I’ve had an infatuation with sweet potatoes as of late. On the Allergy-Free Wednesdays link up, I’ve featured a number of recipes that contain sweet potatoes, and in fact, I plan to again this week Now, I’m not talking about sweet potato recipes loaded with sugar, cinnamon, and marshmallows, although those are quite tasty as well. I’ve been exploring more of the savory side of sweet potatoes as they fit so well in combination with many other flavors, like beans, cilantro, lime, garlic, and more.
So, what is it about sweet potatoes that is so wonderful? Well, for one, it is a winter root vegetable that is right for the picking, so to speak, this time of year. They are rich in complex carbohydrates, fiber, beta carotene (vitamin A), vitamin C, and Vitamin B6. Sweet potatoes rank much higher on the nutrition index than regular potatoes, but they do contain more sodium than other common vegetables. Sweet potatoes do contain phytoestrogens, which are fine in any balanced diet. (Read this previous post on phytoestrogen-containing foods and whether it matters.)
Sweet potatoes are actually botanically different than yams, which are native to Africa and Asia. It was estimated that the crop produced 127 million tons in 2004, and were mostly cultivated in China. Per capita production was highest in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, and other African countries, where it is a main staple of consumption. The United States also produces a nice quantity of sweet potatoes, mostly in southern states and California. The wonderful thing about sweet potatoes is that they do not need many pesticides because they have few natural enemies.
So, who’s ready to add sweet potatoes to their meal plan this week? (You have one right? A meal plan, that is. Read my case for meal plans here.) Come back tomorrow as I feature a new vegetarian recipe that I think may become a regular in our house. It was linked up at a recent Allergy-Free Wednesday and it was a huge hit! I’ll also have another sweet potato recipe to share on Thursday.
You might be wondering why I’ve been highlighting winter vegetables (see brussels sprouts and kale) and what they have to do with grace laced mondays. I wish to highlight the goodness that God has given us in seasonal vegetables. Sure, we can go to the store and buy any fruit or vegetable that we want, but should we? Focus on in-season produce, and you will receive the blessing of good food and great nutrition, not to mention a better price!
Here’s a recipe to get you started…
Chicken, Sweet Potato, & Mushroom Kabobs
You can use any combination of meat and vegetables for these kabobs.
- 1 1/2 pounds chicken breast-boneless, skinless
- 2 medium sweet potatoes
- 8 ounces mushrooms, whole
- olive oil, extra-virgin
- kosher salt
- black pepper
- garlic powder
- cayenne pepper
- nutmeg, ground
1. Cut chicken, sweet potatoes (peeled), and mushrooms (unless using button mushrooms) into 1-inch chunks.
2. Stagger meat and vegetables on kabob sticks. (Tip: If you have leftover meat and vegetables, place them in an aluminum foil "bowl" and cook with the kabobs.)
3. Brush kabobs with olive oil. Sprinkle on spices to the amount of your liking.
4. Heat grill to medium and cook kabobs until cooked through, turning over at least once (about 15 minutes). If it's too cold to grill out, place the kabobs in a roasting pan and bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes, or until done. (I've not actually used this method, so adjust the cooking time as needed.)
Remove to platter and enjoy!
As always, I’m linking up with Ruth at grace laced mondays. The other bloggers are a highlight to my Mondays. I now look forward to the beginning of a new week because of the inspiration, conviction, joy, and experiences of grace in the everyday! I highly encourage you to meditate on the other posts.