Roasted Sweet Potato Puree with Coconut Milk; adapted from Bryant Terry's Vegan Soul Kitchen
Serves 8-10 as a side dish
• 4 pounds sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch chunks (tip: you can roast extra sweet potato also to use in salads or grain dishes throughout the week)
• 4 tablespoons agave nectar
• 4 tablespoons coconut oil
• 1/2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
• 1 can coconut milk, warmed (I use the lite version for creamy results with less fat and calories)
• A few tablespoons of chopped pecans to serve (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, agave nectar, coconut oil, and sea salt. Toss well.
3. Transfer the sweet potatoes to a parchment-lined baking dish or roasting pan and roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring halfway through. The sweet potatoes are done when they are soft and can easily be pierced with a fork.
4. Remove from oven.
5. Warm coconut milk in a small saucepan on the stove-do not bring to a boil.
6. In a food processor fitted with a metal "s" blade, combine the sweet potatoes with warmed coconut milk. Process, adding a tablespoon of hot water at a time if needed to bring sweet potatoes to the desired "mashed potato" consistency.
7. Transfer to a serving dish. Top with some pecans if you'd like.
Roasted Sweet Potato Salad with Wheat Berries, Spinach, and Cranberries
For the salad:
• 1 large sweet potato, peeled and cubed into 1/2 inch cubes
• 1 tsp agave nectar
• 2 tsp coconut oil, melted, or olive oil
• 1/2 cup wheat berries
• 1 and ½ cups water
• 5 ounces baby spinach or spinach blend
• 4 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
• 4 Tbsp dried cranberries
• 4 Tbsp goat cheese
For the vinaigrette:
• 1/4 cup apple cider
• 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
• 1/3 cup olive oil
• 1 Tbsp shallot, finely minced
• 1/2 tsp cinnamon
• 1 Tbsp honey or agave nectar
1. Make wheat berries ahead of time. Put wheat berries into saucepan with one and a half cups of water and a pinch of salt. If you are making extra wheat berries to have on hand, just remember that however many wheat berries you have, add three times as much water.
2. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover the pan. Cook for about 35 minutes then check the doneness of the grains. The wheat berries will be chewy but not tough. If the grains are not done, continue cooking and check every 5 minutes for doneness. Let cool slightly before serving.
3. Preheat oven to 400°F. Toss sweet potatoes with oil and agave and spread evenly onto baking sheet. Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until sweet potatoes are soft enough to pierce easily but not mushy. Let cool on the pan.
4. Prepare vinaigrette by whisking all ingredients or by pouring all ingredients into a bottle and shaking vigorously. This recipe makes just about one cup-store leftovers in fridge and use over the next few weeks.
5. Assemble the salad. Arrange spinach, sweet potatoes, wheat berries, cranberries, pumpkin seeds, and goat cheese into a large salad bowl. Drizzle some vinaigrette over the top and toss. Enjoy!
Courtesy: Aura Caplett, www.dinnerwithaura.com