Day to Night Ingredient: Sweet Potatoes

Lentine Alexis
by Lentine Alexis
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Day to Night Ingredient: Sweet Potatoes

When your meal prep inspiration gets a little rote, it’s nice to have a few ingredients in your cooking arsenal that are as healthy as they are delicious — and versatile to boot. Enter, the oft-overlooked, ever-nutritious and ultimately delicious sweet potato.

Easy to prepare (and to love) sweet potatoes are a nutrient-rich addition to meals at any time of day. Plus, it’s always a good idea to switch up your carbohydrate sources — and sweet potatoes are a healthy source of fiber that keeps you feeling satisfied without grains.

Sweet potatoes can be boiled, roasted or baked — all render potatoes that are easy to prep ahead and keep on hand for meals in a snap. Roast or steam a few potatoes at the beginning of the week and keep them on hand to whip up meals on a whim. All of the recipes below would work with pre-cooked potatoes, which means fancy, fresh meals can be made on the fly.

Here are some of our best ideas and practices for getting sweet potatoes on your plate, no matter the time of day!

Sweet potatoes make a delicious hash, and a sliced sweet potato topped with yogurt, cinnamon and a drizzle of maple syrup is some kind of wonderful way to wake up.

But, if you have steamed or roasted sweet potatoes on hand, you’re ready to rock a sweet potato bowl for breakfast. Just add an egg, avocado, perhaps a handful of greens and your favorite toppings and you have a balanced and beautiful breakfast. This is my favorite riff on a sweet potato bowl:

SWEET POTATO BOWL WITH TURMERIC POACHED EGGS

Ingredients

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium sweet potato, cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1/2 small red onion, chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup (59ml) rice vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons ground turmeric
  • 2 large eggs
  • 5 cups (100g) arugula
  • 1/2 cup (5g) dill sprigs
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons pomegranate seeds

Directions

Place rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425°F (220ºC). Whisk garlic powder, cayenne, paprika and oil in a large bowl. Add sweet potato and onion tossing to coat; season with kosher salt and pepper. Spread sweet potato mixture on a rimmed, parchment-lined baking sheet. Roast, stirring sweet potato mixture halfway through until golden brown in spots, 25–30 minutes. Remove from oven and mix in oregano.

Pour 2-inches of water into a large saucepan and bring to a boil; reduce heat so water is at a gentle simmer and add vinegar and turmeric. Crack an egg into a small bowl, then gently slide into the water. Repeat with remaining eggs, waiting until each white is opaque before adding the next egg (about 30 seconds apart). Poach until whites are set but yolks are still runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer eggs to paper towels and let drain.

Toss arugula, dill and lemon juice in a large bowl. Divide among bowls and top each with sweet potato hash, pomegranate seeds and a turmeric-poached egg.

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 2 cups

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 166; Total Fat: 13g; Saturated Fat: 2g; Monounsaturated Fat: 7g; Cholesterol: 93mg; Sodium: 560mg; Carbohydrate: 10g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 7g; Protein 3g

Raise your hand if a warm lunch on a cold day is your idea of self care. Spend a little time over the weekend whipping up this make-ahead sweet potato soup and your future self will thank you! It’s great for dinner, too. TLadle a few spoonfuls in your favorite to-go bowl or jar and enjoy with crackers (and maybe even greens on top!)

SIMPLE SWEET POTATO AND COCONUT SOUP

Ingredients

  • 1 small sweet potato
  • 4 cups (946ml) vegetable stock
  • 1 5.5-ounce (177ml) can unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup (68g) white miso
  • 1 tablespoon fresh turmeric, finely grated or 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F (230ºC). Pierce potato several times with a fork or sharp knife. Roast potato on a rimmed baking sheet until tender, 35–45 minutes. Let cool, then scoop out flesh; discard skin.

Meanwhile, bring 4 cups broth to a boil in a large pot. Remove from heat and set aside, allowing to cool just slightly.

Transfer broth to a blender. Add sweet potato, coconut milk, miso and turmeric. Blend until smooth. Return to pot and bring to a gentle simmer. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice.

Divide soup among bowls. Top with coconut flakes and peanuts, then drizzle with chili oil.

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 1/4 cup

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 38; Total Fat: 3g; Saturated Fat: 1g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 83mg; Carbohydrate: 3g; Dietary Fiber: 1g; Sugar: 0g; Protein 1g

This one-pot curry is a secret weapon for dietary restrictions. Hearty and healthy, it’s gluten-free, dairy-free and veggie-friendly. (That said, it would be delicious with tofu, chicken or shrimp added to the final coconutty broth!) The recipe below calls to boil the sweet potatoes, but you could simply add pre-cooked potatoes to the broth instead.

ONE-POT SWEET POTATO CURRY

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled, and chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup (68g) red curry paste
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 14.5-ounce (411g) can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 13.5-ounce (765g) cans coconut milk
  • 1 1/2 pounds (680g) sweet potatoes, about 3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3/4 pound (340g) small or young carrots, peeled, and cut on the diagonal into 2-inch pieces
  • 6 medium shallots, peeled keeping roots intact, and quartered lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • Kosher salt, to taste

Directions

Heat the oil in a large heavy pot over medium heat. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring often, until golden brown, about 5 minutes; season with salt. Add curry and tomato paste and cook, stirring, until darkened, about 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook, scraping up any browned bits, until thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in coconut milk; season with salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until curry is rich and full of flavor, 20–25 minutes.

Add sweet potatoes and carrots plus enough water to cover. Partially cover the pot and cook until carrots are crisp-tender, 10–15 minutes. Add shallots and cook until potatoes are tender and shallots are soft, 15–20 minutes more.

Serve with rice and top with scallions, basil, cilantro and peanuts.

Serves: 4 | Serving Size: 1 cup

Nutrition (per serving): Calories: 277; Total Fat: 14g; Saturated Fat: 5g; Monounsaturated Fat: 1g; Cholesterol: 0mg; Sodium: 421mg; Carbohydrate: 36g; Dietary Fiber: 8g; Sugar: 14g; Protein: 5g

About the Author

Lentine Alexis
Lentine Alexis
Lentine is a curious, classically trained chef and former pro athlete. She uses her bicycle, raw life and travel experiences and organic ingredients to inspire athletes and everyone to explore, connect and expand their human experiences through food. She previously worked as a Chef/Recipe Developer/Content Creator and Culinary Director at Skratch Labs – a sports nutrition company dedicated to making real food alternatives to modern “energy foods.” Today, she writes, cooks, speaks and shares ideas for nourishing sport and life with whole, simple, delicious foods.

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