Tag Archives: vegan

ONE.org Sweet Potato Day

It’s simple. Sweet potatoes are a super food.

If we can help farmers and families around the world to cultivate and eat sweet potatoes, we can make a huge dent in hunger, especially in children. That’s why I’m joining ONE.org and my fellow bloggers this very first Sweet Potato Day.

I couldn’t agree more with ONE.org‘s brief mission statement:

“Of course, everyone knows children need affection. But what many people don’t know is that nutrition is a hidden killer of nearly 2 million children around the world.

So we’re on a mission to make the sweet potato famous. Why? Because it packs a huge vitamin A punch, and it’s saving lives in Africa today. So let’s spread the word and get our leaders to step up and fight for good nutrition today.”

I love sweet potatoes and have featured three ways to prepare them here. My daughter is a fan, mostly when I oven-fry them. I’ve served them to her since she was old enough for solid foods because sweet potatoes are packed with potassium, vitamin C, calcium, folate and beta-carotene. Check out these six benefits to eating sweet potatoes and you’ll understand why I signed up to support ONE.org‘s efforts.

Here are some facts I gathered from the organizers of our sweet potato day blog-bonanza. I’ve mostly featured facts about nutrition for children. You can click the links below to get more information.

  • Less then 1% of the US budget is spent on foreign assistance. These funds are at risk and if these smart programs are cut, millions could lose access to food, medication and AIDS treatment. You can see more facts here. If you’d like to help, send a letter to congress supporting the programs that create foreign assistance for AIDS treatment, food and medication.
  • Nutrition is the hidden killer of nearly 2 million children around the world. The sweet potato is serving as the mascot for our cause and we’re going to make it famous! Packed with nutrition and blessed with the ability to grow in many places, the sweet potato is literally saving lives. Click here to learn more and sign a petition. Effective agriculture programs in some of the world’s poorest countries are feeding millions of people, fueling economic growth and helping communities become self-sufficient.
  • Malnutrition is associated with 35% of child deaths in the developing world (UNICEF, 2012, Child Info: Monitoring the situation of children and women, accessed February 1, 2011 http://www.childinfo.org/undernutrition.html).  The number of hungry people in sub-Saharan Africa is rising at an increasing rate. Between 1991 and 2000, the number rose by around 2 million a year, but between 2008 and 2011, the number rose by 6 million a year. (FAO, The State of Food Insecurity in the World (2012), http://www.fao.org/docrep/016/i3027e/i3027e00.htm [accessed 11 October 2012])

So get your knives out and start chopping, dicing or slicing those sweet potatoes. A super food if ever there was one, this recipe makes an easy vegan dish that has a bit of a kick and tons of flavor.

And, please take a look at the sweet potato-centric posts all of these wonderful bloggers have created, too:

Enjoy and Happy Sweet Potato Day to all!

Sweet Potato Gratin


  • 2 to 3 sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
  • 1 can coconut milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground corriander
  • 1/2 cup peanuts, crushed
  • 1/4 red onion, skin removed, sliced into thin rings



  1. Heat a small pan to hot and add the ground spices. Toast on low heat for 3 to 4 minutes, until you can smell the spices heating up.
  2. Add the coconut milk, making sure to incorporate any solids that may have separated.
  3. Bring to a low boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally for 4 minutes.
  4. Coat a casserole dish with olive oil (I used a bit of the coconut spiced milk in the bottom of the pan to keep it simple).
  5. Beginning with a layer of sweet potatoes, create alternating layers of sweet potatoes, peanuts and onions. Add some coconut milk before each layer of sweet potato is layered on.
  6. Finish the layers with the remaining coconut milk, making sure the potatoes on the top layer are submerged. Sprinkle the remaining crushed peanuts on top.
  7. Bake in a 375 degree F oven for 50 minutes, until the coconut milk is mostly dissolved and has browned well.




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Pickled Carrots and Scallions

 I made pickled carrots and scallions, based on the flavors of the veggies included in a Vietnamese Bahn-mi sandwich.

It was so simple, I have no idea why I’ve never made pickled carrots (or any other kind of pickles) before.

All it took was a handful of ingredients, a bit of boiling and chopping and a nice big jar. The waiting was the hardest part, but well worth it. The pickles were ready to eat about five days after the pickling began.

I opted not to include the garlic in the final pickle recipe because it turned greenish-the first time I made these, and I didn’t want to encourage anyone to add the garlic, in case it wasn’t safe to eat! (loved the picture, though, so felt the need to include it.)

They are sweet and a bit spicy, due to the peppercorns and scallions. I think next time I’m going to experiment with some red chili peppers thrown into the mix to give it some more kick.

A great first try at pickled carrots!

Pickled Rainbow Carrots and Scallions


  • 4 to 6 rainbow carrots, scrubbed, peeled and sliced into thin sticks
  • 1 bunch scallions, greens cut down, ends removed
  • ½ cup rice wine vinegar
  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • 10 whole peppercorns


  1. In a small pan, bring water, sugar and vinegar to a boil. Reduce heat and stir until all the sugar is dissolved.
  2. Place the carrot sticks and scallions into a large jar, that has a sealable lid.
  3. Pour the vinegar mixture over the veggies in the jar, making sure they veggies are completely submerged.
  4. Add the peppercorns, seal the jar and place in the fridge for 5 days.


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Sweet Peppers, Oven Roasted

Take the time to make these roasted peppers. Super simple, delicious and versatile, these peppers can served as a side dish or in a salad. I served them on top  broiled salmon and quinoa.


Oven Roasted Sweet Peppers


  • 3 sweet peppers sliced into rings
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced into small pieces
  • Salt to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Pour the olive oil onto a rimmed baking sheet
  3. Place the hot pepper rings onto the baking sheet, turning over on the pan to coat with the olive oil.
  4. Throw the garlic cloves into the pan.
  5. Sprinkle with coarse salt .
  6. Roast in the oven for 15 minutes. Check on them every five minutes or so to ensure that the peppers aren’t browning too quickly. If they are, lower the heat to 400 degrees.
  7. Remove from oven and pour the rings and oil into a glass jar or bowl.

Excellent in egg dishes, pasta salads or mixed into a green salad with nuts and cheese.


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Not Your Mama’s Applesauce (shh…there’s chili in there)

Chili in applesauce? Why not?

Applesauce and chili powder make a surprisingly good combination. Wait, maybe it’s not such a surprise.

Both these flavors work well with pork roasts, so why not eliminate the roast and just make a batch of spicy applesauce?

 As this cooked, I tasted it and realized the chili powder was overpowering the apples. I found some cranberry juice in the freezer, added it to the mix and tasted. Perfect amount of sweet and tart.

The resulting applesauce is a wonderful mix of warm spices, sweet apples and tart cranberries.

Happy soon-to-be-Fall!

Apple Sauce with Chili Powder and Cranberry

Makes about 7 4 oz jars


  • 10 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/4 cup frozen cranberry juice


  1. Put the apples, sugar, lemon juice and chili into a large pot.
  2. Cook over media heat, stirring every few minutes, for 30 minutes.
  3. Add the frozen cranberry juice to the pot, stir until it’s melted into the apple mixture.
  4. Using a potato masher, mash up the large chunks of apple and cook for another 1o minutes.
  5. Place in sterilized jars: click here to see how to sterilize and seal the jars.
  6. Turn the sealed jars upside down, allow them to cool completely.
  7. Good for three months until opened. Refrigerate after opening.
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