It’s a week of good things. The first is this recipe for sweet potatoes: cut thick, lathered up with olive oil, and roasted in a hot oven until the outside begins to caramelize and the inside goes all soft. Makes sense to share it today since I just heard it’s National Sweet Potato Month. That’s one of those holidays food commodities make up to get you to buy their goods.
Luckily, the sweet potato is an easy one to get behind considering its nutritional virtues. It’s at the top spot of the Center for Science in the Public Interest’s list of the best foods to eat. Not surprising considering that the sweet potato is loaded with carotenoids, vitamin C, potassium, and fiber. I prefer them over plenty of other starchy sides, particularly alongside roast chicken and pork. Their sturdiness also make them a filling option for vegetarian meals. You’ll find the roasted sweet potato recipe at the end of this post.
Onto other good things…
Bagels Slim Down — I popped into Noah’s Bagels the other day and was pleased to see they now sell bagel thins. If you read this post a while back about the super sizing of bagels, you’ll know how I feel about keeping portion sizes in check. Noah’s bagel thins taste better (at least to me) than the packaged ones in the supermarket and are about half the calories of regular bagels. I’m a fan of Honey Whole Wheat, in particular, since they pack in four grams of fiber. My kids gave them a thumbs up, especially as a swap for sandwich bread.
Beans in a Box — More good news on BPA-free food options. Perusing the aisles of Whole Foods the other day, I stopped in my tracks when I noticed the Fig Food brand of beans packed NOT in BPA-lined cans, but in recyclable tetra-pak boxes. One more choice for those looking for convenience, but wanting to avoid this unfriendly chemical.
Yippee! School Lunch — Big improvements for school lunches are on the horizon. The amount of fruits and vegetables on lunch trays will double thanks to new standards just put out by the USDA. The amount of fiber will also go up; sodium and trans fats will go down. So nice to hear something good happening for our kids in schools.
Lunchbox Option — Speaking of lunch, a friend put me onto this cool lunchbox product called Planet Box. She is so enthusiastic about them I think she might want to stop practicing law and go work for the company. It’s a sort of an all-in-one, bento style, stainless steel lunch kit that eliminates the need for loads of little containers with lids you can never seem to match up Not cheap, but is something I’m considering. Anybody else try these out?
Cookbook News — Finally, the clock seems to be ticking rather rapidly these days as I’ve got about six weeks to turn in my cookbook to the publisher. Yikes. I made a creamy chocolate pudding that I can’t wait to share with you and some killer kale chips that four out of five in our household are eating like it’s crack (ok, maybe I’m eating it like an addict, but the rest like it, too. I’ll do my best to keep the blog posts coming between now and the due date, but if I start slacking, you’ll know why.
As far as those sweet potatoes…
• 2 large, fat sweet potatoes
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
• Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
Wash and dry sweet potatoes. Cut crosswise into slices that are about 2/3-inch thick. Put slices in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil. Use your hands to toss the potatoes in the oil until evenly coated.
Lay sweet potatoes out over the two baking sheets. Sprinkle generously with salt and pepper.
Put in the center of the oven to bake. When the potatoes are nicely browned on the bottom (about 20 minutes) remove the pans from the oven and flip the sweet potatoes over to the other side. Continue to bake until the second side is browned and the potatoes are very tender in the center.
Serve right away.
Makes 4 to 6 servings as a side dish.