Recipe Roundup: Sweet Potatoes, From Appetizer to Dessert


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Last week I made a trip to a fruit stand and picked up a few too many locally-grown sweet potatoes.  The tendency to overbuy was something I warned about in my previous post about shopping at farmers’ markets and fruit stands (probably because I’m guilty of it on most shopping trips).  But I had them, and I wanted to make something delicious.  Having a bounty of sweet potatoes isn’t really a bad thing considering all of their healthy properties (high in fiber, all sorts of vitamins, potassium, and iron).  I opted to make some oven-baked sweet potato fries to snack on while I watched movies on a rainy afternoon.  Below are my favorite ways to use sweet potatoes, from appetizers to dessert.

  1. Savoring the Thyme’s Baked Sweet Potato French Fries.  They are crispy, salty, and cheesy, and healthier than traditional fries (you know, the kind that are actually fried).  These pair well with outdoor grilling, kids like them, and you can add your favorite dipping sauces.
  2. Roasted Grape, Goat Cheese, and Honey Stuffed Sweet Potatoes by How Sweet It Is.  This is one of my favorite side dishes of all times.  Roasted grapes and goat cheese add a huge punch of flavor, and the honey rounds out the sweetness.  Sometimes I make this as a casserole by scooping out the insides of the sweet potatoes and spreading them inside of a casserole dish.  Yum.  Just yum.
  3. Cookie and Kate’s Vegetarian Sweet Potato Chili.  It’s satisfying enough for both my vegetarian and omnivorous friends, so it’s one of my go-to recipes for game nights and get-togethers.  I’ve made it in my crockpot before, but cut out the tomato liquid and reduced broth to one cup.
  4. A Family Feast’s Sweet Potato Risotto.  Sweet potatoes make the taste and texture of risotto rich and savory.  I normally use beef stock for risotto, but this uses vegetable stock and makes for a great vegetarian option.
  5. Love and Olive Oil’s Sweet Potato Layer Cake with Molasses Buttercream.  This is such a beautiful AND delicious spice cake (seriously, click the link above and see for yourself).  The only extra labor is roasting the sweet potatoes, which you can do the day before and then store them in the refrigerator.
Recipe Roundup: Sweet Potatoes

Sweet Potato Risotto

Do you have a favorite recipe that features sweet potatoes?  Please share by commenting below, or send me a tweet (@southernbeets)!

Recipe Roundup: Sweet & Savory Beets

Recipe Roundup: Sweet and Savory Beets| southernbeets

Golden Beet Salad

Earlier, I posted my simple method for roasting beets without making a mess.  I love eating them with a little bit of olive oil, lemon juice, and sea salt, but sometimes I like to dress them up.  When I’m dining out, I see them featured most often in salads.  But their versatility and brilliant color make them an unsuspecting star in main dishes and desserts.  Here are some beautiful food blogs that feature beets at their best.

  1. Love & Lemon’s Roasted Beet Pear, & Walnut Salad.   Pears and beets pair well together (no pun intended) since they’re both ‘meaty’ in texture and mild in flavor.  Feta and walnuts round out this balanced salad with a honey walnut vinaigrette.  If you want a heartier salad, this recipe has quinoa as an optional add-in.
  2. Baked Bree’s Roasted Beet and Orange Salad.  The mild and slightly sweet flavors of roasted beets show off the sweet and tart flavors of citrus.  You can use a mix of red and golden beets to make this a colorful salad for summer.  The parsley adds some contrast in color, which could easily be substituted with microgreens.
  3. Delicious Shots’ Homemade Beet Pasta.  Ingredients are often used in pasta to add color (such as spinach, squid ink, or pumpkin).  Adding roasted beets to pasta produces a beautiful red pasta.
  4. Minimalist Baker’s Fudgy Vegan Beet Cupcakes.  This is a one-bowl dessert (yay for fewer dishes to clean!), and the beets add to the rich dark color.  The author PROMISES they taste delicious and chocolate-y, and not a thing like beets.
  5. Joy the Baker’s Chocolate Beet Cake with Beet Cream Cheese Frosting.  I absolutely love what beets do for the frosting of this beautiful cake.  The layers have a deep chocolate color, and the frosting is dark pink.  This not-too-sweet recipe may become my favorite chocolate cake for the lovely coloring alone.
  6. Design Love Fest’s Citrus Shortbread with Beet Glaze.  These hand-dipped cookies are simple and beautiful, and I’m going to keep them in mind for Valentine’s Day.
Recipe Roundup: Sweet and Savory Beets| southernbeets

Whole Roasted Beet Salad

Do you have a favorite recipe that features beets?  Please share by commenting below, or send me a tweet (@southernbeets)!

The Most Satisfying Starter in New Orleans: Herbsaint does Pasta alla Carbonara

I love spaghetti alla carbonara.  Italians proved you can never have too much deliciousness when they put pasta, egg, cheese, and bacon into one hearty forkful of goodness.  So I was excited and intrigued to see a version of this dish as a starter at Herbsaint in New Orleans.  On the menu, look for “Housemade Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Farm Egg.”

This restaurant is one of the gems of Chef Donald Link (Cochon, Cochon Butcher, Peche).  It’s located in the Central Business District on Saint Charles Avenue, which is right along the parade route during Mardi Gras.  If you visit New Orleans and stay downtown, in the French Quarter, or in the Garden District, you can take a streetcar or a short cab ride.  When I went it was a beautiful not-to-hot day, so we enjoyed a walk.

After we arrived, got seated, and browsed the menu, I thought, “This dish is so decadent, I really don’t NEED to eat more than starter-sized portion, right?” (By the way, the answer is “No, you always need more pasta alla carbonara”).  And if the traditional dish isn’t decadent enough, this small plate is topped with a fried-poached egg AND a crispy piece of cured pork cheek (which is called guanciale in Italy).  After just half the dish (I shared, believe it or not), I felt so joyous and satiated that I almost forgot we had lamb neck and duck leg coming.

The Most Satisfying Starting in New Orleans is at Herbsaint | southernbeets

(top left) Housemade Spaghetti with Guanciale and Fried-Poached Farm Egg, (top right) Slow Cooked Lamb Neck with Saffron Fideo and Tomato Confit, (bottom) Muscovy Duck Leg Confit with Dirty Rice and Citrus Gastrique

Do you have a favorite oh-so-satisfying dish?  I know I’m always looking for new eats (in New Orleans or elsewhere).  Please share any recommendations by commenting below, or send me a line on Twitter (@southernbeets).