Tag Archives: sweet potatoes

Just Bent

Vegan Sushi

Vegan Sushi | Two Ways

When one is a vegetarian blogger seafood challenges require thinking a little outside the box.  After all what most people picture when they hear seafood is NOT vegetarian and while at one point I did include those recipes I don’t really make that anymore.   So with /r/52weeksofcooking’s seafood challenge I really had two options: fake seafood or using a sea-based vegetable.  I debated recreating Richard Blais’s banana scallops but while those are really outside the box they aren’t exactly challenging so I decided to keep looking.   Then while reading a Washington Post article I saw a recipe for vegan sushi and instantly latched on to giving sushi a try.   I liked the idea of using mushrooms for one of the fillings, which is what WP had listed, but switching the suggested citrus soy sauce for a sesame ginger sauce.  For the other filling I decided to use sweet potatoes, which are right there with eggplant on my must have in kitchen at all times list.  I decided to make a garlic ginger soy sauce for the sweet potatoes which resulted in a very crowded stove top.

Mushrooms with Sesame Ginger Sauce


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 lb shitake mushrooms

1 tsp ginger, shredded

1/2 tbsp sesame sauce

1/2 tsp sesame seeds


  1. Cut the mushrooms into matchstick size pieces. Set aside.
  2. Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a shallow saute pan. Add the ginger and cook for 2 minutes allowing it to slightly brown. Add the mushrooms then turn the heat down. Cook for 5-7 minutes stirring occasionally to prevent sticking/burning. Add the sesame sauce, stir well and cook for a final 2 minutes. Toss with the sesame seeds and set aside to slightly cool.
  3. Roll the sushi (see link below recipes) and enjoy!

Garlic Ginger Sweet Potatoes


1 tbsp vegetable oil

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 shallots, diced

1 tsp garlic, shredded

1 lb sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in to matchsticks

1/2 tbsp soy sauce


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saute pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, shallots, and ginger and cook for 3 minutes, allowing everything to turn slightly golden. Add the sweet potatoes then cover and cook for 5-7 minutes stirring once to prevent burning but allowing the sweet potatoes to get a slight crust on them. Stir in the soy sauce then cover and turn heat to low.
  2. Cook for a final 3 minutes then set aside to slightly cool.
  3. Roll the sushi (see link below recipes) and enjoy!

I did cheat a little in using Alton Brown’s sushi rice recipe, figuring I had enough work figuring out the right sauce to vegetable ratio.  For rolling the sushi I watched a few videos to get the idea and used plastic wrap to make up for my lack of a mat. I served the sushi with some siracha sauce since fresh wasabi is not an easy to locate ingredient at my local market, and also skipped the soy sauce.  I was surprised in how easy these were to roll, even without a bamboo mat!

Time To Celebrate

Sweet Potato Latkes

 Hanukkah is fast approaching, which means it’s time to bring out all of my favorite fried foods!  The one time of the year where it’s encouraged to indulge in all things fried and dairy, and with that it’s probably a good thing that it only happens once a year.

 This year I plan to share my four favorite Hanukkah recipes, all of which are vegetarian friendly and two of which are vegan friendly.  First up on the list are Sweet Potatoes latkes, which are based on a recipe I got from a friend’s mom for traditional Potato latkes.   This recipe falls in to the category of vegetarian friendly, though I’m sure a product such as Vegg could be used in place of the eggs to bind the ingredients.

Sweet Potato Latkes

Serves: makes 14 latkes


3 cups sweet potatoes, grated

2 eggs

1/4 cup matzo meal or corn meal

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 tbsp curry powder

lots of oil for frying


  1. Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl.
  2. Heat the oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat. Test to see if the oil is hot enough by dropping water over the oil, if it dances across the top the oil is ready.
  3. Drop the potato mixture into the oil, a 1/4 cup at a time. Gently press the latkes down and cook on each side around 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
  4. Remove the latkes to a plate covered in paper towels and allow to cool before enjoying!

I love all the symbolism that is found in traditional Hanukkah foods, it just adds another dimension to a holiday that is already packed full with remembrance and celebration.  I also love any excuse to eat fried foods, and have a feeling I’ll be spending more than 8 days in the gym working all of this indulgence off!

I’m also sending this recipe over to r/52weeks as part of the Middle East theme.  While latkes originated in Europe, they are closely associated with Hanukkah and with that Israel.  For a truly Middle Eastern dish please check out my post for Shakshuka.

Out of Sight

Sweet Potatoes & Apples

I was doubly blessed this month by the Secret Recipe Club in that I got two (2!!!) amazing blogs to talk about.  Needless to say having two blogs caused twice as much agony when it came time to pick THE recipe to feature.  When I was sent Kate’s blog I was blown away by everything that she has got going on.   She cooks, she bakes, she takes care of her three adorable kids AND she’s a part-time paramedic.  As someone looking to go back to school to become a PA, I’m in awe of this blogger and hope I’m able to rock it all as well as she does.  Once I stopped staring at, and drooling over, her foodporn entries I got down to business picking the perfect recipe to showcase.  I originally set out to recreate her Salted Browned Butter Butterscotch Chocolate Chip Cookies but then I got distracted by her recipe for Udon Noodles which then resulted in me finding THE recipe.  Essentially I followed the tags at the bottom of the udon noodles recipe which eventually led me to the ultimate fall side dish: Sweet Potatoes & Apples.  I LOVE sweet potatoes and apples and idea of them together…yum!  The fact that both of these items are in peak season right now just made this recipe all the better.  For my apples I went with Pink Ladies, which are a sweet-tart medium sized apple.  They aren’t always the easiest to locate at the Farmer’s Market but fortunately I was able to find the two needed for this recipe.  I didn’t make any changes to the recipe, outside of soy butter, so be sure to check out Kate’s blog for all the delicious details on this can’t miss recipe.

As an added bonus, the aroma that comes from this baked creation is insane! I could still smell the cinnamon and nutmeg the next morning when I was getting ready for work, which had me looking forward to lunch since I had been able to stash some leftovers.

For my other entry please go here for an outstanding Thai Green Bean and Tofu recipe, and be sure to check out the other Secret Recipe Club entries for more can’t miss recipes!

Rain Makes Corn

Quinoa with Corn & Potatoes

Temperatures are starting to creep back up, but the lack of sun is seriously stunting my garden.  Luckily Joe’s mom gave us a bag of fresh from the farm goodies, so I am still on track with my goal of eating locally.  I also swung by the local market to find some seasonal corn, something that has been harder than normal this summer.  While my small area of Virginia has had a fairly average summer rainwise, that is certainly not the case for the rest of the country.  Since I’ve been relying on my garden I wasn’t fully aware how bad things were even after reading numerous reports and seeing the depressing photos.  Finding corn that was full proved impossible, even though they were shorter than normal most of them had kernels only 3/4 of the way up with the last quarter looking dried out.  This time last year corn was EVERYWHERE, and the cobs were large and fat and filled to the brim with fat and juicy kernels.  I can only imagine what prices are going to look like this winter, and how creative people will have to get with making their budgets work.

For a fair amount of time I considered skipping the /52week corn challenge since I’m really trying to avoid frozen/canned vegetables this year but eventually I was able to get enough local corn to give it a go.  I debated a number of recipes before deciding to do something involving quinoa and some of the vegetables we got in our goody bag.

Rain Makes Corn


1 tbsp vegetable oil

1/2 vidalia onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 butter potato, cubed

1 sweet potato, cubed

2 medium tomatoes, diced

1 cup corn off the cob

1 cup quinoa

2 cups vegetable stock

1 tsp cayenne pepper powder

1/2 tbsp chili powder


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 3 minutes, and both potatoes and cook for 7-10minutes, potatoes should still be firm but onion and garlic should be starting to brown.
  2. Add the tomatoes, corn, quinoa, and spices. Stir well to make sure everything is well combined before adding the vegetable stock. Bring to a quick boil, then cover and turn heat to low. Simmer for 17-20minutes.
  3. Quinoa is done when the grains have opened up but are still slightly al dente. Serve warm!

This dish was incredibly easy to prepare, nothing like one pot dinners!  I added some sour cream to the leftovers in order to insure that everything stayed moist and lunch the next day turned out perfectly.  This dish would also serve as a great burrito stuffing, just add some fresh avocado and ready to go!

Runaway Train

Sweet Potato Gratin

I really thought I had posted this recipe before, and with that thought that I had a picture.  Yet somehow I have managed to either delete or just forget to post what is easily my favorite Thanksgiving Recipe.  I stumbled across the original version of this recipe many moons ago in the Washington Post and in the years since have modified and adjusted until it is just right.  I’m not even sure if I have the original version written down anymore, but I remembered it involved bacon and pecans and didn’t involve brown sugar, coconut milk, or vanilla.

Sweet Potato Gratin

Serves: 10 servings


5 large sweet potatoes, cut evenly into 1in thick rings

2 cups coconut milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/4 cup soybutter

1/4 cup flour

1/4 cup light brown sugar

1/4 cup white sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

1/4 tsp cloves

1/2 tsp nutmeg


  1. In a large slow cooker layer the sweet potatoes and then pour in the coconut milk. The milk should come half way up the stack of potatoes, so add more if needed. Cook on high for 3hrs stirring once after hour or so.
  2. In a medium bowl cut the butter with the remaining ingredients to create a crumb topping. Pour over the top of the slow cooker. Cook on high for another hour, with the lid partially off.
  3. Enjoy!

To me this dish is the best of Thanksgiving, and I love sharing it with others.