Adapted from cooking.nytimes.com
This is a great recipe for a chilly, autumn day. Of course, around here in the Houston area those autumn days are virtually nonexistent but I can pretend. I love the combination of lentils and sweet potatoes and they create a deliciously satisfying meal. There’s nothing complex about this recipe and there is very little hands-on time. Due to the simmering process, however, it does take about an hour to complete.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Salt, to taste
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- 2 medium carrots, diced
- 1½ cups brown lentils
- 6 cups water
- 1-1¼ pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in large dice
- 1-2 chipotles in adobo, seeded and chopped (to taste)
- 2 tablespoons tomato purée
- 1 bay leaf
- Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large pot and add the onion. Cook, stirring often, until it softens.
- Add the salt, cumin and carrots. Stir together for a minute and then add the lentils, water, sweet potatoes, chipotles, tomato purée and the bay leaf.
- Bring to a boil, reduce the heat, cover and simmer for about 40 to 45 minutes or until the lentils and sweet potatoes are tender and the broth is fragrant.
- Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with lime wedges if desired.
Comments: Like I said before there is nothing too complex about this recipe. The original one calls for 2 teaspoons of lightly toasted and ground cumin seeds; I did not have cumin seeds and used ground cumin instead, reducing it to ½ teaspoon. I think, if you use ground cumin, you could even increase this to 1 teaspoon. Because my mom is not very tolerant of spicy foods, I only used 1 chipotle however even my mom later admitted that it could have been a little spicier. You can make this 3 to 4 days in advance but it will thicken as the lentils swell; you can add water or stock to thin it out.
Adapted from vegetariantimes.com
Amazing frittata coming up! What I absolutely love about this one is delicate blend of the sweetness of the potatoes and the tanginess of the goat cheese. It also has a beautiful blend of colors. If you don’t like kale, this is just the frittata for you. You can get all of its nutrition benefits without actually tasting it. Yes, you got that right! I hate, hate, hate kale and I can honestly say I did not even taste it one little bit. This is another meal you can literally make in 40 minutes max.
Yields 4 servings
- 12 ounces sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch pieces
- 8 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 large curly kale leaves, ribs removed, leaves torn into 2-inch pieces
- 2 ounces crumbled goat cheese
- Preheat the oven to 400F (204C).
- Place the sweet potato pieces in a microwavable steamer and microwave on high for about 5 minutes or until tender.
- Meanwhile, whisk together the eggs and mustard. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Add the oil to a large ovenproof skillet and heat over medium-high. Add the onion and sauté for about 3 minutes or until the onion begins to soften. Add the kale and cook for 2 minutes or until the kale is wilted but still a bright green color. Add the sweet potato and toss to blend, arranging the vegetables over the bottom of the skillet.
- Carefully pour the eggs over the top without displacing the vegetables. Cook 3 minutes or just until the bottom of the frittata is set.
- Transfer the skillet to the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes or until the center of the frittata is set.
- Using a heatproof spatula, loosen the frittata from the skillet and slide out onto a serving platter. Immediately sprinkle with the goat cheese and let stand for 1 to 2 minutes to soften the cheese. Serve immediately.
Comments: The trickiest thing about this meal (like all frittatas) is the sliding out of the skillet as cast-iron is very heavy. I usually ask someone for help or you can flip it onto a plate and then flip again onto the serving platter so that it is the right side up. The night I made this I had it with whole wheat couscous and it was fab. Leftovers are great for a lunchtime sandwich. For all vegetarians in the U.S., Trader Joe’s has a fantastic vegetarian crumbled goat cheese that actually taste pretty similar to the European one.
Adapted from eatingwell.com
This is a great, nutritious midweek meal. You get complex carbs and a serving of vegetables (as well as Vitamin A and potassium) from the sweet potatoes and Vitamin C and antioxidants from the tomatoes while the beans add protein. I know a lot of people don’t like eating the potato skins but they add potassium, niacin, iron and fiber; if you eat it all together I don’t think the skins are half bad.
Yields 4 servings
- 4 medium sweet potatoes
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed
- 2 Roma tomatoes, diced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- ¼ cup sour cream
- Prick the sweet potatoes with a fork in several places. Microwave on high until tender all the way to the center.
- Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine the beans, tomatoes, oil, cumin and coriander and heat over medium heat.
- When just cool enough to handle, slash each sweet potato lengthwise, press open to make a well in the center and spoon the bean mixture into the well. Top each with a dollop of sour cream.
Comments: This is a meal you can literally prepare in under 30 minutes. As the sweet potatoes bake in the microwave, you can prepare the filling over the stove. As I said before, it’s also very nutritious. I love the blend of contrasting flavors (the sweetness of the potatoes, the tartness of the sour cream, the slight acidity of the tomatoes…). I think it would also taste great if you added some corn to the filling. Add as much sour cream as you like to the top and maybe consider substituting it for Greek yogurt. Omit the sour cream for a vegan version.
Adapted from nytimes.com/cooking
Besides the fact that in the picture they looked amazing, the name of these burgers stood out for me. Sweet potatoes? Amazing. Quinoa? Amazing. Spinach? Amazing. Red lentils? Amazing. Also, when looking at the ingredients list I saw feta cheese and that was it for me. These burgers combine a good variety of vegetables with whole grain and vegetarian protein. The spinach and lentils put together also make a great source of iron.
Yields 14 burgers
- 1/3 cup dry quinoa (blond or black)
- 1/3 cup dry red lentils
- 1 2/3 cups water
- 1 ½ pounds sweet potatoes, baked
- 3 cups chopped fresh spinach, tightly packed
- 3 ounces feta, crumbled
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup soy flour (you won’t use it all)
- Combine the quinoa, red lentils and water in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes or until quinoa is tender and blond quinoa displays a thread and lentils are just tender. Drain off any water remaining in the pot through a strainer and then return to the pot. Cover the pot with a dishtowel and return the lid. Let sit undisturbed for 15 minutes.
- Skin the sweet potatoes and place in a large bowl. Mash with a fork. Add the spinach and mash together with your hands. Add the quinoa and lentils, feta, lemon juice and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together well.
- Take up 1/3 cup of the mixture and form into a ball (wet your hands to reduce sticking). Roll the ball in the soy flour (or panko or chickpea flour) and gently flatten into a patty. Set on a greased baking sheet and continue with the rest of the mixture. Refrigerate uncovered for 1 hour or longer (the longer the better).
- Preheat the oven to 450F (232C).
- Place the burgers in the preheated oven and bake for about 10 minutes or until browned and crispy on one side. Flip and cook for about 10 more minutes until browned and crispy on the other side.
Comments: These burgers offer a fantastic blend of flavors. You have the sweetness from the potatoes and the tanginess of the feta and they also have a brilliant color. The original recipe doesn’t actually say to bake them but to fry them. I started them off in an oven at 350F (180C) and made my way up to 450F when I saw they weren’t getting crispy. I realized that there was a reason for frying them; they are very soft. Therefore, I recommend frying them instead, which is what I’ll do in the future. To fry, heat 2 tablespoons of oil in a 12-inch, heavy nonstick frying pan over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium and place 4 to 5 patties in the pan without crowding. Cook until well browned on one side (about 4 minutes), turn and brown for about 4 more minutes. Remove to a rack set over a sheet pan and keep warm in a low oven until ready to serve. Heat 2 more tablespoons of oil or as needed to cook the remaining patties. We had these burgers with brown rice but they would go well with a salad as well. Try topping them with Greek yogurt.
Adapted from Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon
Here’s another recipe for chili. When I went off to college I learned to love chili. I never liked chili with meat but I love vegetarian chili. This recipe is easy and quick and you don’t have to rush to the supermarket since it doesn’t have any strange ingredients.
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 cup vegetable broth, divided
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 small sweet potato, diced
- 8 tablespoons tomato purée, divided
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 cup canned corn, drained
- 2 cups chopped spinach
- 1 15-ounce can black beans, undrained
- Line a large pot with a thin layer of broth and sauté the onion over high heat until translucent.
- Add the remaining broth, sweet potato, 6 tablespoons of tomato purée, chili powder and cumin. Cover, bring to a boil and simmer until the sweet potato is fork-tender.
- Add the corn, spinach and black beans with their liquid, stirring until the spinach wilts.
- Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of tomato purée and stir.
Comments: I loved the rainbow of vegetables in this chili and it was really good. The original recipe uses kale instead of spinach but I don’t like kale at all so I used spinach instead. It also says that it yields 2-3 servings but I think you can feed at least 4. I made the chili with Roasted Herbed Fingerling Potatoes but I think it would go really well with cornbread as well.
Adapted from Health
This was a marvelous discovery. Before I didn’t like sweet potatoes but I knew they had good properties. So, I searched for recipes and this was definitely a keeper. They are a perfect blend of sweet and spicy. Now, I love all types of sweet potatoes, but this is definitely a keeper. Some healthy perks: one serving provides you with 100 DV of vitamin A and 1/3 DV of vitamin C. (Makes about 8 servings)
- 2 ¼ pounds sweet potatoes
- Cooking spray
- 2 tsp sugar
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp of smoked paprika or cayenne pepper (depends on how spicy you want them)
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 500F (260C).
- Cut each sweet potato lengthwise into quarters.
- Place the wedges in a large bowl and coat them with cooking spray.
- Mix together the sugar, salt and peppers and sprinkle them over the potatoes. Toss well to coat.
- Arrange the wedges on a cookie sheet cut sides down. Bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes, flip the wedges over and bake for 10 more minutes.
Comments: Like I said before, these are delicious and healthy. They are easy and quick to make. The outside browns and turns crispy but the inside is almost like sweet potato puré. They go well with meats, fish, the quinoa and white bean veggie burgers…anything you want.