Wednesday, November 19, 2014

How sweet this comfort food is -- baked, mashed or boiled

I sliced a large sweet potato, boiled the disks until they were tender and added them to a 10-inch whole-egg and egg-white frittata with chopped scallions and garlic; grated cheese and a little low-fat milk. A few slices of reduced-fat Swiss cheese went on top of the potatoes, as did black pepper and no-salt seasoning.

Editor's note: Costco Wholesale sells many foods in packages easily consumed by a family of four, but sweet potatoes come in 10-pound bags. Here are a few ways to use them.

By VICTOR E. SASSON
EDITOR

At Costco Wholesale, you can buy 1 pound of organic salad mix, 2 pounds of tomatoes or three large hothouse cucumbers, all easily consumed by a family of four.

But sweet potatoes come in 10-pound bags ($8.49), meaning you'll have to get busy, if you want to use them all before they spoil.

Several years ago, my trainer at the gym suggested I go on a no-bread, no-pizza diet to lose weight, but added I could eat my fill of sweet potatoes.

I'm still on that diet and I still love sweet potatoes -- mashed with extra-virgin olive oil, sliced and boiled for use in frittatas or simply baked until the sugar oozes out of where you vent the skin with a fork.

At ShopRite in Paramus, 3-pound of bags of smaller sweet potatoes, washed and sized, are $2.99.

But the store also sells starchier yams, so make sure you get sweet potatoes.

If you Google the nutritional value of sweet potatoes v. yams, you will find contradictory entries.

A post on The Globe and Mail newspaper Web site says sweet potatoes have fewer calories and far more of an antioxidant called beta-carotene. 

"Sweet potatoes also have a lower glycemic index number than yams, meaning their carbohydrate is released more slowly into the bloodstream."

See: Which one's healthier?

I start the frittata on the stove and finish it under the broiler, above.

A filling breakfast of sweet-potato frittata and baked sweet potato, both accented with Valentina Mexican Hot Sauce (Black Label), which is available at Hackensack Market on Passaic Street.


I boil sweet potatoes with the skin and whole peeled garlic cloves in a loosely covered pot until tender, about 45 minutes; drain them, return them to the pot and add extra-virgin olive oil and almost anything I have in my spice cabinet -- black pepper, red-pepper flakes, sea salt, curry powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and more -- before mashing them. At breakfast, mashed sweet potatoes are great with eggs, omelets and frittatas. 
Fresh Atlantic cod, long-line caught in Iceland, is only $7.99 a pound at Costco Wholesale in Hackensack. The skinless-and-boneless fillets, cut into serving pieces, poach in only 7 minutes in hot Roasted Salsa Verde from Whole Foods Market with Costco's organic diced tomatoes and fresh lime juice. At dinner tonight, the perfect side dish was mashed sweet potatoes, above.



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