Saturday, January 8, 2011

My [Not So] Dirty Little Secret

Hiya, Sugar Pies!

Thanks for your support on my yoga dilemma. From reading your comments I got the sense that most people have a passion for something, so usually that kind of attachment is  Today is my first day without practicing, and while I do feel quite a bit disappointed, I'm going to try to make the best of what I have by going to the gym. It's literally been a year since I steeped in a gym. Can you believe that? I suppose this inconvenience is quite good for me considering I've been curious about cross training anyway. While I do believe yoga is a wonderful full body workout that includes both cardio and strength training, certain areas just aren't worked as much as others. I see an elliptical machine in my future... if I can remember how to use one, that is haha.

Now that you know my little secret about the gym, it's time for my real confession: I'm obsessed with root vegetables. And when I say obsessed, I mean "I've eaten them every day in some form or another, not to mention root veggie fries at least 3 times this week" kind of obsessed. For some reason, it's the only thing that sounds good to me. Sure, other foods sound alright, but once I even consider having root vegetables, my mind simply can't be changed.

Must. Eat. Root. Veggies.

Cave man like? Perhaps, but I can't help it because they're just too good! Never fear, though, bloggies; I wouldn't go on this rant without sharing something with you. In an attempt to change things up from my root veggie fries, I decided to give sweet potatoes a little love. Lately I've become so caught up in foods that are new to me that I've neglected the classics. Well, not anymore...

Nutritionally speaking, sweet potatoes are powerhouses. They are one of the best sources of beta-carotein (which gets converted by our body into Vitamin A), have more fiber than oatmeal, and even protect blood sugar crashes because they digest slowly. And did you know that they are an excellent source of Vitamin E (even though they are virtually fat-free)? Sounds like a winner to me!

But let's be honest: the real reason why we love sweet potatoes is because of their amazing taste. Their natural sweetness is almost unsurpassed. Adding sweet potatoes to your diet can even reduce sugar cravings because they provide our bodies with more natural and nutritionally beneficial forms of sugar.

Sweetness aside, though, these little potatoes are wonderful in more savory dishes as well. My new favorite includes mashing the flesh with Indian spices and peas, then stuffing back in the skin to bake. I actually got this idea from seeing two different recipes as of late, twice-baked potatoes and samosas, floating around. I'm not really a huge fan of white potatoes (except when I get a craving like this), so I thought why not replace it with sweet potatoes? Also, I didn't really feel like making dumplings, but definitely wanted that delicious Indian flavor of samosas. My solution? Samosa-Style Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes.

Truth be told, I was so excited for my sweet potato that I tore the skin a bit and couldn't even get a good photo. Don't be fooled, though, these sweet potatoes are a delicious flavor adventure regardless of their visage. If my [not so] dirty little secret of root vegetable love is wrong, I don't ever want to be right.

Samosa-Style Twice Baked Sweet Potato/Yam
Serves 1

  • 1 sweet potato or yam (chances are they are the same, unless you shop at an Asian market) 
  • 1/4 cup frozen peas, defrosted 
  • 3 TBS non-dairy milk (original flavor---I used unsweetened original almond milk), plus more to thin
  • 1/4 tsp ginger (increase to 1/2 tsp if you are like me and really enjoy ginger) 
  • 1/4 tsp coriander 
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 garam masala  
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric 
  • Herbamare or salt&pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat the oven to 400*F. 
  2. Wash sweet potato or yam (I used a jewel yam, which is actually a sweet potato) very well, making sure to scrub the skin. 
  3. Place sweet potato in a small casserole dish with a little water and cover with aluminum foil. (The water + covering will slightly steam the sweet potato to make the flesh more mash-able). Bake for about 45 minutes, or until tender. 
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool until safe to the touch. (Note: you can do steps 1-4 in advance, making it more convenient for both time & oven usage.) 
  5. Cut sweet potato down the center and scoop out flesh, being careful to keep the skin in tact. 
  6. Mash sweet potato flesh with a fork, adding almond milk until desired consistency is reached. Remember, a thicker mash will be easier to put back in the skin. 
  7. Stir in defrosted (or even warmed) peas and spices. Feel free to adapt the measurements to your liking. Season with Herbamare (or salt&pepper) to taste. 
  8. Place the mixture back in the sweet potato skin. 
  9. Bake for 25 minutes, or until the mixture starts to lightly brown. 
  10. Dig in! 
What is your favorite root vegetable? And do you prefer a sweet or savory route with your sweet potatoes? I think parsnips are my favorite of the roots right now, but sweet potatoes will always have a special place in my heart. While I thought I only liked them sweet, this recipe has definitely changed my mind!

So tell me, do you have a [not so] dirty little secret? Do share! 

Have a lovely day! 

P.S. Have you ever wondered what the difference is between a sweet potato and a "yam"? After asking as many people and doing some research of my own, I think I finally have the answer. If you are interested, please tell me as I'd be glad to share. 


  1. I loooove sweet potatoes and want to try parsnip fries as wel!!

  2. Goodness I have one sweet potato left in my fridge, I gotta make this!
    my favorite root veggie is sweet potato for sure, although parsnips and very good too :)

  3. Before I forget - I;d love to know the difference between a sweet potato and a yam. I don't even think my grocery store knows :P
    These look amazing - and seeing as how I've been eating sweet potatoes like they're going out of style, am pretty sure I'll be trying this soon :) I'm so in love with how they are plain, though, that it's difficult for me to finally "DO" something with them! I do love them sprinkled with curry powder, though - so this is right up my alley :)

  4. Gee - I'm all about sweet potatoes!
    I LOVE them, and could eat one (or more, haha) every single day!
    Thanks for sharing its health-related advantages - taste is definitely what keeps me eating them! So delicious! Haha.
    I usually go for savory... And sweet potatoes are probably my favorite root vegetable. But I definitely love cassava, too ;)

  5. you dont need to convince me thats for sure. yea no other root vegetable tops sweet potatoes. and ur right, its really their sweetness that draws us in. its like injecting a regular potato with a softer consistency and this syrupy sweetness...almost tastes like molasses when i bake them mmm <3