Monday, March 2, 2009
The Vegetable of the Day - Sweet Potatoes
The other night I was at the grocery store unloading my cart. The woman behind me was staring at me and my cart. It was a little uncomfortable. But then she started asking me what the different vegetables were and how I used them.
I admit, I have a weekly rotation of some interesting veggies with a lot of repeat favorites. Last year I challenged myself to bring home and eat vegetables I had no experience with. Surprisingly, I fell in love with almost every vegetable I tried.
The vegetable of today is the sweet potato. The sweet potato was on of the original American vegetables. Legend has it that Columbus "discovered" it (along with the North America) and brought specimens back to Europe. From there it spread around the world. Sweet potatoes are sometimes confused with yams. Yams are not even closely related to the sweet potato (who knew!) and is pretty rare in American supermarkets.
I have been eating and enjoying both white and red fleshed sweet potatoes. In unofficial, Sooper household taste tests the red fleshed sweet potato is more flavorful. The white fleshed sweet potato has a better texture and crisps up when roasted in the oven. These beta carotene and potassium packed babies find their way into at least a few dinners a week.
One of our favorite sides is roasted sweet potato sticks. Toss the peeled sticks in any oil, salt, flavor mix and roast until crisp - about 30 minutes at 375 degrees- depending on how thick you cut them. We recently started tossing the sweet potatoes with soy sauce, olive oil and lots of Chinese 5 spice. The mix of sweet, salt, and those 5 spices is really irresistable.
How do you like your sweet potatoes?