Monday, August 2, 2010
Sweet Potato Love
Sweet potatoes were on my "yuck" list since I was little. It probably had to do with the fact that the only sweet potatoes that I was exposed to as a child were the mashed up, baby food looking sweet potatoes at Thanksgiving topped with marshmallows. It triggered that little gag reflex kids are so good at producing.
That was pretty much where I left it until a couple years ago. I learned that sweet potatoes, when cooked under the right circumstances, are little pieces of manna. I simply cannot get enough. I ALWAYS have one in my potato bin to use at my every whim. They go in enchiladas, soups, stir fries, etc. There are no rules. No one ever told me that. THEY said they were only for Thanksgiving. How sad that I have been living under that lie for so many years. I truly missed out on something so wonderful. I crave them all the time. In fact, I had my husband take me out to the beyond wonderful restaurant, Liberty Market in Gilbert so that I could order one thing; a cup full of cold sweet potato salad. TO DIE FOR. My friend Kara Bagley recreated this recipe perfectly so go check her out to get that recipe here. Divine.
Anyways, the other night I needed a quick, fresh, summer meal. I had some leftover Naan bread I made the night before for our Greek pitas and some garden veggies I needed to use. The combination I came up with was so delicious that I can't stop thinking about how much I loved it. I served it to my kids and after taking a bite, a couple said, "wow, this is actually good." Which meant, "this looked like it would be really bad but after trying a bite, it really isn't so horrible." They ate it all up. It's all in the spice, baby.
I will call this a Jamaican Jerk Veggie Pizza, grilled.So easy.
I stir fried some sweet onions and 1/2 inch chunks of sweet potatoes in some olive oil until just about fork tender. Then, I added some different colored bell peppers, chunks of zucchini, chopped fennel and fresh white corn from the cob. I stir fried it a little longer while pouring on a generous amount of Jamaican Jerk seasoning from The Spice Hunter until the flavor was exploding. (Got it at Sprouts, save and order it from Amazon on my side bar) It is a perfect seasoning. I added a little salt to finish it off. I sauteed it until all veggies were barely fork tender but not mushy in the slightest. When they are just about tender, I turn up the heat to caramelize them a bit for a little texture. Be careful not to burn.
Then, it was time to grill. I took the Naan bread and put olive oil lightly on one side. I put that downside on the grill. I then sprinkled a little mozzarella on the top and put a generous layer of the veggie mixture over the cheese. I closed the lid on the grill and let it melt. Keep the heat low so the bottoms don't char. Watch carefully.
When the cheese has melted and the bottom side of the pizza's are lightly golden, it is time to eat.
We had a delicious salad and some fresh fruit to go with it. The sweet corn, sweet onions and sweet potatoes were more than my mouth could handle. Jamaican seasoning should be a holiday food by itself.
Sweet potatoes are so healthy for you and taste even better than carrots when eaten raw. I just got hungry again. Good thing I started running.