Recipe: A+ Sweet Potatoes for Auntie Misty with Sunflower Seed Dressing

Photo by MinimalistPhotography101 from Flickr.com

Ingredients:

Roasted Sweet Potatoes
Roasted Red or Yellow Onions
Salad Greens (including watercress is a nice option)
Cooked Brown Rice
Sunflower Dressing (below)

Sunflower Seed Dressing Ingredients: (adapted from 101 cookbooks website recipe)
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup olive oil
2 T lemon juice
1 T honey
salt to taste

warm water to loosen dressing as desired

Directions: Blend sunflower seed dressing ingredients in a food processor until creamy and smooth. Then add salt to taste and warm water for desired consistency. I find the dressing works best if it is not runny, but more like a thicker ranch dressing consistency. But, it is very much up to your own taste.

Prepare beds of salad greens on plates. Salt and pepper the greens lightly, then place just a few thin slices of roasted onions on the top. Next, slice the roasted sweet potatoes into rounds about as thick as your index finger. Peel off the skin, and place one or two slices on the salad greens. Top with brown rice and a turn or two of the dressing.

If you’re feeling adventurous and have a few more minutes on your hands, try frying the sweet potato slices approximately 2 minutes per side til brown before putting on the salad greens. It adds another whole level of sweet potato flavor. yummmmm.

A+ For Sweet Potatoes

Photo by Natalie Maynor from Flickr.com

My Auntie Misty gives foods grades. I never knew this til I sat down to a dinner with sweet potato at the helm and I thought she said, “Sweet potato is a plus food.” I laughed, “Yes, it is a food.” “NO!” She replied, “It is A+ FOOD!” Indeed sweet potato deserves high marks. They have a low glycemic index and make your body more responsive to insulin. They contain no fat, are high in fiber, and are also high in vitamin A and C as well as containing a fair amount of calcium and iron. The best part of sweet potatoes is that they are delicious! Apparently, Christopher Columbus found these edible relations of the Morning Glory vine so yummy that he brought the tubers back to Europe and they subsequently flourished across the globe even reaching China and Japan by the 16th century. Now, the Japanese even make a kick-you-cross-eyed booze out of sweet potato called shōchū.

To roast a sweet potato, no need to fuss with foil or whatnot. Just toss them on a cookie sheet straight from your grocery bag. Whack your hotbox up to 400F, and roast for about an hour or until the sweet potato is soft all around and oozing its caramelized sugars. Then, mush with butter and enjoy. Or, toss an onion on the cookie sheet and make the dinner I made Auntie Misty. It is dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, diabetic friendly, gluten free, and, gasp, tasty. If you are vegan, substitute a smaller amount of agave nectar to taste for the honey. If you are a meat-eater, the recipe as it stands is also the perfect accompaniment to a simply prepared chicken breast, slice of beef, or a even a tasty pork chop.