Not only are sweet potatoes in season, but they sure do make popular side dishes at this time of year. But wait! There’s more to sweet potatoes than your Aunt Mary’s version covered in brown sugar and marshmallows (not that there’s anything wrong with that once in a while)!
Have you been properly introduced?
If you're thinking about what veggies are in season right now, bring on the sweet potatoes! Perhaps you only know sweet potatoes as the side dish topped with marshmallows that gets dolloped onto your plate at Thanksgiving, but there is much more to this root veggie -- whose distant cousin is your basic spud -- than you know.
One (3-1/2 ounce) baked sweet potato (without the brown sugar and other sweet goodies) provides so much nutritional value! Check out the following:
- It's loaded with vitamin A, with about twice the recommended daily allowance (RDA).
- It's low in calories (141 calories).
- It's stuffed with even more nutrients: 42 percent of the RDA for vitamin C, 6 percent of the RDA for calcium, 10 percent of the RDA for iron and 8 percent of the RDA for thiamine for healthy adults.
- It's low in sodium and is a good source of fiber.
- As a complex carbohydrate food source, it provides beta carotene, which may be a factor in reducing the risk of certain cancers.
You can dish up sweet potatoes in just about any way possible! They can be:
You don't have to wait for a special occasion to add a little sweet potato to your life! While they're a holiday side-dish tradition for many, they are great to include in your meals any day of the week!
A quiche is an easy, healthy and filling meal to serve up on a Meatless Monday. Consider the following recipe for your next meatless meal!
Sweet potato and caramelized onion quiche
- 1 (9-inch) prepared pie crust
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 large yellow onion, halved, thinly sliced
- 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
- 3 eggs, lightly whisked
- 3/4 cup of cream
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, shredded
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 cup total shredded cheddar and Parmesan cheese
- Heat the butter at a low temperature over the stove. Begin to caramelize the onions.
- While the onions are caramelizing, boil the sweet potato chunks until soft. If you cut them into fairly small chunks, they'll need to boil for about seven to eight minutes. Once they are finished, drain and cool.
- When they are about three-fourths caramelized, stir in the brown sugar. This will help the onions finish cooking. Stir constantly. After the onions are finished, mix in the mustard.
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
- In a medium bowl, lightly whisk the eggs, and then add the cream, milk, basil, salt, pepper and cheese and combine. (Reserve a little cheese for sprinkling.)
- Bake your crust in the oven for nine minutes. Remove from oven, and turn the heat down to 350 degrees F.
- Spread the sweet potatoes over your pie crust. Arrange the onions on top of the sweet potatoes, and then pour the cream and eggs over the vegetables.
- Bake the quiche for approximately 30-40 minutes at 350 degrees F. Allow it to cook uncovered, but if it begins to brown too quickly, cover it with a piece of foil.
- After 30-40 minutes, the quiche should be about two-thirds finished. Now turn the heat up to 375 degrees F., and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. To finish the quiche, uncover it and bake for about 15 minutes or until it is firm and slightly browned on top.
This recipe was adapted from The Muffin Tin Post.
Making delicious substitutions for meat is easier than you think. The folks at Meatless Monday suggest that in place of chicken, beef or pork, just look for protein from beans, legumes, eggs, nuts and seeds instead.
The Meatless Monday campaign has been around, in one form or another, since World War I. Its latest initiative, started in 2003, is backed by the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health's Center for a Livable Future and endorsed by 30 schools of public health.
More Meatless Monday meal ideas
Meatless Monday Mediterranean style
Meatless Monday: Make it fun
Meatless Monday: Put some pizzazz in your potatoes
Carrot-mushroom barley stew
Nutritional source: Texas A&M