Don’t let the title of this post fool you, I have the ability and desire to work hard. Really. I just can’t get on board with working hard on everything. Some things HAVE to be easy, right? That said, I think that eating delicious, whole-food ingredient meals should not have to take a lot of effort. I mean, they can take a lot of effort and that’s nice when one is not busy working hard on other things. However, it would be unreasonable for the average working chump like me to spend hours every evening making the perfect low-fat, whole-food vegan meals. Also, honey, it’s HOT out there! Who wants to turn on an oven during the month of July in the northern hemisphere? Not this lady. I have some tricks for eating well on a tight schedule, but I have come to terms with some other methods that help making a real food diet easier to manage.
Enter: crock pot.
I know, I know, every down-home mommy-on-the-go and their childless friends are currently extolling the virtues of the noble crock pot/slow cooker. I get it, alright? Toss a bunch of stuff into a thing, plug it in and dinner magically appears. It’s perfect. My problem with this apparent “craze” of crock-pot mania is that every recipe I seem to find online requires some processed crap. Canned foods, spice mixes, condiments filled with preservatives. What are we really achieving? If we have a “home cooked” dinner with excessive sodium and chemicals, is that really better than eating fast food? Methinks not. So, I’m going to get off my soap box and post a recipe that requires only a small number of ingredients, a slow cooker and a desire for sweet potato puree.
What You’ll Need:
Two large sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and quartered
1 lemon (lime or other citrus fruit of your choosing… tangelo, perhaps?) scrubbed clean and cut into wedges
~ 1/2 tsp cumin
~1/2 tsp cinnamon
Salt to taste
~3 Tbs water
What you’ll do:
Dust off that slow cooker and make sure it is clean! Then, line the inside with aluminum foil, but if you have a crock pot liner, I’m sure that will work as well. Spread out the citrus wedges evenly along the bottom of the pot. Then, combine the spices and salt in a small bowl, moisten the potatoes with a little sprinkle of water and “rub” the spices into the potatoes and place the potatoes in the crock pot. About 4 hours on low should be enough to get them soft, depending on your machine. That’s it.
Once they are the desired softness, pull them out and peel the skin off. Or, I will plan to use them as a mash or puree, so I just scrape the peel with a spoon or butter knife and put the flesh into a bowl.
But what does one do if they are disinclined to eat sweet potatoes by the delicious, citrusy-spiced spoonful? If you puree/mash them and chill them you can eat with crackers or cut veggies. Another option is to spread the puree on a tortilla or taco shell and then fill with black beans, guac, veggies and salsa for a satisfying sweet-hot meal. The citrus and warming spices offer a delightful bump of flavor. Puree it and use the mixture in pumpkin bread instead of the pumpkin. You may find it quite lovely!
I have to tell you, I’m not posting pics this time because this is not the prettiest food preparation process, but it’s tasty. The prep time in about 5-10 minutes and the uses for sweet potatoes are pretty endless… try it and let me know what you think.
How do you eat your sweet potatoes?