have this same mindset. Therefore, my goal is always to simplify the healthy-cooking process.

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Produce Picks: Sweet Potato

by in Healthy Recipes, November 3, 2015

If vegans and paleo eaters could agree on one thing, it would be this: Sweet potatoes are fantastic. Originally grown in Central and South America, they are hearty, nutritious tubers that can become a filling side dish, or serve as the foundation of a meal when stuffed. While they bear the name “potato,” sweet potatoes are part of a different family of vegetables than the standard spud (and yams as well). And don’t think that sweet potatoes need only be orange — thousands of varieties exist, ranging from white to purple.

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Is Sweet Potato the New Pumpkin?

by in Food News, November 1, 2015

We all love when pumpkin is back in season and products abound to deliver the best of that favorite flavor, but what’s the next kind of seasonal produce making headlines? Sweet potatoes. Products are popping up all over this month welcoming sweet potatoes as the new star of healthy snacks.

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Orange Is the New Orange. Nutritionally, That Is.

by in Healthy Tips, June 5, 2014

With the new season of the prison drama Orange Is the New Black set to debut this week, it seems like a good time to celebrate all things orange. But that’s not necessarily a nod to neon-orange processed food — like crunchy cheese curls — or even prison garb, for that matter. This is about the tasty orange stuff that grows on trees and plants, all of which is uniquely good for us.

“The reality is various types of orange produce are all very similar nutritionally,” says Mary Howley Ryan, MS, RDN, owner of Beyond Broccoli Nutritional Counseling, in Jackson, Wyo. “The carotenoids — especially beta-carotene that turns into vitamin A — not only give them their beautiful color but also provide big health benefits.” That said, there are literally hundreds of different carotenoid compounds to be found in orange fruits and vegetables, so it pays to try them all.

The antioxidant beta-carotene is found in such plentiful quantities in carrots that it was actually named after the vegetable. This nutrient is also widely studied — research in the Netherlands found that those who had higher levels of carrot intake had significantly lower risk of cardiovascular disease. And other compounds called polyacetylenes found in carrots have more recently been shown to inhibit growth of colon cancer cells in mice.

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Food Fight: Sweet Potatoes vs. White Potatoes

by in Uncategorized, March 15, 2013

Any carb-o-phobe will tell you to choose sweet potatoes over white ones, but is that sound nutrition advice? We’ve put these tubers head-to-head; find out which comes out on top.

Sweet Potato
A medium-sized baked sweet potato has 102 calories, 24 grams of carbohydrates, 2 grams of protein, 4 grams of fiber and no fat or cholesterol. It’s also rich in the antioxidant beta-carotene and contains a small amount of vitamin C. Sweet potatoes are also loaded with potassium and vitamin B6.

Baked, roasted, mashed, added to chili or pureed into soup – adding sweet potatoes to your meals can help you stay satisfied and provide you with a hefty dose of nutrients.

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Recipe Essentials: Mashes

by in Healthy Recipes, November 7, 2011
mashed potatoes
Alton Brown's Chipotle Smashed Sweet Potatoes

Fall is in full swing and Thanksgiving is around the corner. Fun mash ingredients like potatoes, parsnips, acorn squash, carrots, turnips are all in season. Now’s the time to practice your mashes!

Mash Basics
A mash is usually made from vegetables, a touch of liquid like milk or butter, and seasonings. Once you get the hang of it, you can mix and match your favorite veggies and flavors.

The first step is to choose the veggie or veggies to mash. Once you do so, wash, peel, and trim them. Cut into uniform sized pieces so they’re evenly cooked. Be sure the pieces aren’t too small, or they end up absorbing too much water resulting in a runny mash.

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