Asheville Eats Sweet Potatoes
Posted On Friday, January 16, 2015
Holy Sweet Potatoes, Batman!As the winter temperatures drop there is something inherently relaxing about having a warm, heavy comfort meal to settle into your evening with. All over the country, comfort food is almost the same as saying potatoes. In the south, true to form, we tend to prefer something with a little more flavor of its own, the sweet potato. No matter what your mood is or what day of the week it is, there's always a sweet potato dish to accommodate your needs. In addition these humble tubers contain fewer calories than other potatoes with over 400% of your daily value for vitamin A, tons of potassium and fiber as well as having more natural sugars, which is what your brain uses for fuel and being a naturally gluten free food. Sweet potatoes are a great way to curb your carb craving without ruining your diet.
Everyday of the week, it's a challenge to eat well, but it's particularly difficult on Mondays. Something about the reprieve of the weekend going by too soon and being on the far end of five more work days just makes snacking seem like not that big a deal (you have all week to work the calories off, right?). Fortunately for you, you're reading an awesome blog, where we don't believe in letting your early week craving ruin your New Year's resolution for better eating! Baked Sweet Potato Fries offer all the comfort of a typical southern deep fried snack with WAY less guilt! If you need a little extra flavor you can even play with the seasonings on the fries, or use a sauce!
P.S. I've read several from several sources that soaking fries in cold water for about an hour will draw out the excess starch (after you drain them the first time, you'll want to rinse them in cold water and drain again) and coating them VERY lightly in cornstarch before drizzling on the oil and seasoning will keep them crispy as they bake! And if you don't like mayo based sauces, or want a sauce with few calories, you can substitute and equal amount of plain Greek yogurt for the mayonnaise.
For some reason that I really don't understand, Tuesday night is always the night I want to cook big meals! If you have a similar day where you just feel the desire to impressive and cook a massive meal no one in the right mind could finish, I have your main course. Sweet Potato Chilli is the perfect sweet-spicy compliment to cornbread and your favorite Asheville microbrew!
Wednesdays are notorious for being the absolute busiest day of the week; the "hump" you have to get over to get to the shining beacon of hope—the weekend. That relief of knowing you are half-way there when you get home on Wednesday nights makes a warm meal an essential part of the remedy for a hard day of deadlines and running every errand in the world. Take a load off with an easy meal that will curb your hunger without exponentially increasing your waistline (with minimal effort)! Baked Sweet Potatoes can be fixed any way you like with traditional butter, salt and pepper or sour cream and chives or be adventurous and sprinkle on some cinnamon and brown sugar. Who said dessert and dinner had to be separate affairs?
Thursday is finally the beginning of the end. The weekend is in sight and most of your week-long projects are wrapping up. This makes it the perfect day to find your motivation to stick to your dieting goal! Add sweet potatoes to a family favorite, "burger night" to add a little calorie cutting, heart healthy boost to your meal. Or look into Sweet Potato-Pecan Burger, as a vegan alternative to the traditional beef patty.
As much as I do want to go down a couple pant sizes this year, you just gotta cut yourself some slack every once in a while and experience the glory of truly decadent food (it also helps you stick to your goals for the rest of the week to know you get a treat at a certain meal). So this is for us foodies who love to eat and don't feel ashamed of that fact. So when you need that treat to encourage you to keep up the good work, break out my family's Sweet Potato Casserole recipe. its perfect candied nutty topping makes it more f a dessert than a side dish and the portions I tend to eat it in make it a main course, making it the perfect food.
The weekend is the break that everyone looks forward to at the end of the week and if you are anything like me, prepping a huge beautiful meal for myself...my family...and whoever is popping in and out visiting isn't my ideal Saturday (especially when we get to clean up duty). Enjoy your break and use an easy recipe like this to keep all the stomachs passing through your house happy. Not only is this easy and relatively quick soup to make, but Sweet Potato Bisque reheats from frozen or chilled beautifully (so you can make it earlier in the week and just pull it out and reheat!) and goes wonderfully with pretty much any bread, sandwich or salad stuff you have sitting around the house. Making this a no brainer!
Maybe it's just the knowledge that Sunday is the fading sound of the sweet, sweet freedom of the weekend, but something about Sunday afternoons rarely has anyone in my family in the cooking mood. Usually in our house that makes it either a yo-yo (you're on your own) or a big salad night. So relax and enjoy the end of your weekend while you make sure all your ducks are in a row for the coming week with this light salad featuring roasted sweet potatoes.
When you think of the south, you invariably think of historic town and cities surrounded by countryside still looking the same as it did well before America was founded, cold glasses of sweet tea, friendly people, old women who call everyone "sugar" or "sweetheart" and warm, delicious food. Let me assure you, that is exactly what you can expect from Asheville. Traditional southern charm abounds in our quaint and cozy downtown that is embraced by some of the most scenic mountain views in the country and, perhaps most importantly, no matter where you go, great food. I hope you enjoy bringing a taste from our tables back to yours!