Tag Archives: sweet potato

Recipe: Jacket Sweet Potatoes with Vegetarian Chilli and Guacamole

I have no idea when I will escape this food blog hiatus!  Even when I make and photograph food, there never seems to be time to write about it – and most of the food I’ve been making this year has fallen into the category if quick and simple.  And they tend to rely pretty heavily on Gewürzhaus spice mixes, which isn’t so helpful for recording them here.

I’m very fond of jacket sweet potatoes.  Actually, I’m very fond of jacket potatoes, but my husband has an unnatural dislike of them, and sweet potatoes are better for you anyway, so that’s how it goes.  If I ever manage to achieve regular writing on this blog, you can expect a fair number of jacket sweet potato recipes going forward, as they are becoming a bit of a winter staple…

This particular recipe, though, I’ve made a few times recently.  It’s a nice, healthy, vegan dinner that is straightforward enough for a Friday night at the end of a long week.  It wasn’t vegan on purpose, which is one reason it is so good, I suspect – I always get the cheese out, but never seem to use it, and when I made a point of using it once, it didn’t taste as good.  So this is a meal that really wants to be vegan!  It also happens to be gluten free and low-GI, and reasonably healthy, and tastes lovely and fresh and comforting, which makes it a much better alternative to the Friday night takeaway which was becoming a habit.


Your Shopping List

3 medium sweet potatoes (I know that’s vague, but aim for a similar sort of weight to what you’d do for an ordinary jacket potato meal)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, brown or red
1-2 tsp cajun spice mix, or a mixture of cumin, oregano, garlic, paprika and chilli
1 tin of black beans, drained (these are suddenly available at the supermarket!  Yay!  But if you can’t find them, red kidney beans also work)
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1/2 tsp chipotle chilli powder, or to taste
a little salt (lime salt is great if you have it)
2 spring onions (the long, thin ones that also get called shallots)
2 roma tomatoes
juice of one lemon or one lime (I almost never have limes, lemons do nicely)
2 tsp Gewürzhaus Guacamole Spice, if you have it, but failing that, a mixture of salt, cumin and chilli will do – probably a teaspoon in total will be fine.
2 avocadoes
chopped coriander, optional

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Recipe: Sweet Potato Dip

This is just a simple little recipe for using up leftover baked sweet potatoes that takes about five minutes to make.  Maybe other people don’t have leftover baked sweet potatoes, but I tend to make baked sweet potatoes fairly often, and I find it very hard to judge how much we will want to eat…

The flavours are vaguely Middle-Eastern, and this dip is good as part of a mezze spread.  We had it with little lebanese sausages, tabouleh, hummus, pink coleslaw, and maybe a little bread.  It would work beautifully with turkish bread, tabbouleh and haloumi, or, indeed, with marinated and grilled meat, fish, veggie sausages, felafel, tofu or portobello mushrooms. 

It’s just a nice little thing to round out a meal with a little more vegetable and carbohydrate, and it makes me happy.


Your shopping list

280 g baked sweet potatoes, at room temperature
1 spring onion
1 tsp pomegranate molasses
1/4 tsp ground cumin
salt to taste
sumac (optional) Continue reading

Recipe: Sweet potato and chickpea curry with roast cauliflower

This was one of those recipes you make up as you go along which then turns out to be rather good, so you sit down straight after dinner to hastily reconstruct what you did before you forget it.  It does use several spice mixes, I’m afraid, because that’s what I do when I’m cooking things that I don’t plan to turn into my own recipes… and of course, there are only two photos, because photographing my food at multiple points in the cooking process is really not something I do unless I’m planning to blog about it – which I wasn’t this time!


Your Shopping List

1 1/2 cups dried chickpeas if you have a pressure cooker, or 2 tins cooked
1-2 tbsp virgin coconut oil
1 large brown onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves
2 red chillis
2 tsp ginger puree
1 finger-sized piece of turmeric, peeled and grate
2 big sweet potatoes – about 1.5 kg, I think – peeled and cubed
2 cups of water
2 tsp Spice Fusion Thai curry blend (contains coriander, cumin, chilli, turmeric, ginger, pepper, cloves, fennel, cardamom and white pepper)
1/2 a cauliflower
2 tbsp sunflower oil
2 tsp Gewürzhaus tandoori masala
basmati or jasmine rice,  yoghurt, to serve

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Recipe: Sweet and Sour Roasted Root Vegetables with Lemon Myrtle and Quinces

I’ve been singing all weekend.  In fact, I’m beginning to feel like the Mystery Chorister, I’m doing so much church music in so many different venues at present.  I’m also learning a lot about architectural styles of different denominations around Melbourne, which are alarmingly consistent at times.  Something tells me that there just weren’t too many church architects / interior designers out there…

Anyway, after being out from 8am until 6:30pm today singing, I wanted to make something simple for dinner – the plan was for roast vegetables with gribiche sauce and a broccoli salad.  But then gribiche seemed a bit too much like hard work, and then I wondered how quinces would roast with all those sweetish root vegetables, and then I had a probably unwise epiphany about lemon myrtle, and the next thing I knew, the menu had changed utterly in personality.  The gribiche got replaced by a garlicky cannelini bean mash, so that we could pretend that there was some protein in the meal.  And the vegetables?  Well, they are actually rather nice.  I was worried that the vegetables would be too sweet, but they really aren’t, and I love the way the quince has sort of camouflaged itself, so you pick up something that looks like a sweet potato, and find that it is actually mildly sweet and perfumed and fruity – a stealth quince!  Yum.  


Your Shopping List

1 large beetroot
1 quince
2 small onions
2 small potatoes
8 smallish carrots
2 small-medium parsnips
1 gigantic or two small sweet potatoes
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp dried lemon myrtle
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
olive oil

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Recipe: Miniature Pumpkins stuffed with Spiced Split Pea and Rhubarb Stew

This post is brought to you by Farmhouse Direct – or rather, by the fact that I have been too exhausted of late to contemplate getting up early to go to the market on a Saturday morning.  But I can’t come at buying most of my veg from the supermarket, either, so instead I hopped online, looked for fruit and veg, filtered my search for Victorian Farmers, and then went to see what was available.

What was available was boxes of produce from Vegie Bunch – huge bunches of rhubarb, mixed boxes of cucumbers, beetroot, carrots, garlic and potatoes, and boxes of tiny Jack Be Little pumpkins that could only be described as adorable.  I got some of everything, and it arrived on my doorstep on, I think, Thursday morning.

(And then I had to find places to put all of it, because none of this produce is small or self-effacing…)

Anyway, we had friends around to dinner on Friday, and what with it being Lent, I’m vegetarian – but what with it also being me having people around to dinner, it was absolutely necessary to make something spectacular. The Green Kitchen have a recipe for a split pea and rhubarb stew, for which I actually had most of the ingredients, and I thought it might be fun to stuff this into teeny tiny pumpkins and serve them roast potatoes, tomatoes from my garden, and a lot of tzatziki.

It was *amazingly* good, and I wouldn’t have thought to write it up, because the stew recipe was adapted from the Green Kitchen, until my friend asked if I was going to photograph the pumpkins, at which point I considered the recipe, considered how many ingredients and methods I’d changed, and realised that this was probably actually quite legit to write about.  Also, the tzatziki absolutely makes this dish, and that was definitely my idea.

Of course, this means that there are only photos of the finished product, but I’m hoping that the finished product is cute enough that you won’t mind.  Also, be warned – these little tiny pumpkins look like they will be a light meal, but this is just how they draw you in – we all managed to finish what was on our plates, but it was a near thing.  These babies are filling, and I think that with a few more baby pumpkins I could have easily fed ten to twelve people rather than the four I was actually cooking for.  I certainly had enough stuffing to fill more pumpkins…

Also, I apologise for the spice mixes – I didn’t have all the spices the recipe suggested, and I did have all these luscious spice mixes hanging around that seemed to fit the profile, so I used those instead.  Because sometimes, one wants to use one’s beautiful spice mixes.  I’m figuring that most of you probably do have some random Middle Eastern and chilli spice mixes lurking around your kitchen – here’s your opportunity to use them!


Your Shopping List

8 Jack Be Little Pumpkins, or other miniature pumpkins suitable for stuffing
3 tbsp virgin coconut oil
2 tsp of a good chilli con carne or similar spice mix, one which is heavy on both chilli and cumin
1 1/2 tbsp of a good middle eastern sweet spice mix such as ras el hanout or a turkish spice mix – you want something that has cardamom, cinnamon and the like, but also a little bit of savoury bite and heat to it. 
1/2 tsp ginger
1 large onion, diced
6 garlic cloves, crushed,
500 g orange sweet potatoes
300 g carrots
5 sticks rhubarb
1 red apples
150 g yellow split peas
2 Lebanese cucumbers
500 g Greek yoghurt
a small bunch of mint
salt, pepper, olive oil

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Recipe: Roasted Root Vegetables with Creamy Cannelini Bean Sauce

It’s been very quiet around here.  What always happens is that I write a post explaining why it has been very quiet, and apologising, but of course by the time I write such a post, things have self-evidently calmed down at least somewhat.

Things have not calmed down this time.  I am still in the midst of grants, and every time I’m not reading grants I am singing Bach, and then there have been work politics, and then there have been social politics, and let’s not even think about federal politics, and then there have been more grants, and then there have been funerals, and friends being evacuated due to bushfires, and other friends just having thoroughly miserable times, and sick cats, and did I mention the vile, vile weather?  Anyway, what there hasn’t been around here has been a lot of inventive cooking.  And when there has been, it mostly hasn’t worked out very well.  You know things are bad when not only do I get quiet, but I only emerge to cook savoury food!

(And really, I’m fine, just very, very tired and very, very busy.  And I probably don’t need quite so many grants, either.)

Anyway.  I started writing this recipe just before the last round of chaos, and never finished it.  Let’s see if I can finish it this time, eh?  And I will try to see you on the other side, assuming such a thing exists.  In the mean time, in lieu of content of my own, I draw your attention to my Vegetarian Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes challenge, which is attracting some really fascinating recipes.  Hopefully this will feed your hunger for beautiful food while I try to catch up with the difficult work of existing!


I love roasted vegetables and would happily eat them five times a week or more.  But they aren’t quite a meal in their own right, and while I am all too ready to serve them with broccoli in cheesy sauce (or perhaps I should say, cheesy sauce with broccoli) and call them a meal, occasionally I feel the urge to do a little better.  Hence the cannelini bean sauce, which makes everything OK because it has proteiny goodness!

One thing that you need to know about this recipe is that it is possibly the ugliest thing I have ever photographed.  This is not wholly the fault of the recipe, because nothing is at its best if you photograph it after the sun has set, but the whole pinky-beige sauce slopped over vegetables was never going to be an aesthetic triumph.  I think next time, I’d serve the sauce on the side.  As it is, my photos look as though I took a whole lot of beautiful roast vegetables, slopped gravy all over them, then time-travelled back to the 1970s, got out my old Instamatic camera, and took all the photographs under fluorescent lighting.  Only not quite that pretty. 

In fact, the photos are so bad that I’m not going to show them to you at all, for fear of putting you off, because this is really a delicious (and wonderfully easy) meal.  Anyway, the point I’m getting at is that if you make this and it turns out looking really rather dreadful on the plate, don’t despair – you are almost certainly doing it right.  But it probably isn’t a dinner party dish for any money.

Honestly, though, ugly or not, I love this meal.  It’s going to become a regular on my cool-weather vegetarian (indeed, vegan!) menu.


Your shopping list

2 smallish sweet potatoes
6 little potatoes, like pink fir potatoes
6 baby carrots
1 long beetroot, or two small ordinary ones
1 onion
1 red capsicum
olive oil
lavender salt, or salt, pepper and rosemary
400 g tinned cannelini beans
150 g slow roasted tomatoes
2 garlic bulbs, roasted
1/4 cup good olive oil
zest of one lemon
salt, pepper, rosemary

Now what will you do with it?

Aargh, it’s so long since I made this recipe that I barely remember what I did!  Well, first, one must roast the vegetables.  Peel them and chop them into inviting-looking shapes.  Because really, this will be the only inviting thing about this recipe.  I think I may even have kept the little potatoes whole, because they were these adorable, thumb-sized things which really didn’t need peeling or chopping at all.  The carrots, I peeled and then sliced in half lengthways.  The beetroot got chunked, the sweet potato was sliced very thickly and those slices were quartered, and the onion was cut into half moons.  The red capsicum was sliced.

Pre-heat the oven to 200°C.


Microwave the beetroot for about 5 minutes in a tiny bit of water in a bowl, because it will otherwise take far longer than everything else put together.

Now fling all the aforementioned veggies onto a huge baking tray, drizzle with olive oil, pepper and lavender salt (or ordinary salt and lots of rosemary), and bake everything for 45 minutes to an hour, turning after about twenty minutes or so, and again at the 45 minute mark if you think the veggies aren’t done yet.


Making the sauce is even easier than this.  Drain the cannelini beans and put them in a blender with the slow-roasted tomatoes, the roasted garlic, the olive oil, lemon zest, and seasonings.  Blend until you have a thick sauce.  Add more olive oil if you think it needs filling.


Serve the veggies with the sauce poured over, or poured onto the side to dip them in.  I feel a side dish of green beans or broccoli or even a straightforward green salad would be an excellent addition to this meal.


Eat.  Pretend not to notice that this is very ugly food indeed, because it really does taste amazing.



This meal is gluten-free and vegan and nut-free and low GI, and if you skip the onions, it’s actually not too terrible on the fructose side of things.  Amazing!

You can roast any root vegetables that appeal to you.  You can heat the sauce up, or instead of blending it, you could put everything except the oil in a saucepan (with just one splash of oil), sauté it up a bit, and then mash it with a fork or potato masher.  At this point, it’s more a mash than a sauce, and there’s nothing wrong with that.  You might even add an extra tin of beans in these circumstances and make it a real side dish.

And… that’s it from me.  It’s bedtime in the house of cats.


One year ago: Recipe: Inside-Out Salad

Two years ago: Market Day: High Summer Masquerading as Autumn

Recipe: Root Vegetable Rösti with Peach and Black Bean Salsa

I’m not sure if these technically count as rösti, since they are not all potato, and they do contain a lot of egg to hold them together.  More like fritters, really.  But when you find yourself with a fridge full of root vegetables on a hot evening, fritters or rösti are one of the better options for not heating the house up too much.

Also, they are very pink.  This should not be understated.  Sometimes, pink food is important.

I was a little disappointed in the salsa – it was milder than I intended it to be, and needed a bit more zing.  Next time, I’d add more lime or lemon, and more chilli. And maybe some cumin?  But it did provide a good contrasting freshness to the fritters, which, being composed of root vegetables and eggs and then fried, were not precisely light!

Not a perfect meal, but a rather nice one for a summer evening.  And worth recording, so that I can play with it another time.


Your Shopping List

3 medium potatoes
1 largeish beetroot
4 medium carrots
1 small red onion
1 medium sweet potato
1/2 teaspoon of tarragon
pepper, salt (lavender salt is nice here)
4 eggs
oil and butter for cooking
5 peaches
5 roma tomatoes
2 avocadoes
2 red chillis (or more, to taste)
juice of one lime and one lemon
1 tin (400g) of black beans
1 small bunch of coriander

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Recipe: Pumpkin and Tofu Curry with Lemongrass

served2I know.  It’s another curry.  This is really weird.  I’ve never really liked curry, and I don’t *understand* how curry works, but I seem to have made two which I like in the space of three days.  And I don’t know what I’ve done that is different to the many, many curries I have disliked.  

To make things even more bizarre, I’m mostly, but not quite, following recipes, because I don’t really know enough to know what I’m doing when changing them.  Tonight’s effort was particularly strange because I cook by smell and I just couldn’t make sense of what I was smelling early on.  And then it all tasted far too sweet and mild and mangoish, but I didn’t dare fiddle with it, which turned out to be a good instinct, because in the end it was nicely tangy and lemon-grassish with a pleasing kick of heat from the ginger and chilli and no mango or serious coconut taste at all.

None of this makes any sense, but since I appear to have once more made an almost-certainly-inauthentic curry that I actually like and might want to make again, here goes.  In case you were wondering, it started life as a Cambodian Pork and Lemongrass Curry, but obviously the pig got away this time (the lemongrass did not).

Oh, also, I think this is the third time I’ve ever cooked with tofu while not making dessert.  Learning experiences all round…

Your Shopping List

2 tbsp canola or sunflower oil
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
a piece of ginger-root about two cubic inches in size
3 big tablespoons of lemongrass paste (check that yours doesn’t contain gluten or fish sauce if these are problematic for you – alternatively, you could go with the 2 tablespoons of chopped lemongrass which the recipe I’m mostly ignoring suggested)
1 tbsp cumin
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander seed, ground
1 tsp fennel seed
300 g firm tofu
500 g pumpkin
125 g potato
250 g sweet potato
zest and juice of one lime
270 ml light coconut cream
130 ml water
1 big tablespoon of tamarind puree
2 red capsicums
1 red chilli
75 g pistachios, because we really gave up on authenticity and that’s what was in the pantry when I decided that this dish needed some crunch
To serve: rice, about 1 1/2  – 2 cups.  Purple Thai rice looks particularly pretty here.  This curry serves 4-6 people, I should think.

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Recipe: Lamb, Sweet Potato and Chickpea Curry with Almonds and Saffron

I really don’t understand curries very well, which is why I’ve just bought myself a book all about curries from around the world.  You would think, then, that I’d follow the recipes in them, and indeed that was my intention, but basically I screwed up.  The curry I was going to make was a simple lamb curry with almonds and saffron, because I had diced lamb to use up, but it used twice the amount of lamb I had.  No worries – I would just halve the recipe.  Except that I forgot to do so, and once I had measured out the saffron water and started cooking all the onions and garlic and ginger – which I had accidentally doubled instead of halved anyway, hello, virus-brain! – and spices it was too late to go back without waste.


So I decided to bulk out the curry with chickpeas and sweet potato.  After all, I don’t like stews of any kind that are just meat, meat and meat, sweet potato seemed like it would get along with all the sweet aromatic spices in this dish, and chickpeas are always a good random filler protein in my book.  Also, this lowers the glycemic index of the dish *and* makes it suddenly a lot closer to a one-pot meal (by which I mean that the ongoing Sickly Catherine feels empowered not to make a vegetable side dish now, which is a very good thing).  And then I looked at the cream added at the end of the recipe, and thought about the fact that I don’t like creamy sauces much and that I had this tin of coconut cream from goodness-knows-when sitting in my pantry waiting to be used, and…

I’m fairly sure we have lost any authenticity along the way (which is why I am not claiming that this is a Kashmiri curry, despite what the book says), but I have to say, it’s the best curry that I’ve ever made.  I strongly suspect that the slow cooker was an important part of this – the spices seemed to blend and work together rather than sitting awkwardly in different corners of the room, squinting sideways at each other.  That’s not what usually happens when I make a curry.  So, while a slow cooker is not a requirement for this recipe, I do recommend cooking it over the lowest heat possible for as long as possible if you don’t have one.

Still, next time, I *promise* I will follow the recipe properly.

I can do that, you know.

Your Shopping List

2 tsp saffron threads
1 1/2 cup hot water
8 green cardamom pods
2 tsp dried cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp fennel seeds
1/2 tsp turmeric
2 tbsp canola or sunflower oil
3 onions
3 cloves of garlic
about 2 cubic inches of ginger root
2 dried chillis
500 g cubed lamb shoulder or other stewing lamb
salt and pepper which I entirely forgot to put in, but you might want to
500 g sweet potato
Either 1 cup of dried chickpeas, partly cooked (of which more later) or 1 tin of chickpeas, which you will add at the end of the recipe
120 g blanched almonds
270 ml (a medium-sized tin – don’t get too hung up on measuring this) coconut cream

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Anyone Can Cook Vegetarian Food: Orange!

Today is the first day of my new pantry, which is just another way of saying I accidentally spent nearly $100 on spices and salts and infused sugars this morning.  It was very, very tempting to make spices my theme for this month, but I did that in April, and one wouldn’t want to be repetitive.  Then I thought about all the dark, leafy greens coming into season and got all enthused about a green leafy vegetable theme, only everyone thinks that vegetarians eat nothing but rabbit food anyway.

Green was clearly right out.  Let’s do a different colour instead.

The JUNE 2013 theme is ORANGE!

(because oranges are not the only orange-coloured fruit) Continue reading